N20 timing chain issue

ok I’m getting a lot of questions about the N20 timing chain noise and replacement,,,,here are 2 short audio clips,,,,you can here a high pitched whine in both videos. one video is at 3000rpms,,,,and the other is reving the engine up and down,,,I sent both videos to BMW to get approval on the timing chain repairs.image Here I removed the valve cover and inspected from the top of the engine for any visual problem,,,I don’t know if you can see it in the picture,,,,on top of the chain you can see shiney marks,,,that is an indication the chain is rubbing on something,,,,those marks are not normally there.image Here the old timing chain and guide reins,,,the guide rails were broken.image Here you can see where they broke,,,,the two rails would normally be snapped together.image Here the old  oil pump timing chain module,,,,this comes complete as you see it,,,,did not find anything wrong with this,,,but BMW wants us to replace it at the same time as the timing chain.image Here are the new timing chain guides and rails,,,the new ones are white in color and made of a better plastic we hope,,,,lol.image This is the new oil pump timing chain module complete just bolt in,,,,this job is not one of the best to do,,,,this was on a X3 so I had to deal with the front axles and front differential,,,,,this job only pays about 9.5 hours,,,so you pretty much have one day to complete the job to make any money.,,,I hope this helps some of you guys about the timing chain issues.

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580 Responses to N20 timing chain issue

  1. Mick Kassem says:

    Would would be an estimate of cost to take a look to see if the guide is damaged?

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    • The dealer would have to remove the valve cover,,,,,which is about 4 hours,,,,,then maybe they can get a borescope down there and see if any problems can be seen,,,,there not much room to see anything.

      Like

  2. Johnny Weaver says:

    How widespread is this problem? Is it just an eventuality?

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  3. Johnny Weaver says:

    I just want it fixed before it does any damage and it appears from what I’m reading the extended warranty will only cover the lucky few who have some kind of real issue that’s found prior to total failure. I’d love to know what that issue could be or if there’s a magic word to tell the SA that will get them digging and hopefully find something they can use to do the necessary repairs.

    What would it cost to pay for the replacement myself? At or about.

    Like

    • The main thing is the chain whine noise,,,,,I don’t know how much it would cost to repair,,,,I can tell you it pays 10 hours labor

      Like

    • alejandrozw says:

      Did you take it to have it checked? Im thinking of doing the same, the car is at 67k and would like to have it replaced or something before something happens. don’t mind paying a couple of hundred if I can get it fixed.

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      • Bill Z says:

        Please see my post above, seach for my name. Just a quick update, my dealer eventually changed the TC within 1 week, now I don’t hear abundant noise anymore. The dealer told me that if you don’t find any issue , they will charge me 199 or 99 for the inspection fee. However, I called BMW north america, reported noise issues(please see my post), somehow the dealer told me that they will move forward and fixed my car. Actually, I just brought my 2012 328i two month ago without knowing this noise issue. I hope that my case can help you make an decision.

        Thanks,

        Liked by 2 people

  4. alejandrozw says:

    Hello everyone

    So I was about to buy a 2013 X3 28i with 68k miles from a private party for what I believe its a nice price. Now that I read all of this issues I don’t know what to do. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Where should I take it for inspection so they can tell me if any of the problems mention are happening ?

    What should I expect to pay for inspection?

    is the 70k/7 years on a first come basis? so at 70k im out of luck?

    Thank you in advance.

    Like

    • I hate to tell you but I would stay away from that car,,,,Greta newer model if you can,,,,,if you decide to stay with that car inspection should cost you about $200 at a dealer,,,,that 7/70 doesn’t not apply to all vehicles and yes it is transferred to the next owner

      Liked by 1 person

      • alejandrozw says:

        Thanks for the quick response! Yeah I need to make a decision quick.

        Im just considering it because they are selling it to me for 13k

        What would you do?

        I checked on the link above with the las seven numbers of the VIN and apparently it does for this car, but its about to reach the 70k, or do I still have till the 7 years?

        Thanks again

        Like

  5. alejandrozw says:

    Trying tu upload a video to get opinion about the noise.

