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

The N47 motor series is susceptible to early timing chain failure thanks to significant timing chain don. The problem is indicated by a rattling sound coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may possibly necessitate engine replacement or a expensive repair. The problem affects all apps and electrical power versions of the engine manufactured amongst March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously destroyed units, which require the most considerable repairs, have been produced among the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It seems that a small selection of engines manufactured following the remember are acquiring issues.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this engine is sandwiched concerning the engine and the transmission at the back again of the motor. Its replacement is specially hard due to the fact it is located in such an inaccessible location. In most instances, parts set up in such inaccessible spots are intended to survive the existence of the engine, but not in this problem. The timing chain in the N47 can fail wherever from 40 to 100k miles, creating catastrophic motor harm as its elements reduce synchronization.

Prognosis – Signs or symptoms of a Failing Timing Chain

The signs and symptoms of a failed timing chain generally surface slowly as the chain becomes lengthier and extra worn. As a outcome, you are not likely to detect a sudden dramatic symptom till the chain is in close proximity to to split completely. Alternatively, feel about how your car or truck is executing currently and how it done several months in the past. Compact challenges could propose that the chain is about to fail completely.

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

  • Tough idling: Start out your vehicle and walk away. It is attainable that the timing chain is donning out if it shakes or vibrates far more than normal. Of study course, there are other problems that could consequence in severe idling, but the problem is constantly worthy of investigating since it tends to worsen more than time.
  • Strange noises: You may hear your N47 engine rattle, primarily when it’s idling, but not only when it’s idling. The difficulty could be that the timing chain is free and rattling against anything else if the sound is persistent and rough. 
  • Metallic shavings in the oil: Above time, the timing chain will wear down. When it reaches the stop of its valuable lifetime, it may possibly emit metallic shavings. If it does, it will stop up in your engine oil, maybe causing even further challenges.  However, any worn-out part of your automobile can make metal shavings, so it is truly worth hunting into in advance of just replacing the chain.
  • Motor failures: If your BMW would not commence, the chai might be ruined and not supplying more than enough strain to start off the motor. If the chain breaks when you are driving, it is probable that the timing chain has broken as well. If this occurs, the pistons could be broken, and the belt problem could induce much more damage to your motor vehicle.
  • Engine misfires: Your N47 motor may well misfire ahead of the chain has entirely snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are joined by a chain. The chain may well cause the auto to skip a gear on either the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is extremely stretched out. It will turn into additional pressured as a final result of this, and it will eventually split.
  • Look at motor mild is on: Of program, the look at engine mild could signal a huge wide variety of things have gone wrong with your BMW. However, it’s attainable that the timing chain has failed or is shortly to fall short.

Replacement and Repairs

Because the timing chain is in such an inaccessible spot, the mechanic will have to thoroughly clear away the motor from its bay to gain accessibility to it. Getting the engine out is a huge and difficult enterprise in and of alone. Next that, another prolonged disassembly is required to gain obtain to the chains by themselves.

Three timing chains are provided in the timing chain alternative package: a person for the oil pump, 1 for the camshaft, and 1 for the substantial-pressure gasoline pump. You are going to also need to have the hunting instrument kit to maintain the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized although you’re doing the job on them. These are the major duties that will have to be completed following removing the motor from the bay in order to replace the timing chains.

To get started, make positive that cylinders 1 and 4 are at prime lifeless center in order to retain the point for synchronizing the details.

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

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

It will be much easier to get rid of the gasoline pump sprocket if the substantial-stress gasoline pump is turned off.

Clear away the flywheel from the crankshaft by removing the bolts that hold it in put.

Remove the starter motor’s bolts to gain entry to the oil sump.

By undoing the vital bolts, you can get rid of the oil sump.

Clear away the timing deal with by loosening the nuts that hold it in location. It will take some prying and a number of gentle faucets 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. Clear away the oil pump’s chain as nicely.

Likewise, take out the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as effectively as the sprocket and belt.

After TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 degrees and clear away the superior-pressure fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Choose off the belt and the sprockets as very well.

The last item is your oil sprayer, which you could take away for substitution if necessary.

Then, in reverse order, put in the substitution belts, ensuring that all elements are in sync until the conclusion.


This timing chain concern is a structure flaw in the engine, and the only technique to solution it is to keep away from autos with this N47 motor or, if attainable, get rid of it in doing work purchase. Since of the emission control devices set in it, this kind of as the EGR and DPF, this engine also has a large amount of troubles.


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