Timing chain BMW bulletin

 This Has been a big subject with everyone on my blog,,,,some of you guys have been asking about the bulletin about this repair,,,,so this is the BMW bulletin that us technicians work with,,,,I hope this helps some of you guys.

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155 Responses to Timing chain BMW bulletin

  1. JBone says:

    I had a mph dependent high pitched whine in my 2015 xdrive 28i e84 that they replaced the transfer case to fix. I’d say the noise is still there, but at 10 to 20% of the original volume. Could my noise have really been the timing chain?

    Like

  2. Dan says:

    Is there a good chance the timing chain will have extended warranty like the oil line feed problem? I have a 13′ X3 recently out of warranty and experiencing this problem now.

    Like

  3. Ned Monaghan says:

    Andreas,
    Thanks for keeping us, the concerned, up to date on this timing chain issue. My car, 328i, CPO until Spring 2019 is listed so I’m covered. My further understanding however is that after the CPO warranty period ends , the repair of this failure would not be under warranty.

    Is that your understanding?

    Ned

    Like

  4. concerned says:

    Can you post the sound file from TIS? Thanks.

    Like

  5. Jack says:

    Andreas,
    From what I googled, this problem exist in N20/N26 with manufacturing date prior to 01/2015. But on the TSB, it says “produced before 03/2013”. I have 528i manufactured 02/2014. Should I be worried? Thanks! – Jack

    Like

  6. Peter says:

    Andreas,
    did you hear of any engine damage because of this issue. or is it possible that it is a acoustic problem,
    Thanks Peter

    Like

  7. Neil Patel says:

    BMW refused to fix mine. Bill is almost $5000
    2012 528i xdrive 71k miles
    there is a class action law suit going on. I suggest all consumers to participate. It costs nothing
    Attorney handling cases in CA & NJ is Joe Santoli (josephsantoli@aol.com, 1-800-279-6996). Class reps are eligible for incentive awards commonly awarded by the Courts of $15-20k.

    Like

  8. Nick says:

    Hi Andreas,
    Thanks for all this information. I am looking at a used 2014 428i (build date 04/2014) that was a manufacturer buyback. Carfax shows timing chain and engine replaced in 09/2015. That’s how I found your site – researching the Carfax info. I’ve read that there was a new part that came out in 01/2015 (#11317584084 to #11318648732), not sure if it was the chain or the plastic guide rail. If this repair was done after 01/2015 – is it likely the new parts were used? This car is still under warranty until 06/2018. Just curious what your thoughts were. Thanks so much.

    Like

  9. Edward M. says:

    Talked with Class Action Attorney Joe S. his web site is : BMW engine failure class action.com – I told him that I was not experiencing problems as of yet but I would like the assurance’s of an extended warranty on N20 Engine failure that includes 100% cost of labor plus materials , period. So if you are interested in extended peace of mind call Joe 1-800-279-6996 or visit his web site. I love BMW and I have owned 7 BMW’s over the years. I always enjoyed the peace of mind knowing that their engineering was the best on the road……I don’t want some Corporate shirt and tie setting a police that will ruin my perception of “The Ultimate Driving Machine” ……..

    Like

  10. Edward M. says:

    Policy not Police ? Auto spell correct ?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. gullageb@yahoo.com says:

    Edward-
    You are living in a fantasy land if you think (or even expect) BMW to give you “assurance’s of an extended warranty on N20 Engine failure that includes 100% cost of labor plus materials.”

    After 4yrs or 50k miles, you are on your own unless you purchase additional warranty protection.

    A tiny fraction of N20 engines are experiencing this timing chain problem. This is nothing like the BMW high pressure fuel pump fiasco.

    Like

  12. Emil says:

    The engine oil pump chain of my 328i is broken which caused a damaged motor. Would you say that there can be a relationship to this service bulletin?

    Like

  13. concerned says:

    There is a thread on another forum that BMWNA now has 7-yr/70k extended limited warranty on timing chain and drive chain for oil pump for N26(and probably N20 too). My guess is the affected VINs who have paid for repair can get reimbursement through this ELW.

    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=153

    Liked by 1 person

  14. concerned says:

    How many diagnostics hours are needed per SIB 11 03 17?

