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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 > N20 / N26 Timing Chain Failure Log
View Poll Results: Did you experience timing chain failure on your N20 engine?
Yes, my timing chain failed or required replacement. 21 14.48%
No, I have not experienced timing chain failure. 120 82.76%
I replaced my timing chain as a preventative measure. 4 2.76%
Voters: 145. You may not vote on this poll

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      06-27-2019, 10:53 AM   #67
DYH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjdnyy224 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by pierreye View Post
You can try to use a borescope to take a look. Especially at the joint where the plastic will most likely break. You can refer to the photo I take on the possible point of failure.
Where is that joint in relation to the front of the engine? As in, if I were to buy a borescope and take a look, where would I want to be pointing the thing?
The joint is on the lower right side.
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      06-27-2019, 12:59 PM   #68
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Here's a diagnosis method I've posted before that some of you will find useful:

You can check your oil filter for metal shavings or bits of plastic by cutting the filter media open. In most engines, oil flows from the inside of the filter to the outside, so the shavings will be in the folds of the filter media when you cut it away from the center of the filter with a razor. Ferrous shavings will be shiny and stick to a magnet (cranks, rods), babbitt will be metallic but non magnetic you can also crush it with a hammer (bearing material), and plastic will crush but not be shiny (timing chain guide). You should do this every time you check your oil, it's easy and free. You can google "aircraft oil filter inspection" for videos. Thankfully we don't have to cut our filter housings like most other cars, that's a pain and the tool dulls quickly and is hard to sharpen.
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      06-28-2019, 02:11 PM   #69
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2013 BMW 328i  [0.00]
2013 328i  [0.00]
Model: 2013 328i Sport RWD
Mileage: 46k miles
Timing Chain Status: No problems
Oil Changes: every 5k miles since 46k, not sure about PO
Stop/Start Coded Status: Coded off by me. not sure about PO
Additional Details: None
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      06-28-2019, 05:09 PM   #70
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Model: 320i 2012-Sept-12
Mileage: 60k miles, mostly motorway miles
Timing Chain Status: No problems. Checked today at dealers
Oil Changes: As per on board computer indicates.
Stop/Start Coded Status: Not coded but always off since 17k miles, not sure about PO.
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      06-28-2019, 09:25 PM   #71
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Model: 328i xDrive 2013 Prod. date 2/2013
Mileage: 71k miles, mostly motorway miles
Timing Chain Status: Faint sound and recommended to replace by local mechanic.
Oil Changes: Every 6-10k varying
Stop/Start Coded Status: Coded off at 11k. Not sure about PO

Plans: Trade in the car and forget about the issue.
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      07-01-2019, 12:23 PM   #72
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I dropped my car off for timing chain and guides, and oil pump chain replacement today. I can't change my vote in the poll, but I do plan to keep the car a long time. I like road trips, and don't want to be in the middle of nowhere far from home when the high-pitched whine shows up.

This should restore peace of mind and dependability.
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      07-01-2019, 01:55 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsouth View Post
I dropped my car off for timing chain and guides, and oil pump chain replacement today. I can't change my vote in the poll, but I do plan to keep the car a long time. I like road trips, and don't want to be in the middle of nowhere far from home when the high-pitched whine shows up.

This should restore peace of mind and dependability.
How much did they quote you and did you get a cost break down?
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      07-01-2019, 05:10 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMachuca3d View Post
How much did they quote you and did you get a cost break down?
With tax, a little shy of $3000 USD at an independent BMW shop. I don't live in a major metropolitan area, so there are few choices to drive prices down. I don't have time to do it myself.

I priced trading up to a post-2015 model, but that would cost $8,000 minimum. My car looks pretty new and is still comfortable, so this is the most cost-effective option.

Update:
See post 78 for complete and accurate breakdown after I picked it up.

