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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1,051 Responses to N20 timing chain issue

  1. Dave W. says:

    Thank you for all of the great info. I recently purchased a 5/2012 X3 XDrive 28i 2013 and my daughter drove it to school. Now I’m trying to figure out if the guides and chain have already been replaced by her pictures. Carfax is the only history I have and it does not specifically state that the job was done. Would it be common for warranty work to be done and not doc umented? Do the pictures look correct, and does the chain look like it has stress to you? She does not hear the sound during engine revs. Thanks, Dave (Nervous Dad)





    • Thanks for the picture,,,any warranty work done by the dealer is documented,,,what you need to do is go to the dealership and have them do a key read on your car and get a print out of what repairs were done by the dealership.,,,from the pictures it’s hard to say what condition the timing chain is in.,,,you could have the dealership performed a timing chain test for piece of mind.


  2. Lume says:

    Any indication on this one?

    Just purchased from a BMW dealer @70k miles. They offer a 100% 60 day warranty. Should I try and have them replace it? Thank you.


  3. The whine is all the time,,,the whine will change while raving the engine,,,it’s also there while driving,,,,the noise is easier to hear while standing in front of the car


  4. Teresa says:

    Im thinking about buying a bmwx3 28i 2016 or 17 has there been any reports of timing chain breaking


  5. concerned says:

    Hi Andreas, I got the class action settlement letter from BMWNA, do u know much about the cost of repairing N20/N26 timing chain at dealer? Since the letter says owner has to pay a % of the repair cost, so I am wondering if BMWNA has a suggested price(like MSRP?) for this specific repair.


  6. fkosen says:

    hello i have a question, after taking the valve cover off on my n20 engine i found out that intake cam is about 90 degrees my inspection camera shows that no markings on the piston
    has anyone gotten lucky ? can i change the chain and be back to running engine?


  7. Shelia says:

    Just received a Class-Action Notice against BMW regarding the below defects which could lead to sudden engine failure, model years 2012-2015 (my car 320i 2013): 1. Failed timing chain module 2. Failed oil pump drive chain module 3. And or failed engine due to the failure of 1 & 2 above According to the Notice, I MAY BE entitled to reimbursement for past expenses provided under the settlement. If BMW knew of the defects, why wasn’t a re-call issued? Now I have to spend my $ dollars and hope I will be reimbursed once the judge makes a final decision. If the defects aren’t fixed I’m putting my life in “Jeopardy” by continuing to drive this defected vehicle. This is so Totally Unacceptable! And to top it off, there was excessive smoke coming from my exhaust after sitting overnight. I was told the turbo oil feed line had to be replaced. Did some research online and found many BMW owners with this same problem, this too should have been a re-call issue. Does the Oil Feed line have anything to do with the failed oil pump drive defect?


    • The turbo oil feed line was a recall on certain models and years which I don’t understand,,,and no the turbo oil feed line doesn’t have anything to do with the oil pump or timing chain


    • Scott Gladden says:

      I found this post after searching a little after my dealer/service department told me my 2013 BMW 328i cannot be fixed without a large motor inspection. It shut off on me while driving and would never crank back. It turned over just fine, but would never start. After being in the shop for over a week, that’s the call I got today. This is a huge cost and the service manager said it may not be even worth fixing. The car is immaculate but does have 170k miles on it. I was first told it was probably the STP oil filter used in the last oil change at Firestone since it wasn’t OEM. That seemed quite weird to me. Then this. Im at a loss frankly. I sure hope this turns out to be good for everyone.



  8. I recently bought a 428i convertible. I had the dealer check the timing chain and they say there is no slack and everything looks good. What should I do, my 7/70 warranty expires in 2 months? I do not currently have a whine, but the guides are definitely the orange/brown color, so I assume are the most likely to fail.


  9. John Duffett says:

    Is the F25 N55 engine effected by the timing chain issue?


  10. Shelia says:

    Took my car into the dealer no noise heard from the timing chain, some slack found when picking up chain through oil fill, what the hell does that mean?


  11. Shelia says:

    2013. I was told the same thing by Car Shield. My dealer has to break the car down to allow Car Shield to inspect the issue. Thinking seriously about trading this car!


  12. Frank Glover says:

    Hi, I have a 2014 328i xdrive, build date is 09/2013, with 55k, my question is about the timing chain issue, I don’t hear any noise but am worried about it going after the 7/70 expires, which is April 2021, what should I do??


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