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


From 2007 to around 2014, the BMW N47 was an inline 4-cylinder diesel engine that was utilised in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 sequence, as perfectly as the X1 and X3 diesel types.

The N47 engine collection is vulnerable to early timing chain failure because of to extreme timing chain put on. The circumstance is indicated by a rattling noise coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may necessitate motor substitution or a costly maintenance. The challenge influences all purposes and electricity variations of the engine manufactured among March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously ruined models, which require the most significant repairs, ended up made involving the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It seems that a little number of engines built right after the remember are possessing difficulties.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this engine is sandwiched involving the engine and the transmission at the again of the motor. Its substitute is in particular complicated due to the fact it is located in this kind of an inaccessible locale. In most situations, areas put in in these kinds of inaccessible destinations are meant to survive the lifetime 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 destruction as its components shed synchronization.

Diagnosis – Indications of a Failing Timing Chain

The symptoms of a failed timing chain usually seem little by little as the chain will become lengthier and a lot more worn. As a end result, you’re not likely to detect a sudden remarkable symptom until the chain is near to break wholly. Alternatively, imagine about how your auto is undertaking now and how it performed numerous months ago. Little difficulties could suggest that the chain is about to are unsuccessful fully.

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

  • Rough idling: Get started your auto and walk away. It’s doable that the timing chain is donning out if it shakes or vibrates extra than normal. Of study course, there are other challenges that could consequence in harsh idling, but the issue is normally well worth investigating for the reason that it tends to worsen around time.
  • Bizarre noises: You might hear your N47 motor rattle, especially when it is idling, but not only when it is idling. The problem could be that the timing chain is unfastened and rattling from anything at all else if the audio is persistent and rough. 
  • Metallic shavings in the oil: In excess of time, the timing chain will put on down. When it reaches the finish of its beneficial lifestyle, it may possibly emit metal shavings. If it does, it will close up in your motor oil, most likely causing further more troubles.  However, any worn-out portion of your car can produce metal shavings, so it’s really worth seeking into before simply changing the chain.
  • Engine failures: If your BMW would not get started, the chai might be weakened and not providing enough strain to start out the engine. If the chain breaks even though you are driving, it is attainable that the timing chain has damaged as nicely. If this takes place, the pistons may well be damaged, and the belt challenge might lead to additional harm to your car or truck.
  • Engine misfires: Your N47 motor might misfire just before the chain has fully snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are joined by a chain. The chain could result in the vehicle to skip a equipment on both the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is extremely stretched out. It will become far more pressured as a consequence of this, and it will at some point break.
  • Check motor gentle is on: Of class, the check engine gentle could signal a large wide variety of issues have gone incorrect with your BMW. Nonetheless, it is probable that the timing chain has failed or is soon to fail.

Alternative and Repairs

Because the timing chain is in these types of an inaccessible location, the mechanic will have to entirely remove the engine from its bay to gain access to it. Taking the engine out is a massive and tough endeavor in and of itself. Next that, a different lengthy disassembly is essential to get access to the chains themselves.

A few timing chains are involved in the timing chain substitution kit: a single for the oil pump, a single for the camshaft, and a single for the superior-tension fuel pump. You’ll also have to have the wanting device package to retain the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized when you are doing work on them. These are the most important jobs that ought to be done just after eliminating the engine from the bay in get to change the timing chains.

To commence, make guaranteed that cylinders 1 and 4 are at top rated lifeless middle in get to keep the stage for synchronizing the factors.

With the equipment you have, lock your crank shafts at this spot.

Take out the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a little, and loosen the a few bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be less complicated to clear away the fuel pump sprocket if the substantial-force fuel pump is turned off.

Clear away the flywheel from the crankshaft by taking away the bolts that maintain it in position.

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

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

Clear away the timing include by loosening the nuts that hold it in place. It will acquire some prying and a few gentle taps with the hammer. You can now entry all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you might now remove the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Take away the oil pump’s chain as perfectly.

Equally, remove the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as very well as the sprocket and belt.

Following TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 degrees and get rid of the higher-pressure fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Consider off the belt and the sprockets as very well.

The last product is your oil sprayer, which you may perhaps take away for substitute if required.

Then, in reverse order, set up the alternative belts, making sure that all elements are in sync until the summary.


This timing chain situation is a style and design flaw in the motor, and the only system to cure it is to stay clear of autos with this N47 engine or, if possible, get rid of it in operating purchase. Simply because of the emission manage tools set in it, these types of as the EGR and DPF, this engine also has a large amount of challenges.