This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the starter motor in a BMW vehicle with the N52 6 cylinder engine. Even though we used a 2006 530xi to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any vehicle with the N52 engine including most 2004-2013 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, X1, X3, X5, and Z4 series 6 cylinder models with minor modifications to the repair steps.
A BMW N52 starter replacement may be necessary if your vehicle is struggling to turn over.
The N52 engine was BMW's six-cylinder workhorse for many years and can be found in most BMW models produced from 2004-2013. It was eventually replaced by BMW's new line of turbocharged four-cylinders, but many are still on the road today. They are extremely durable engines with a vast majority of those produced still on the road today.
The BMW N52 starter motor is actually an extremely reliable part that lasts for many years. It has a low failure rate in vehicles under 120,000 miles. Unfortunately, when the starter motor does fail it happens quickly leaving frustrated BMW owners stranded.
The early symptoms of a failing starter motor are the engine struggling to turn over, grinding or whining sounds while starting, or a clicking sound with no engine turn over. Please be aware that these can also be signs of a failing battery, so be sure to properly diagnose before performing this repair.
The starter in vehicles with the N52 six-cylinder engine is located on the rear left side of the motor underneath the intake manifold. The intake manifold must be removed in order to replace the starter motor...it, unfortunately, cannot be accessed any other way. Please see our article BMW N52 Intake Manifold Removal – 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4 6 Cyl. before starting this repair for more information on removing the intake manifold.
Please note that the N52 engine uses aluminum bolts to mount the starter motor to the engine. Since aluminum bolts tend to stretch in high torque applications, they are more susceptible to breaking if reused. Never reuse the old aluminum starter mounting bolts...they could snap causing extensive engine damage. Always order new ones with the starter.
All BMW N52, N54 and N55 Engines
As an OEM manufacturer, TYC adheres to high quality standards that exceed customersï¿½ expectation. By working closely with OEM partners and with intensive ongoing research and development, TYC provides superior quality aftermarket parts to most of the worlds automotive manufacturers.
All N52 Engines
Always replace the aluminum mounting bolts when installing a new starter! These are OEM quality starter bolts at a fraction of the cost of Genuine BMW.
You must log in to view all of the repair steps!
In order to bring you the best possible content, we now require our readers to log in to their account to view the repair steps.