We have covered the N63 engine problems thoroughly in our previous articles, now let’s learn more about the S63 engine.
If you are in the market for a BMW M-model, you will find this article very useful because the S63 engine comes in a variety of different M-products by BMW.
First, we are going to learn more about the basic specs of this engine, then we will cover the common BMW S63 engine problems, as well as the applications in which this engine is included. Finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Basic BMW S63 Engine Specs
If you didn’t know, the S63 engine is a version of the N63 engine. The S63 engine shares the same design as the N63. This means that the engine is a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 engine. But the S63 is a high-performance version.
Being a high-performance engine means that this version produces significantly more power compared to the regular N63. This S63 engine has forged pistons, high-performance camshafts, lower compression, and other improvements intended to squeeze more power from this engine.
In total, there are four versions of this S63 engine. These are the following.
- S63B44O0 Original version of the engine 2010 – 2013
This engine is rated at 408 kW (547hp) @ 6,000 rpm and 680 N-m (502lb-ft) @ 1,500 to 5,600 rpm.
- S63B44T0 Updated version 2011 – 2018
This engine is rated at 412 kW (553hp) @ 6,000-7,000 rpm and 680 N-m (502lb-ft) @ 1,500-5,750 rpm.
- S63B44T2 Second Update 2015 – 2018
This version is rated at 423 kW (567hp) @ 6,000-6,500 rpm and 750 N-m (553lb-ft) @ 2,200-5,000 rpm.
- S63B44T4 Third Update 2018 – Present
There are two versions of this engine. One is rated at 441 kW (591hp) @5,600-6,700 rpm and 750 N-m (553lb-ft) @ 1,800-5,600 rpm. The second is more powerful, rated at 460 kW (617hp) @ 5,600-6,700 rpm and 750 N-m (553lb-ft) @ 1,800-5,800 rpm.
Common BMW S63 Engine Problems
Common BMW S63 Engine Problems include:
- Rod Bearing Failure
- Excessive Oil Consumption
- Carbon Buildup
- Fuel Injector Failure
- Valve Stem Seal Failure
- VANOS Solenoid Failure
- Spark Plug & Coil Problems
Let’s now further elaborate on these problems and learn when and how they appear on the engine so you have a better perspective.
Rod Bearing Failure
The most serious problem with the S63 engine is the rod bearing failure. What happens is that on a lot of these S engines that BMW makes, the rod bearings tend to wear out rather quickly.
This issue is most probably caused by a wrong choice of bearings for these high-performance engines.
And what can happen is that these bearings wear and the rod will collide with the crankshaft. When this happens, you will be greeted with a knocking sound coming from the engine.
This problem could scrap the engine in the process. That’s why you should definitely pay close attention to the rod bearings and whether or not they were serviced.
Excessive Oil Consumption
These engines are also known to drink a lot of oil. The S63 in the same fashion as the N63 likes to consume more oil than normal.
So, it is really important that if the engine consumes a lot of oil to top off the oil regularly and not allow the engine to starve for oil.
The solution for these problems often is whole engine replacement. Luckily, newer engines from the S63 lineup are less prone to this problem.
Another very common problem with this engine is carbon buildup. The S63 is a direct-injection engine. This means that the engine does not inject gas the old-fashioned way through the intake ports.
So, in these engines, there is carbon buildup on the intake valves. This carbon buildup can become a problem if you don’t do a walnut blast every 60,000 miles.
The valves can stop working correctly and you will experience engine misfires and rough engine work. So, walnut blasting the engine regularly is key to avoiding this.
Fuel Injector Failure
The next problem on our list is fuel injector failure. Fuel injectors tend to fail on these engines and you will highly likely need to replace them at least once during your ownership.
They tend to leak on the inside and cause many problems. Namely, check engine light with misfire codes or codes that can refer to lean or rich air-to-fuel mixture.
Replacing the injectors is the only way to sort out this problem. This issue also troubles the N63 engine.
Valve Stem Seal Failure
Another common problem between the N63 and S63 is the valve stem seal failure. As you probably know, the engine has intake and exhaust valves. The valves are located on top of the engine.
These valves have stems and each stem has a seal. This rubber seal basically prevents engine oil from leaking into the combustion chamber.
When these stem seals fail, you will have increased oil consumption and black smoke from the exhaust. What is interesting about this problem is that there is a service bulletin issued by the NHTSA on it and how it should be tackled.
The affected models are the 7 Series, 6 Series, and X6 models produced between 2008 and 2014. The problem is really common in the first generation of this engine known as the S63B44O0.
VANOS Solenoid Failure
VANOS solenoids also tend to fail on the S63 engine. As you probably know, VANOS problems have been a pain for BMW since VANOS was first invented.
This is BMW’s variable valve timing system that improves the efficiency of the engine either by advancing or retarding the position of the camshafts.
There are special solenoids that turn on or off. This engine has four camshafts, in other words, there are four of these solenoids on the engine. They are major failure point and the only way to fix the check engine light caused by a bad solenoid is to replace it with a new one.
Spark Plug & Ignition Coil Failures
Another quite common problem with the S63 engine are frequent spark plug and ignition coil problems. This is a thing among these engines and can happen very often.
Spark plugs on these engines typically last about 25,000 miles. Which is much less compared to other engines. This is the case because these engines are high-performance engines and this is normal.
But what is not normal is the frequent coil pack failure. Coils tend to fail often and owners replace them along with the spark plugs. With this engine, you will go through these parts more often compared to other engines.
Which Models Have The BMW S63 Engine
Now let’s take a look at which models you can find this engine. In other words, let’s see what are the applications of this engine.
- 2010 – 2013 BMW E70 X5M
- 2010 – 2013 BMW E71 X6M
- 2011 – 2014 Wiesmann GT MF5
- 2011 – 2017 BMW F10 M5
- 2012 – 2018 BMW F12/13 M6
- 2013 – 2018 BMW F06 M6 Gran Coupe
- 2015 – 2019 BMW F85 X5M
- 2015 – 2019 BMW F86 X6M
- 2018 – BMW F90 M5
- 2018 – BMW F90 M5 Competition
- 2019 – BMW F91/92/93 M8
- 2019 – BMW F91/92/93 M8 Competition
- 2020 – BMW F95 X5M
- 2020 – BMW F95 X5M Competition
- 2020 – BMW F96 X6M
- 2020 – BMW F96 X6 Competition
We covered the specs and the BMW S63 engine problems, now let’s sum up our conclusions and see whether or not this engine is any good.
In our opinion, you should definitely try to avoid engines from the first generation. These are the S63B4400, these are the engines that carry most of the problems. Mainly the rod bearing issue that can cause the engine to completely seize and stop working.
If I were you, I would definitely go for an engine from 2018 onward. These are the newest engines that have most of the known issues sorted out. They might be more expensive to obtain since they are newer but if you want the best, you have to spend a bit more.
What Is The Difference Between The N63 And S63
The core of both engines is pretty much the same. They both implement the same block. But the S63 is a high-performance variant that implements different pistons, a lower compression ratio, and also high-performance camshafts.
Is The S63 Engine Reliable
This really depends on the version that you are running. The engine more or less has the same problems as the N63 with the addition of rod bearing wear. This problem greatly affects reliability and the earliest models are the ones that are most affected. This is why we recommend going for the updated version of the engine introduced in 2018.
Common BMW S63 Engine Problems
Common problems with these engines are rod bearing failures. Other problems are bad valve stem seals, oil consumption, spark plug & coil failure, and VANOS problems.