    Help! does it sound like I will be having the problem ?

    link to youtube:

    Thanks for the help, thank you a lot.

    Like

  6. Bjorn says:

    Hi peeps

    I’m in South Africa and I’ve had the same whining noise for over a year on my 2012 320i but was told “those are the normal operating sounds” or something like that when she went in for the last in-warranty service. I took her in this morning for her first out-of-warranty service and what do you know? I need a new timing chain, oil pump, etc.

    After reading your articles and all these comments, I’ve applied for BMW goodwill due to now knowing that this is a BMW fault. I will fight a bit, but should they not come to the party, sadly they’ve lost a customer for life. A real pity as I love almost everything about their cars – mine in particular. But let’s see what happens, I’m still hopeful.

    Thanks for the articles!

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bjorn says:

      A quick update. I went for the 50% of parts goodwill after much back and forth, but risked losing the goodwill due to an expiry date :-/

      Either way, it’s fixed now and no more whining, although I’ve got a rough idle now, which I’ll have to have sorted (not sure if they create these issues on purpose so I have to go back).

      All-in-all, just happy not to have to worry so much about critical failure all the time!

      Thanks again for your blog. Valuable info!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Franky says:

    They have given me a complete new engine in warranty. The problem of the wear on the chain and the oil pump is due to play on the lower camshaft.
    greetings Belgium

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Paul Reynolds says:

    Hi I have the same whine noise and also have metal in my oil filter and gray colour in my oil could this be the oil pump chain as the timing chain has been changed already many thanks paul. can the oil pump make the whine noise

    Like

    • Yes the oil pump can make the noise,,,,was the oil pump chain replaced at the same time as the timing chain,

      Like

      • Paul Reynolds says:

        I’ve been told it was but the whine noise is still present am taking the sump off today to see if the oils chain guides are white in colour as the timing chain ones are bright fingers crossed they did not do and that’s my problem thanks paul

        Like

  9. Liz says:

    Thank you for all of the information you have shared. It is very valuable. I am having same issue with no cooperation from dealer. I would be most appreciative if you could take a look at video and let me know your thoughts. Car has always been noisy and dealer always stated it is normal. It is worse than ever now and I believe it is also burning oil. My car (2013 X3 w/N20 engine) has almost 62,000 miles on it and I am concerned that something drastic will happen. Thank you!

    Like

    • Thanks for the video,,,,,yes that’s the timing chain noise,,,,is there another dealership you can try or is that the only one in your area?

      Like

      • Liz says:

        Thanks so much. There are other dealers. although it seems like a concerted effort by BMW to deny that there is an issue. I will try though. It seems like the timing chain is the whine noise from the posts I’ve read. What is the ticking noise? Thank you… your blog is the most helpful one that I have come across!!

        Like

      • The ticking noise is normal,,,,you are hearing the fuel injection and turbo during cold start,,,those noises should quiet down once the engine warms up.

        Like

  10. Sunny says:

    Hello, Could you please review my video as well to see if I could possibly have the timing chain issue? I have a 2012 528i with N20 motor.

    Link:

    Like

    • Thanks for the video,,,,yes that’s the timing chain whine

      Like

      • Sunny says:

        Any advice on how to approach the dealer on this issue? I dropped the car off and states I was hearing a ticking and whining noise coming from the engine area. They were very firm when stating there was no known issues regarding the whining noise and it sounded “normal” to the adviser. I am just worried as we are having a baby next month and this will be the primary vehicle. I do not want anything to happen while driving.

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      • Yes tell them there is a bulletin 11 03 17 about this problem and also on your DCS report there should be something about the timing chain warranty has been extended

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      • Sunny says:

        Thanks bmwtechnician!! Took my car in to the dealer based on the info you provided and the dealer took the motor apart to check the whining. They found some scorching inside the motor so they contacted BMW Headquater, they approve a brand new engine replacement at no cost!!! Gotta love that CPO warranty. I confirmed that the new motor has the new timing chain guides as well. BMW fan for life

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      • Glad to hear it

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  11. jmciver says:

    So I just had this repair done to my 2013 X3 w/N20 engine at 54k miles (I purchased the car as a CPO at 40k miles back in Dec 2016) – the engine exhibited the engine “whine” symptom noted previously for approx 3-4 months before I decided to look into the cause. My local dealership did the timing chain and oil pump fix under my CPO warranty. But my question is, have you seen any issues with these motors post timing chain/oil pump fix? Does it appear that the “fix” is actually the “fix”?