    My plan is to bring car in and authorize diagnostics, and see if the tech can find any issue. The caveat is if diagnostics sounds the timing chain is good, then I will need to pay $200/hour of diagnostics fees …..

    Does this take 4 hours to tear down and get to the timing chain and oil pump chain just to check?

    Like

  15. andrew says:

    Hello, came across this site when researching the 328i I was looking at potentially buying, as this uses the N20 engine. Great information on the site although I’m now a little worried! The car I am looking at was first registered in May 2013, it has 50k miles on it, all appears ok, but I guess this could be a candidate for trouble. Is there anything I could do to try and prevent problems, maybe getting the dealer to change the timing chain before I bought it is my best option? If they won’t, try and get a cost for doing the work and using that to bargain against the price? Or should I walk away from this engine at that age? thanks.

    Like

    • Your best thing is to probably just walk away from that car,,,,find yourself a newer model with less miles would be a better car for you.

      Like

      • andrewfmuir says:

        that risky huh, such as shame as a nice car otherwise. is it an option to change timing chain now and have peace of mind or is it not that easy, or v expensive to do?

        Like

      • It more of a piece of mind,,,,get the VIN number off that car and have it checked by the dealer,,,some years and models the timing chain has a extended warranty ,,,,maybe that cat is covered then you don’t have to worry about it.

        Like

    • concerned says:

      2013 N20 and N26 timing chain should be covered 7 years/70000 miles by BMWNA.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ermv says:

        i’m a 2nd owner of a 2012 328i N20 engine and it now has 72000m on it. does this mean i’m no longer covered in this ELW? i do not hear the loud whining noise but rattling sound yes on cold starts. however this sound i thought was normal for this car model. is this correct? what options do i have at this point as preventative maintenance to avoid toasting the engine.
        appreciate the reply, thanks in advance.

        Like

      • Yes you are out of the 7/70 on the timing chain extended warranty,,,,now on the rattle noise during cold start is normal on those engine,,,,preventive maintainence just make sure to change the oil

        Like

  16. kevin says:

    Hello,

    Is this service bulletin/extended warranty(ELW) only for north america?
    I live in the Netherlands. And have the same issue(whining sound), and my BMW dealer said its a known problem, but i still have to pay for it. Its not broken yet so ‘only’ 1500€
    Also, Is it still save to drive with it?

    Thanks!

    Like

  17. N4S says:

    I would appreciate if you listen my engine (in the link). My serviceman is the opinion that everything is ok. In my view, the noise of the engine is terrifying:

    Like

  18. Benny Gonzales says:

    I have a 14 x1 x28i and it has a horrible rattling noise and a slight whine when idling. There is a loud tick in intial start up and that goes away but rattle stays with whinning. could this be result of timing chain issue

    Like

  19. Peter says:

    The question from my side is: What noise is normal for this engine and what is a chain issue.
    My X1 28i makes a whining noise since I have the car (3 years). The noise is on a lower frequency and directly after the cold start. It disappeares after the first minute, but not completely.
    Here in germany this engine has almost no negative issues

    Like

    • James says:

      I wonder why the N20 in Germany would not have reports of this issue? My VIN shows that it is a “Hot-climate version” (S823A Heissland-Ausführung) here in the US and delivered to a dealership in North Carolina. I am not sure what changes were made for the US, but perhaps whatever these were contribute to the failure?

      I just received a letter saying that they are extending the limited warranty on the Timing Chain and Oil Pump Drive Chain for 7 years or 70,000 miles from original in service date. Mine is a mid-2014 build, so after the date indicated in the SIB.

      I do hope my does not have this problem!

      Like

    • If the whine noise is just in the morning then that is the turbo whine during start up is normal,,,,if the whine is all the time while reving the engine hot or cold that is timing chain problem.

      Like

  20. zomerkoning says:

    I found that my engine sounded quite rough last night, so made a little video today, no idea if it’s a timing belt issue… Still got extended warranty, so if it would be I could get it fixed, any help would be really appreciated.

