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BMW and MINI Fault Codes – How to Determine Bank, Sensor and Cylinder Locations

Jan 12 18

Bank, Sensor, Cylinder …. How do I Know?

Launch Tech fault code reader P0174 BMW BAVauto

When servicing or diagnosing faults with our BMWs and MINIs we will often be guided to a specific cylinder, bank or sensor location.  These location codes can be confusing, even if you basically know what they mean.  For example, Bank-2 cam refer to a group of cylinders … or … a specific sensor.  It depends on what type of engine the codes are being applied to.  So, how do we know which reference in being made?  Knowing how the reference system and coding works, for different engines, is key to understanding what the coding you are looking at means.

The most confusing term is “bank”.  No, this is not a reference to the institution where your bills are paid from.  On our internal combustion engines, bank can be referencing either a group of cylinders or the intake or exhaust “sides”, or camshafts, of the engine. Note in the details, below, how the use of “bank” can change depending on the engine being referenced.

Sensor 1 or 2 typically refers to some type of sensor that is applicable to the cylinder heads (such as camshaft position sensors), or the oxygen sensors.  If referencing cylinder head sensors, intake is #1 and exhaust is #2.  If referencing oxygen sensors, pre-cat is #1 and post-cat is #2.

Click image below for fault code reader tools:
Launch Tech Millennium 90 fault code tool BAVauto

How To decipher Bank, Sensor, Cylinder and Firing Order on BMW Engines

In-line 4-cylinder (US models):

M10 – Single cam, produced through 1985 (US)
S14 – Twin cam, produced for 87 through 91 M3 (US)
M42 & M44 – Twin cam,  produced 1990 through 1998 (US)
N20 & N26 – Twin cam, turbocharged, produced 2012 to current date of this post (US)

* Cylinder numbering is from front to rear; 1 at the front and 4 at the rear.
* Ignition firing order is 1-3-4-2.
* These engines have only one bank (bank-1).  All cylinders (1 through 4) are considered bank-1.
* The intake side of the engine is #1 (as in “sensor-1″) and the exhaust side is #2.
NOTE:  Some codes will use “bank” to represent the intake and exhaust sides of the engine, since there are not multiple cylinder banks.  Example; Camshaft sensor, Bank-1 would mean the intake cam sensor.  A different reader may say; Camshaft sensor, Bank-1, sensor-1.  This is where we need to be aware of what engine we are looking at and how the code is represented.

In-line 6-cylinder (US models):

M20 – Single cam, belt driven camshaft, produced through 1991 (US)
M30 – Single cam, chain driven camshaft, produced through 1993 (US)
M88, S38 – Twin Cam, produced for M5 & M6 through 93 (US)
M50, M52, M54, M56, S50, S52, S54 – Twin cam,  produced 1991 through mid-2000s (US)
N51, N52 – Twin cam, produced from mid 2000s through 2011 US)
N54, N55, S55
– Twin cam, turbocharged, produced from mid 2000s to current date of this post (US)
B58 – Twin Cam,  turbocharged, produced from 2017 to current date of this post (US)

* Cylinder numbering is from front to rear; 1 at the front and 6 at the rear.
* Ignition firing order is 1-5-3-6-2-4.
* Engines produced through 1995, are generally considered as having one bank (bank-1).  All cylinders are bank-1.
* Engines produced from 1996-on are considered to have two banks (bank-1 and bank-2).  Cylinders 1 through 3 are bank-1 and cylinders 4 through 6 are bank-2.
* The intake side of the engine is #1 (as in “sensor-1″) and the exhaust side is #2
NOTE:  On pre-OBD-II engines (pre-1996), some codes will use “bank” to represent the intake and exhaust sides of the engine, since there are not multiple cylinder banks.  Example; Camshaft sensor, Bank-1 would mean the intake cam sensor.  A different reader may say; Camshaft sensor, Bank-1, sensor-1.  This is where we need to be aware of what engine we are looking at and how the code is represented.

