Home2007-2013 3 Series (E9x)BMW N52 Starter Replacement - 2006-2010 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4 6 Cyl.

BMW N52 Starter Replacement – 2006-2010 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4 6 Cyl.

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Repair Summary
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.
View the detailed parts diagram for this repair.
Includes detailed part diagrams, part numbers and links to purchase all of the required components needed to complete this repair.
Before starting this repair, you must have the following required parts.
All BMW N52, N54 and N55 Engines
Has your BMW starter not been cranking your engine like it used to? Are you getting an intermittent clicking while attempting to start? Check your battery and all is well, but your starter still runs slow? Odds are, the starter is beginning to fail. Replace it now with this factory replacement from ECS Tuning.
All N52 Engines
Original OEM part direct fitting enables easy and mess-free installation.
Repair Steps
Section 1 - Remove the intake manifold
As discussed at the beginning of this article, the intake manifold must be removed in order to access the starter motor. There is unfortunately no other way to access it. Please see our article BMW N52 Intake Manifold Removal – 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4 6 Cyl. for detailed instructions on removing the intake manifold from your N52 engine.
Section 2 - Remove the starter motor
Once the intake manifold is removed, the starter motor is simple to extract and replace. The battery should have been disconnected in step one above - if it wasn't it is critical that it is now. The starter motor positive battery cable is hot...not disconnecting the battery when attempting to remove the starter will cause a short and destroy sensitive electronics.
  1. Confirm that the battery is disconnected before removing the starter.
  2. Locate and identify the starter motor. It is located at the rear of the engine as shown below.bmw n52 starter motor - Locate and identify the starter motor The N52 starter motor
  3. Unplug the starter solenoid.bmw n52 starter motor - Unplug the starter solenoid
  4. Use a 13mm socket wrench to remove the positive battery cable from the starter.bmw n52 starter motor - Remove the positive battery cable
  5. The starter motor is anchored to the engine by two E14 external torx bolts. The front-facing bolt is easy to access. The rear-facing bolt is a little trickier to extract - we suggest using a low-profile "swivel head" ratchet like the one shown below.bmw n52 starter motor - Remove the forward facing mounting bolt Use a swivel head ratchet to remove the rear facing boltbmw n52 starter motor - Remove the rear facing mounting bolt
  6. Once the anchor bolts are removed, the starter can be pulled loose from the flywheel. If the starter is stuck, strike it several times with a rubber mallet until it pops loose.Strike the starter with a rubber mallet if it is stuck bmw n52 starter motor - Remove the starter from the vehicle
Section 3 - Reassembly
Reassembly is simply the above steps in reverse. We have provided a handy checklist with important torque values for your reference.

BMW N52 Starter Replacement Checklist

***The following steps were performed on a 2006 530xi ...other models may vary. 
    • Install the new starter motor. Install new aluminum mounting bolts and torque to 20 Nm (15 ft-lb) + 180° turn.
    • Install the positive battery cable back onto the solenoid. Torque the mounting nut to 13 Nm (10 ft-lb).
    • Plug the solenoid back in.
    • Refer to article BMW N52 Intake Manifold Removal – 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4 6 Cyl. for reinstalling the intake manifold.
BMW N52 Starter Replacement Finished

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