    Like

  21. Peter says:

    you mean the high frequently whine noise?
    The noise with the lower frequence at the beginning is exactlty this what I have after the cold start. It disappeares

    Like

  22. steve says:

    I think I have the whine. I snapped this photo of the chain and can see shinny spots on the top of the chain

    Like

  23. Mike says:

    Hi, I’m looking at buying a BMW 428i from a BMW dealer. The car has 91000kms (57000 miles) on it. Build date is July 2014. The extended warranty which I was thinking of buying from BMW themselves doesn’t cover the timing chain as stated by a BMW rep. In your opinion, is the car worth going for or am I setting myself up for a number of issues. Regards

    Ps: the car is an Australian model, not sure if they are affected by the timing chain issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Mike says:

    Hi, I’m looking at buying a BMW 428i from a BMW dealer. The car has 91000kms (57000 miles) on it. Build date is July 2014. The extended warranty which I was thinking of buying from BMW themselves doesn’t cover the timing chain as stated by a BMW rep. In your opinion, is the car worth going for or am I setting myself up for a number of issues. Regards

    Ps: the car is an Australian model, not sure if they are affected by the timing chain issues.

    Like

    • You should be ok with the timing chain issue,,,I don’t know if Australia cars have the same problem.

      Like

      • TRD says:

        Yes they do. The engine in my wife’s car had the whining noise (2012 328i), but the dealer failed to pick up that it potentially had a major problem, even after I asked them to check the noise. When it failed terminally 4 months later, BMW Australia covered the whole cost of repair, even though it was well outside warranty (Car is 65 months old and 52K. Warranty in Aus is 36 months/150k). I guess my cause was helped by the fact that it was a well known issue (except to Wxxxxxxx BMW apparently), and in Australia we have reasonably strong consumer protection laws.

        Like

      • I’m glad they took care of the problem,,,,,I think what also helped was that the dealer checked it out 4 mouths ago and then it failed,,,,the dealer failed to catch the problem at that time.

        Like

    • The 428 is a good car,,,,you shouldn’t have any major problem with that car

      Like

      • mustafaroubaie says:

        But doesn’t it still use the same n20 engine which is prone to timing chain issues? Or is it only an issue for the 2012-2013 model cars (engines)? Should I still get the warranty even though it doesn’t cover the timing chain component?

        Many thanks for your help.

        Like

      • Yes the problems were 2012-2013,,,,I don’t understand why the warranty doesn’t cover the timing chain,,,I would see what it does the warranty cover

        Like

  25. MSportF30 says:

    i just purchased a 2014 328i with 38K miles on it… I don’t hear a whine but is it something I should always keep an eye out for in the future or are 2014 models not affected? I just brought it in to the dealer too to have a full inspection done on the same day of purchase. They did not mention anything about the timing chain either. I still will probably purchase an extended warranty on it though. -Thanks!

    Like

  26. iamfenom says:

    I just purchased a 2014 328i with 38K miles on it and the same day of purchase I brought it to my local BMW dealer to have a complete inspection performed. They did not find any mechanical issues and did not mention anything to me about the timing chain. I’m still planning on purchasing an extended warranty but would like to know if I should keep an eye out for this problem in the future still or are the 2014’s not affected? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Grant says:

    Would appreciate if you could listen to this clip. Its a 2013 N20 X3. Pretty sure I can hear the whine. Will be interesting to see what the response from BMW Australia will be when I take it in. https://youtu.be/-aRqF4EpUDQ

    Like

  28. Mike S says:

    Hi and thank you so much for all the advice you give !
    I believe I have the same whining noise coming from my 2012 F10 528i. I can see the rubbing marks on the chain when I unscrew the engine oil cap also. I’m still within 7/70k extended warranty.
    The question is, how straight forward is this repair? How complex? and can they mess it up opening up the engine? I live in Maine, nothing against them, but the only BMW dealer is relatively low volume so I don’t know how many similar issues their technicians deal with…so would I be better off going to a larger dealership? Should I take it to Boston instead?
    Thanks!

    Like

  29. Peter G says:

    My car, X3 x28i 2013 with n20, had it’s timing chain set replaced as part of warranty repair. Dealership placed original timing chain tensioner 11317567680 back. I know that there is updated version of this part, 11318685091.
    Should I proactively replace original timing chain tensioner with the updated part? New part has much stronger spring.

