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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1,236 Responses to N20 timing chain issue

  1. Remo says:

    2015 328i XDrive N26 just turned 90,000 miles
    Wondering if I should hold out for just a little bit longer for the Recall?
    Car is in phenomenal shape inside and out. All service done by BMW. No timing chain noise (yet)
    Wait it out? Get rid of it before 100K?
    Help

    Like

    • It hard to say on what to do,,,BMW hasn’t said anything about the timing chain recall,,,,they told us to get ready in June for the recall,,,,now June has come and gone and still no news

      Like

  2. Charlie says:

    Hello – Today is the last day of June. Do you have any updates? Do you have confirmation that it is really going to happen as an actual recall? Just looking for a little assurance as my 2013 is up there in miles and I’m concerned. Thanks! I appreciate it.

    Like

    • That’s funny we asked about it today at the meeting and they said there has been no up dates on the timing chain recall

      Like

    • John Nally says:

      Is it safe to assume the recall is no longer happening and I can start driving my car?

      Like

      • Yes,,,it looks like that,,,we brought up this subject at a meeting last week and BMW didn’t respond to the timing chain recall,,,,sorry

        Like

      • Simon says:

        Why would it happen at this point? They already settled their losses and made it hard to collect repair cost. BMW really ruined their reputation fighting it in the first place instead of doing the right thing and just making a recall or covering it out right. I remember the bullet proof reputation of their engine and transmissions growing Jo young.
        Some vendor that supplied BMW with those timing chain plastic rails really screwed BMW, the specs must have not matched what was delivered, which is why they break inside the engine in random ones, mine went up to 161,000 before it blew up. I ended replacing the engine with a 0 mileage new upgraded one at 11k cost. In this market it made financial sense if I am keeping the car and using it.

        Like

      • Viswanath Urala says:

        When is the refunds on already completed repairs coming in?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know,,,,I haven’t heard anything about a settlement

        Like

      • arro1050 says:

        I am also waiting on my settlement money for completed repairs. I called the Class Counsel law firm, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, last week and spoke to a staff person in their office by the name of Liz who is handling questions regarding the class action settlement claims. Phone number of their law office in Montvale, NJ is 866-896-0935. Liz told me that payments for claims will begin going out within the next 2-3 weeks. She also provided an email address where you can send an inquiry about the status of your claim. That email address is info@timingchainmodulesettlement.com and you need to include your vehicle’s VIN in the subject line. I sent an email to that address last Wednesday but have not gotten a reply yet.

        Like

      • Viswanath Urala says:

        I really appreciate your response and. Really informative and appropriate to the point.

        Like

      • arro1050 says:

        Hey, not problem. Glad that I could be of help. Good luck with your claim!

        Like

      • Viswanath Urala says:

        I really appreciate your response for the informative and for keeping it appropriate to the point

        Like

  3. jbarnes55 says:

    My X4 has been sitting at the dealer, now, for a month awaiting turbo replacement and timing chain recall. June’s has come and gone. Any updates on the N20 timing chain recall?

    Like

  4. jbarnes55 says:

    Correction. My X3 is at the dealer.

    Like

  5. harts2vball says:

    Hi BmwTech,
    Thanks for taking the time to helping us out. Since the settlement on the N20 timing chain lawsuit last December, the claim date has just passed late last month. Do you think there is still a good chance that BMW would have a recall of affected models?

    As someone who owns a used 2015 F36 (manufactured 12/14), this is stressing me out like crazy. I loved driving my car until I found out my engine could self-destruct spontaneously.. hope BMW does the right thing here.

    Like

  6. steve says:

    how would I know if my valves touched the pistons, without tearing down the engine?

    Like

  7. Charlie says:

    Please keep us updated on the recall. Thanks!
    As an aside, I’m very leery as to why BMW would go ahead with a recall after years of litigation and settling the class action lawsuit. Would it not have been more logical and cost effective for BMW to have just done the recall from the beginning and avoided the class action?? Is that not what most other car mfts do when manufacturer flaws are present?
    Another comment I saw via email notification but can’t find in the thread above was regarding the cause potentially due to the ethanol in the fuel. To me this is illogical as the fuel system is separate from the lubricating oil system. The ethanol should not be getting into the oil. Comments on this?
    Thanks.

