August 12, 2022


Automotive and technology

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

5 min read



From 2007 to around 2014, the BMW N47 was an inline 4-cylinder diesel motor that was employed in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 collection, as effectively as the X1 and X3 diesel styles.

The N47 motor sequence is inclined to early timing chain failure owing to extreme timing chain use. The situation is indicated by a rattling sound coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may well necessitate motor substitute or a pricey restore. The problem influences all apps and power variants of the motor manufactured involving March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most severely damaged units, which have to have the most considerable repairs, have been made among the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It appears that a modest number of engines created following the recall are getting challenges.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this motor is sandwiched involving the motor and the transmission at the back again of the motor. Its substitution is especially difficult due to the fact it is located in this sort of an inaccessible place. In most scenarios, elements set up in these kinds of inaccessible spots are supposed to endure the life of the motor, but not in this predicament. The timing chain in the N47 can fail anywhere from 40 to 100k miles, causing catastrophic motor problems as its components eliminate synchronization.

Diagnosis – Symptoms of a Failing Timing Chain

The signs and symptoms of a failed timing chain typically seem little by little as the chain becomes for a longer period and additional worn. As a final result, you’re not likely to detect a unexpected dramatic symptom till the chain is around to break wholly. Rather, think about how your motor vehicle is executing today and how it executed a lot of months in the past. Smaller challenges could propose that the chain is about to fall short fully.

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

  • Tough idling: Get started your auto and walk absent. It is possible that the timing chain is sporting out if it shakes or vibrates much more than standard. Of program, there are other problems that could final result in harsh idling, but the situation is normally value investigating since it tends to worsen around time.
  • Odd noises: You may hear your N47 motor rattle, particularly when it’s idling, but not only when it is idling. The issue could be that the timing chain is loose and rattling against just about anything else if the seem is persistent and rough. 
  • Steel shavings in the oil: Around time, the timing chain will have on down. When it reaches the stop of its helpful daily life, it may perhaps emit metal shavings. If it does, it will finish up in your engine oil, maybe creating even more challenges.  Even so, any worn-out portion of your vehicle can deliver steel shavings, so it’s worth hunting into in advance of basically changing the chain.
  • Motor failures: If your BMW would not commence, the chai may perhaps be broken and not supplying sufficient tension to start off the motor. If the chain breaks when you are driving, it is attainable that the timing chain has broken as well. If this happens, the pistons may well be damaged, and the belt issue may perhaps bring about extra harm to your auto.
  • Motor misfires: Your N47 engine could misfire just before the chain has wholly snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are connected by a chain. The chain may possibly cause the car to skip a equipment on possibly the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is extremely stretched out. It will grow to be additional stressed as a final result of this, and it will finally split.
  • Check out engine mild is on: Of training course, the examine motor mild could signal a huge wide range of factors have absent wrong with your BMW. On the other hand, it’s achievable that the timing chain has failed or is quickly to are unsuccessful.

Alternative and Repairs

For the reason that the timing chain is in these kinds of an inaccessible spot, the mechanic have to totally clear away the engine from its bay to get entry to it. Using the motor out is a significant and tough endeavor in and of by itself. Adhering to that, yet another prolonged disassembly is necessary to attain entry to the chains by themselves.

Three timing chains are bundled in the timing chain substitute package: a single for the oil pump, 1 for the camshaft, and 1 for the high-strain gasoline pump. You will also need the searching device kit to continue to keep the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized though you are functioning on them. These are the primary jobs that should be finished following eradicating the engine from the bay in order to swap the timing chains.

To start off, make sure that cylinders 1 and 4 are at top rated lifeless centre in buy to keep the stage for synchronizing the factors.

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

Eliminate the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a small, and loosen the 3 bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be simpler to take out the gasoline pump sprocket if the significant-stress gas pump is turned off.

Take away the flywheel from the crankshaft by eradicating the bolts that hold it in location.

Eliminate the starter motor’s bolts to acquire accessibility to the oil sump.

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

Take out the timing deal with by loosening the nuts that hold it in put. It will just take some prying and a several moderate taps with the hammer. You can now entry all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you might now eliminate the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Get rid of the oil pump’s chain as nicely.

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

Just after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 degrees and take out the superior-force gasoline pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Get off the belt and the sprockets as effectively.

The past product is your oil sprayer, which you may possibly remove for substitute if important.

Then, in reverse get, put in the substitution belts, making certain that all parts are in sync until the summary.


This timing chain situation is a design flaw in the engine, and the only system to solution it is to stay away from vehicles with this N47 motor or, if feasible, get rid of it in doing work purchase. For the reason that of the emission management tools put in it, these as the EGR and DPF, this motor also has a good deal of troubles.


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