    Like

  30. Peter G says:

    Thanks! Is there chance that while replacing timing chain tensioner the chain will skip a tooth of its sprocket? After all chain is lose without tension…
    Have you seen this happening?

    Like

  31. Jesse says:

    Is this affecting all N20 globally? I have F10 528i N20 from 2012 assembled in Malaysia.

    Like

  32. Alpine5x says:

    I just bought a 2013 bmw 528xi and reading this got me soo paranoid. How common are these failures? what can I do to prevent this from happening to me? How much am I looking at for preventative maintenance?

    Like

    • It doesn’t happen to often,,,,there is no preventive maintenance for this problem,,,,check with your dealer some cars are covered for 7/70 on timing chain issue .

      Like

      • Alpine5x says:

        Thanks for replying brotha! I’m at 71k miles soo im out of luck!

        Would you reccomend buying the new upgraded parts and installing it as preventative measure?

        where are you based out of..maybe I can drive to you!!?

        I know the consensus is don’t buy a bmw out of warranty. Well mine is out of warranty its been one owner always dealer serviced.. would you reccomend an aftermarket warranty?

        Like

      • Sorry I don’t tell people where I work,,,I like to keep it private,,,you could get a aftermarket warranty make sure they cover timing chain issues,,,,I know the warranty will not be cheap for a good warranty,,,Fidelity warranty is good,,,,,Fortega warranty is real bad won’t cover anything

        Like

  33. Alpine5x says:

    Thanks bmw Technician!

    If I wanted to proactively repair this myself what should I say when bringing car to dealer?

    Like

  34. taly SAnchez says:

    Hi My 2012 BMW won’t start. BMW wants to charge 1000.00 for labor . Seems high to just diagnose it ? how many hours does it take to break it apart? Also If the timing chain broke and cause other damage, would the engine damage be covered with the extended timing chain warranty?

    Like

  35. Cher Ryan says:

    I have a 2012 528i. I called dealer and asked them to check the “timing chain and oil pump drive chain” per the limited warranty extension mail I received in the mail. Dealer said it will charge me $180 to diagnose this and they will only waive it if there is in fact a problem. I am not aware of any problems with the car, but what symptoms should I look for? Any advise on getting BMW to diagnose this now at no charge? You would think BMW would want to be proactive and do this now to avoid major repairs later but not the case here.

    Like

    • There are no drive ability issues,,,,there is the timing chain whine that is noticeable,,,recommend that they check it out before it’s not covered under the extended warranty runs out

      Like

    • Heidi Burgess says:

      My 2012 528i that I bought certified pre owned in 2016 suffered a complete engine failure due to timing chain failure. The nice people at Wilmington BMW said it would cost me $22K to fix but out of the goodness of their heart they would do it for $11,700 with a refurbished engine from BMW. I got a new engine from BMW through my more reliable non dealer BMW repair guy installed for $7,400.00 which is still crazy high for the ultimate driving machine. Those timing chains are supposed to last for the life of the car but BMW cut corners to pad their pockets and now they are going to face the music. $180.00 is a hell of a lot cheaper than $12-20K Wilmington BMW and I’m sure your dealer will gouge you also. Note: They wont detect a timing chain issue, it will fail no matter how many times you have it tested. Good Luck

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Brad S says:

    I have a 2012 528i I received the extended warranty letter in December. Last week while driving I got a drive train malfunction and car shut down on the expressway. Had it towed to my local BMW dealership. Was told today by the SA that due to oil drive chain causing low oil pressure – I will need a new engine. Is that covered under this extended warranty?

    Like

  37. The Trashman says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading all the posts, great info, can someone give me some advice, I’m thinking of buying my 1st BMW, Have 2 choices 2015 528i CPO, with 37,000miles, OR 32,000miles, price is around $1500 difference , but the lower mileage one was built in October 2014, the other built March 2015, should I be concerned with the timing chain ? which car would be best to buy, since I’ve have read there is an upgraded part that BMW has. Thank you in advance for your help.

