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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,951 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 BMW 530 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 BMW 530 Owner Comments

problem #17

Nov 112015


  • 46,000 miles


During a BMW sponsored vehicle inspection I was informed that one of my valve cover bolts was broken and oil was leading on the engine (fire hazard). The BMW mechanic stated this was a common problem with the 530 series as the manufactured used aluminum bolts to reduce weight on the vehicle. The aluminum bolts snap/break due to heat. This is a possible fire hazard and the aluminum valve cover bolts should be recalled and replaced by BMW.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #16

Mar 012015


  • 103,000 miles
Air conditioning stop work causing motor to heat

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #15

Jan 282015


  • 155,000 miles
Head bolts to the engine are made of aluminum. These bolt the upper portion of the head gasket. This is a known problem. At least 1 aluminum cylinder head bolt is broken and there may be 3 more broken in my car. It is a known issue with this E61 touring vehicle. BMW has designed an aluminum head bolt that is known to break at the tensions they specify in their manuals when they created the car. Currently, unless the broken bolt pieces are recovered the engine may have complete failure while driving and cause an accident. In order to replace the broken bolt, the dealer must check the 3 additional bolts and recover the broken bolt piece somewhere in the engine and this requires a minimum of 7 hours of labor plus there needs to be a new head gasket because the valve cover must be removed to retrieve/view the head bolts. $3800 at an independent dealer for a known defect by BMW.

- Orinda, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 042013


  • 120,000 miles


The 2006 BMW 5 series used aluminum head and valve cover bolts which were over-torqued during assembly and break after approximately 80K. BMW admits this problem exists but refuses to issue a recall. BMW's repair cost is ~$6000. These bolts are non serviceable and should never be removed, when broken they cause massive oil leaks and possibly fire. I contacted BMW, they requested to review the car. BMW agreed that the bolts were broken then refused to fix the problem claiming the car has too many miles. BMW knew the mileage when they requested to review the problem... why waste my time if they knew they were going to do nothing? my vehicle now losses approximately 1-2 quarts of oil per 100 miles. I am chagrined that BMW will not admit their manufacturing defect. I have maintained this car with care and other than the oil leak from the broken bolts the car is in perfect condition - but is no longer drivable.

- Agoura Hills, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 102014

530 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
I have a 2006 BMW 530I that has been leaking oil for 3 years. I have had work done on the car from an authorized BMW shop and the leak was not fixed. I have had excessive oil consumption to where I have had to either put oil in the car myself because it was at the minimum level, or take it in to the dealership (if I'm in the area) for them to top it off. I have taken my car back to the dealership 4 different times and they have told me that they could not find an oil leak. Recently I took my car in for an oil change and they told me I had a leak in 3 different places. Since I have been told different scenarios, I escalated the issue to higher management and asked for an answer as to why two different mechanics at a dealership that specialize in the "ultimate driving machine" gave me three different diagnostics. They then told me that my car has a broken bolt which is common for this model, but refuse to rectify the situation and the vehicle is under extended warranty and neither will pay the cost.

- The Colony, TX, USA

problem #12

Nov 162013

530 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
I bought the car it had an oil leak, radiator leak, developed an air bag malfunction, the engine stopped running, tar is accumulating on top of the sunroof every time I open it, the heater fan makes noise, the transmission makes noise after four attempts it is still leaking oil. All of my friends who own BMW's have also had air bag malfunctions. None were part of the recall, all paid $1,300 to have it fixed. BMW should have recalled all of them. The purpose of recalling some is to avoid a total recall. They are building their cars with inferior parts so that they do not last for more than 60,0000 before major problems occur. One of my friends has spent over $10,000 on repairs to his 2004 X3.

- Huntington Station, NY, USA

problem #11

Apr 012014

530 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


The aluminum head bolt near the oil filter has sheared off causing a substantial oil leak in the same area as the sheared off bolt. I have contacted the BMW dealership about the issue and they admitted that this is a common issue with the N52 engines. This is the second time in 3 years that the aluminum bolts have failed. The first time resulted in a new valve cover and gaskets. The recent china BMW bolt defect recall ( seems to have the same bolt defect as the N52 engines. I expect there shall be a recall for this defect.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #10

Nov 052013


  • 68,000 miles
I bought a used BMW from long island auto find. Before picking it up I told nick certain things needed to be done there was a drafty sound coming from the moon roof the center rims were corroded, bolts were missing from the valve cover. I was called three days in a row by nick who claimed everything was done and the car was ready to be picked up. When I got the re not only was the battery dead, nothing on my list was done! I have since had the car 5 month and I has been in the shop 5 weeks so far. Passenger side air bag malfunctioned and needed to be replaced. There was an oil leak that caused my eyes to water and leaves a funny taste in my mouth. This took three different attempts to fix. The car moves from side to side at 65 mph. The car just died while taking my wife to work. I brought it to the shop it did it on the mechanic but he could not determine the cause. He said it was safe to take to Florida which is the reason I bought it. It stalled in Florida while entering an intersection then again in Delaware at 3:30 in the morning and 13 degrees! and again on the bqe as three lanes of traffic merged into one.I have 2 friends with the same car they were charged $1300 to fix the "air bag malfunction"everyone should be reimbursed. I am told the gaskets become brittle and leak. All of these issue's should be part of a recall.

