BMW F10 550i Common Problems: A Concise Overview for Owners

Overview of BMW F10 550i

The BMW F10 550i is a luxury sedan that boasts a powerful engine and exceptional performance. This model stands out with its impressive 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, which delivers 400 to 450 horsepower, making it a force to be reckoned with on the road.

As part of the 6th generation of the BMW 5 Series lineup, the F10 550i was launched as a 2011 model. This generation saw the introduction of innovative design elements, providing the comfort and luxury you would expect from a BMW sedan. Its base engine, the 528i, features a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter N52 inline-six with 240 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque source.

Despite its impressive performance, the F10 550i is not without its share of common issues. For instance, the N63 engine is known to have some problems, although when it is running well, it provides an exhilarating experience with its 600Nm of torque source.

The overall design of the F10 550i is characterized by sleek lines and an elegant shape, making it an eye-catching model. Its longer and taller dimensions compared to the Sedan/Touring models offer increased cabin space and a more comfortable ride source.

In summary, the BMW F10 550i is a high-performance luxury sedan with an impressive twin-turbo V8 engine that delivers outstanding power and torque. However, potential buyers should be aware of some known issues regarding its N63 engine. Nevertheless, the F10 550i offers a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience, making it a popular choice among BMW enthusiasts.

BMW F10 550i Specifications

The BMW F10 550i is a high-performance luxury sedan that boasts an impressive array of features. Under the hood, you’ll find a turbocharged V8 engine that delivers 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, making it a powerful vehicle for both city driving and highway cruising.

This sedan is available with two transmission options: an 8-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual, catering to drivers who prefer a sportier driving experience. With the automatic transmission, the F10 550i can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in just 5.0 seconds, reaching a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the 550i consumes on average 10.4 liters/100km, which translates to about 27 mpg UK (23 mpg US). Keep in mind that this can vary depending on your driving habits and conditions.

The BMW F10 550i also offers the M Sport package, enhancing the car’s aesthetics and performance. This package comes with aerodynamic body components, exclusive M Sport wheels, and a sport-tuned suspension. Inside, you’ll find sport seats and a unique M steering wheel to further distinguish it from other 5-Series models.

In summary, the BMW F10 550i is a well-rounded luxury sedan that offers a perfect balance of power, refinement, and style. With a potent V8 engine, turbocharged performance, and a choice of two transmission options, this vehicle provides an exhilarating driving experience for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Performance Evaluations

The BMW F10 5-series, particularly the 550i model, delivers impressive performance on the road. With its powerful N63 engine, you can expect a smooth and responsive driving experience. The handling is precise and agile, making it a pleasure to navigate through twisty roads as well as high-speed corners.

For those seeking better handling, the optional Dynamic Handling Package is available for the F10 550i, which upgrades the suspension and other components to provide an even more sporty and dynamic drive. This package enhances the car’s overall performance and responsiveness, making it a popular choice among driving enthusiasts.

In addition to the performance package, you also have the choice between two other engine options: the N55 engine and the N63TU engine. The N55 engine is a more fuel-efficient and reliable choice, while the N63TU engine offers increased power and performance. Depending on your preferences and driving style, each engine has its own advantages.

Keep in mind that the F10 550i has had some common problems, such as water leakage, transmission jerking, and issues with the timing or oil pan drive chain. Despite these concerns, the car’s overall performance remains impressive and enjoyable for most drivers.

As you explore the BMW F10 550i, bear in mind the different engine options and performance packages available. Consider how these factors align with your priorities as a driver, whether you value a more fuel-efficient engine or an increased focus on handling and dynamic performance. Remember, choosing the right combination will ensure your driving experience is both enjoyable and satisfying.

Common Mechanical Issues

In this section, we will discuss some common mechanical issues found in the BMW F10 550i. These problems can affect the vehicle’s performance and reliability, so it is important to be aware of them.

Engine and Transmission Problems

One of the most critical issues with the BMW F10 550i is related to the engine and transmission. The N63 engine, which powers the 550i, is known to have timing chain problems. These timing chain issues can lead to catastrophic engine damage if not addressed promptly. Additionally, owners may experience issues with injectors, fuel pumps, vacuum pumps, and oil pumps.

Oil leaks are another common concern, often resulting from problems with the oil pan and valve cover gaskets. These leaks can not only cause a drop in oil pressure but also create a fire hazard if the oil comes into contact with hot engine components.

Meanwhile, transmission problems can manifest as jerking or erratic shifting, which can lead to additional wear on internal components.

