BMW engines such as the N55 and B58 are highly-sought-after for their factory performance and tuning potential, respectively. Of the two engines, however, only the latter offers more advanced features such as closed-deck block construction and increased compression.
As opposed to its N54 counterpart, which was susceptible to oil leakage issues, the B58 has not encountered too many related issues yet; however, some owners have reported coolant loss.
While N55 is used in various BMW models including non-M performance models, B58 is also used in these models.
Even though they are closer, there are still some different features for BMW N55 vs B58. Let’s discover some significant differences between BMW N55 and B58.
Reliability issues should be considered to check out for BMW N55 vs B58. BMW’s inline-six engine configuration boasts a long history of reliability and is found across most of their models. The N55 is an exceptional workhorse that boasts impressive power and performance while being easy on maintenance costs; however, carbon buildup and high-pressure fuel pump issues could lead to reduced performance over time.
The B58, however, provided an effective solution by featuring a more durable design capable of withstanding high levels of torque. Furthermore, its new Valvetronic system reduced component counts by moving servo motors away from valve cover gaskets to be closer to the throttle body for less leakage from both.
Like its N55 counterpart, the B58 can suffer from similar engine issues as those found on its predecessor – including oil leaking through valve cover gaskets and PCV valves – though thankfully these seem less frequent now that production has continued for some time.
Swapping out an N55 engine into a vehicle equipped with a B58 is possible, though the process can be expensive and laborious. Not only would you need to purchase and install the new engine but you would also have to modify or replace many surrounding systems such as transmission, exhaust and cooling systems to accommodate it – possibly upgrading the wiring harness and ECU as well.
It can be said that their performance outputs are closer for BMW N55 vs B58. BMW turbo sixes are no slouch when tuned and equipped with basic bolt-ons; with proper tuning and basic upgrades they boast massive power and torque bands with minimal turbo lag to provide instantaneous low-end acceleration and instantaneous low-end acceleration. Furthermore, these engines are durable enough to last a lifetime!
The N54 is no exception; however, and does face several issues that can lead to performance degradation over time. Carbon buildup is common as are HPFP failures, water pump leaks and defective fuel injectors – all which could degrade performance significantly over time.
Thankfully, the B58 was designed to address these shortcomings of its predecessor. It provides more reliable engine performance with greater factory output and tuning potential.
The BMW N54 turbocharged inline six engine has become one of the most reliable engines available; as it features a more robust high-pressure fuel pump and more effective cooling system, its chances of failure have greatly decreased; making this model one of the most dependable BMW engines around today – early B58 engines have even gone over 200,000 miles without experiencing major issues – thanks to BMW’s dedication to continually improve reliability across their turbocharged inline six range. No wonder BMW models such as the B58 have become such a staple; its smooth power delivery feels almost natural compared to naturally aspirated alternatives!
Although they are closer in terms of engine’s technologies, some slight differences can be listed for BMW N55 vs B58.
The N54 engine had become legendary among tuning enthusiasts, so BMW faced an uphill task when designing its successor: B58. However, they did an outstanding job of improving all aspects of it to create an engine capable of standing up against its counterpart in terms of power output, tuning potential and reliability.
The B58 3.0L inline-6 turbo engine is an impressive beast and easily outshines its counterpart N54 in terms of strength. When properly tuned and equipped with bolt-ons, this powerhouse can generate 700+whp!
BMW made substantial advances to this modular inline six engine’s reliability and cooling. They utilized a closed deck block design which provides greater strength at high boost levels; also featuring air-to-water intercooler technology and engine heat encapsulation to reduce thermal cycling.
Additionally, the B58 features an improved high-pressure fuel pump and is less likely to experience oil leakage issues like its N54 predecessor. Early examples are already displaying evidence of durability and longevity; with some reaching 200K miles without experiencing any issues whatsoever.
Although BMW engines have seen substantial improvement, the N55 and later model B58s remain vulnerable to some common issues that plague other engines: oil leakage around valve covers and filters, failed VANOS solenoids and cracked charge pipes are frequently observed due to poor-quality plastics used in factory parts as well as heat cycling of engines. These issues can be addressed easily with preventive maintenance and the addition of premium aftermarket components.
Production technologies are the determinant factor for BMW N55 vs B58.
The N55 engine has been around longer than its successor and thus boasts a larger aftermarket selection and tuning community than its successor, as well as single turbo design which may make achieving higher power levels more challenging.
The BMW B58 engine is one of the newest to join this list and already it has earned quite an outstanding reputation. Capable of producing impressive power numbers with simple bolt-on modifications, it is capable of creating amazing performance numbers.
BMW B58 engine stands out as one of their more fuel-efficient offerings, producing between 322-382 horsepower from the factory. Used extensively across their flagship models like M240i, 340i and Z4 40i models.
However, it should be remembered that fuel efficiency will depend on driving conditions and vehicle weight. Furthermore, swapping an engine into a BMW model requires considerable investments of time, money, and expertise.
Though both engines can produce impressive power figures with basic modifications, the N55 engine holds an edge in terms of reliability. Plus it comes at a much more reasonable purchase price and boasts superior balance between performance and aftermarket potential despite being older in age. Even today it can still make for an excellent choice among enthusiasts looking to optimize their car.
Despite some efficiency differences for BMW N55 vs B58, their values are closer.