8-cylinder, V8 (US models):

M60, M62, S62 – Twin cam, 4 valves per cylinder, produced from 1993 through mid-2000s (US)
N62, N63 – Twin cam, 4 valves per cylinder, produced from early 2000s to current date of this post (US)
S63 -
Twin cam, turbocharged, 4 valves per cylinder, produced from early 2000s to current date of this post (US)
S65
 – Twin cam, 4 valves per cylinder, produced from 2008 through 2013 (US)

* Cylinder numbering is 1 through 4 on passenger (right) side and 5 through 8 on driver (left) side.  numbers 1 and 5 are at the front, 4 and 8 are at the rear.
* Ignition firing order is 1-5-4-8-6-3-7-2 (except S65 = 1-5-4-8-7-2-6-3).
* Bank-1 is the passenger side (cylinders 1 through 4), bank-2 is the driver side (cylinders 5 through 8).
* The intake side of the engine is #1 (as in “sensor-1″) and the exhaust side is #2

10-cylinder, V10 (US models):

S85 – Twin cam, 4 valves per cylinder,  produced from 2005 through 2010 (US)

* Cylinder numbering is 1 through 5 on passenger (right) side and 6 through 10 on driver (left) side.  numbers 1 and 6 are at the front, 5 and 10 are at the rear.
* Ignition firing order is 1-6-5-10-2-7-3-8-4-9
* Bank-1 is the passenger side (cylinders 1 through 5), bank-2 is the driver side (cylinders 6 through 10).
* The intake side of the engine is #1 (as in “sensor-1″) and the exhaust side is #2

12-cylinder, V12 (US models):

M70, M73, S70 – Single cam, produced through early 2000s (US)
N73 – Twin cam, produced from early 2000s through 2016 (US)
N74 – Twin cam, turbocharged,  produced from 2008 through 2015 (US)

* Cylinder numbering is 1 through 6 on passenger (right) side and 7 through 12 on driver (left) side.  numbers 1 and 7 are at the front, 6 and 12 are at the rear.
* Ignition firing order is 1-7-5-11-3-9-6-12-2-8-4-10.
* Bank-1 is the passenger side (cylinders 1 through 6), bank-2 is the driver side (cylinders 7 through 12).
* The intake side of the engine is #1 (as in “sensor-1″) and the exhaust side is #2


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Bavarian Autosport

Why Does My BMW or MINI Suspension Shake After a Snow Storm?

Jan 10 18

Man, That Snow Storm Really Took A Toll On My Suspension!

Mini Cooper wheel packed with snow BAVauto

We often hear this after a good snow accumulation.  In reality, the snow did not wear or ruin your BMW’s or MINI’s suspension.  It’s likely that the wheels are filled with snow and/or ice.

Take a look at your wheels before driving, after a snow/ice event, or after driving through a plow berm.  You will see that snow or ice has accumulated on the wheel’s lip and/or in-between the spokes.  This snow/ice will cause the wheel and tire to be out of balance …. resulting in vibration and shaking as the vehicle speed goes up.  We caution you to NOT continue to drive if you experience this.  The vibration and shaking will result in extra wear to the suspension components (shocks, control arms, bushings, ball-joints, etc.).

Before diving, inspect your wheels

MINI Cooperwheeel packed with snow causing vibration BAvauto

Clean snow and ice from the wheel edges as well as between the spokes.  If vibration is noted once you get on the road, pull over at a safe location and work on cleaning out the remaining snow/ice. We have used many different tools for cleaning out the wheels.  Some work moderately well, others can damage the finish on the wheels … some just don’t do well (like your windshield clearing brush/scraper).

Recently, we have found a tool that is easy to store in the vehicle, easy to use, and does a perfect job of clearing the accumulated snow from both the wheel edges/lips and between the spokes.  The hand-held Wheel Woolie wheel cleaning brushes, which are designed to clean wheels without scratching or splattering back at you, also do a great job of snow removal.  You can find a favorite from the various brushes offered, but we generally like to use the angled handle 2.5″ x 5″ x 18″ brush.  This brush has a nicely sized head and the longer, angled, handle makes cleaning from a standing (vs. kneeling) position comfortable and easy.  If you have wheels with many spokes and smaller open areas, you may like one of the Wheel Woolies with a smaller brush head.

Click Image Below to see Wheel Woolies:
Wheel Woolies cleaning and detailing brushes from BAVauto

Use Wheel Woolies to Clean Snow From Wheels

Use Wheel Woolies to clean snow from wheels BAVauto

Wheel Woolie Fits Nicely Between Wheel Drum & Brake Rotor

Wheel Woolie cleans snow from wheels between brake rotors BAvauto

Roll the Wheel Just a Bit, if Needed, to Clean Section That Was Behind Brake Caliper

MINI Cooper or BMW wheel cleaned of snow so no vibration BAVauto


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www.BAVauto.com
Bavarian Autosport

BMW and MINI – Why you Need Snow and Winter Tires

Jan 9 18

“BMWs are Terrible in the Snow!”

