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


From 2007 to roughly 2014, the BMW N47 was an inline 4-cylinder diesel engine that was made use of in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 series, as properly as the X1 and X3 diesel styles.

The N47 motor series is prone to early timing chain failure because of to intense timing chain have on. The circumstance is indicated by a rattling sounds coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain could necessitate motor replacement or a high priced fix. The dilemma influences all apps and energy variations of the motor manufactured in between March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously weakened units, which call for the most significant repairs, were manufactured among the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It appears that a tiny selection of engines manufactured just after the recall are obtaining complications.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this engine is sandwiched between the motor and the transmission at the back again of the engine. Its substitution is specially challenging due to the fact it is found in these types of an inaccessible location. In most scenarios, areas set up in these types of inaccessible spots are supposed to endure the lifestyle of the engine, but not in this predicament. The timing chain in the N47 can fall short anywhere from 40 to 100k miles, producing catastrophic engine injury as its elements drop synchronization.

Analysis – Signs and symptoms of a Failing Timing Chain

The signs or symptoms of a unsuccessful timing chain generally show up step by step as the chain gets to be extended and extra worn. As a end result, you’re not likely to detect a sudden spectacular symptom till the chain is in close proximity to to break absolutely. Rather, feel about how your motor vehicle is undertaking today and how it performed many months ago. Smaller difficulties could suggest that the chain is about to fail completely.

Here are some of the indications that your timing chain is failing:

  • Rough idling: Commence your car and walk absent. It’s attainable that the timing chain is sporting out if it shakes or vibrates much more than regular. Of program, there are other difficulties that could end result in harsh idling, but the situation is normally really worth investigating for the reason that it tends to worsen above time.
  • Odd noises: You may hear your N47 motor rattle, in particular when it is idling, but not only when it is idling. The issue could be that the timing chain is free and rattling towards everything else if the audio is persistent and tough. 
  • Metal shavings in the oil: About time, the timing chain will put on down. When it reaches the close of its valuable life, it may emit metallic shavings. If it does, it will finish up in your engine oil, maybe producing further issues.  Nevertheless, any worn-out portion of your motor vehicle can make metal shavings, so it is well worth looking into before simply changing the chain.
  • Motor failures: If your BMW would not start off, the chai might be damaged and not supplying ample tension to get started the motor. If the chain breaks when you are driving, it is possible that the timing chain has damaged as nicely. If this happens, the pistons might be damaged, and the belt dilemma may perhaps lead to extra destruction to your car.
  • Engine misfires: Your N47 motor might misfire in advance of the chain has entirely snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are connected by a chain. The chain might induce the automobile to skip a gear on possibly the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is extremely stretched out. It will come to be more pressured as a final result of this, and it will ultimately split.
  • Look at engine light is on: Of system, the check out motor gentle could sign a massive wide variety of points have long gone wrong with your BMW. Nevertheless, it’s possible that the timing chain has unsuccessful or is shortly to fall short.

Alternative and Repairs

Since the timing chain is in this sort of an inaccessible place, the mechanic will have to thoroughly clear away the engine from its bay to gain obtain to it. Using the motor out is a significant and difficult undertaking in and of alone. Subsequent that, an additional prolonged disassembly is required to get access to the chains by themselves.

Three timing chains are involved in the timing chain substitute package: a person for the oil pump, one particular for the camshaft, and a person for the superior-tension fuel pump. You’ll also need to have the wanting instrument package to maintain the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized even though you are operating on them. These are the most important duties that have to be completed immediately after eliminating the motor from the bay in order to replace the timing chains.

To commence, make certain that cylinders 1 and 4 are at top lifeless centre in buy to keep the stage for synchronizing the points.

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

Clear away the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a minor, and loosen the a few bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be less complicated to remove the fuel pump sprocket if the substantial-force fuel pump is turned off.

Clear away the flywheel from the crankshaft by eliminating the bolts that keep it in area.

Eliminate the starter motor’s bolts to get obtain to the oil sump.

By undoing the vital bolts, you can take away the oil sump.

Eliminate the timing include by loosening the nuts that maintain it in spot. It will just take some prying and a handful of mild faucets with the hammer. You can now access all of the chains and sprockets.

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

Similarly, take out the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as perfectly as the sprocket and belt.

Soon after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 levels and clear away the superior-strain fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Consider off the belt and the sprockets as effectively.

The final merchandise is your oil sprayer, which you may perhaps take away for substitute if needed.

Then, in reverse buy, install the alternative belts, ensuring that all components are in sync till the conclusion.


This timing chain concern is a structure flaw in the motor, and the only system to remedy it is to stay clear of automobiles with this N47 motor or, if achievable, get rid of it in doing work order. Because of the emission handle gear set in it, these kinds of as the EGR and DPF, this engine also has a ton of concerns.

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