BMW M52B20 Engine Specs And Problems

The basic version of the BMW M52 engine was created on the basis of a 2-liter M50 engine and was produced from 1994 to 2003.

M52B20 engine was introduced to the market in 1994. The diameter of the cylinders is equal to 80 mm and the stroke of 66 mm. Engine power and torque of 150 hp at 5900 rpm and 190 Nm at 4200 rpm.

BMW M52B20 Engine Specs

Manufacturer  Munich Plant
Also called BMW M52
Production 1994-2001
Cylinder block alloy Nikasil-coated aluminum
Configuration Straight-6
Valvetrain DOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 66 (2.6)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 80 (3.15)
Compression ratio 11
Displacement 1991 cc (121.5 cu in)
Power output 110 kW (150 HP) at 5,900 rpm
110 kW (150 HP) at 5,900 rpm (TU)
Torque output 190 Nm (140 lb·ft) at 4,200 rpm
190 Nm (140 lb·ft) at 3,500 rpm (TU)
Redline 6,500 rpm
HP per liter 75.3
Fuel type Gasoline
ECU Siemens MS41.0
Siemens MS42.0 (TU)
Weight, kg (lbs) ~165 (364)
~175 (386) (TU)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)
for E46 320i
12.5 (18.8)
6.8 (34.6)
8.9 (26.4)
Turbocharger   Naturally aspirated
Oil consumption, L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 750 miles)
Recommended engine oil 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30, 5W-40
Engine Oil Capacity, L (qt.) 6.5 (6.9)
Oil change interval, km (miles)  7,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F) ~95 (203)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

250+ (155+)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss

What Cars Have A BMW M52B20?

  • 1994-1999 BMW 320i E36
  • 1995-1999 BMW 520i E39

M52TUB20 engine is an upgraded version of the M52B20 engine. It appeared on the market in 1998 and received a double change VANOS valve timing system. This improvement makes it possible to obtain the peak torque at 700 rpm lower than the first version of the M52B20 engine. Engine power and torque remain the same and made 150 hp at 5900 rpm and 190 Nm at 3500 rpm.

The engine is installed in:

  • BMW E36 / 7 Z3 2.0i
  • 1998-2001 BMW 320i/320Ci E46
  • 1998-2001 BMW 520i E39

BMW M52B20 Engine Problems

  • Wear of the working surface of the cylinder wall: the reason – as the cylinder block in M52 is made of aluminum alloy with a coating on the cylinder walls of Nicosia, the working surface as compared to cast iron engine less resistant to harmful fuel components;
  • The leak of oil from the cup of the oil filter;
  • A drop of the oil pressure: the possible cause of the problem – reducing valve or the wear of inserts;
  • Cracks in the cylinder head covers;
  • Overheating.

The BMW M52 engine has been replaced with the BMW M54 engine.

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The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. The author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of any information presented. The reader is advised to consult a qualified professional, such as a mechanic or dealership, before making any decisions related to their vehicle's engine oil or maintenance.

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1 thought on “BMW M52B20 Engine Specs And Problems”

  1. Dear Professionals,

    I have been using M52B20 and I really want to upgrade the engine with Vf supercharge kit. Is it possible to keep the engine running smoothly from 0rpm to 7000rmp with the Vf kit installed?
    Thanks in advance.

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