BMW S54B32 Engine Problems, Specs and Reliability

BMW S54 Engine – much more productive and high-revving engine in comparison to BMW S52 engine.

The S54 engine is based on a cast iron base. The cylinder head is cast from an aluminum alloy, but is a little lighter than on the M54 series.

The engine’s chain is double and has rollers. The Dual Variable Valve Timing system called Double VANOS timing on intake and exhaust camshafts began to work in a wider range, which affected the more precise responsiveness of the engine at different operating conditions.

The crankshaft is made of forged steel, has 12 balances, and supported the family bearings.

BMW S54 motor was the best engine in the International competition of power units in 2001 year, “from 3.0 to 4.0 liters” category, and each year until 2006 was considered the best in this category. In 2001, it also joined the list of “10 Best Engines Ward” and was there until the end of 2004. To replace this motor the S55 engine has been designed.

The less powerful 333-strong version S54B32US was intended for American cars (M3 E46 and Z4 M Coupe / Roadster) and had some changes (such as a dual catalytic converter closer to the engine).

These measures have been taken to comply with CO2 emissions standards in the US, and that affected the power of the motor parameters.

Streamlined, lightweight S54 engine, mounted only on the M3 CSL E46 and officially designated – S54B32HP. Its peculiarity lies in the air intake of carbon fiber, modified camshafts, lightweight exhaust manifold (intake and exhaust manifolds slightly improved engine performance), the DME control system, and a more efficient air intake system, which is supplied mainly from the round hole on the front bumper. In addition to this, the vehicle is equipped with a lightweight exhaust system made of thin steel.

In addition to this, the vehicle is equipped with a lightweight exhaust system made of thin steel.

BMW S54B32 Engine Specs

Manufacturer Munich Plant
Also called BMW S54/S54B32
Production 2000-2011
Cylinder block alloy Cast-iron
Configuration Straight-6
Valvetrain DOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 91 (3.58)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 87 (3.43)
Compression ratio 11.5
Displacement 3246 cc (198.1 cu in)
Power output 232 kW (315 HP) at 7,400 rpm
239 kW (325 HP) at 7,400 rpm
245 kW (333 HP) at 7,900 rpm
252 kW (343 HP) at 7,900 rpm
265 kW (360 HP) at 7,900 rpm
Torque output 340 Nm (251 lb·ft) at 4,900 rpm
350 Nm (258 lb·ft) at 4,900 rpm
355 Nm (262 lb·ft) at 4,900 rpm
365 Nm (269 lb·ft) at 4,900 rpm
370 Nm (273 lb·ft) at 4,900 rpm
Redline 7,600 (Z3M)
8,000 (M3)
HP per liter 97.0
Fuel type Gasoline
Weight, kg (lbs) 149 (328)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)
for E46 M3
17.8 (13)
8.4 (28)
11.9 (19)
Turbocharger Naturally aspirated
Oil consumption, L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 750 miles)
Recommended engine oil 10W-60
Engine Oil Capacity, L (qt.) 6.5 (6.9)
Oil change interval, km (miles) 5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F) ~90 (195)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

300,000+ (200,000)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss

What Cars Have A BMW S54B32?

S54B32EU – the 343-strong version designed for European spec cars. The engine is installed in:

  • BMW M3 E46 Coupe
  • BMW M3 E46 Cabriolet
  • BMW E86 Z4 M Coupe
  • BMW E85 Z4 M Roadster
  • BMW M3 CS E46
  • BMW M3 E46 — 30 Years of BMW M
  • BMW M3 Competition Package E46
  • BMW M3 Silverstone Edition E46
  • BMW Wiesmann Roadster MF3

BMW S54B32 Engine Problems

  1. High oil consumption. Reason – problem with valve stem seals or with piston rings (in case consumption is too high)
  2. Overheating. Reason: the cooling system has air, OR problem is in dirty radiator OR radiator cap and thermostat.

BMW S54 Supercharger

Instead of difficult manipulations you can just buy an ESS supercharger kit (or VF) and get a lot of power. These sets are quite reliable and installed on S54 stock internals. For the maximum boost VT1 – 6 psi (0.4 bar) you do not even need forged pistons. It will easily provide 470 horsepower. With the help of a supercharger S54 you can get up to 600 horsepower and that’s enough for any driver.

Making S54 turbo or twin-turbo isn’t too favorable, it is quite expensive and easier to buy a faster Nissan GTR.

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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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