    Like

    • You are correct fuel should not be getting into the oil,,,but we have seen sometimes the HPFP will leak into the engine causing fuel inside the oil.

      Like

      • Charlie says:

        I mentioned that because I saw a comment stating that we have this issue in the USA due to the ethanol content in the fuel, which in turn is breaking down the plastic timing chain guide rails. I say BS and if true, then more frequent oil changes would help alleviate the issue.
        Hoping that BMW does the right thing, and soon!

        Like

  8. Tom says:

    My 2013 x1 has 80700 miles, and bmw service tech says timing belt is making whining noise- his advice is trade in the car?! What is normal Bmw charge to replace the timing chains, and what parts should also be replaced? I have read the settlement papers- and see the added part going out to February 2022. Will I have to wait for chain to fail to get partial reimbursement? Thanks for all of your great advice and keeping us up to date on this N20 chain issue!

    Like

    • Your car has no coverage at this time,,the last extension was 7yr 70k miles,,,so the next thing would be the timing chain and rails,,,also the oil pump chain and rails need to be replaced,,,I don’t know the cost of part,,,but labor should be about 10 to 12 hours

      Like

      • Tom says:

        Thanks bmwtechnician- but I found this in the lawsuit settlement Final Order-

        “D. As an additional benefit negotiated by Plaintiffs’ counsel, for one year from the
        Effective Date of the Settlement, any class vehicle with less than 100,000 miles, regardless
        of class vehicle age (e.g., years-in-service), that experiences timing chain module failure, oil
        pump drive chain module failure, or engine damage, due to timing chain module or oil pump
        drive chain module failure may go to an authorized BMW Center for repair, subject to the
        above-referenced contribution schedule. This new 100K mileage limitation is a 42.86% increase over the 70K warranty extension BMW NA implemented in late 2017”

        It seems we may have until Feb 16, 2022 regardless of age, as long as under 100k, if the chain actually fails, subject to the chart of % paid by BMW
        . .
        Still hoping for a recall- thanks again

        Like

    • Sam says:

      The CA settelment would cover you up to 100k miles, but you have to file with them. You might have just missed the deadline. Check if there is an extension.

      An EU car specialist 150/hour quoted me $3,500 for the timing chain and close to $7,000 for the timing chain, oil pump chain, and rails + camshaft gears.

      Curious, what value $ did you get for your trade-in? if you take care of the car and put a new timing chain, it might happen again 80k later, would you do it again then? would it make sense financially? The used car market now is insane for buyers/repair, only lease makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Tony vegas says:

    My 2014 X1 is currently at 99k mile, there is no noise from the chain yet. Can I just take it to dealership and pay the 60% cost to change it as preventive maintenance? What or how should I tell the service advisor?

    Like

  10. Ahmed says:

    Any word on recalls yet for the N20 timing chain?

    Like

  11. Angela Miles says:

    My X1 2013 with 70k miles has just experienced fatal engine failure when the tension chain failed. It was regularly serviced by BMW main dealer, but they won’t go direct to BMW until we pay for a complete engine strip, costing thousands. What recourse would I have, it is a pile of scrap at the moment, but the dealership still went ahead with a health check giving us another list of things to be repaired coming to over £1000. I did tell them I did not want this to be done. It adds insult to injury. Help would be great.

    Like

    • That’s crazy no need for a engine tear down when they already know the damage,,,,do you have another dealership you could go to,,,or call BMW directly and make a complaint about the dealership they don’t like that

      Like

      • Angela Miles says:

        Thank you, will call them tomorrow. I will post the outcome.
        Angela

        Like

      • Angela Miles says:

        We are still trying to get this sorted, but they are now telling us that our particular VIN number would not qualify for any reimbursement, it simply is not ” according to their VIN selection” which was identified way back in 2015????
        Please see copy of their email, looks like we will also have to pay out another £1500 for the other faults they found.

        “Following our conversation yesterday regarding your vehicle and the current fault of failed timing chains.
        We would like to assist you in approaching BMW for a goodwill contribution towards repairs. However we would need to confirm the extent of damage caused internally by this failure to submit for goodwill.
        Once approval is granted, we will inspect the cylinder head to inspect valves, rocker arms, valve gears and pistons.
        Your initial approval will be required for us to remove and install the cylinder head (please see attached estimate)
        Goodwill claims are assessed by BMW group UK management, which they will assess if a form of contribution will be made and decide on percentage of contribution
        We have also carried out a EVHC (electronic visual health check report) which has identified 3 tyres, Front brake discs condition report, Rear brake pipe condition report, Front & Rear wiper blades, OSR brake caliper retaining spring (Missing), NSF brake pads wear sensor (Incorrect) and stored fault code for Car access systems fault.
        I will send you a separate email regarding these advisories, but wanted to advise road testing will not be carried out as tyres are required for the vehicle due to advisories noted, unless replaced”

        Helpppp please

        Like

  12. Charlie says:

    Hello – Any updates on the recall? Some more questions;
    Yesterday while driving, the dreaded “Powertrain Malfunction” message appeared. Feared that it might be the timing chain. Engine sounded normal. Inspected chain thru oil cap on engine and it appeared as normal. Restarted engine, message gone, and sounded normal. What action do you suggest? It appears that it could be many different things. What OBD scanner do you recommend as being the most cost effective yet accurate? Many units to choose from.
    This really sucks as the car looks and drives as new. Thanks!

    Like

  13. Bill says:

    I have a 2015 528i with the n20 (build date 10/14) and it has 59k miles, does it have the timing chain problem?

    Like

  14. jbarnes55 says:

    Gave up on BMW. I’ll pick up my 2014 X3 this week $8000 lighter in my wallet. That includes a new turbo. Much as I’ve enjoyed driving their cars (I’ve owned 3), probably cold day in hell before I buy another. Hoping for better things from my 2020 Volvo. Thanks for your updates, tho.

    Like

  15. Charlie says:

    First, the sequence of replies above are not in date sequence! Seems like they are all over the place!
    Anyway, I could not reply directly to Simon above but was curious where he sourced the engine at cost, and if BMW subsidized the cost.
    I’m also very curious as to why the cost of replacing the timing chain guides & chain is being reported at $7k or more. Why?? If the reported average BMW labor rate is $150/hour and the standard time to replace is 9.5 hours, the total labor should be $1,425.. The parts including the entire Timing chain kit is $599.17. Therefore the total cost should be around $2024..
    So, I really question the logic of why BMW chose to settle a lawsuit and pay huge money to non-value added legal expenses instead of just doing a recall and fixing the issue. It would have been less expensive in the long run. Not to mention goodwill and the long term customers they have now lost to other brands.

    Like

    • Simon says:

      Engine ==> https://www.faulknerbmwpartssource.com/oem-parts/bmw-short-block-11002420311. it says short, but it’s the long block, its itemized in my bill as $7,500 and other parts and labor came up to 11k

      The 7k estimate I got was for parts and labor to install not just timing chain kit, but also new oil pump drive kit, new inlet and exhaust camshaft gears, retime the motor, install new coils, spark plugs,etc …

      Like

    • jbarnes55 says:

      As I pointed out in my comment, my $8000 bill includes a new turbocharger (since wastegate actuator failed), plus I’m having them flush/replace trans oil which is $400. But, this cost is at a trusted local service shop. BMW dealer quote was twice this price.

      Like

      • Charlie says:

        Great, thanks for your reply. So, they still charged you double what it should cost. A complete new BMW turbocharger replacement kit is $1539, so the total should be around $3563 for everything. Just crazy what these BMW repairs are costing or what people are convinced to pay.

        Like

      • jbarnes55 says:

        To be clear, my local mechanic is charging $8000 to do the timing chain and guides (with new VVT sprockets), turbo replacement, oil pump drive, various gaskets (oil filter housing, valve cover housing, oil pan, trans pan, etc.) and change the engine and transmission oil. Local BMW dealer wanted almost $16,000 to do all of that.

        J

        Like

      • VishU says:

        The BMW dealership has become a mafia, they all set their own private pricing and don’t drop the fees, in light of how many people just buy this car for status.
        This drives up the pricing at outside service centers too. Even OEM part vendors tend to charge more as supply and demand is limited.

        A funny incident happened, when a glass tinting company asked me twice the cost for my BMW than my Prius. When I asked why is the same film double the cost for BMW, the lady said “for BMW, we have to do a perfect job.” I asked so for the Prius, would she not do a perfect job; she responded “you BMW owners pay more anyway, so why not take advantage of it?”

        Liked by 1 person

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