From 2007 to approximately 2014, the BMW N47 was an inline 4-cylinder diesel motor that was applied in the BMW 1, 2, 3, and 5 sequence, as very well as the X1 and X3 diesel models.

The N47 motor sequence is vulnerable to early timing chain failure thanks to significant timing chain put on. The predicament is indicated by a rattling sounds coming from the engine’s rear. Failure of the timing chain might necessitate motor substitute or a high priced repair. The problem impacts all apps and electricity versions of the motor made in between March 1, 2007 and March 1, 2011. The most severely harmed models, which call for the most sizeable repairs, were being made among the dates of 01.03.2007 and 05.01.2009. UPDATE – It appears that a compact quantity of engines designed soon after the recall are acquiring challenges.

Timing chain

The timing chain on this engine is sandwiched concerning the engine and the transmission at the again of the engine. Its substitution is in particular tricky due to the fact it is positioned in these types of an inaccessible place. In most conditions, parts installed in these kinds of inaccessible destinations are meant to endure the everyday living of the motor, but not in this problem. The timing chain in the N47 can fail everywhere from 40 to 100k miles, creating catastrophic engine hurt as its elements lose synchronization.

Diagnosis – Symptoms of a Failing Timing Chain

The indications of a unsuccessful timing chain ordinarily seem progressively as the chain gets for a longer period and a lot more worn. As a consequence, you’re not likely to detect a unexpected spectacular symptom until eventually the chain is in close proximity to to break fully. Alternatively, feel about how your motor vehicle is executing today and how it performed numerous months back. Little issues could suggest that the chain is about to are unsuccessful fully.

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

  • Tough idling: Begin your auto and wander away. It is doable that the timing chain is putting on out if it shakes or vibrates much more than common. Of study course, there are other concerns that could final result in severe idling, but the issue is often worth investigating mainly because it tends to worsen in excess of time.
  • Strange noises: You could hear your N47 engine rattle, specifically when it is idling, but not only when it’s idling. The situation could be that the timing chain is free and rattling against just about anything else if the audio is persistent and tough. 
  • Metal shavings in the oil: In excess of time, the timing chain will use down. When it reaches the conclude of its valuable lifetime, it could emit metallic shavings. If it does, it will finish up in your engine oil, probably triggering even further challenges.  Nonetheless, any worn-out part of your car or truck can create steel shavings, so it is worthy of seeking into right before simply changing the chain.
  • Motor failures: If your BMW would not start off, the chai could be harmed and not giving ample force to start the motor. If the chain breaks when you’re driving, it is possible that the timing chain has broken as well. If this happens, the pistons may perhaps be broken, and the belt issue may perhaps trigger far more problems to your auto.
  • Motor misfires: Your N47 engine may possibly misfire just before the chain has absolutely snapped. The cam and the crankshaft are linked by a chain. The chain may possibly induce the automobile to skip a gear on both the crankshaft or the camshaft if it is extremely stretched out. It will develop into additional stressed as a end result of this, and it will at some point break.
  • Look at engine gentle is on: Of training course, the check motor light-weight could sign a substantial range of issues have long gone erroneous with your BMW. Even so, it’s feasible that the timing chain has failed or is quickly to are unsuccessful.

Substitution and Repairs

Because the timing chain is in this sort of an inaccessible site, the mechanic need to entirely take away the engine from its bay to obtain entry to it. Getting the motor out is a significant and tough endeavor in and of itself. Pursuing that, one more lengthy disassembly is expected to get access to the chains by themselves.

Three timing chains are provided in the timing chain alternative package: 1 for the oil pump, a single for the camshaft, and just one for the substantial-strain fuel pump. You’ll also will need the on the lookout tool kit to continue to keep the crankshaft and camshaft synchronized even though you’re doing the job on them. These are the most important responsibilities that will have to be completed following removing the engine from the bay in buy to switch the timing chains.

To start out, make absolutely sure that cylinders 1 and 4 are at best useless heart in purchase to retain the level for synchronizing the details.

With the resources you have, lock your crank shafts at this location.

Get rid of the camshaft chain tensioner to loosen the chain a minimal, and loosen the a few bolts on the camshaft sprocket.

It will be less difficult to clear away the gasoline pump sprocket if the large-strain fuel pump is turned off.

Remove the flywheel from the crankshaft by getting rid of the bolts that maintain it in put.

Take away the starter motor’s bolts to attain access to the oil sump.

By undoing the needed bolts, you can get rid of the oil sump.

Get rid of the timing go over by loosening the nuts that maintain it in put. It will just take some prying and a handful of delicate taps with the hammer. You can now access all of the chains and sprockets.

By loosening the bolts, you may well now eliminate the oil pump sprocket and the oil pump guides. Clear away the oil pump’s chain as properly.

Similarly, get rid of the camshaft sprocket’s guides and tensioner, as effectively as the sprocket and belt.

After TDC, twist the crankshaft 45 degrees and remove the high-force fuel pump tensioner, guides, and sprockets. Get off the belt and the sprockets as effectively.

The previous item is your oil sprayer, which you may take away for substitute if necessary.

Then, in reverse buy, put in the alternative belts, making sure that all components are in sync till the summary.


This timing chain situation is a design flaw in the engine, and the only process to cure it is to prevent automobiles with this N47 engine or, if probable, get rid of it in doing work buy. Due to the fact of the emission handle tools put in it, these types of as the EGR and DPF, this motor also has a ton of concerns.


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