BMW E60 Tune Up Repair Time – 2 Hours
A BMW E60 tune up is a simple repair that will not only get your 5 series running smoothly again…but will also save you a ton of money by “Doing it Yourself”.
Yep…a ton of money. We are not talking “chump change” here. And that’s what you seriously can save by doing your own tune up on your E60 5 series car rather than take it to the dealership. Why so much of a savings? Two words; parts and labor.
A BMW E60 tune up consists of replacing the coil packs and spark plugs in the engine of your vehicle. The dealership has to install Genuine BMW parts, which doubles the cost of your coils and plugs right off the bat. Add in their labor of a $100 plus per hour and you can quickly see the cost savings beginning to pile up.
A BMW E60 tune up is an easy repair that can be performed in your front driveway. Many novice “Do it Yourselfers” are intimidated by the word “tune up”. Don’t be. In today’s world of pre-programmed computer controlled ignition systems, all you have to do to perform a perfect tune up in your 5 series bimmer is pull the coils and plugs and replace them with fresh new ones. That’s it. No programming…no adjustments. Just plug and play (no pun intended).
A quick note on the use of dielectric grease on a BMW E60 tune up.
There are a lot of articles and videos that recommend the use of dielectric grease when performing a tune up on an E60 5 series car. Many mechanics feel that it should be applied to the inside of the coil to create a weather resistant barrier between the coil connector pin and the spark plug. While in theory this works in the majority of spark plug applications, we strongly oppose using it on BMW E60 coil and spark plugs.
The BMW Repair Guide strongly recommends you DO NOT APPLY dielectric grease to your coils and plugs during a BMW E60 tune up.
The coil pack on a BMW E60 5 series is held in place on the spark plug simply by friction. There are no “mechanical” attachments such as brackets or bolts holding the coil pack in place. Application of dielectric grease can destroy that friction bond, causing a situation where the coil packs slide off of the spark plugs. This causes misfires and possible damage to your engine. The risk of using dielectric grease on your BMW E60 far outweighs the benefit and we suggest you avoid using it during this repair.
|Ignition service kit 12680KT3||1||12121312680KT3||M54 Engine Only. OEM Bosch/Delphi. Includes 6 coils and plugs.|
|Ignition service kit 12680KT4||1||12121312680KT4||N52 Engine Only. OEM Bosch/Delphi. Includes 6 coils and plugs.|
- Use a socket wrench to disconnect the negative terminal from the battery before starting this repair. Always cover the terminal with a clean rag to avoid accidental contact during the repair. If working on a vehicle with 2 batteries (8 series), disconnect the negative terminal from both batteries. ALWAYS disconnect the battery(s) before performing any type of repair that includes disconnecting electronics, especially in the engine compartment.
- You will need to begin the BMW E60 tune up by removing the cabin filter containers from the back side of the engine. The cabin filter containers must be removed to gain access to the rear spark plugs.
- Start by removing the rubber engine gasket.
- Remove the cabin filter cover by pressing the side tab and sliding the cover off.
- Starting with the right cabin filter, use a flat blade screwdriver to remove the metal retaining clip securing the cabin filter container.
- Disconnect the hood sensor switch located on the front of right cabin filter container.
- Using an 13mm socket, turn the plastic nut counterclockwise 1/2 turn to release the cabin filter container from the right air inlet. Remove the cabin filter container from vehicle.
- Starting at the center, continue loosening the rest of the plastic nuts (1/2 turn only) that anchor the right air inlet to the engine compartment.
- Use an 8mm nut driver to remove screw anchoring the right air inlet to engine compartment. Note – this screw may be a T20 torx on certain model vehicles.
- Remove the right air inlet from vehicle.
- Repeat the above steps to remove the left cabin filter container and air inlet. The only difference is there are no electrical connections on left side that need to be disconnected.
Coil pack and spark plug removal
- Remove the wiring harness from it’s plastic mounting tray at the back of the engine compartment. Remove the plastic tray by simply pulling it off of the strut supports. Tuck the wiring harness back out of the way.
- Use a metal pick to remove left engine cover caps. Use a 10mm nut driver to remove cover bolts. Remove left cover from engine compartment.
- Remove oil filler cap. Remove right cover caps and 10mm nuts securing right engine cover to cylinder head. Remove cover from engine.
- Identify the six coil packs on the right side of engine.
- Starting with cylinder #1, unsnap the coil from the electrical connector. Remove electrical connector from coil.
- Pull coil straight up and out of spark plug tube. If coil is stuck, use a socket extension to pull it out (see following image).
- Use a ⅝” spark plug socket wrench to remove the spark plug.
- Smear a small dab of anti-seize lubricant on new spark plug threads. This will make it easy to remove spark plugs for future tune-ups.
- Install new spark plug into cylinder. Using a torque wrench, torque plug to 27Nm (20 ft-lb).
- Install new coil pack. DO NOT use dielectric grease on coil pack as recommended in other articles (please see our discussion on this at beginning of article). The BMW Repair Guide does not recommend using dielectric grease on the M54/N52 engine E60 engine coil packs. Use of dielectric grease increases the chances of engine misfires and is strongly discouraged.
- Reconnect coil electrical connector.
- Firmly push down on coil pack to make sure it is seated correctly on the spark plug.
- Repeat on cylinders 2-6.
Final engine testing before reassembly
Reconnect negative battery cable and start the vehicle. Make sure the engine is running smoothly and all cylinders are firing. If the engine is running rough and you suspect there is a misfire, do not panic! This happens often and is no need for concern. First, immediately turn the engine off and inspect all of your coil packs. There is a good chance one of them is not seated correctly on the spark plug, or one of your electrical connectors is not pushed in all the way. Check all of your connections and push firmly down on all of of the coil packs. Start the engine again to see if that cures the issue.
If your engine continues to run rough, you will need to connect a diagnostic scanner to your car to determine which cylinder is misfiring. Remove the coil pack on the misfiring cylinder, and then reinstall using the palm of your hand to make sure it is seated correctly. Ninety nine percent of all misfires after a BMW E60 tune up are do to loose electrical connections or coil packs not seated correctly on the spark plug.
When the engine is running smoothly without misfires, you can complete the repair by reassembling the engine and cabin filter containers following the above steps in reverse.
BMW E60 engine tune up finished
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. And congratulations for Doing It Yourself!