    Like

  38. Byron With the Bimmer says:

    I am certain my 2012 BMW 328i is experiencing this same issue. The whine noise has been going on for quite some time and tonight while driving it was really apparent with the music turned off. Taking it in to the dealership Monday to see what’s going on. Does anyone have an estimate of the cost to have this preventative repair work done at a BMW dealership? If anyone has information on a mechanic in Orlando, Florida who can do this, I am all ears as well!
    My car has 151,000 miles on it so I am lucky this is just now starting!

    Like

    • All I can tell you is good luck and who ever does the repairs should charge you about 10hr labor plus parts if that helps.

      Like

      • Byron With the Bimmer says:

        Thank you so much for the quick reply! I found online where someone posted their repair bill at a BMW dealership and it ran them around $2,000 including parts and labor. A little stressed (to put it lightly) that I am going to be making such a huge repair but glad I caught this before it blew out the engine.

        Liked by 1 person

  39. Byron With the Bimmer says:

    Update on my car:

    Field’s BMW Dealership here in Orlando Florida quoted me $3,897 today for the repair work. The service advisor told me this work takes about 24 hours but he would knock the price down to 20 hours to help with cost…parts were a grand total of $869.95 (including oil change).
    I decided to call around to a dealership out of state and they quoted me $2,900 with labor taking 14.5 hours. I contacted Field’s BMW again to speak with a service manager and after her spoke with a foreman they gave me a new quote of 14 hours of labor, around $2,959 total cost, before tax.
    I’m at a loss for what to do. Do I trust the dealership to do this work on a car that has 151,000 miles or do I just purchase the parts and find a mechanic with timing chain experience to help me do this repair work?
    I know enough about cars that I feel confident I can follow a repair manual and do this work, especially if I can find an independent mechanic who would help me in Orlando. If anyone reading this has any information or knows of a mechanic in Orlando, Florida who would help me, please reach out with a comment below! I would gladly do all of the work if someone just points out exactly what I need to do.

    Like

  40. Mike Price says:

    I just received a quote to have the timing chain done in my e84 X1 with 74,000 km on it. I found it odd that the quote also had both the VANOS Central valves replaced part # 11367583820. Is this normal? should they be done at the same time? Should they be cleaned, or just left alone?

    Like

  41. Jeffrey Young says:

    Hi there,

    I know the bulletin is for vehicles produced before 3/13, but are you seeing any issues in 2014-2016 vehicles? I’m considering a 2014-2015 328i GT and want to make sure I’ve covered my bases before purchasing.

    Thanks in advance.

    Like

  42. Michael says:

    What can be the logic behing BMW Canada not paying for this repair and BMWNA paying for it… THats bullshit at its finest.. Same engine, Same problems should be same solution…

    Like

  43. Edward M. says:

    Unsure about the BMW N20/26 commitment ? Call BMW North America give them you VIN # and they will tell you if you are covered by the 7 / 70 warranty. If you are great if not ….time for an upgrade……

    Like

  44. Vek.C says:

    My car had the whine of doom, BMW Australia said the car was fine so at the next service i took it to an Independent BMW tech who told me that it was most likely the timing chain.

    Took it back to BMW Aus to ask them again, they’ve done their test and have said yes it is the timing chain. Currently waiting to hear back from BMW on whether their going to offer any kind of “goodwill”. Their kicking up a fuss about the car being taken outside the official bmw network ONCE (after they told me the engine is fine).

    I should also note i bought the car second hand FROM THE DEALER under a year ago, at which point i asked them multiple times about the timing chain issue.

    Even now the dealer is claiming to have “never seen or heard of the issue before”, these documents make that extremely hard to believe.

    Anyhow, fingers crossed that they own up to their mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vek.C says:

      Oh also the quote was 6.8k AUD to change the chain

      Like

      • Let hope they take care of it,,,,the good thing is that you should have records of you asking to check the timing chain noise and they said it was ok,,,,,the problem should be all the dealers,,,let us know what happens

        Like

      • Vek.C says:

        update:

        Bmw coveting 50% of labour and all the parts.

        Total cost down to 1200 aud.

        Really happy about the outcome and props to BMW.

        I think I’m getting two new chains, new housings and an oil pump.

