Which BMW cars have swirl flaps?

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Does my BMW have Swirl Flaps - What are BMW swirl flaps for?

When BMWLand members began to notice problems with BMW swirl flaps, they began looking for a way to protect their investment.

PMW Ltd provided the help members needed and were the original swirl flap designers who used their expert knowledge, coupled with their passion for BMWs to provide a BMW swirl flap fix. The BMW swirl flap below shows the rivets/screws that can separate over time and cause swirl flap engine ingestion, the right hand image shows the piston damage done to a BMWLand members car.

    BMW Swirl Flap Piston Damage

Peter Mould from PMW based in Essex, a BMW specialist, continued to work with BMW owners for a solution to the swirl flap problem that was introduced back in 2000 when BMW/Pierburg made a decision to manufacture diesel engine swirl flaps from steel. Diesel engine’s piston cycles at least at 60 revs per minute, so an ingested metal piece fallen off the butterfly flap will be slammed by the moving internal components.

Most often one or more piston ends up being severely damaged along with several valves, an injector and the cylinder head, with possible collateral damage spreading to the turbo as well - I'm sure you can work out what is the cost of BMW swirl flap failure - several thousand pounds!

In around 2004, BMW addressed the BMW swirl flap fault; the swirl flap supporting spindle was increased in size along with the affixing screw diameter. However, there have been BMW vehicles registered up to 2007 with early type 22mm swirl flaps fitted) and despite the increased spindle diameter, there have been reports from BMW owners still having swirl flap failure!


BMW engines affected by swirl flap failures include:
M47TUD20 introduced in 2001 and used on: E46 320d, 320Cd, X3 2.0
M57TUD30 introduced in 2002 and used on: E46 330d, E46 330d, X3 3.0d, X5 3.0d, E60/E61 530d, E65 730d
M57TUD25 introduced in 2004 and used on: E60/E61 525d


This is not a definitive list and you can call PMW on 01245 496 739 or 01245 349 367 for further advice or visit BMWLand.

Luckily prevention is better than cure and it is easy to correct potential failure by following this guide to removing BMW swirl flaps. That will mean that both inlet manifold tracts are constantly open. The result: no perceived difference in performance or fuel consumption and cleaner running due to the elimination of ‘dead spots’ in the inlet tract. The slight increase in emissions won't even affect your cars MOT.

Once the BMW swirl flaps are removed voids of 22mm or 32mm are left in the manifold and these voids need to be sealed; that is where PMW Ltd comes in.

PMW are passionate about BMWs and worked on a BMW swirl blanking plates, CNC machined from super strong aircraft grade aluminium, fitted with new automotive grade ‘o’ rings. This is the only original professional fix for this problem.

Replacing swirl flaps is a fairly easy DIY job for a competent person with a reasonable selection of hand tools. If you are not technically minded or want your car check by the experts who designed the fix, then you can bring your car into PMW Ltd, Chelmsford, Essex where they will be more than happy to carry out a pre-fitment diagnostic check and modification.