Cooling System Issues

The cooling system in the F10 550i can also be a source of problems. These can range from coolant leaks to malfunctioning cooling fans, causing the engine temperature to rise and potentially lead to overheating. Regular inspections and maintenance of your cooling system are essential for avoiding issues that could result in costly repairs or even engine failure.

Drivetrain Concerns

Lastly, the drivetrain in the BMW F10 550i can sometimes present issues. Most notably, owners should be on the lookout for water leaks, sometimes caused by faulty door seals or improperly sealed body panels. Water infiltration can lead to corrosion and damage to electrical components, causing a host of problems down the line.

In conclusion, while the BMW F10 550i is a high-performance luxury vehicle, you need to be aware of some common mechanical issues to keep your car running smoothly. Regular maintenance, inspections, and repairs can help to prevent many of these problems and ensure your vehicle remains reliable and enjoyable to drive.

Electronic and Auxiliary System Problems

Electrical Concerns

In the BMW F10 550i, you may encounter electrical issues such as malfunctioning iDrive system, ignition coils, or fuses. The iDrive system sometimes suffers from poor performance or lags. To resolve this, you may need to update the software. Additionally, ignition coils can fail, leading to a decrease in engine performance. In such cases, you would need to replace the faulty ignition coils to regain performance.

Software Bugs

Software issues are common in the F10 550i, which might affect various components like the camera and heated seats. For instance, the rearview camera may sometimes have a delayed response or freeze. Updating the software may help resolve this problem. On the other hand, heated seats may fail to function as intended, necessitating a software reset or update.

Safety Device Issues

The F10 550i may also experience safety device-related problems, such as issues with the EGR cooler. A malfunctioning EGR cooler could lead to an increase in exhaust gas emissions and negatively affect engine performance. If you face this issue, you should consult a qualified technician to get the EGR cooler replaced.

Service and Maintenance

As a BMW F10 550i owner, regular service and maintenance are crucial to keep your vehicle running smoothly. BMW recommends following a scheduled maintenance program, which typically includes oil changes, air filter replacements, and checks on various systems. Sticking to this schedule can help prevent costly repairs and prolong the life of your vehicle.

One common issue affecting the BMW 550i is problems with the timing or oil pan drive chain, which has led to a class-action lawsuit. Regular inspection of these components can help catch any early signs of wear and tear, preventing potential engine damage.

Another specific maintenance task for the 550i is replacing the valve stem seals. These seals can wear out over time, leading to oil consumption and smoke from the exhaust. Regular checks during routine service can help identify if valve stem seals need attention.

Occasionally, BMW may issue a recall or service campaign to address particular issues affecting your 550i. These campaigns usually involve repairs or updates to specific components, and it’s essential to take advantage of them to ensure your car continues to perform reliably.

When it comes to spark plugs, they should be replaced at recommended intervals, which can vary depending on your specific vehicle and driving habits. Regularly checking and replacing spark plugs can help maintain peak engine performance and avoid misfires or other issues.

Taking care of your BMW 550i requires attention to both regular maintenance and identifying any potential problems early. Although the average annual repair cost for the 550i is $1,046, staying proactive with maintenance and addressing issues promptly can help you minimize these costs and enjoy a reliable and enjoyable driving experience.

Test Drive Recommendations

Before purchasing a BMW F10 550i, it’s crucial to take it for a comprehensive test drive. This will help you identify any potential issues that could arise later on. Here are some recommendations to keep in mind during your test drive.

First, pay attention to the car’s handling. The F10 550i is known for its precise steering and balanced handling, so any unusual vibrations or issues with steering could be cause for concern. Make sure the car feels stable on curves and turns, and that the suspension responds well on different road surfaces.

Next, give the car a good stretch. Accelerate at a steady pace, reaching the car’s higher RPMs. Listen for any unusual sounds and feel for any vibrations during acceleration. Having a smooth driving experience is what you come to expect from a BMW, so any abnormalities could indicate underlying problems.

During the test drive, remember to break the car hard and soft to test the responsiveness of the brakes. The BMW F10 550i should come to a stop smoothly and effectively. Squeaking noises or excessive vibrations during braking may be a sign of worn brake components or other issues.

Lastly, take note of any electronic features or functionality. One common issue with the BMW F10 5-series is heated seats not working. Make sure to test these on your drive, along with air conditioning, windows, and other electronic systems for any malfunctions.

By following these test drive recommendations, you’ll gather valuable information about the specific BMW F10 550i you’re considering. This will help you make a more informed decision when it comes to your potential purchase.

