S54 BMW Valve Adjustment

Common Core – Maintenance and Engine Longevity 

The S54 has been known to be very reliable sub breed of BMW’s lower output M54 engine but requires maintenance to last like any other engine however, more frequent maintenance is required for the engine’s longevity. The M3 e46, MZ3, MZ4  with the S54 engines all use mechanical valve lifters which have a higher RPM capability despite their ongoing adjustment requirements.

Why is a valve adjustment so important?

Without proper valve clearance the valves will not seat fully. A partially open valve will result in compression loss and improper valve cooling. The final result is burnt valves. When this happens you must remove the head and send it to a machine shop for a valve job. This is a far more complicated repair process than can be avoided by a little maintenance. This now extended repair will now lead you to having to replace unnecessary parts that are not typically known to not be a problem. When letting these maintenance items go too long without being addressed you usually find yourself fixing things that never needed to be replaced in the first place.

Most  notable maintenance intervals for models with the S54.

Annual Maintenance – air filter cleaning or replacement, MAF Sensor  cleaning, cabin filter replacement, fluid top off and bleeding, leak check and diagnosis, suspension ball joint and bushing inspection, and brake wear check.
5,000 mile oil change intervals – oil, filter, seals, o-rings. Maybe every fourth or fifth oil change, send the oil out for analysis. This is a good indicator of how much internal wear is taking place.
30,000 mile service – engine oil change, air filter replacement, transmission and diff fluid changes, fuel filter replacement, drive belt replacement, and the items listed under annual maintenance.
60,000 mile service – everything from the 30k service plus: valve adjustment with valve cover gaskets, spark plugs, ignition coils (possibly), and inspect cam sprockets for cracks.

With that being said, most of the cars that we see come through Excelerate Performance for this service wind up in the 60-70k mile range which is for the most part on schedule depending when it was first done. To further continue your vehicles impeccable service records or starting your own records since they are unknown to you contact Excelerate Performance for any questions, advice, even scheduling your appointment. Have what it takes to get these jobs done correctly yourself? Cool contact us for a shim kit and the necessary replacement OEM parts to get the job done at home.

Below our resident funny guy Justin also happens to be our go to BMW specialist. He smiles the entire way through the valve adjustment  process and he doesn’t even get hurt doing it!

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