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  12. Steven says:

    If there is a timing chain issue where dealer charged $5600 less than a year ago should the oil pump chain and/or module have also been replaced as part of that repair??? It has failed again and they are saying the cause is the Oil Pump which was not replaced before and that it is not covered by the warranty from the previous repair….

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  13. Steven says:

    This is a 2013 X3…..The timing chain guide broke a year ago at 73,000 miles and everything was supposed to be fixed…..it cost 5600 at dealer in Mississippi. Now the drivetrain failure light is back on in and in protective mode and they are saying the oil pump is what failed this time. They are trying to decide how much is still covered under the previous repair. I am thinking that the oil pump should have been changed out during the original repair and that the oil pump failure was caused by the original failure a year ago….probably from metal shaving??? Also, the timing chain guide is still yellow…I thought the new one was supposed to be white….or is it stained from the oil???

    Like

    • The guide rail is stained,,,,the oil pump is not replaced during that repair unless we see damage from pieces stuck inside the oil pickup tube,,,,but still the call to replace it is up to BMW at that time if they want to replace oil pump or let it go.

      Like

  14. Steven says:

    Thanks for the reply! Also, from the parts list on the repair invoice I notice that everything in or around the timing chain unit has been replaced with the exception of the oil pump chain module and that is the part that failed! And there is no Timing Chain listed on the invoice even though they are saying the timing chain itself was in fact replaced during the repair…… then why is it not listed on the invoice? this was a non-warranty repair paid for by owner so why didn’t they charge for a timing chain? I do know that the timing chain had shiny places on it from looking through the oil cap opening….could it be that it was not replaced? An independent BMW mechanic looked at it and plugged his computer into it a month ago and told me the timing chain was stretched and that was why it was throwing the codes and that I needed to take it back to the dealer since the timing chain issue has been worked on a year ago. He stated that it did not look like the chain had been replaced. Also he could see where a bolt mount at the top of the guide had a crack in it. I think he put a camera in it to look. I think they are just going to blame the whole thing on the oil pump chain module since it was not replaced and isn’t covered by the repair warranty.

    Like

    • The timing chain pump module is suppose to be replace at the same time as the timing chain,,,,it sounds like the dealer did not perform the correct repair as per the bulletin from BMW

      Like

  15. Mick Kassem says:

    Is there a pattern that you have seen with cars having this problem? Was it less X1’s? More 2012 years vs newer cars? Probalby all depends on mileage and how the car is driven but just wondering if you have seen a pattern.

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  16. Steven says:

    Is the timing chain pump module the same as the oil pump chain module? That is the part the tech told me had failed. It had not been replaced when the timing chain guide broke. There was supposed to be a two-year unlimited mileage warranty for parts and labor for what was replaced. But if the oil pump chain module was supposed to have been included in the parts replaced and wasn’t then shouldn’t they still be responsible for it? They have consulted with BMW of North America to get a ruling on what they are responsible for. Is there any way I can look up the bulletin for repair when the chain guide breaks? I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help and I thank you very much. I bought this car two months ago knowing about this problem with X3’s but with the peace of mind that the timing chain issue had been resolved on this car. The previous owner gave me receipts showing it cost him nearly $5600 for the repair so I thought it was no longer an issue and I bought the BMW that I have been wanting for years. I drove it about a month and then the same problem again!

    Like

    • Bulletin 11 03 17 is the repair instructions and parts list for repair

      Like

    • concerned says:

      Steven, the extended limited warranty(ELW) does cover priority repair before the ELW was issued, so the previous can ask for BMWNA to fully reimburse the $5600. 🙂

      As far as the repair itself, SIB 11 03 17 does not list oil pump and oil chain as included parts, so it looks like your service department did the repair by the book.

      Like

  17. concerned says:

    So for those with timing chain failures, have the Auto-Stop-Start been running all the time?

