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The late model turbocharged MINI 4-cylinder engines, used in the US market Cooper S and JCW (John Cooper Works) models, are produced in two variants; the N14 and the N18. The use of either the N14 or the N18 engine is dependent on the production year and there should be no confusion …. except for the 2011 & 2012 model year JCW variants.
Why should you know whether your MINI has an N14 or an N18 engine? There is some overlap in the use of both the N14 and the N18 engines in the 2011 & 2012 MINI Cooper S JCW models and various engine parts are not interchangeable. When ordering engine, emissions, fuel system and some other parts, you will need to clarify if you have the N14 or the N18 engine. Failure to do so may very well result in the wrong parts being ordered.
So, how do you know which engine you have?
1) You can share the VIN with the BAVauto advisors, who can then use the VIN to verify the engine in your MINI.
2) See the images below for a visual representation of the differences between the N14 and the N18 engines.
Have you ever noticed that (it seems like) every BMW listed for sale on the internet has a Full Sport Package, M-Sport Package, M-Package …. or some similar reference to the vehicle being optioned with what the seller assumes you, the buyer, would see as positive. Everybody wants a sport package, right? Well, maybe not.
Real example, from online ad (we checked the VIN … no sport packages on this vehicle):
2007 BMW 530xi AWD Wagon, 139k Miles, Auto, Sport Pack.!! Nav. P.Roof!!!
Equally important as the purchasing decisions is knowing how your BMW or MINI is optioned when purchasing upgrade or repair parts. While not all of the parts on the vehicle are different when actually optioned with the various sport options and packages, some parts and systems actually do employ different parts. Most BMWs and MINIs can be optioned with various levels of sport or M-tech packages. Often, the packages may be limited to certain parts or systems of the vehicle, such as; suspension (usually includes wheels), wheels, seats, steering wheel, external body parts and interior trim.
Owners often assume that a vehicle that does have some type of sport options also has different “sport” brakes. While there are a few exceptions, most BMW and MINI models keep the same brake parts whether optioned with sport or M-Tech packages, or not.
When purchasing your upgrade or repair parts, the most common areas that ARE dependent on whether the vehicle has any sport type options include; suspension (shocks and springs), front and rear bumpers as well as other exterior trim and body parts, interior trim, seat parts and steering wheels.
Which One Do I Need?
How do you know if your BMW or MINI has various sport options?
1) Provide the VIN to a BAVauto advisor (800-535-2002), who can run the VIN and determine if the parts in question are affected by the options on the vehicle. Note; we only need the last 7 digits of the VIN.
2) Check the original vehicle invoice or window sticker for listings of the option packages.
The non-M BMW 6-cylinder engines used in the US market BMW 3, 5, X and Z models from the Early 2000s through mid 2000s, were produced in two variants for US distribution, known as the M54 and M56. The M54 is the standard Low (or UL – Ultra Low) Emissions Vehicle (LEV or ULEV) version and the M56 is the Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) version intended for states that employs the most stringent vehicle emissions standards. In the US, the M56 was only produced in the 2.5 liter variant and only installed in the 325i, 325ci and 325it.
States that received 325i vehicles with the M56 engine may include; Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. However, don’t be surprised to find M54 models registered in these states … or …. M56 models in the other states.
Why should you know whether your BMW has an M54 or an M56 engine? When ordering engine, emissions, fuel system and some other parts, you will need to clarify if you have the M54 or the M56 engine. Failure to do so may very well result in the wrong parts being ordered.
So, how do you know which engine you have?
1) You can share the VIN with the BAVauto advisors, who can then use the VIN to verify the engine in your BMW.
2) Under the engine hood, the emissions control information sticker will note if the vehicle is a LEV or ULEV (M54) or SULEV (M56). The sticker is often on the underside of the hood itself.
3) The two engines are visually different when viewed under the hood. See images below: