N20 engine rattle

Here a slight audio video of the rattle noise,,,,you might hear it at the end of the audio video image Here’s a picture of inside the oil cap,,,,as you might be able to see is some metal flakes inside the oil,,,,,customer was complaining about a rattle noise heard during cold start,,,,,,on a 2014 328 N20 engine,,,,,I verified the rattle noise from the engine,,,,,so I removed the oil filter and noticed the metal flakes inside the oil cap,,,,,some other dealer just performed a oil service 3000miles ago,,,,,there was probably plenty of metal inside the oil filter and oil.

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29 Responses to N20 engine rattle

  1. kr4va says:

    ouch, nasty noise… re; filers, dealer was changing my oil until i took it over at 30k, pulled off the filter and washed it out– filter was 80% clogged with gritty carbon,,(large tablespoon of shit ) filter had never been changed im sure.


  2. oasis says:

    Is this normal? Is this just break-in metal flakes? What caused the rattle?


  3. oasis says:

    How could this have been prevented?


    • There is no way to stop this,,,,,when the N20 motors came out,,,,they had 2 problem,,,,rod bearing and timing chain rail,,,,we saw a lot of rod bearing going bad in bran new engines with less then 20k miles,,,,,so there is no way to stop this from happening


  4. a.a. says:

    has nothing to do with topic but I don’t know where to post….
    I forgot to thank you for setting me on the right track to removing side inner trunk cladding on my 7. Just got to it today and revealed my stereo amp. Thanks!


  5. The N20 is notorious for being noisy. Any hints on how to differentiate normal engine noise to bad one?

    On a cold start, mine sound like a diesel with a little metallic sound, stops after around 10 seconds.


    • That metallic sound for the first 10 seconds is normal,,,,you will know when there’s a difference in engine noise,,,,it will be this abnormal noise that just doesn’t sound right


      • F30ed says:

        >>will be this abnormal noise that just doesn’t sound right [bmwtechnician]
        When it starts we pretty much know it is rod bearing or timing chain or oil pump chain or some similar expensive thing is about to fail. What is you advise, what would yo do, if this happens on a car what has no warranty (>50k ml)?


      • I don’t know what you should due if your car is out of warranty and has a timing chain or rod bearing problem,,,,I don’t see that part of the business,,,,,I only see cars that are still under warranty coverage.,,,,,I get asked this question a lot about this problem,,,,it sucks ,,,,I wish I had a answer for everyone.


  6. ktan902 says:

    Hi Andreas, thanks for all the helpful info on your blog. I just bought a 2011 X3 with the N52 engine…and 2 months into ownership I am experiencing this noise 😦 Have you come across rod knock or rod bearing failure on the N52s?


  7. Learner says:

    Hi. the car (320i with N20 engine) is in the garage, and from cold there is a very loud noise coming from the turbo, I think it’s related to the linkage from turbo, is this normal or is there a fault here? What is the likely cause and solution to this turbo fault if it is a fault?


    • That’s normal operations during cold start.


      • Learner says:

        Thank you for responding appreciate it, the sound lasts about 30 seconds and then goes away. I think the vehicle engineer was even able to replicate the sound even with the engine off (by doing something physical to the relevant part), I was wondering could it be loose bolt inside the turbo causing that noise or is this normal ?


      • I would really have to hear the noise to make sure,,,,but all N20 rattle during first cold start,,,that’s a common thing,,,you said the noise goes away after 30 seconds,,,,that’s normal,,,they all rattled


  8. ryan says:

    hi, Lately I Have Been Hearing this rattle coming from the exhaust

    i checked the car in many places and no errors at all , engine is running perfect nothing is effected by this issue and you can hear it only when i’m revving and after driving it minimum 20 minutes so at cold start when i rev the engine i cant hear anything

    it’s very wired cause when i’m revving the engine after 20 minutes of driving you can hear it

    but if i wait 5 minutes the rattle goes away and on cold start everything is just perfect also when driving i never hear anything

    i will be so glad if you can help on this

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mark Kamner says:

    Is there a reason why newest n20’s are much quieter than older ones. My friend has a 14 428i and I have a 13 328i and they sound completely different. Both at 50k miles

    Thanks for your time


  10. Ntinos says:

    Hello and thank you for this the questions and especially answers provided. I was looking today to buy a F34 328i N20 (production Apr’2013 with 55k km) and the sound was indeed like a diesel car at the beginning and then went -nearly- silent.

    My question which is on potential oil leakage.

    The car was parked in a dealer’s shop for about 3 months and when he started the car for a quick test drive there was a lot of (white) smoke coming out from the exhaust. I asked and he told me that this is normal as after some months of inactivity there may be oil leakage which is evident immediately when you start the car. As I said, i took the car for a short drive and no smoke was coming out anymore but I am a bit puzzled….have you ever heard or seen this? Would you advise to take it through some specific tests in a BMW partner before committing?

    Thanks in advance for your time!


  11. James says:

    Is there a Service Bulletin or other document for the N20 X3 28i 2013 engine noise?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Serg says:

    Is the whine noise on this original video normal ? I feel like my 13 x3 is making a bit of a whine noise… the timing chain was replaced before I bought it it has the new white plastic piece and I have checked it under oil cap no slack it’s on there tight… I have not serviced the engine since I got the car idrive says 3000km… it’s also cold here but noticed it a lot more lately when I rev with a bit of a rattle too


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