BMW stuck in snow

When we hear this it makes us wonder how the person relating the seemingly factual tidbit has come upon this bit of knowledge. In reality, a BMW is basically no different from any other front-engine rear-drive car; be it a BMW, Ferrari or your father’s Oldsmobile. Actually, BMWs (and MINIs) can perform excellently in winter driving. The real problem stems from a reluctance to install four proper snow (winter) tires.  With four proper winter tires installed, a BMW (as well as MINIs) can perform and handle better than a front wheel drive or 4-wheel drive vehicle using standard all-season tires.

Are You STILL Driving your BMW or MINI without Snow Tires?!

Mini Cooper Clubman in snow with Hakkapeliitta tires BAVauto

Safe and secure after a blizzardy drive home – Thanks to the Hakkapeliitta snow tires

Here at Bavarian Autosport, we deal with winter weather (and the accompanying snow) every year and this 2017/18 season is reminding us (and much of the country) that winter means cold temperatures and snow on the roads.

Not only are we enthusiasts and we love to drive our BMWs and MINIs all year, we also have the real need of having to be at work, every day …. snow or shine. Quite frankly, staying home due to snow is not an option in most cases. We have tried many (if not most) of the commonly available snow tires over the years, from $50 “no-name” specials to the latest in high-tech winter brands and models.

Nokian Hakkapeliitta named “Best of What’s New” by Popular Science

Nokian Hakkapeliitta snow tires on BMW and MINI BAVauto

We have found that we have the best results with the Nordic Hakkapeliitta and Nordman winter tires from Nokian Tires. Nokian’s roots go back to the Finnish Rubber Company, who produced the world’s first winter specific tire in 1934. The Nokian Hakkapeliitta brand was launch in 1936 and they’ve been leading the field ever since. Over the decades, Nokian’s key R&D principle has remained the same: to develop tires with maximum grip and durability for consumers driving in northern conditions. The company’s ability to remain at the forefront of their industry stems from a thorough understanding of Nordic conditions complemented by innovation – a continuum of ideas harnessed to improve safety, durability and environmental friendliness. The results of their work are tested in conditions in which only the toughest can make it.

BMW is testing snow tires BAVauto

Can you buy a cheaper winter tire? Sure. But after 40+ years of driving our BMWs and MINIs in New Hampshire winters, we’ve yet to find a better one.  In fact, in the November 2013 issue of a leading U.S. consumer publication, Nokian is rated as the #1 winter tire in two (out of two) categories!

Since we do drive our BMWs and MINIs all year, we prefer to mount our winter tires on separate wheels.  This allows us to easily swap the summer and winter tires without having to go to a shop to have the tires dismounted and remounted twice every year.

Click below for BMW & MINI winter tires and wheel & tire packages:
wheel and tire snow packages for BMW and MINI BAVauto

 

Nokian Winter Tire Test Facility

Nokian tires winter tire test track BAVauto

Nokian – Forget the Forecast

• Reliable grip on wet, dry and snow-covered roads alike
• Absolute grip and excellent handling in all conditions
• Stable and easy to control even at high speeds
• Effective slush and aquaplaning prevention
• Rolls lightly, saving the environment and fuel
• Innovations: Cryogenic Canola Compound, Silent Sidewall Technology, DSI + WSI
• All-Weather performance for safety in any weather condition

Nokian Innovations:

Cryogenic Canola Compound. This tread rubber compound is a novel combination of rubber, silica and canola oil that optimizes winter grip, wet grip and wear resistance in varying temperatures. The unique innovation enables very low rolling resistance, lower fuel consumption and fewer harmful emissions compared with the traditional competitors.

Silent Sidewall Technology. The special zone on the tire sidewall cuts off the noise and vibration emitted from the road surface through the tire tread. By dampening noise, the new sidewall technology makes driving more pleasant.

Nanobase. A special Nanobase support layer is used at the bottom of the multi-layer tread structure. The smaller molecular structure enabled by nanotechnology improves the tire’s steering properties and ensures exemplary control when driving in corners, changing lanes and dodging hazards.

Silent Groove Design. The round cavities on the sides of the longitudinal ribs, resembling a golf ball pattern, cool the tire and reduce drag. New technology improves wear resistance and lowers fuel consumption. The cavities that control air flow also prevent any unpleasant, whistling noise. The design makes driving pleasantly silent.

3D Lock Sipe. The 3D Lock Sipe locks the outer shoulder area’s blocks together when in contact with the road. This reduces unnecessary sipe movement, which enhances the tire’s resistance against wear and tear, even in poor road conditions.

Polished grooves. Stylish functionality: slush and water flow easily and efficiently off the slick and polished main grooves, and the lateral grooves open to the sides.

 


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Bavarian Autosport