BMW 550i Engine

BMW 550i Engine

The BMW 550i is powered by a 4.4 Litre, twin-turbo eight-cylinder engine in a “V” configuration. It produces 523 bhp @5500-6000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque between 1800-4600 rpm. Linked with a smooth and quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission with multiple shift modes, launch control, and even paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The new BMW 550i is an extremely powerful and stylish sedan, and lives up to the moniker of “ The ultimate driving machine”. We will be discussing the BMW 550i engine in this article.

Table of Content

  • Specifications of BMW 550i Engine 
  • Problems of BMW 550i Engine
    • Cooling System 
    • Fuel Pump 
    • Tensioners
    • Failing Valve Cover Gasket
    • Oil Leakage
  • Conclusion


The 550i engine is a very powerful and intelligent engine that uses cylinder deactivation technology to shut down the usage of some cylinders of the engine to improve fuel economy.

The engine uses a hot V configuration, where the turbochargers are place inside the “V” of the engine. This improves performance without losing fuel efficiency. In sports mode, the car can call upon its mountains of power and torque to propel you into the horizon within a matter of seconds.

  • 550i Engine:- 4395  cc, V8 (8 Cylinders in “V” formation),twin turbocharged , DOHC
  • Max Power:- 523 bhp @5500-6000 rpm
  • Max Torque:- 553 lb-ft @1800-4600 rpm
  • Drivetrain:- RWD
  • Transmission:- Automatic – 8 Gears

Problems of BMW 550i engine

The 550i engine is an excellent engine but it has its fair share of flaws. Here are some of the issues of the BMW 550i engine:-

Cooling System

One of the Achilles heels of the BMW 5 Series has always been its water pump and thermostat. The components have a very short life and fail before they should. In these vehicles, the failure of these components results in 25% of all mechanical failures. These components are critical and. If they are left overlooked then they can cause issues with the rest of the engine.

Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is another component worth paying attention to as these have been known to fail. Resulting in poor performance and efficiency from the car. Other issues that are causing by a faulty fuel pump include limiting power, rough idling, and poor emissions. This part is already working by BMW. But, all of the above-stated problems have not been solving completely.


Tensioners and idler pulleys of the BMW engines have a lower life span as compared to their competition. The characteristic screeching sound that is producing, when these components are failing can cause a great amount of irritation and ruin the luxury experience of the vehicle. A faulty belt may impact the functioning of the cooling system, alternator, power steering, and other ancillaries that are dependent on the pulley system. A quick visual inspection of the belts for cracks, damage, or loss of tension can help in detecting the issue sooner rather than later.

Failing Valve Cover Gasket

The valve cover gasket is a rubber component that keeps the engine oil from getting out of the engine block and getting onto components that it should not be on.  If the gasket is failing then you may see puddles of engine oil on the floor where your car is parked, or during inspection of the vehicle, you may see the oil coating other components of the engine. This could be dangerous as the oil can spill over into the spark plugs which can cause misfiring.  The valve stem seals are also a component that is responsible for maintaining the seal of the intake and exhaust chambers, and as they are made from the same materials and processes as the valve cover gasket, these fail too. These components are made of lower quality materials than their competitors and over time they become brittle and snap. 

One characteristic symptom of failing gaskets is blue smoke coming out of the exhaust when the car is initially starting up. This is the oil burning in the cylinder 

Oil Leakage

This is the most serious issue of the BMW 550i. Unlike its competitors, a mixture of poor quality materials and some strange design decisions have led to this issue cropping up the most in this generation of engines from BMW. The leaks can be a result of failing camshaft seals, valve cover gaskets, brittle hoses, etc.  From a vehicle that costs as much as the BMW 550i does, it’s a shame that it is plague with this issue that could arise due to the failure of any rubber or plastic part in the drivetrain.


To conclude the BMW 550i is an amazing engine with plentiful power and torque figures that can keep any of the modern sports cars humble. Apart from the regular BMW engine issues of leaking gaskets, cooling system failures, and the occasional fuel pump issue, this engine is one that will keep a smile plastered on your face every time you drive it. Regular maintenance and good care of the engine will see it last a long time. The BMW 550i is only a few bhp short of the full-fledged BMW M5 for a fraction of its price.

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