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BMW Rod Bearing Myth V10 S85 M5

Is Rod Bearing failure a myth?

If you're a new owner or a potential buyer of an E46/E9x M3, E60 M5 or E63 M6, you've probably done some research and heard of the infamous "Rod Bearing" failure. These failures occur when owners do not allow the race-inspired engine to warm up properly, causing a lack of lubrication. In our experience, having a properly warmed-up engine will allow the high viscosity 10W-60 oil to lubricate all the mechanical components including the Rod Bearings. Unless you are the first owner, it's hard to know if the engine has been properly warmed-up on every start-up. Failures have been reported at various model years and mileage. The good news is that only a small percentage of owners have reported such failures. The Rod Bearing Service is generally done as preventative maintenance for new owners buying the car secondhand for peace of mind as there is no simple way of telling the current condition of the bearings. 

The owner of this 2006 M5 bought this car and was told that the rod bearings have already been done, but no paperwork was shown as proof. As we dive into the car we reveal the truth as to what happened.

Customer came in with Vanos Control and Misfire Codes and also states that the engine is making a slight ticking sound. We had a suspicion that it may a rod bearing failure.

As we tear apart the bottom half of the engine to diagnose, we discover cylinder #8 top bearing has broken into two pieces.

The bearing has also worn into the copper.

We suspect that the copper in the oil got trapped in the Vanos system, causing failure to the Vanos Oil Pump. 

We replaced the Vanos Oil Pump, Vanos Oil Line, and the Vanos Solenoids.

We installed ACL Rod Bearings and ARP Rod Bolts.

Each bolt is properly torqued to spec. Just to properly warm up any BMW S54 (E46), S65 (E9x M3) or S85 (E60 M5 & E63 M6) engine as 10w-60 Oil is quite viscous.

Get the most out of your BMW M cars. Give us a call or email us at to schedule your rod bearing service.

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