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    • Yes,,,the auto start and stop has nothing to do with the timing chain failures,,,,we don’t have the same problem with the other engines and they also have auto start and stop

      Like

      • concerned says:

        Post 2014 F30 3-series were programmed with Auto-start-stop(ASS) disabled, right? I am curious if enabling ASS accelerates the degradation of the timing chain or not.

        Like

      • No it doesn’t effect the timing chain issue,,,,like I said we don’t have this problem on other engine.

        Like

  18. Steven says:

    Previous work was done at 73,000 mi so the ELW doesn’t cover it. According to SIB 11 03 17 it does appear that the oil pump chain module is supposed to be changed and that is the exact part that failed this time around. It is not listed on the invoice from previous work…..nor is the main timing chain listed in the parts list…. Seems to me if it isn’t written down it didn’t happen. Hard for me to believe if the timing chain itself was in fact replaced that it was not included on the list of parts on the invoice and the previous owner wasn’t charged for it.

    Like

    • If the timing chain wasn’t on the invoice then what the hell cost $5600

      Like

    • concerned says:

      My bad, SIB 11 03 17 does list part#11417605366, chain drive(oil pump chain + oil pump + sprocket). Is this the failing part# in your case? If repair is done per SIB 11 03 17, the chain drive

      The dealer can argue though that the repair@73k miles was not per SIB 11 03 17, hence the chain drive was not replaced.

      Is there a screenshot of the invoice(with key info redacted)? As Andreas said, what was fixed for $5600?!?

      Like

  19. Steven says:

    -Camshaft Timing Chain Guide Broken-
    68.00 gasket set, cylinde
    477.00 adjustment unit, in
    477.00 adjustment unit, ou
    160.00 Vanos central valve
    100.00 Chain tensioner and
    68.00 slide rail
    395.12 Vibration Damper
    40.00 Ribbed V-Belt
    8.00 Gasket ring
    20.00 Gasket flange
    25.00 profile gasket
    15.56 oil filter
    A Few Other Small items gas treatment, winshield wash, Ect ect.
    2292.92 Total Parts
    2860.00 Labor
    360.71 Tax
    25.00 Misc chg
    5538.63 TOTAL INVOICE
    This is EVERYTHING listed on the invoice other than very minor things. They say the timing chain was replaced…..but why isn’t it on the invoice?? also, why wasn’t the timing chain pump module changed out? The timing chain pump module is the part that has now failed.

    Like

  20. Steven says:

    so shouldn’t the timing chain and the TC pump module have been included also?

    Like

  21. Jesse says:

    What about the small little pieces of plastic that broke off? Did you have to fish that out or just leave it in. If they are left!!????????

    Like

  22. Steven says:

    Haven’t heard anything in over a week so I called the dealership yesterday. They said BMWNA had been going back and forth with it but they should give me an answer Monday as to how much of the previous repair would be covered and how much I would be responsible for. Any thoughts on how it might go?

    Like

  23. Steven says:

    The dealer that is holding it now is not the same dealer that did the work a year ago.

    Like

  24. Steven says:

    The tech here told me a week ago that they were on my side and were pulling for me. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed.

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  25. Steven says:

    They called today and said it wasn’t covered because the pump chain module was not replaced on the original repair and said the module was not supposed to be replaced for that repair unless it was obviously broken. This even though the module fails very very frequently…..unbelievable! ! !
    The entire repair is on me, LOL!!!!

    Like

  26. Liz says:

    I have an update on my vehicle and some follow up questions:

    I bought my 2013 X3 into dealer for timing chain (shared video above). Have had repeated and lengthy issues with car including hesitation on acceleration/deceleration and blowing smoke from tailpipe. Turbo Oil feed line was replaced in 2016 (after being brought in a number of times over a long period for same issue which they always stated that they could find nothing wrong) as it was deemed defective by dealer and they stated that it was responsible for issue with smoke. Car is still blowing smoke today and I am concerned that damage was done from longstanding issue with oil line/turbo charger.

