Driving a twin-turbo 6 cylinder? Get the software update

Others | February 15th, 2009 by 5
bmw n54

I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time now. Back in November we posted a press release issued by BMW North …

I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time now. Back in November we posted a press release issued by BMW North America, in which it was confirmed that the N54 engine powering the 135i, 335i/xi, 535i/xi and the X6 xDrive35i are affected by a turbo-lag issue.

Out if these models, the only ones affected were the those manufactured prior to March 2008. Unfortunately, I was one of them, my 335i was build in December 2007. To give you a better picture of this issue, here is that press release that was issued at that time:

bmw n54 498x431

“In an effort to address specific noise concerns, BMW updated the turbocharged engine software on 335i/xi and 535i/xi models built from June 2006 through March 2008. The updated software causes a small amount of increased “turbocharger lag” under certain circumstances and, while not substantial, the lag may be perceptible to the most sensitive BMW drivers. X6, 135i, and 3 Series/5 Series vehicles from March 2008 production onward are not affected.

Release of the new software to restore the original turbocharger response is planned for January 2009, and it will be available for vehicles produced from September 2007 through March 2008 when they are brought to an authorized BMW center for a repair which requires a programming update. Clients with vehicles produced from June 2006 through September 2007 may request installation of the January 2009 software update.

Clients who get this update should understand that there is a possibility of slightly increased engine noise levels under certain circumstances.”

Basically what BMW is saying that by upgrading to the latest software version, you might be experiencing a slight increase in engine noise. That statement made me delay my upgrade and research the issue a bit more. After driving a 335i with the newest software and compared to my own car, I noticed that the sound increase is not really noticeable, unless you really want to get into sound decibels measurement.

With that being said, I took my car in to the dealer and requested the upgrade. Twenty-four hours later, after the software was upgraded and the engine was turned for  hours, I picked up my car. Now, I do imagine things from time to time, but this wasn’t one of those moments, my 335i was and is definitely more responsive and the turbo-lag is very very minimal right now.

Since I drive a manual, I decided to test the car some more and see how it handles during gear shifting, and let me tell you…..in the first or second second gear, the car was like a “little rocket”, so much power and torque coming from that engine, that it reminded me why I love BMWs. The lag used to be more obvious in lower gears, but I noticed a change in good when shifting up.

So, if you’re debating about this upgrade and you simply didn’t know about it, I encourage you to go ahead and get it done, it’s a painless process.

Okay, I’m done, I hope I didn’t go overboard with my enthusiasm….