- Huntington, NY, USA

problem #9

Jan 162013

530 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
We have a 2006 BMW 530I in January of 2013 we had a ignition coil go out with around 75000 miles which was about a 275.00$ to get fixed. Then on 6/26/13 we had 2 more ignition coils go out at 78000 miles, that time it was $507 $ to fix, this must be a faulty part because now 12/16/13 with 82000 miles it has happened again! I am going to pay for the remaining 3 to be changed. When I called BMW there was a recall apparently from 2002-2004 for this. By way of my VIN.# I found out my car was made 9/2005 I feel this problem never got fixed or simply just changing the brand of the coil was not the answer to the problem! because its not fixed. I have never owned a car with issues like this. When I spoke to a independent certified BMW mechanic I was told it has been a problem!

- Gresham, OR, USA

problem #8

May 112012

530 6-cyl

  • 57,178 miles
When I drive my car back to home, sudden noise from the front of the engine and found out the power steering pump and belts were off and sheared off some bolts around the holding. After the repair at the time on 5/1/2012, engine starts discovering oil leak around the front cylinder head housing. Keeping the oil level up to the require level for the past year. As of today 11/21/2013, I discovered the reason why the cylinder head housing is leaking oil is 2 sheared off bolts on top of the head housing. I drive normally and aluminum screws are not acceptable for a high performance car and it broke off that easy with normal driving condition.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 142013

530 6-cyl

  • 34,800 miles


BMW over-torqued the four cylinder head bolts on all N52 engines during manufacture, including my car. The bolt heads are popping off on all the cars, resulting in potential catastrophic engine damage at speed and minimally thousands of dollars in repair costs. The issue is a well known defect in how BMW built these engines (affecting many, many 5 series cars) but is taking absolutely no responsibility for this. This is not a maintenance issue or anything owner-related -- it's purely a mistake by BMW that they refuse to take responsibility for and to cover repair costs. They corrected the specs the following year and don't torque the bolts as much, but are leaving previous owners out to dry for some $3000-5000 in repair costs. Please do something to make BMW take responsibility and to retro-actively reimburse people for this mistake of theirs. Thanks.

- Pleasanton, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 122013


  • 118,000 miles
While changing my oil, notice that oil has been slowly leaking around the valve cover. Looked on online forums and found that there are many people with the same issue. I inspected the area where they have stated common broken valve cover bolts and sure enough the bolts were broken. They literally just sitting in the valve cover with no purpose. They came right off when I pulled them up by hand.

- St Marys, GA, USA

problem #5

Feb 012013

530 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My 530I BMW has at least one broken cylinder head bolt. This is a very common problem with the BMW N52 engines. I was quoted $4500 for the repair. As I mentioned this is a very common problem, a known problem by BMW, but BMW isn't willing to offer me any assistance. I feel a need to report this expensive and common problem, and BMW's unwillingness to resolve this problem. I have spent hours with bmwusa and my local BMW stevens creek dealership and so far all I have done is wasted many hours of my time. BMW needs to assume responsibility for something that is obviously a detect in their design.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 062010

530 6-cyl

  • 70,872 miles
All 3 aluminum head bolts were broken causing an oil leak which could result in a fire. Bolts were found in oil pan which could have damaged engine and caused failure. There are no warning lights or messages that indicate a problem. The only way to know there is a problem is an oil leak beneath the car. This was fixed out of warranty at a cost of $2131.78. The same problem occurred again 2.5 years later on March 27, 2013 at 105,135 miles and a cost of $2236.47. BMW doesn't think this is a major problem and says it is "typical" of a "high performance" engine. To me, this is not a normal maintenance item, not to mention the potential for fire and possible injury. There appears to be only one other complaint with your office for this specific problem for this specific car, but I think you will find similar problems for all BMW's with 3.0 liter and other engines with aluminum head bolts, including the 325, 330, 528, 730, etc.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 012013

530 6-cyl

  • 74,500 miles
We have owned this vehicle since 2007 and have not had too many issues with it. However, recently it developed an oil leak which BMW has refused to fix. What has happened is that four aluminum bolts that hold the top of the engine block on to the engine have broken for no apparent reason. According to the repair shop I took it to, BMW knows this is a defect. They should have never used aluminum bolts as fasteners for this engine. I have had to spend $2900 to have these bolts replaced by an authorized BMW repair shop. This has stopped the leak. The dealer wanted $4300 to do the same repair. This is not right. My mechanic said that this oil leak could have caused an engine fire if I had let it go. Any help you can be on this matter would be great.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 292013

530 6-cyl

  • 143,812 miles
My son was driving the car to work and it only got about 8 blocks from our house when the car stalled and lost complete power. He coasted to the side of the road and from the looks when I arrived the serpentine tension belt had broken we turned the key over and the engine was in a free spin. We had it towed to a local service shop and they replaced the belt but stated the engine had no compression towed car to a second shop and got the same opinion the engine had no compression. There was no warning lights or messages on the dash. The car just stopped operating in the middle of the road and gave no warning.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #1

May 292012


  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW 530xi wagon. The contact stated that a private mechanic advised that four bolts were detached from the engine. The manufacturer was contacted but the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 101,000.

- Fishurs, IN, USA

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