    Dealer just called and stated that they replaced timing chain. They did not address other two items (Turbo Oil Feed Line and Pressure Switch) which are covered repairs. Additionally, dealer informed me that there is an issue with the Waste Gate Pin which is attached to Turbo unit. He stated that it is a one piece (turbo charger and waste gate pin) unit that needs to be replaced and is not covered by warrantee. What is he referring to and is this all part of the same issue that could have been caused by their delay in addressing issue all along?

    Thank you for your assistance and sharing your expertise!

    Like

    • My first question does the car still have BMW warranty or CPO warranty,,,,if the car still has BMW warranty or CPO warranty then the turbo should be covered no questions asked,,,,now if it has no warranty then the turbo is not covered.

      Like

    • concerned says:

      Liz, is your car in a PZEV state, and is your engine N26? If the answers are yes to both questions, then your turbo will be covered by BMWNA under emission warranty until 150000 miles or 15 years. Do check with your dealer.

      Like

  27. Mick Kassem says:

    This is off topic a bit but sort of applies. In Western NC, Toyota dealers are offering lifetime warranties on drive trail if maintenance is followed. Hyundai and Kia offer 100,000 mile ten year warranties on their drivetrains. BMW has apparently installed a part that was not up to spec or perhaps because of BMW’s poor design (I do not know) and they offer a 7 year warranty. Why did they pick 7 years? Is it because their calculations show on average the part will deteriorate at a rate that would happen for most drivers (some average miles per year) in something past 7 years? This really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I change the oil in my car once a year (low mileage) and drive it easy so most likely will not have the problem but still for the replacement, I have started to look at other brands.

    Like

    • Yes you are correct it’s some of kind of formula BMW came up with to extend it to 7 years,,,,,sorry for the problem with your car,,,,,I understand I have 2 Toyotas at home with no problems.

      Like

      • Mick Kassem says:

        I have not had the problem but my point was that BMW should take much better care of their customers. I really feel sorry for those that have to go thorough this with the Dealer and BMW. It has got to be a hassle that an owner of a BMW should not have to tolerate.

        Like

      • Johnny Weaver says:

        I agree that BMW owners shouldn’t have to stress over a potential catastrophic failure. I’m almost to 70k. Still owe on the car. I bought it used 2 yrs ago. If this thing goes, it’ll cost more to repair than the car is worth. It just makes me sick. I’m not having issues yet. My dealer is no help. I asked what to look or listen for and they said a “performance issue “. I don’t hear a whine or high pitched noise. It all sounds the same to me. What can I say to the SA to get them to replace this? Can I tell them I’m having a “performance issue” and if so, what exactly should I describe to them that would convince them it’s the timing chain? Lag? Hesitation? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I’m not able to enjoy this car and I don’t want to trade it. I looked high and low for a 328 m sport and I found one in all black with low miles and one owner. Point being I love this car and want to keep it. Please let me know what I could tell them the car is doing that would get their attention.

        Like

      • You can tell them you have loss of power, also noticed a timing chain rattle during start up,,,,,and a whine noise sometimes coming from the engine while reving the engine,,,,I hope this helps

        Like

      • Johnny Weaver says:

        Thank you! That helps tremendously. One final question. When you say power loss, does that mean an over all and general loss of power or specifically when you are in hard acceleration? Lag or hesitation or overall not as punchy? Thanks again. I’ll take it to them today and let you know how it goes.

        Like

      • Yes loss of power all over during acceleration

        Like

      • I agree it sucks for the customer

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    • You would have to ask the Toyota dealer what type of warranty comes with the car

      Like

    • Mick Kassem says:

      You would have to call both dealers. My cousins both bought Toyota’s here in Asheville and both live out of state. They have their oil changed according to the recommended schedule and are still covered by the warranty the dealer was offering.

      Like

  28. Dimitri says:

    Have you seen this issue much with 2015 models? I’m going to be purchasing a CPO 328i in the next few weeks; running VIN numbers, most of these 2015 models were actually produced in 2014. Also, I now some 3 series cars are made in South Africa. Do you know if those are any more reliable? From what I’m reading, the South Africa factory regularly gets high marks, better than the German factories at times even.

