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 utilised in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 sequence, as perfectly as the X1 and X3 diesel products.

The N47 engine series is vulnerable to early timing chain failure because of to significant timing chain dress in. The problem is indicated by a rattling sound coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may necessitate motor substitution or a highly-priced restore. The challenge has an effect on all apps and electric power variants of the motor made concerning March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously broken units, which need the most substantial repairs, have been manufactured among the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It seems that a smaller quantity of engines manufactured just after the remember are owning problems.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this motor is sandwiched concerning the engine and the transmission at the back again of the engine. Its alternative is in particular complicated for the reason that it is situated in these types of an inaccessible location. In most instances, components installed in these types of inaccessible spots are supposed to survive the lifestyle of the motor, but not in this predicament. The timing chain in the N47 can fall short anyplace from 40 to 100k miles, leading to catastrophic motor destruction as its parts drop synchronization.

Diagnosis – Signs or symptoms of a Failing Timing Chain

The indications of a unsuccessful timing chain ordinarily surface step by step as the chain gets for a longer time and more worn. As a end result, you are unlikely to detect a unexpected remarkable symptom until eventually the chain is near to crack fully. In its place, believe about how your automobile is accomplishing currently and how it carried out several months ago. Compact challenges could advise that the chain is about to are unsuccessful completely.

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

  • Rough idling: Get started your auto and wander away. It is doable that the timing chain is putting on out if it shakes or vibrates extra than common. Of program, there are other concerns that could result in harsh idling, but the issue is normally well worth investigating for the reason that it tends to worsen over time.
  • Strange noises: You may well listen to your N47 engine rattle, particularly when it is idling, but not only when it is idling. The issue could be that the timing chain is free and rattling towards just about anything else if the seem is persistent and tough. 
  • Metallic shavings in the oil: Above time, the timing chain will put on down. When it reaches the conclude of its practical lifetime, it could emit metallic shavings. If it does, it will stop up in your motor oil, possibly causing additional concerns.  However, any worn-out part of your vehicle can deliver steel shavings, so it is value hunting into right before simply changing the chain.
  • Engine failures: If your BMW would not commence, the chai may possibly be weakened and not giving more than enough strain to start off the engine. If the chain breaks whilst you are driving, it is possible that the timing chain has broken as well. If this occurs, the pistons may well be broken, and the belt issue could induce far more injury to your auto.
  • Engine misfires: Your N47 engine may perhaps misfire right before the chain has totally snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are joined by a chain. The chain could cause the vehicle to skip a equipment on possibly the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is extremely stretched out. It will come to be more stressed as a result of this, and it will at some point break.
  • Look at engine light-weight is on: Of system, the look at engine light-weight could sign a significant variety of items have absent completely wrong with your BMW. Having said that, it’s probable that the timing chain has unsuccessful or is soon to are unsuccessful.

Substitution and Repairs

Due to the fact the timing chain is in this sort of an inaccessible location, the mechanic have to completely remove the motor from its bay to acquire entry to it. Using the motor out is a large and tough undertaking in and of by itself. Pursuing that, an additional lengthy disassembly is necessary to achieve entry to the chains themselves.

A few timing chains are integrated in the timing chain substitution package: a single for the oil pump, a person for the camshaft, and 1 for the substantial-tension gasoline pump. You will also need to have the wanting tool package to retain the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized though you are doing work on them. These are the most important duties that need to be accomplished soon after removing the motor from the bay in order to exchange the timing chains.

To get started, make certain that cylinders 1 and 4 are at major useless heart in order to keep the level for synchronizing the points.

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

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

It will be simpler to eliminate the gasoline pump sprocket if the substantial-strain gasoline pump is turned off.

Get rid of the flywheel from the crankshaft by taking away the bolts that maintain it in position.

Eliminate the starter motor’s bolts to achieve entry to the oil sump.

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

Get rid of the timing cover by loosening the nuts that keep it in put. It will just take some prying and a couple moderate faucets with the hammer. You can now access all of the chains and sprockets.

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

In the same way, eliminate the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as well as the sprocket and belt.

After TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 levels and take out the high-strain fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Choose off the belt and the sprockets as nicely.

The past merchandise is your oil sprayer, which you may well eliminate for substitution if vital.

Then, in reverse purchase, install the replacement belts, ensuring that all elements are in sync till the conclusion.


This timing chain concern is a design and style flaw in the motor, and the only approach to solution it is to keep away from vehicles with this N47 engine or, if feasible, get rid of it in performing buy. Since of the emission management devices place in it, these kinds of as the EGR and DPF, this motor also has a great deal of difficulties.


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