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 employed in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 series, as nicely as the X1 and X3 diesel models.

The N47 engine series is vulnerable to early timing chain failure owing to intense timing chain put on. The circumstance is indicated by a rattling sounds coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may well necessitate engine substitute or a high priced maintenance. The dilemma has an effect on all apps and electrical power versions of the engine made among March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously ruined units, which demand the most significant repairs, have been created involving the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It seems that a compact number of engines manufactured soon after the recall are acquiring challenges.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this motor is sandwiched between the motor and the transmission at the again of the engine. Its substitute is in particular hard for the reason that it is positioned in this sort of an inaccessible site. In most situations, pieces installed in these types of inaccessible places are intended to endure the everyday living of the motor, but not in this situation. The timing chain in the N47 can are unsuccessful anywhere from 40 to 100k miles, resulting in catastrophic engine injury as its elements shed synchronization.

Analysis – Indications of a Failing Timing Chain

The symptoms of a unsuccessful timing chain ordinarily look steadily as the chain becomes for a longer time and far more worn. As a result, you are not likely to detect a unexpected remarkable symptom right up until the chain is in the vicinity of to crack wholly. In its place, imagine about how your auto is carrying out currently and how it done quite a few months in the past. Little issues could suggest that the chain is about to fall short absolutely.

Right here are some of the symptoms that your timing chain is failing:

  • Tough idling: Commence your automobile and walk absent. It’s feasible that the timing chain is carrying out if it shakes or vibrates much more than typical. Of training course, there are other challenges that could final result in severe idling, but the concern is always well worth investigating because it tends to worsen about time.
  • Bizarre noises: You could possibly hear your N47 motor rattle, specially when it is idling, but not only when it’s idling. The situation could be that the timing chain is free and rattling from anything at all else if the audio is persistent and rough. 
  • Metallic shavings in the oil: Around time, the timing chain will wear down. When it reaches the conclude of its valuable lifetime, it could emit metallic shavings. If it does, it will close up in your engine oil, perhaps triggering more issues.  On the other hand, any worn-out part of your car can deliver metallic shavings, so it’s well worth searching into just before basically replacing the chain.
  • Engine failures: If your BMW would not start off, the chai may perhaps be damaged and not supplying more than enough stress to begin the engine. If the chain breaks while you’re driving, it’s probable that the timing chain has damaged as very well. If this occurs, the pistons may well be broken, and the belt challenge may well trigger far more damage to your car.
  • Motor misfires: Your N47 engine may perhaps misfire prior to the chain has completely snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are joined by a chain. The chain may possibly induce the car to skip a gear on either the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is extremely stretched out. It will grow to be far more pressured as a outcome of this, and it will eventually split.
  • Test motor light-weight is on: Of study course, the check out motor gentle could signal a large assortment of issues have gone improper with your BMW. Nonetheless, it is feasible that the timing chain has unsuccessful or is quickly to are unsuccessful.

Replacement and Repairs

For the reason that the timing chain is in this sort of an inaccessible place, the mechanic will have to fully remove the motor from its bay to obtain obtain to it. Taking the motor out is a massive and tricky enterprise in and of itself. Adhering to that, one more prolonged disassembly is expected to acquire accessibility to the chains themselves.

Three timing chains are integrated in the timing chain substitution kit: one for the oil pump, a single for the camshaft, and just one for the superior-force gas pump. You will also want the on the lookout resource package to retain the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized although you’re doing the job on them. These are the primary duties that should be done after eliminating the motor from the bay in buy to switch the timing chains.

To start out, make confident that cylinders 1 and 4 are at top rated useless centre in order to keep the position for synchronizing the factors.

With the instruments you have, lock your crank shafts at this site.

Get rid of the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a little, and loosen the 3 bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be simpler to clear away the gasoline pump sprocket if the substantial-force gasoline pump is turned off.

Take away the flywheel from the crankshaft by eliminating the bolts that keep it in position.

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.

Remove the timing cover by loosening the nuts that keep it in area. It will consider some prying and a number of gentle faucets with the hammer. You can now entry all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you may possibly now remove the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Take out the oil pump’s chain as nicely.

Equally, take out the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as very well as the sprocket and belt.

Just after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 degrees and eliminate the higher-stress fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Take off the belt and the sprockets as properly.

The past item is your oil sprayer, which you may take away for alternative if necessary.

Then, in reverse get, put in the alternative belts, ensuring that all factors are in sync right until the conclusion.


This timing chain concern is a design flaw in the motor, and the only strategy to solution it is to stay away from vehicles with this N47 engine or, if doable, get rid of it in doing the job get. Simply because of the emission management devices place in it, this kind of as the EGR and DPF, this engine also has a large amount of issues.


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