    Like

  29. Ned Monaghan says:

    Hi Andreas,
    I know that BMW improved the chain guide material to fix the chain/ guide problem but beyond that do you know if the sprocket and chain design were changed too and in what way.
    Thanks, Ned, 2013 328i

    Like

    • I don’t know about the sprocket ,,,I would think its the same sprocket,,,there wasn’t a problem with the sprocket,,,BMW is just replacing it with the updated chain and rails as a precaution

      Like

  30. Steven says:

    BMW dealer service dept did a 5,500. repair for a broken timing chain guide on my x-3 one year ago and was supposed to have a 2-yr unlimited miles warranty on the repair. It failed again one year later. We found that a couple of parts recommended in a previous service bulletin had NOT been replaced during this repair work…..they were the timing chain itself and the chain pump module because of it’s very high failure rate. The pump module now has failed failed so since it wasn’t one of the parts they had replaced during the original repair it wasn’t under warranty!! Even though it had been a part that was recommended to be replaced under a previous service bulletin they left it alone….. Service manager George stated, “well we must have done something right, it lasted 16,000 miles”! I asked if he thought 16,000 miles was good for one of their repairs and he hung up on me. A dealership in Arkansas is fixing it for me at a reduced price because they know it was a shoddy repair job in Meridian….they are even putting in a new timing chain for free because George failed to replace it during the first repair. George found a million reasons the pump module could have failed besides oil starvation from screen/pickup tube being clogged with plastic and/or metal from broken guide rail. This part AND the timing chain itself should have been replaced during the original repair a year ago. He now admits that the timing chain was not replaced during the repair as they had previously tried to make me believe. I will be talking to BMW of North America about this…..it will not be forgotten.

    Like

  31. Steven says:

    To say that I am pissed off and disappointed in BMW is an understatement. Seriously, is a BMW only good for around 75,000 miles before serious and expensive problems are to be expected? Hell, I drove 2 Honda CRV’s over 250,000 miles and one of them has 330,000 miles right now with NO problem whatsoever except a starter which my son replaced himself in 45 minutes. What is this German Engineering that I keep hearing about? They need to take lessons from the Japanese and start building cars that are not engineered to fail…..How hard can it be to build an engine that will last??? A Ford Fiesta has a better track record…..just sayin’

    Like

  32. Mick Kassem says:

    If the wear on the plastic part is caused by wear on the chain or sprocket, would you think if a care is driven “gently” and has the oil changed yearly (less than 5000 miles) and trips of about 15 miles one way, that the wear should be minimal? I take my car in for an oil change in a week or so and will ask them for the filter to dis-assemble. I don’t have the whine but the car has always sounded like a diesel when first started up in our garage.

    Like

  33. cormac says:

    What do you think about having no timing whine but having a small amount of very very fine shiny metal filings in the bottom of the sump? No metal can be seen in the filter or filter area. Could this be the metal from the chain rubbing against something, or the sprocket or something? Is it harming the engine as I delay the timing replacement for a month or two?
    The chain does look shiny when I look into the oil filler cap- N20 on 47000miles. Thanks

    Like

  34. Ryan says:

    I have a 2013 that we bought used with 30k. We are now at 47k, and almost overnight we went from no noise to a noisey chain and the low oil pressure indicator turning on. The car was shut off and immediately towed to dealer. Tear down was authorized, and there are no initial indicators of the chain wear.
    We have now had to authorize the oil pan being removed. So far we are at $1,000 in teardown with no diagnosis as to why the engine is making the noise or why the indicator came on.
    They said it fits the symptoms for the warranty extension, but nothing appears wrong. I’ll update again when we receive more information.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ryan says:

      The oil pump has failed. Because the timing chains do not show wear and because the guides are intact, BMW will not cover the repair. My 47k car now needs an $11,000 motor.
      I have changed the oil on this car at 5,000 mile intervals, so I know it’s not lack of service that has caused this failure.

      Like

  35. Ryan says:

    Good news. Because we can show regular maintenance and that it is sort of related ( not the primary cause if failure) to the warranty extension, the dealership and BMW are going to do a Goodwill assistance. Basically they are going to cover 85% if the repair, leaving us with. $1300 charge. I really can appreciate the participation that is being put forth, but at the same point “ANY” 47,000 mile car should not need a new motor.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Brennan Burnell says:

    Is there any info on warranty yet?

