Engine BMW M50B20 under the hood

Engine BMW M50B20

A two-liter version of the M50 engine, produced since 1990, which took its place in 1990 with the 520i, and a year later with the 320i. The cylinder diameter is 80 mm and the piston stroke is 66 mm. As a result, the engineers managed to get a power equal to 150 hp.


Manufacturer Munich Plant
Also called M50
Production years 1990-1996
Cylinder block alloy cast iron
Fuel system injector
Configuration inline
Number of cylinders 6
Valves per cylinder 4
Piston stroke, mm 66
Cylinder bore, mm 80
Compression ratio 10.5
11 (TU)
Displacement, cc 1991
Power output, hp 150/6000
150/5900 (TU)
Torque output, Nm / rpm 190/4700
190/4200 (TU)
Fuel type 95
Euro standards Euro 1
Weight, kg
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (for E36 320i)
— city
— highway
— combined
Oil consumption, gr/1000 km up to 1000
Recommended engine oil 5W-30 / 5W-40 / 10W-40 / 15W-40
Engine oil capacity, liter 5.75
Oil change interval, km 7000-10000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C ~90
Engine lifespan, km
— official information
— real


Engine BMW M50B20

Frequent problems

  1. Overtemperature. The M50 motor has a tendency to frequent overheating, and with serious consequences. First of all, you need to check the radiator, air plugs in the system and the cap, as well as the thermostat and pump.
  2. Troenie. It is necessary to diagnose ignition coils, injectors and spark plugs.
  3. Interruptions in speed. The reason is a breakdown of the idle valve. It needs to be cleaned. In addition, the problem may lie in the TPS throttle sensor, as well as the temperature sensor and the lambda probe.
  4. Vanos M50. In case of a breakdown, there is a rumble, a decrease in traction, interruptions in speed. As a repair measure, you will need to purchase a Vanos repair kit.

The unit is already old enough, and therefore its operation is accompanied by an increased oil consumption (about a liter per thousand km), from which even a major overhaul does not save. Other problems may include leaking sump gaskets, valve covers, oil dipsticks, as well as cracking of the antifreeze tank, failure of camshaft and crankshaft sensors, and coolant heating. Despite this, the motors of this series are capable of traveling more than 400 thousand km. Therefore, they are often bought for tuning and swap.

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