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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > N20, N26, B46, B48 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > That annoying N20 diesel sounding rattle.
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      11-28-2020, 05:20 PM   #1
radeohedca
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That annoying N20 diesel sounding rattle.

About 9 months ago I retired my 2007 328i E90 (300k+ km) and bought a 2013 320i F30 with 90k km.
While I was in the process of shopping around for a replacement car at the end of last winter I did notice the rattle on several of the 320i's that I test drove but figured it was something normal and common to the N20 engine that would go away after the car warmed up. I went ahead and bought a 320i... the rattle persisted even thru the summer. Yes, mybad for dismissing it and now it annoys the f*%# out of me. A couple of people have asked me if it's a diesel engine.

I've been doing some reading and it seems to be one (or more ?) of 3 issues... they all claim that theirs was the real cause of the rattle.

1. A noisy injection pump solenoid on the fuel rail (worn or missing dampener on the rail?).
2. A worn linkage on the turbo wastegate actuator motor (replace the whole motor + linkage assembly).
3. A worn flapper disc (wastegate ?) inside the exhaust manifold (replace the manifold).

Anyone care to comment ? What was your fix ?


Thanks in advance.
Alex in Toronto
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      11-28-2020, 11:45 PM   #2
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Can you post a sound clip of this rattle?

Do you feel a vibration at all or just the sound?

Present at all times or only when car is shifted into drive?
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      12-01-2020, 01:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radeohedca View Post
About 9 months ago I retired my 2007 328i E90 (300k+ km) and bought a 2013 320i F30 with 90k km.
While I was in the process of shopping around for a replacement car at the end of last winter I did notice the rattle on several of the 320i's that I test drove but figured it was something normal and common to the N20 engine that would go away after the car warmed up. I went ahead and bought a 320i... the rattle persisted even thru the summer. Yes, mybad for dismissing it and now it annoys the f*%# out of me. A couple of people have asked me if it's a diesel engine.

I've been doing some reading and it seems to be one (or more ?) of 3 issues... they all claim that theirs was the real cause of the rattle.

1. A noisy injection pump solenoid on the fuel rail (worn or missing dampener on the rail?).
2. A worn linkage on the turbo wastegate actuator motor (replace the whole motor + linkage assembly).
3. A worn flapper disc (wastegate ?) inside the exhaust manifold (replace the manifold).

Anyone care to comment ? What was your fix ?


Thanks in advance.
Alex in Toronto
Thats just how this engine runs. Bought my 320i new in 2017 and it sounded like a diesel sort of since day 1.
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      12-01-2020, 08:13 PM   #4
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I have a N26, bought with 42k and it sounds like a diesel. Asked my local Indy about it and they let me start a few n20's and n26's in the lot, they all sounded like it. Disconcerting when your used to super quiet Honda's and whatnot but I'm used to it and kind of dig it now.
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      12-01-2020, 10:44 PM   #5
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Yup. The N20/26 engines have bad clatter. Definitely diesel-ish. I've had people ask me if it was a diesel car! Thankfully they've fixed it with the B46/48 engines.
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      12-01-2020, 11:13 PM   #6
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My 2013 N20 w/107k miles is noisy, My B46 x3 is much quiter.. Its mostly the wastegate rattle. Pretty sure if you replace the turbo alot of the noise will go away, There is videos on why this happens.



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      12-02-2020, 01:28 AM   #7
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I had my turbo assembly replaced (with EWG), the noise is still there. I also had my timing chain replaced, noise is still present. It's just a loud clattery engine, even when new.

I owned a 328d and it almost sounded quieter IMO. It sounded like a diesel but very muffled and refined.
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      12-02-2020, 02:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 328iX View Post
I had my turbo assembly replaced (with EWG), the noise is still there. I also had my timing chain replaced, noise is still present. It's just a loud clattery engine, even when new.

