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N18 Engine Important Maintenance Items and Common Issues

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N18 Engine Important Maintenance Items and Common Issues

  #1  
Old 03-19-2018, 09:01 PM
squawSkiBum
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N18 Engine Important Maintenance Items and Common Issues

The N18 engine replaced the N14 engine beginning with the 2011 model year, except for JCW models which didn't cut over until March 2013. Check your VIN through one of the VIN decoders and realoem.com to be sure which engine you have.

The N18 has a much better reliability record than the N14. But there are a couple of common problems:

1) Thermostat leaks and sensor: Mostly on 2011 - 2012 model years, common to see thermostat and temperature sensor failures. Most of these were covered by warranty.

2) High Pressure Fuel Pump: N18 engines built up to March 2012 have the same problematic HPFP as the N14. Check your VIN and realoem.com to be sure which one you have.

3) Oil pressure solenoid leak: There is a control for the oil pump in the oil pan, leaks in the wiring harness are common. If not addressed, the oil can migrate up the wiring harness to cause trouble with the ECU. Most of these were covered by warranty. (TBD - add TSB informaion.)

4) Turbo Oil Line: The N18 engine has the same design as the N14 for the oil line to the turbo, the rubber seal shows the same failure with age as the N14. The pressure side line starts to leak oil onto the hot turbo, resulting in smoke from under the hood. NAM forum vendors have upgraded oil line kits with improved hoses, connectors, and washers. Plenty of threads on how to DIY this.

N14 problems the N18 doesn't have:

Carbon build-up on the intake valves: The N18 is much, much better than the N14. Mostly this is due to the improved oil separation in the valve cover PCV system. You'll eventually need to have the intake valves walnut blasted, but no where near as often.

HPFP: As noted above, engines built after March 2012 have a different design for the HPFP which so far seems to be much more reliable.

Timing chain and tensioner: seems to be solved on the N18.

Too Early to Tell?

Vacuum pump: The failures seen on the N14 don't seem to be a big problem on the N18 engine. Most of the N18s don't have the time and mileage on then that the N14s do, so this one is still too early to call.

Keep Up With Maintenance! Of course, even with the improved engine, keeping up with maintenance, especially oil changes, is important. The N18 has dual VANOs sytems, clean and sufficient oil levels are important for these to function properly. Don't neglect coolant levels either.
 

Last edited by squawSkiBum; 03-19-2018 at 09:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2018, 10:33 PM
Fly'n Brick
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Shouldn't this be a sticky?
 
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lil giant (12-09-2018)
  #3  
Old 03-20-2018, 06:52 AM
ProjectMini
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Great Info. This has been asked many times

Agree with sticky.
This could help New gen 2 buyers before and after they buy. As I got my education after the purchase. ( Not judging )
Good info arranged well.
Thanks,
PM
 
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  #4  
Old 03-20-2018, 09:48 PM
squawSkiBum
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OK - it's now stuck.

Let me know if there's anything to add.
 
  #5  
Old 03-21-2018, 03:20 AM
ProjectMini
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Oil Filter housing gasket

Mine failed and I have seen a few post about it.
Just thought of this one. Maybe add worthy up to you.
Thanks for all the work you guys do
 
  #6  
Old 03-24-2019, 09:28 AM
banman
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As I get more involved in the care and feeding of my wife's 2013 MCS are there any updates, issues, or preventative maintenance I should plan for with the N18 engine now that it's generated some data?
 
  #7  
Old 03-25-2019, 07:48 PM
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Mine too

Originally Posted by ProjectMini View Post
Mine failed and I have seen a few post about it.
Just thought of this one. Maybe add worthy up to you.
Thanks for all the work you guys do
My 2013 r58 S is currently in the shop for the same thing at 52K .and a water pump pulley leak .
 
  #8  
Old 03-26-2019, 10:40 PM
squawSkiBum
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Originally Posted by banman View Post
As I get more involved in the care and feeding of my wife's 2013 MCS are there any updates, issues, or preventative maintenance I should plan for with the N18 engine now that it's generated some data?
The best preventive maintenance seems to be 5K oil changes. Keep checking this thread and the Stock Problems & Issues forum section. I'm coming up on 7 years and 85K miles, I had the thermostat, oil solenoid, and oil filter housing gasket done under warranty but no other issues.

The big N14 issues - carbon build up, timing chain, and vacuum pump haven't been common N18 problems. I need to research the vacuum pump to see if it is the same design as on the N14 and if not, what might be different.
 
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