• Nov 18, 2008

Countless BMW owners have been frustrated for some time with software-induced turbo lag on their N54 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-6 engines. While early models were acclaimed for their immediate power delivery, it seems BMW felt it necessary to address "specific noise concerns" with the engine and made software changes in models built between June 2006 and March 2008. Those changes introduced turbo lag – the noticeable delay between the throttle and the time it takes for the turbocharger to spin and produce power. Enthusiasts were up in arms, but BMW refused to recognize their concerns (addressed on nearly every BMW message board, and by the BMW Car Club of America)... until now. According to a statement from the automaker, new software will be released in January 2009 that will restore the original turbocharger response. Of course, it comes with a warning that it may result in "slightly increased engine noise levels." As if an enthusiast cares... Thanks for the tip Michael!

[Source: BimmerFile]

BMW North America Statement:

"In an effort to address specific noise concerns, BMW updated the turbocharged engine software on 335i/xi and 535i/xi models built from June 2006 through March 2008. The updated software causes a small amount of increased "turbocharger lag" under certain circumstances and, while not substantial, the lag may be perceptible to the most sensitive BMW drivers. X6, 135i, and 3 Series/5 Series vehicles from March 2008 production onward are not affected. Release of the new software to restore the original turbocharger response is planned for January 2009, and it will be available for vehicles produced from September 2007 through March 2008 when they are brought to an authorized BMW center for a repair which requires a programming update. Clients with vehicles produced from June 2006 through September 2007 may request installation of the January 2009 software update. Clients who get this update should understand that there is a possibility of slightly increased engine noise levels under certain circumstances."



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorry guys. My second comment was aimed at "Michael", not anyone else.
      • 6 Years Ago
      BMW aka. BreakMyWallet is a company that will not admit to any wrong, when in fact what they sell are quality control nightmare POS, hell, they didn't even admit to faulty airbags... NHTSA had to step in to force them to do a recall.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Want a real sportscar buy a Vette!

      German engineering didn`t do Chrysler any favors when Diamler destroyed them.

      Overrated .
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe BMW should make this an option inside iDrive, but then again, no one would be able to find it ;)

      BTW, I like loud engines.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe these "superior" Germans should look to the "inferior" Japanese (e.g Nissan GT-R) on how to build a twin turbo powerplant.
      "Ve are zee experts! No vone tells us how to do somezing!" Ve learned vell from Hitler!"
      • 6 Years Ago
      This wasnt about people whining or being too picky. This was buying a car that was fantastic and had power right from the push of the gas pedal. Then after you took it in for a problem with your radio on the drive home you r car has not pickup and is sluggish. You are owned by someone in a Prius. Then the manufacturer denies doing anything and says nothing is wrong. If any of you so called enthusiasts that say BMW owners dont deserve the car had this happen to you and your vette, you would be pissed too. Making payments on a car that was neutered by the people you bought it from as they smile and lie to your face.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I had a 335i with a faulty fuel pump as most of the earlier ones, got rid of it as the car did not seem worth 50K to me, its fast but the handling was more of a muscle car than sports car. In Autocross its in the same class as the camaro and mustang. instead I got a rx-8 and am much happier since this car can now turn!

      For the lexus comment, drive an IS-F! its super quiet inside but when you give it gas its a great sound and is super quick! i was doing over a 100+ mph on the track and it was sooo quiet and felt much slower until i glanced at the speedo and found myself continuously in triple digits. amazing piece of car that IS-F.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i wish honda did this for the 04-08 acura TSX DBW lag.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wish BMW just did more R&D at the start to deal with the oil cooler issue well before it became the problem it is now and subtle things like this turbo lag.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I hear ya. Look up the issues with the 2000 Audi S4, another German twin-turbo 6. I'm not terribly impressed with the thoroughness of German engineering. Maybe it just comes down to "never buy a first year anything", but it would have been nice to not have the problems I did (and they were minor next to what some S4 people had).
          • 6 Years Ago
          Very true, it's just that the B5 S4 is over a decade old, 11 years later I would hope a bi turbo six from BMW wouldn't be falling flat on it's face after 15 minutes at a track day due to some shoddy engineering. Maybe you're right, Maybe Germans just suck at bi-turbos... though I've not read of any wide spread issues with the previous gen bi-turbo V8 RS6 – or issues with most of the Bentley range (talking engine here). I guess we should be fair and give BMW a decade to figure it out.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Im glad they fixed the turbo lag issue. A person who buys a twin turbocharged vehicle probably does not view a slight increase in engine noise as a negative thing. In fact, they will more than likely enjoy hearing the engine more.

      If I had one though, I would have just gotten the Dinan ECU upgrade and unlocked the extra potential of the engine and turbos, which takes output to 384 hp at 5,700 rpm and a 421 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not sure why half the folks on this thread totally misunderstood my comment. I'm saying that people who were whining about the noise, and were actually happier that BMW made the change to neuter the car so it was quieter and made no boost, deserve lexuses.

      On the other hand, if it was some really awful wastegate rattle, then they should have done the right thing and solved it the expensive (hardware) way rather than just leaving the wastegates open. Either way, lame on BMW for how they 'fixed' the problem and lame on any customers who preferred it that way.

      Also, as a B5 Audi S4 owner, I'm pretty familiar with the problems with that biturbo V6. The 2000 model year was worse; the 2001 was a bit better, but both had an issue with the oil line to the passenger side turbo running too close to the exhaust manifold, right at a point where the oil line widened and thus the oil was subject to overheating leading to turbo problems. Cars with K04s tend to be trouble-free as do the larger A6 (and Allroad) models with the same engine. That said, my '01 S4 Avant, with 105k miles on it, is running great -- with aftermarket turbos, intercoolers, oil cooler, diverter valves, etc....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Next up, BMW admits surging issues in R1100XX engines.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Razor, that is hysterical! And at least they finally got rid of the servo brakes....
      • 6 Years Ago
      People who buy a BMW, then complain about engine noise are the exact same people who make me not ever want to buy one, for fear of being associated with them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        People who would base their opinion on buying a car on their perceptions of other people who buy the same car are the kind of person that makes me realize I buy cars for me, not for others.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My perception and reality are closer than you may think.
        • 6 Years Ago
        One of the big probelms with the B5 S4 was blown turbos. Due to the fact that they are not vetilated well, they don't cool well and it can shorten the life significantly.

        It's due to the engine being placed in a smaller car. The A6 versions didn't suffer the same fate since it has a larger engine bay and better packaging.

        For whatever reason though, those who have replaced the stock turbos with the larger ones from the RS4 haven't had the same issues. So, the turbo may have played a role as well.
    • Load More Comments