I owned a 328d and it almost sounded quieter IMO. It sounded like a diesel but very muffled and refined.
Whats funny is the N55 isnt noisy like this and its pretty much 2 more cylinders tacked onto the same engine. They are def all noisy but the wastegate/turbo adds most of the clatter.
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      12-03-2020, 08:30 AM   #9
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i have to agree... I have a 340i and I just picked up a 2012 320i for a winter beater (has 185k KMS on it, and the clatter is horrible. I drove one at the local dealership with 90k kms on it, same thing. Maybe I was just spoiled by the b58 for so long that it enhances the clatter for me.
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      12-03-2020, 01:49 PM   #10
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Worn linkage and wastegate rattle is easy to tell. Only thing you have left is perhaps switch to a higher weighted oil (didn't work for me) OR replace your HPFP (maybe 140 part but you need a tool to bring the car to TDC)

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      12-05-2020, 01:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqwinny View Post
Worn linkage and wastegate rattle is easy to tell. Only thing you have left is perhaps switch to a higher weighted oil (didn't work for me) OR replace your HPFP (maybe 140 part but you need a tool to bring the car to TDC)
I forgot to mention I ALSO had my HPFP replaced, hahahaha. It's just all noisy.
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      12-05-2020, 09:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sspade View Post
Can you post a sound clip of this rattle?

Do you feel a vibration at all or just the sound?

Present at all times or only when car is shifted into drive?

I haven't had a chance to make a recording but it's present all the time. No vibration.
It sounds like this is something I need to learn to live with, or try to get rid of the car.
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      12-05-2020, 10:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radeohedca View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sspade View Post
Can you post a sound clip of this rattle?

Do you feel a vibration at all or just the sound?

Present at all times or only when car is shifted into drive?

I haven't had a change to make a recording but it's present all the time. No vibration.
More than likely whats being described above. The injectors make a distinct ticking type noise and is common, not a cause for concern.

I wouldn't describe it as a rattle though. Thought you might be experiencing something different.

I sometimes notice more of a rattle and vibration when initially shifting the car into drive. Same thing on the other N20 I owned before my current one. Have never been able to track down the issue.
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      12-05-2020, 11:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radeohedca View Post
1. A noisy injection pump solenoid on the fuel rail (worn or missing dampener on the rail?).
2. A worn linkage on the turbo wastegate actuator motor (replace the whole motor + linkage assembly).
3. A worn flapper disc (wastegate ?) inside the exhaust manifold (replace the manifold).
My N20 has sounded like a Mac truck since day one, so it's not because anything is worn. It's the injectors. I'm not really aware of it when driving. I only noticed it the first time I stood in front of the car with the hood open and the engine running. I don't drive standing in front of the car with the hood open and the engine running, so I don't care if it sounds like a diesel. BTW, one of the reasons a diesel sounds like a diesel is their fuel injectors.
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      12-05-2020, 11:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
My N20 has sounded like a Mac truck since day one, so it's not because anything is worn. It's the injectors. I'm not really aware of it when driving. I only noticed it the first time I stood in front of the car with the hood open and the engine running. I don't drive standing in front of the car with the hood open and the engine running, so I don't care if it sounds like a diesel. BTW, one of the reasons a diesel sounds like a diesel is their fuel injectors.

I had been thinking about this before and it actually makes more sense to me than a worn turbo wastegate actuator arm and/or bypass flap in the exhaust manifold. It's a very consistent cyclical sound like a sticky or collapsed hydraulic lifter in the valvetrain. The turbo wastegate does not get activated in a manner that would sound so consistent although it may rattle in unison with blasts of exhaust gases. Still, I'm more inclined to lean in the direction of it being the injectors.

Mine is pretty noticeable even with the hood closed and obviously worse with it open.

So no resolution for this ? I wonder if attempts to dampen the sound from resonating across the fuel rail would help ?

Last edited by radeohedca; 12-05-2020 at 12:38 PM..
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      12-05-2020, 12:37 PM   #16
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Does your hood have a thick sound absorbing liner? If not it should.
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