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 used in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 sequence, as nicely as the X1 and X3 diesel styles.

The N47 motor series is inclined to early timing chain failure because of to intense timing chain dress in. The problem is indicated by a rattling sounds coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may necessitate motor alternative or a pricey repair. The dilemma impacts all purposes and energy variations of the engine created concerning March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously broken models, which involve the most considerable repairs, were created concerning the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It seems that a little variety of engines manufactured after the recall are obtaining problems.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this motor is sandwiched involving the motor and the transmission at the back of the engine. Its substitution is especially difficult for the reason that it is found in these an inaccessible area. In most conditions, pieces set up in this kind of inaccessible areas are intended to endure the daily life of the motor, but not in this predicament. The timing chain in the N47 can fall short everywhere from 40 to 100k miles, resulting in catastrophic engine damage as its factors get rid of synchronization.

Diagnosis – Signs of a Failing Timing Chain

The signs of a unsuccessful timing chain ordinarily look slowly as the chain results in being for a longer period and additional worn. As a final result, you’re unlikely to detect a sudden extraordinary symptom until the chain is close to to break totally. Rather, consider about how your motor vehicle is accomplishing right now and how it carried out several months in the past. Tiny troubles could counsel that the chain is about to are unsuccessful completely.

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

  • Rough idling: Get started your vehicle and wander absent. It is attainable that the timing chain is sporting out if it shakes or vibrates a lot more than standard. Of class, there are other problems that could end result in harsh idling, but the challenge is often really worth investigating simply because it tends to worsen around time.
  • Bizarre noises: You may possibly hear your N47 motor rattle, primarily when it is idling, but not only when it is idling. The issue could be that the timing chain is unfastened and rattling versus something else if the seem is persistent and tough. 
  • Metal shavings in the oil: Around time, the timing chain will use down. When it reaches the end of its practical existence, it may possibly emit metal shavings. If it does, it will close up in your engine oil, possibly leading to further more issues.  Having said that, any worn-out part of your car or truck can create steel shavings, so it is worth seeking into ahead of basically changing the chain.
  • Engine failures: If your BMW would not begin, the chai may well be ruined and not giving enough tension to start the engine. If the chain breaks when you are driving, it is attainable that the timing chain has damaged as very well. If this happens, the pistons could be broken, and the belt problem may possibly cause far more injury to your automobile.
  • Motor misfires: Your N47 motor may perhaps misfire before the chain has absolutely snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are linked by a chain. The chain may well bring about the vehicle to skip a equipment on both the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is overly stretched out. It will grow to be extra stressed as a outcome of this, and it will finally crack.
  • Look at motor gentle is on: Of system, the look at motor gentle could signal a huge assortment of issues have gone erroneous with your BMW. Even so, it’s doable that the timing chain has unsuccessful or is before long to fall short.

Replacement and Repairs

Mainly because the timing chain is in these kinds of an inaccessible locale, the mechanic should totally clear away the motor from its bay to get entry to it. Having the motor out is a enormous and challenging undertaking in and of alone. Subsequent that, one more prolonged disassembly is demanded to attain obtain to the chains by themselves.

A few timing chains are provided in the timing chain substitution kit: 1 for the oil pump, 1 for the camshaft, and 1 for the substantial-tension gas pump. You will also require the searching device kit to hold the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized when you are operating on them. These are the most important duties that should be accomplished following eradicating the engine from the bay in get to swap the timing chains.

To start out, make positive that cylinders 1 and 4 are at major lifeless heart in order to keep the issue for synchronizing the details.

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

Remove the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a minimal, and loosen the three bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be much easier to eliminate the gasoline pump sprocket if the higher-tension gasoline pump is turned off.

Take away the flywheel from the crankshaft by eliminating the bolts that hold it in put.

Take away the starter motor’s bolts to gain accessibility to the oil sump.

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

Remove the timing include by loosening the nuts that keep it in place. It will acquire some prying and a few mild taps with the hammer. You can now accessibility all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you may perhaps now clear away the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Eliminate the oil pump’s chain as properly.

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

Immediately after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 degrees and take out the high-stress gas pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Take off the belt and the sprockets as well.

The final item is your oil sprayer, which you may well get rid of for substitution if essential.

Then, in reverse purchase, put in the substitute belts, ensuring that all parts are in sync until the conclusion.


This timing chain issue is a style and design flaw in the motor, and the only strategy to solution it is to keep away from vehicles with this N47 engine or, if feasible, get rid of it in functioning buy. Simply because of the emission control gear place in it, these types of as the EGR and DPF, this engine also has a whole lot of issues.

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