    Like

  37. Johnny Weaver says:

    Quick update. Took mine in with a few miles left on the extended warranty, and BMW approved the repairs. Apparently mine fit the sound profile. I’m super relieved. Thanks to this thread I was able to get it in and avoid a disaster. Thanks to all and I’m still hopeful for a full recall. My advice, stay on your dealer and complain to BMW USA on Twitter or wherever they’ll listen. I tweeted and they direct messaged me the next day asking for my VIN and phone number. Don’t know if that had anything to do with my outcome but ya never know.

    Like

  38. alex says:

    I am thinking of buying a 420i n20, production date nov 2014 which is currently at 25000 miles. Should i be worried about the timing chain issues based on the production date ?

    Like

  39. Steven says:

    Update: The Little Rock dealership and BMW-NA have agreed to replace the entire engine in my 2013 X3. We will still have to pay the 5,400. which was the original estimate to fix….sounds like a good deal to me and I am relieved. Maybe this car will go another 90,000 miles!

    Like

  40. danielk says:

    I have a BMW 320i F30 built in april 2013. What do you think of this whining noise?
    Is the chain starting to go bad or is it normal?

    Like

    • That’s the start of the timing chain whine noise

      Like

      • danielk says:

        Thx for your reply. I made a second video when the engine is cold. When cold there is a different whining noise that goes almost away when the engine is warm. Is this also the timing chain?

        Like

      • Yes that’s also part of the timing chain whine

        Like

      • danielk says:

        I went to the BMW dealer in the Netherlands. They changed the timing chain and oil pump chain under warranty. The whining noise you hear in first video (warm engine) is gone.

        The noise you hear in de second movie with cold engine is still there but it doesn’t sound that loud anymore. I saw another video with a 328i which sounds exactly the same at 1:15 min: https://youtu.be/6s-gSuN5eFQ

        I wondering where this noise is coming from.

        Like

      • Hi ,,,I missed you guys in the World Cup ,,,,,,thanks for the video,,,the noise in the beginning is normal,,,,,but at the end of the video the whine noise gets loader,,,,I don’t know where that whine is coming from,,,,,I have never heard that noise get loader after a minute of idling.,,,,sorry I’m no help on this.

        Like

      • danielk says:

        yea to bad we aren’t in the world cup 😉

        After some research i’m quite sure the noise is coming from the oil pump and not the chains, alternator or A/C. I went under the car and put my ear on the oilsump near the flywheel and I can clearly hear the whining noise.

        Like

      • Did they replace the oil pump chain when they replaced the timing chain

        Like

      • danielk says:

        Yes they say they did.
        Found this: http://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1349346
        Read the last post.

        And this guy has the same issue:
        http://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1449980

        The sound is really coming from the back of the engine underneath.

        Like

      • This could be your problem,,,,when BMW first was having this problem they did not know where it was coming from,,,,so what BMW did was they had us replace the timing chain,oil pump chain and the oil pump because they did not know where the noise was coming from,,,,over time they found out the whine noise was coming from the timing chain and oil pump chain so they had us stop putting oil pumps in the car because it was to expensive,,,now you have one of those cars which the oil pump is also making noise.

        Like

      • danielk says:

        Today i went to the BMW dealer and let the car cool down a few hours so they could catch the noise.

        Togheter we listened to the noise and they confirmed it is the oil pump. But it’s a normal noise they said. So don’t have to worry about this anymore 😉

        Someone said he changed the oil pump for this but the noise came back after a few thousand miles.

        Like

  41. CAS0625 says:

    same issues I believe I have.

    Isn’t there any lawsuit against BMW to recognize this as a major flaw in design and to force them to do a recall?