Last edited by jsouth; 07-04-2019 at 10:43 AM..
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      07-01-2019, 10:21 PM   #75
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jsouth

Please check your timing chain rail once it's taken out. I'm curious if you have the same crack as mine although no whining timing chain sound.
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      07-02-2019, 10:24 AM   #76
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Model: 2012 328i Sport RWD
Mileage: 107k km
Timing Chain Status: No problems
Oil Changes: ~every 5-10k km
Stop/Start Coded Status: Coded off by me
Additional Details:

I tried using small borescope, it's 5mm diameter and i was able to stick it pretty much everywhere
It can reach both left or right side, all the way down to oil pump chain... here's few images if anyone interested
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      07-03-2019, 06:01 PM   #77
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Model: 2012 328i RWD
Mileage: 65k miles (Bought at 38k, BM3 since 40k)
Timing Chain Status: No problems
Oil Changes: every 5k-6k miles since I owned it.
Stop/Start Coded Status: Coded off when I bought it.
Additional Details: Took it in twice to BMW to check the timing chain before my warranty was up due to 7 years. They kept it overnight to hear a cold start that last time. They said no issues.
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      07-04-2019, 10:40 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierreye View Post
jsouth

Please check your timing chain rail once it's taken out. I'm curious if you have the same crack as mine although no whining timing chain sound.
My guides had no cracks. Both chains were silky smooth. I probably would have had no failure but I didn't want to gamble. We take road trips for vacations and I couldn't afford to be away and have either a failure or the noise indicating imminent failure.

The bill was $598.09 US for parts:
  • Vacuum pump seal
  • Cam adjuster seal
  • Front Crankshaft seal
  • Crankshaft pulley bolt
  • Oil pan gasket
  • Valve cover gasket
  • Timing chain, guide, and tensioner
  • Oil pump chain, guide, tensioner, and sprocket

And 18 hours labor at $115 US per hour (total of $2070 labor)

For a grand total with tax of $2717.43 US
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      07-05-2019, 01:12 PM   #79
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Model: MY 2013 328i xDrive. 11/2012 build date
Mileage: 65k
Timing Chain Status: No issues
Oil Changes: Carfax shows mostly 6-7k intervals but one of 15k, all at BMW dealership
Start/Stop Coded Status: Not coded but I always turn it off immediately
Additional Details: Purchased with about 60k with full records privately. Only engine related issue the car has ever had was the thermostat (covered under extended warranty)
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      07-09-2019, 05:04 PM   #80
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This video is interesting, not sure what to make of it.

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      07-10-2019, 03:13 AM   #81
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Model: 2014 428xdrive
Build: December 2013
Mileage: 79k
Timing Chain Status: No problems
Oil Changes: Every 5k miles since 42k
Stop/Start Status: Coded off at 42k
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      07-10-2019, 02:49 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_BMW View Post
This video is interesting, not sure what to make of it.
Not true. Failure rate seems to be about 5% or less. It's a risk, but it's not a "your engine will absolutely grenade" issue.
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      07-11-2019, 01:46 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsouth View Post
Not true. Failure rate seems to be about 5% or less. It's a risk, but it's not a "your engine will absolutely grenade" issue.
That kid is just baiting for views.
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      07-13-2019, 01:29 AM   #84
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Model: 2014 328i RWD (N26)
Build: Not sure, I will look it up
Current Mileage: 92k
Timing Chain Status: Replaced short block along with guide and chain at 77k miles.
Oil Changes: Every 5k miles since 45k
Stop/Start Status: Manually turn it off every time.
Additional Details: I took it to dealership for a whining noise and they found metal shavings in oil and said engine needed replacement. Later I found out it was because the timing chain guide broke and caused problems. BMW and extended warranty replaced short block, chains/guide, and turbo under good will and I havenít had problems since.

Last edited by bentheredonethat; 07-18-2019 at 02:24 PM..
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      07-16-2019, 01:16 PM   #85
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Model: 2012 328i RWD
Build: OCT 2012
Mileage: 693xx Kms
Timing Chain Status: No problems
Oil Changes: Every 10kms, before then not sure what the previous owner did
Stop/Start Status: turned off each time from 56k kms

no issues just yet but its making me paranoid!!
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      07-16-2019, 07:38 PM   #86
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Alright everyone, I'm almost at 122k on my 2013 f30 n26. The higher the mileage the more likely it won't happen to you, it won't happen to most people. And it's an expensive job, it may never break on you guys.
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      07-16-2019, 07:41 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyMcMahon101 View Post
Alright everyone, I'm almost at 122k on my 2013 f30 n26. The higher the mileage the more likely it won't happen to you, it won't happen to most people. And it's an expensive job, it may never break on you guys.
Any mods/tune?
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      07-16-2019, 07:42 PM   #88
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Do not, I repeat DO NOT tune them. They can't handle it, also not all timing chain and guides were affected. Only a handful. But don't tune it... numerous shops warned me, if you do, then do the chain and guides.
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