Comparisons with Other Brands

When considering the BMW F10 550i, it’s important to compare it against other luxury cars in the market, particularly from its German rivals, such as Audi. In terms of powerful engine options, the F10 550i boasts a 4.4-liter V8 engine which allows it to compete with Audi’s S6 and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, providing an exhilarating driving experience.

While the BMW F10 550i is an exceptional choice for a luxury vehicle, it does come with its own set of common problems, as found in other luxury vehicles. For instance, you may encounter water seepage issues in the F10 5-Series, including the 550i model link. On the other hand, Audi A6 models, which are considered competitors in the luxury car segment, have experienced issues like transmission problems and electronics malfunctions.

Taking a closer look at the BMW 3-Series, you’ll notice some differences as well. The 3-Series offers a more compact and sportier feel, unlike the BMW F10 550i which is more focused on comfort and luxury. But, like the F10 550i, the 3-Series may also experience issues such as electronic problems, wear and tear on suspension components, and premature brake wear.

In terms of luxury, comfort, and performance, the BMW F10 550i stands out amongst its rivals. However, it’s crucial to understand that every high-end luxury car comes with its unique set of issues. To ensure that your investment in the BMW F10 550i is worth it, do your research and maintain regular maintenance to keep any potential problems at bay.

Recalls and Legal Issues

The BMW F10 550i has experienced some recalls and legal issues that you should be aware of, especially if you’re considering purchasing one. In some cases, the manufacturer has extended the warranty to address some of these problems, while at other times, they have faced class-action lawsuits.

One of the primary issues affecting the BMW F10 550i is the timing chain and oil pump drive chain. A class-action lawsuit was filed against BMW due to this problem, where the chain would prematurely wear and lead to engine failure. In response to this issue, BMW extended the warranty for certain vehicles affected by this problem.

Another area of concern is the water pump and associated cooling system components. If the water pump fails, it can lead to engine overheating and significant damage. While this issue is not specifically tied to a recall or lawsuit, it’s still an essential factor for you to keep in mind when looking into an F10 550i.

Additionally, there have been recalls related to the F10 5 Series models. One of these recalls involves the fuel pump, which could cause the engine to stall and, in some cases, lead to crashes. To address these issues, BMW has issued recalls and taken necessary steps to fix the problems.

It is essential for you to research the vehicle’s history and relevant recalls before purchasing a used BMW F10 550i. Keeping updated on any recalls or legal issues related to the car will ensure that you are informed and can take necessary action to keep your vehicle in excellent working condition.

BMW F10 550i Pros and Cons


The BMW F10 550i is a powerful and luxurious vehicle that definitely has its high points. Its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine gives you an impressive 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, making it a thrilling drive with excellent acceleration BMW BLOG. The overall handling and ride quality is superb, with precise steering and a comfortable suspension that makes long drives enjoyable.

In addition, the BMW F10 550i offers a well-designed, roomy interior, and a generous list of standard features, including a high-quality sound system and advanced safety features. These elements contribute to a comfortable, luxurious, and technologically advanced driving experience.


Despite its many positives, the BMW F10 550i has a few drawbacks to consider. The main concern is the reliability of its N63 engine, which is notorious for having issues BimmerFest. While the engine can perform well when it’s in good shape, potential problems may require costly repairs and maintenance.

Another downside of the F10 550i is its comparatively lower fuel efficiency due to the powerful V8 engine. This may lead to higher running costs over time, particularly if you do a lot of driving.

Resale Value

When considering the resale value of a BMW F10 550i, you’ll need to consider the likely depreciation of the vehicle. Luxury German cars, like BMWs, tend to depreciate at a faster rate than other vehicles, so you may not get as much return on your investment if you plan to sell it in the future. Furthermore, potential buyers may be cautious about purchasing a model with known engine issues, which could negatively impact the resale value of your F10 550i.

In summary, if you’re looking at the BMW F10 550i, it’s essential to weigh the pros, such as its powerful engine, comfortable driving experience, and luxurious interior, against the cons like reliability concerns, fuel efficiency, and resale value. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if these factors align with your priorities and preferences as a car owner.

Georg Meier

BMW technician since 1996. I began my automotive journey in 1993 as an apprentice mechanic at Automag, the world's oldest BMW dealership in Munich. With years of experience and dedication, I garnered a wealth of knowledge about the intricacies of BMW and MINI vehicles. The love/hate relationship with the brand led me to found BIMMERIST where I share expertise and insights with fellow enthusiasts.

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