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



From 2007 to roughly 2014, the BMW N47 was an inline 4-cylinder diesel motor that was employed in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 series, as properly as the X1 and X3 diesel designs.

The N47 motor sequence is vulnerable to early timing chain failure owing to critical timing chain have on. The scenario is indicated by a rattling sound coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may perhaps necessitate engine substitution or a costly maintenance. The difficulty has an effect on all purposes and electricity variants of the motor created in between March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most severely damaged models, which require the most substantial repairs, ended up manufactured among the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It appears that a tiny number of engines produced just after the recall are possessing issues.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this engine is sandwiched in between the motor and the transmission at the back of the motor. Its replacement is particularly complicated due to the fact it is found in these types of an inaccessible location. In most conditions, components installed in these types of inaccessible destinations are supposed to endure the daily life of the engine, but not in this situation. The timing chain in the N47 can fall short anywhere from 40 to 100k miles, producing catastrophic engine injury as its elements shed synchronization.

Analysis – Signs of a Failing Timing Chain

The indications of a unsuccessful timing chain commonly surface steadily as the chain results in being longer and more worn. As a end result, you are unlikely to detect a unexpected remarkable symptom until eventually the chain is close to to split completely. As an alternative, imagine about how your vehicle is undertaking right now and how it executed lots of months in the past. Small challenges could advise that the chain is about to are unsuccessful entirely.

In this article are some of the indications that your timing chain is failing:

  • Tough idling: Start your auto and wander away. It is doable that the timing chain is putting on out if it shakes or vibrates extra than typical. Of course, there are other challenges that could end result in severe idling, but the challenge is usually worth investigating mainly because it tends to worsen about time.
  • Unusual noises: You could listen to your N47 motor rattle, particularly when it is idling, but not only when it is idling. The situation could be that the timing chain is unfastened and rattling against anything at all else if the sound is persistent and tough. 
  • Metallic shavings in the oil: More than time, the timing chain will put on down. When it reaches the conclusion of its handy lifetime, it could emit metallic shavings. If it does, it will end up in your motor oil, most likely creating further problems.  On the other hand, any worn-out portion of your car can deliver metal shavings, so it’s truly worth looking into before just changing the chain.
  • Engine failures: If your BMW would not begin, the chai may be harmed and not giving sufficient tension to get started the engine. If the chain breaks whilst you are driving, it is doable that the timing chain has broken as very well. If this occurs, the pistons could be broken, and the belt challenge may well lead to more harm to your automobile.
  • Motor misfires: Your N47 motor may well misfire in advance of the chain has fully snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are linked by a chain. The chain could possibly cause the auto to skip a gear on either the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is overly stretched out. It will turn into extra pressured as a final result of this, and it will eventually split.
  • Check out engine light-weight is on: Of course, the look at engine mild could sign a large wide range of matters have absent completely wrong with your BMW. Nevertheless, it’s possible that the timing chain has failed or is quickly to fail.

Substitute and Repairs

Since the timing chain is in this sort of an inaccessible place, the mechanic should thoroughly take out the motor from its bay to gain accessibility to it. Taking the engine out is a enormous and hard enterprise in and of itself. Subsequent that, a different lengthy disassembly is necessary to get obtain to the chains themselves.

3 timing chains are included in the timing chain alternative package: 1 for the oil pump, 1 for the camshaft, and one for the higher-tension fuel pump. You are going to also have to have the looking software kit to retain the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized when you are working on them. These are the principal duties that should be finished immediately after taking away the engine from the bay in get to exchange the timing chains.

To begin, make absolutely sure that cylinders 1 and 4 are at top dead heart in purchase to keep the stage for synchronizing the details.

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

Take away the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a tiny, and loosen the a few bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be less difficult to clear away the gasoline pump sprocket if the superior-pressure gas pump is turned off.

Clear away the flywheel from the crankshaft by getting rid of the bolts that maintain it in position.

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

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

Eliminate the timing cover by loosening the nuts that keep it in put. It will choose some prying and a several moderate faucets with the hammer. You can now accessibility all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you may possibly now clear away the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Get rid of the oil pump’s chain as effectively.

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

Right after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 degrees and take away the substantial-pressure fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Just take off the belt and the sprockets as well.

The final product is your oil sprayer, which you may well get rid of for alternative if needed.

Then, in reverse order, put in the substitution belts, making sure that all components are in sync till the summary.


This timing chain difficulty is a layout flaw in the motor, and the only approach to solution it is to steer clear of autos with this N47 motor or, if achievable, get rid of it in performing buy. Due to the fact of the emission control tools put in it, these types of as the EGR and DPF, this motor also has a ton of challenges.


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