        Like

    • JC says:

      Just a FYI…BMW of Australia may not have been directed by BMW AG to provide an extended warranty since consumer protection laws vary by country. So it is possible that BMW AUS hasn’t heard of it. Best of luck.

      Like

      • Vek.C says:

        Hey,

        Yeah I understand all the groups are different but I highly doubt they don’t know about the problems. Considering a quick google search brings up pages like this.

        Really annoying that a part thats not meant to be changed is failing prematurely. Having purchased the car as a second hand vehicle FROM the dealer I would have expected the car to have been of a high standard, not moments away from catastrophic engine failure :(.

        Really praying they fix it, thanks for the wishes.

        Like

      • James says:

        I really cannot fathom how this can be a problem on any car made in the 21st century. In the early 1980s Mercedes M116 motors had single row timing chains that tended to break and were replaced with dual row chains resolving the issue. This was 30+ years ago. I sincerely hope that it is only a small percentage of N20s affected and for those that do have failures, the fix is permanent. I am keeping mine until the warranty expires and then, if the fix proves reliable, I will evaluate whether I will proactively replace the timing/oil pump chains and guides or risk sudden failure. If it is only 10 hours of labor, even if my independent shop charges 15, it should not be too terribly expensive given the risk of a snapped chain or the alternative of buying another car.

        Like

      • I remember replacing those timing chains on the MBZ ,,,only some people would update to the dual chains,,,,some people stayed with the single row timing chain because it lasted about 80k miles,,,,,boy I’m showing my age,,,,lol

        Like

  45. Jim L says:

    anyone have luck going the route of class action lawsuit? Wondering if it’s a waste of time.
    Last week, my wifes car crapped out on her – no warning and past the 70K.. Car at BMW now waiting on quote

    Like

    • I think some people have tried a class action suit,,,,,but I don’t think anything came of it.

      Like

    • JC says:

      BMW has been sued on multiple occasions over the timing chain issues of it’s 4 cyl (gas/diesel) engines. TBH with the plethora of information out there on the internet I’m surprised the cars have any demand outside factory warranty.

      Reminds of the 1990’s when BMW NA refused to warranty a problem with timing chains guides on it’s I6 engines.

      Like

  46. Neenad says:

    I have a 2013 328i xdrive with the N20 engine from BMW NA. Couple months ago I got a letter about the 7 yr/70,000 mile limited warranty extension on ‘Timing chain and Oil pump drive chain’. Currently I have 85000 miles on the car. Is this 7 year 70000 miles an either or? Would it be an issue because I have 85k miles?

    Like

  47. Neenad says:

    Thanks!

    Like

  48. svito says:

    Hi! Could you please advice if #10 VANOS bolts on timing chain diagram needs to be replaced when doing timing chain replacement or can i re-use old ones? I am doing DIY on that and each of this bolts is 140$. Too expensive.. Thanks.

    Like

    • No they don’t need to be replaced,,,they have a built in solenoid in them that’s why they are expensive and it’s a BMW ,,,lol

      Like

      • svito says:

        Much appreciate you response. What confusing me is that manual says to renew the screw and torque it ot 55nm and afterwards 55 degree turn for variable camshaft timing control (VANOS) with sensor gear to E and exhaust camshafts (ref 11 36AZ). What are they talking about? Thank you in advance.

        Like

      • I know the manuel say to replace it and the timing chain bulletin doesn’t say to replace it,,,,those are the tightening torque procedures

        Like

      • So you tighten down to 55nm and then turn it 55 degree

        Like

  49. P West says:

    I have a 2008 x5 here in the UK, travelling 25 mph and then suddenly stopped. Long story short busted camchain and a bill of £7500! BMW are not interested in offering any support despite this being a well documented known fault on N57 & M57 engines. My car has 80,000 miles. The replacement cam chain & chain tensioners are different part number supporting the fact that this is a known issue. The mechanic at the main dealer said they were used to doing these.. Buy a diesel 4 or 6 cylinder BMW at your peril! Customer Services very much less than helpful..

    Like

  50. John says:

    Can anyone tell me the new 2018 X3 with B48 four cylinder turbo engine will have the same issue? The new X3 timing chain is located in the back of the engine it will cost a lot to fix it?

    Like

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