    Like

    • BMW extended the timing chain to 7/70 only on certain years and models

      Like

      • liz says:

        Thank you for graciously sharing all of your insight into some of these issues which seem to be plaguing certain vehicles. The newest round from my dealer is possibly the most frustrating to date. After lengthy and repeated issues with oil from tailpipe (smoke and visible residue) along with other related issues, They are stating that the issue is due to the “Wastegate rod is not attached to the turbo”. They stated that the waste gate rod is bad (which is not covered by warrantee according to them) and it cannot be replaced without replacing the entire turbocharger as it is a one piece unit.
        This makes no sense whatsoever as the turbocharger is warranted for 150,000 miles. Help???
        Thank you!

        Like

      • The wastegate rod comes with a new wastegate,,,,this doesn’t make any sense.

        Like

  42. BMW_N20 says:

    At first I thought mine was ok, but at the 16s mark I hear a whine. Same thing?

    Also, I’ve had a strange whistling sound (almost like air escaping? but it could be something else) right before the auto stop kicks in and the engine goes off. When the engine is off, the sound is gone, and also not apparent when it starts again. It occurs just a few secs before the car auto-stops and never upon normal idling. If I disable auto stop/start it never happens. Could this be timing chain problems as well? I was told by my BMW that to fix it it would be a timing chain etc replacement, but I know for a fact that they didn’t actually check, and just recommended that as a “fix-all” solution.

    Like

    • Thanks for the video,,,,it’s hard to tell,,,,it does sound like the timing chain whine or the turbo whine,,,, I can’t tell which one is making the noise,,,,I would have it checked out

      Like

      • BMW_N20 says:

        Hmm okay thanks. I did get a second opinion from a very highly regarded German car specialist in my area (not from BMW directly though) Who said more or less the same thing, but suggested not worrying too much about it now. If I notice any signs of it getting worse, he said to bring it in again and they’d open the engine up and replace the necessary parts.

        Like

  43. concerned says:

    Hi Andreas, are most of the failing N20/N26 on X3, so there are 528i and 328i/320i as well?

    Like

  44. cormac says:

    Interesting question is it biased more to 4 wheel drive failing faster and more often?

    Like

  45. Jon says:

    I’m looking at a 2014 428i XDrive with 55k miles on it. Would this engine have the TC design issue?

    Like

  46. Jared says:

    I have a 2015 328I Xdrive GT with 38k miles… Should I take this in to get looked at? I took my oil cap off and saw some wear on the chain. Not sure if I hear whining though. How much would this be to replace proactively?

    Like

  47. Jared says:

    I just bought a CPO 2015 328i GT XDrive with 38k miles on the clock and I believe the build date is 6/2014. Should I be worried? How much is it to have this done just to not worry about it?

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Gerard Antes says:

    The N20 regulated oil pressure system just sucks. The oilpump variable output construction and pressure valve have added to the failing of these engines. Together with the extended oil replacement requirements and the cheap chain and guide quality is a guaranty for engine failure. The new engines wil never last as the older ones emmisions and performance requirements have been chosen instead of durability.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. BobL says:

    bmwtech – thanks for your responses. I just purchased a 2015 528i with 40k miles from a BMW dealer. Does the 2015 528i N20 have this problem?

    Like

  50. willyPSA says:

    bmwtech thank you for the valuable information on timing chain and all. I own a 320i f30 spotline 2012 model. Car broke down couple of days ago and it wouldn’t start. b4 breaking down it showed the drive train malfunction warning sign and this was followed by the oil pressure low sign stop engine and call BMW. The local Mechanic indicated that the timing guides broke causing the chain to fail. so a complete timing kit is needed to get the car running. I need to understand 3 things . 1. how much is the cost of a complete timing kit in SA and what parts forms the kit.
    2. since the problem was coused by low oil pressure. does the oil pump also need to be changed/repaired and finally.
    3. What other possible demages can be caused to the engine by timing chain failure should one look for??? I am just hoping I don’t need a new engine..

    Thank you and looking forward to your response

    Like

    • Ok I don’t know the cost of the repair but labor should cost about 10 to 11 hours ,,,,the job should just take about 2 days,,,,now should the oil pump be replaced that is a hard question,,,,when they remove the oil pan they can see if the oil pump is clogged with any timing chain pieces and that could cause your problem.,,,you also have to think how much money do you want to spend on this older car,,,is the repair worth it.

      Like

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