June 23, 2024

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Savvy Car Technicians

BMW N47 Engine Problems – How to Fix Timing Chain Failure!



From 2007 to approximately 2014, the BMW N47 was an inline 4-cylinder diesel motor that was applied in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 sequence, as well as the X1 and X3 diesel designs.

The N47 motor series is prone to early timing chain failure because of to critical timing chain don. The predicament is indicated by a rattling noise coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may well necessitate engine replacement or a expensive fix. The trouble affects all programs and power variations of the motor manufactured in between March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most severely ruined units, which need the most substantial repairs, were being created concerning the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It appears that a little selection of engines built just after the recall are owning challenges.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this motor is sandwiched between the engine and the transmission at the again of the engine. Its substitution is in particular tricky mainly because it is positioned in these an inaccessible place. In most scenarios, components put in in these kinds of inaccessible destinations are intended to endure the existence of the motor, but not in this problem. The timing chain in the N47 can fall short wherever from 40 to 100k miles, producing catastrophic engine injury as its parts drop synchronization.

Diagnosis – Symptoms of a Failing Timing Chain

The indicators of a failed timing chain normally look progressively as the chain gets lengthier and a lot more worn. As a outcome, you’re unlikely to detect a sudden spectacular symptom right up until the chain is in close proximity to to break completely. As a substitute, consider about how your car or truck is carrying out right now and how it carried out quite a few months in the past. Modest problems could suggest that the chain is about to are unsuccessful absolutely.

Below are some of the indicators that your timing chain is failing:

  • Tough idling: Commence your vehicle and stroll away. It is attainable that the timing chain is putting on out if it shakes or vibrates far more than usual. Of class, there are other problems that could outcome in harsh idling, but the problem is always really worth investigating since it tends to worsen more than time.
  • Peculiar noises: You might listen to your N47 motor rattle, primarily when it’s idling, but not only when it is idling. The issue could be that the timing chain is free and rattling from anything else if the seem is persistent and tough. 
  • Metallic shavings in the oil: In excess of time, the timing chain will have on down. When it reaches the end of its handy existence, it may possibly emit metallic shavings. If it does, it will stop up in your engine oil, possibly resulting in further issues.  Even so, any worn-out portion of your automobile can produce metallic shavings, so it’s worthy of seeking into prior to simply changing the chain.
  • Engine failures: If your BMW would not start off, the chai may be damaged and not providing more than enough force to start out the motor. If the chain breaks while you are driving, it’s attainable that the timing chain has broken as perfectly. If this happens, the pistons may be broken, and the belt problem may trigger much more harm to your automobile.
  • Engine misfires: Your N47 motor may misfire right before the chain has totally snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are connected by a chain. The chain might trigger the car to skip a gear on possibly the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is overly stretched out. It will become extra stressed as a result of this, and it will at some point split.
  • Verify motor light is on: Of program, the look at engine light could signal a significant assortment of issues have gone erroneous with your BMW. Having said that, it’s probable that the timing chain has unsuccessful or is soon to fall short.

Substitution and Repairs

Due to the fact the timing chain is in these kinds of an inaccessible place, the mechanic will have to totally take away the motor from its bay to obtain access to it. Using the motor out is a substantial and challenging undertaking in and of by itself. Following that, an additional lengthy disassembly is required to attain accessibility to the chains themselves.

A few timing chains are bundled in the timing chain alternative kit: one for the oil pump, a person for the camshaft, and just one for the higher-pressure gasoline pump. You’ll also have to have the looking instrument kit to preserve the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized when you’re doing work on them. These are the most important jobs that must be concluded immediately after removing the engine from the bay in get to swap the timing chains.

To start off, make sure that cylinders 1 and 4 are at top dead middle in buy to keep the stage for synchronizing the points.

With the tools you have, lock your crank shafts at this area.

Get rid of the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a little, and loosen the three bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be much easier to take away the gasoline pump sprocket if the higher-stress gas pump is turned off.

Take away the flywheel from the crankshaft by removing the bolts that hold it in spot.

Get rid of the starter motor’s bolts to achieve obtain to the oil sump.

By undoing the necessary bolts, you can take out the oil sump.

Take out the timing include by loosening the nuts that maintain it in area. It will choose some prying and a number of moderate taps with the hammer. You can now accessibility all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you may now remove the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Eliminate the oil pump’s chain as properly.

Likewise, get rid of the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as perfectly as the sprocket and belt.

Right after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 levels and clear away the substantial-force gasoline pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Choose off the belt and the sprockets as properly.

The past merchandise is your oil sprayer, which you may well clear away for replacement if important.

Then, in reverse get, set up the alternative belts, guaranteeing that all components are in sync right until the conclusion.


This timing chain challenge is a structure flaw in the engine, and the only system to cure it is to stay clear of vehicles with this N47 engine or, if possible, get rid of it in doing the job buy. Due to the fact of the emission manage tools put in it, these kinds of as the EGR and DPF, this motor also has a great deal of challenges.


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