BMW N47 Engine Problems – How to Fix Timing Chain Failure!



From 2007 to approximately 2014, the BMW N47 was an inline 4-cylinder diesel engine that was used in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 series, as very well as the X1 and X3 diesel styles.

The N47 motor sequence is prone to early timing chain failure owing to significant timing chain have on. The circumstance is indicated by a rattling sound coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain may possibly necessitate motor substitute or a costly restore. The issue influences all programs and power variations of the engine manufactured in between March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most seriously damaged units, which call for the most significant repairs, ended up created in between the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It seems that a compact amount of engines manufactured immediately after the remember are possessing difficulties.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this engine is sandwiched among the motor and the transmission at the back of the motor. Its replacement is in particular complicated simply because it is situated in such an inaccessible site. In most instances, parts set up in such inaccessible locations are meant to endure the existence of the engine, but not in this predicament. The timing chain in the N47 can are unsuccessful wherever from 40 to 100k miles, producing catastrophic engine hurt as its parts get rid of synchronization.

Diagnosis – Indicators of a Failing Timing Chain

The signs of a unsuccessful timing chain typically appear gradually as the chain gets to be for a longer period and extra worn. As a end result, you’re unlikely to detect a sudden spectacular symptom right until the chain is near to crack completely. In its place, assume about how your auto is doing currently and how it performed several months ago. Smaller issues could propose that the chain is about to are unsuccessful completely.

Here are some of the indications that your timing chain is failing:

  • Tough idling: Get started your vehicle and walk absent. It is possible that the timing chain is sporting out if it shakes or vibrates a lot more than typical. Of program, there are other difficulties that could consequence in severe idling, but the issue is often worth investigating since it tends to worsen above time.
  • Unusual noises: You may well listen to your N47 motor rattle, primarily when it’s idling, but not only when it is idling. The difficulty could be that the timing chain is unfastened and rattling towards everything else if the seem is persistent and rough. 
  • Steel shavings in the oil: Over time, the timing chain will have on down. When it reaches the stop of its helpful daily life, it may emit steel shavings. If it does, it will conclusion up in your motor oil, probably resulting in even further challenges.  Even so, any worn-out part of your car can develop steel shavings, so it is worthy of on the lookout into ahead of just changing the chain.
  • Engine failures: If your BMW would not commence, the chai might be destroyed and not providing sufficient force to start off the motor. If the chain breaks although you’re driving, it’s achievable that the timing chain has broken as perfectly. If this occurs, the pistons could be damaged, and the belt dilemma may possibly cause additional injury to your motor vehicle.
  • Motor misfires: Your N47 engine might misfire prior to the chain has fully snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are connected by a chain. The chain might cause the car to skip a equipment on either the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is overly stretched out. It will grow to be additional pressured as a final result of this, and it will inevitably crack.
  • Look at motor gentle is on: Of study course, the verify motor mild could signal a big variety of matters have absent incorrect with your BMW. Nevertheless, it is possible that the timing chain has failed or is soon to fail.

Replacement and Repairs

Simply because the timing chain is in such an inaccessible location, the mechanic must totally get rid of the engine from its bay to gain access to it. Taking the engine out is a significant and hard undertaking in and of alone. Adhering to that, a further prolonged disassembly is expected to gain obtain to the chains on their own.

Three timing chains are involved in the timing chain substitute package: one for the oil pump, a person for the camshaft, and one for the substantial-strain gasoline pump. You’ll also have to have the hunting resource package to preserve the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized even though you’re performing on them. These are the major jobs that have to be concluded after eliminating the engine from the bay in get to swap the timing chains.

To start, make positive that cylinders 1 and 4 are at top rated useless centre in buy to keep the stage for synchronizing the details.

With the tools you have, lock your crank shafts at this place.

Remove the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a very little, and loosen the a few bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be much easier to remove the gasoline pump sprocket if the higher-pressure fuel pump is turned off.

Get rid of the flywheel from the crankshaft by taking away the bolts that hold it in location.

Remove the starter motor’s bolts to obtain obtain to the oil sump.

By undoing the needed bolts, you can take away the oil sump.

Clear away the timing include by loosening the nuts that maintain it in spot. It will choose some prying and a handful of mild faucets with the hammer. You can now obtain all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you may well now get rid of the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Take out the oil pump’s chain as perfectly.

Equally, eliminate the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as perfectly as the sprocket and belt.

Immediately after TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 levels and remove the substantial-tension fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Consider off the belt and the sprockets as properly.

The final merchandise is your oil sprayer, which you may take out for alternative if required.

Then, in reverse buy, put in the substitution belts, making certain that all elements are in sync till the summary.


This timing chain issue is a structure flaw in the engine, and the only method to solution it is to avoid vehicles with this N47 motor or, if attainable, get rid of it in functioning get. Due to the fact of the emission handle devices set in it, this sort of as the EGR and DPF, this engine also has a great deal of concerns.


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