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

ByDinda Margareta

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


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

The N47 motor sequence is susceptible to early timing chain failure due to intense timing chain use. The condition is indicated by a rattling sound coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may necessitate engine replacement or a pricey maintenance. The dilemma impacts all apps and electric power variants of the motor made amongst March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously broken models, which involve the most substantial repairs, were created involving the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It appears that a modest range of engines created following the remember are getting complications.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this engine is sandwiched concerning the motor and the transmission at the back of the motor. Its replacement is particularly complicated due to the fact it is located in these types of an inaccessible spot. In most scenarios, pieces installed in this kind of inaccessible places are meant to survive the daily life of the motor, but not in this condition. The timing chain in the N47 can fall short wherever from 40 to 100k miles, causing catastrophic motor hurt as its elements reduce synchronization.

Prognosis – Symptoms of a Failing Timing Chain

The indications of a unsuccessful timing chain ordinarily surface steadily as the chain gets lengthier and additional worn. As a consequence, you are not likely to detect a sudden spectacular symptom until eventually the chain is near to split completely. As an alternative, imagine about how your automobile is accomplishing these days and how it done a lot of months in the past. Small troubles could recommend that the chain is about to fail wholly.

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

  • Tough idling: Start out your car and stroll away. It is doable that the timing chain is carrying out if it shakes or vibrates far more than regular. Of training course, there are other issues that could final result in harsh idling, but the issue is often value investigating simply because it tends to worsen above time.
  • Unusual noises: You may possibly listen to your N47 engine rattle, particularly when it’s idling, but not only when it’s idling. The difficulty could be that the timing chain is unfastened and rattling against everything else if the sound is persistent and tough. 
  • Metal shavings in the oil: Around time, the timing chain will have on down. When it reaches the stop of its helpful life, it could emit metal shavings. If it does, it will finish up in your engine oil, most likely triggering further more issues.  However, any worn-out part of your motor vehicle can generate metallic shavings, so it’s really worth hunting into before basically replacing the chain.
  • Motor failures: If your BMW would not get started, the chai may perhaps be broken and not giving sufficient pressure to start off the motor. If the chain breaks although you’re driving, it is achievable that the timing chain has broken as very well. If this happens, the pistons might be broken, and the belt challenge could bring about far more problems to your car or truck.
  • Motor misfires: Your N47 motor may well misfire right before the chain has completely snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are joined by a chain. The chain could bring about the vehicle to skip a equipment on possibly the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is overly stretched out. It will grow to be far more stressed as a consequence of this, and it will eventually break.
  • Check motor gentle is on: Of system, the check out engine light could signal a significant assortment of points have long gone erroneous with your BMW. Nevertheless, it is possible that the timing chain has unsuccessful or is soon to fall short.

Substitute and Repairs

For the reason that the timing chain is in this kind of an inaccessible spot, the mechanic ought to thoroughly take away the engine from its bay to gain accessibility to it. Taking the engine out is a large and difficult endeavor in and of by itself. Pursuing that, another prolonged disassembly is needed to acquire access to the chains by themselves.

3 timing chains are involved in the timing chain substitution package: one for the oil pump, 1 for the camshaft, and 1 for the superior-tension fuel pump. You will also require the searching instrument package to preserve the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized when you’re working on them. These are the key tasks that will have to be finished just after taking away the motor from the bay in purchase to exchange the timing chains.

To get started, make positive that cylinders 1 and 4 are at top useless middle in buy to keep the stage for synchronizing the details.

With the equipment you have, lock your crank shafts at this location.

Take out the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a tiny, and loosen the 3 bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be less difficult to eliminate the gas pump sprocket if the large-pressure gasoline pump is turned off.

Remove the flywheel from the crankshaft by eradicating the bolts that hold it in area.

Clear away the starter motor’s bolts to obtain access to the oil sump.

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

Get rid of the timing address by loosening the nuts that hold it in area. It will just take some prying and a couple of delicate taps with the hammer. You can now entry all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you may possibly now take out the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Eliminate the oil pump’s chain as well.

Similarly, remove the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as well as the sprocket and belt.

Soon after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 degrees and get rid of the significant-force fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Choose off the belt and the sprockets as properly.

The last product is your oil sprayer, which you may well clear away for substitution if important.

Then, in reverse get, set up the alternative belts, making certain that all components are in sync until the summary.


This timing chain problem is a design flaw in the motor, and the only strategy to treatment it is to prevent vehicles with this N47 motor or, if achievable, get rid of it in working purchase. Since of the emission control equipment set in it, this kind of as the EGR and DPF, this engine also has a great deal of concerns.