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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 > My N20 died at 72k miles
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      10-25-2018, 08:46 AM   #529
BunkerJ
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Originally Posted by U2BassAce View Post
My wife was driving her 2013 328I Sedan to work the other morning. Going about 40MPH the drive train and engine light came on and engine died immediately. Not sure if it locked up or not. She was stuck in the middle of a lane for 2 hours with police blocking traffic while the tow truck tried to get it on the bed because it could not even be shifted into neutral.

Car has 110,000 lightly driven miles on it. We are only owner and it had the extended factory warranty and service plans added to it when we purchased it. So she has had it in for every service on time if not early as it was all free.

They come back, $16,000 for a new engine and tried to claim she was 6,000 miles overdue on service. We had the records from another BMW dealership who did all the service. They also said cylinders lost pressure and there was metal in the oil filter among other things.

Once we proved it had been serviced properly and I found the information here and other places online about the failures they have offered a glimmer of hope.

We had to agree to pay over $1,000 to diagnose what happened and that will be rebated if BMW steps up. We are currently waiting word on it and I will keep you all informed.

Very stressful! This is our third 3 Series so I hope that counts for something with them. No warning at all just BAMM!!!!
Did she use the auto stop/start functionality?
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      10-28-2018, 12:29 AM   #530
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I have a '14 328i that I bought 3 months back with 36.5k miles now approaching 38.5k. No CPO but covered under the 7/7k warranty, also has the maintenance plan to 100k. Vehicle production date was 9/2013 and in-service date was 11/2013. The TSB lists that production date pre-3/2013 is prone to the problem but the redesign and warranty go much later.

Do we know if anything actually changed after 3/2013 that warrants less cause for concern? Is it speculation that the old parts were used up? Are there less failures for cars produced after 3/2013? I read elsewhere that 328i may be less problematic than 328i XDrive or X*, any truth to that?

It has the orange guides and some light scoring but seems fine. I'm torn over doing nothing and potentially arguing over mods with the dealer if the unthinkable happens, changing the tensioner for a bit more peace of mind, or preemptive replacement even though the production date is post 3/2013. I understand the risks but want to be smart about it. I will surely change oil every 5k and not use auto start/stop.

Last edited by sport-m; 10-28-2018 at 12:37 AM.
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      10-29-2018, 06:41 AM   #531
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sport-m View Post
I have a '14 328i that I bought 3 months back with 36.5k miles now approaching 38.5k. No CPO but covered under the 7/7k warranty, also has the maintenance plan to 100k. Vehicle production date was 9/2013 and in-service date was 11/2013. The TSB lists that production date pre-3/2013 is prone to the problem but the redesign and warranty go much later.

Do we know if anything actually changed after 3/2013 that warrants less cause for concern? Is it speculation that the old parts were used up? Are there less failures for cars produced after 3/2013? I read elsewhere that 328i may be less problematic than 328i XDrive or X*, any truth to that?

It has the orange guides and some light scoring but seems fine. I'm torn over doing nothing and potentially arguing over mods with the dealer if the unthinkable happens, changing the tensioner for a bit more peace of mind, or preemptive replacement even though the production date is post 3/2013. I understand the risks but want to be smart about it. I will surely change oil every 5k and not use auto start/stop.
I would also like to know when the actual change in guides and/or chain happened. I have a 320i produced 6/2014 and in-service 8/2014. So far I have 132k km (82k miles) on the clock and light scoring marks on the chain. Also the guides are orange. No problems so far but threads like this makes me worry to do any mods to my engine because I'm afraid of losing warranty / good will. Note that I'm from Finland so 7/7k warranty is not applicable for me.

Edit: Oil change interval is interesting one. In Finland we have 30k km or 2 years (19k mi) interval in CBS and some people like me do one change in between so every 15k km or once per year (9k mi). But you have shorter oil change interval in CBS and do change oil even more often than that. But yet we have quite hot summers and cold winters which should stress the engine more (ok, depends where you live).

Last edited by kobluna; 10-29-2018 at 06:49 AM.
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      10-29-2018, 09:06 AM   #532
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sport-m View Post
I have a '14 328i that I bought 3 months back with 36.5k miles now approaching 38.5k. No CPO but covered under the 7/7k warranty, also has the maintenance plan to 100k. Vehicle production date was 9/2013 and in-service date was 11/2013. The TSB lists that production date pre-3/2013 is prone to the problem but the redesign and warranty go much later.

Do we know if anything actually changed after 3/2013 that warrants less cause for concern? Is it speculation that the old parts were used up? Are there less failures for cars produced after 3/2013? I read elsewhere that 328i may be less problematic than 328i XDrive or X*, any truth to that?

It has the orange guides and some light scoring but seems fine. I'm torn over doing nothing and potentially arguing over mods with the dealer if the unthinkable happens, changing the tensioner for a bit more peace of mind, or preemptive replacement even though the production date is post 3/2013. I understand the risks but want to be smart about it. I will surely change oil every 5k and not use auto start/stop.
I think the date falls somewhere in 2014 for the change in the guide. Honestly, your best way to reduce the chance of that failure is to run the car without the Auto Stop/Start functionality. Seems that most, if not all, failures were using it frequently and due to the lack of lubrication (and the guides already being a faulty material), it wore down much quicker. I'm at almost 93k now and pushing the car quite hard, with no foreseeable issues.
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      10-29-2018, 09:21 AM   #533
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It would be very interesting to see the statistics of failures - how many people with the issue have used Auto Stop/Start and how many haven't.

I never use it.
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Last edited by Delija; 10-29-2018 at 09:27 AM.
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      10-30-2018, 06:11 PM   #534
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UPDATE AS PROMISED:

Had not heard from them since last Friday with no clear answer. Wife finally called today late Tuesday to find out they put a new engine in the car and are testing it to be picked up tomorrow. No charge!

I guess this is a case the BMW thought a recall would be FAR more expensive than dealing with the catastrophic failures of some percentage of the overall cars sent out with that engine configuration.

That was a CLOSE call!

The fact we had it serviced by BMW for all 110,000 miles of the car's life was I believe a difference maker as well. The first time around they challenged us saying it was 6,000 miles overdue for an oil change and we were SOL.

Last edited by U2BassAce; 10-30-2018 at 06:57 PM.
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      10-30-2018, 06:58 PM   #535
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunkerJ View Post
Did she use the auto stop/start functionality?
Yes she did and it was always active.

That always made me wonder....just didn't seem natural having a car do that all the time.
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      10-30-2018, 07:00 PM   #536
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delija View Post
It would be very interesting to see the statistics of failures - how many people with the issue have used Auto Stop/Start and how many haven't.

I never use it.
When we get the car back with the new engine we will discontinue the use. But yes she always had that on.
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      10-31-2018, 08:47 AM   #537
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U2BassAce View Post
Yes she did and it was always active.

That always made me wonder....just didn't seem natural having a car do that all the time.
Just based on all of the failures I've seen, that's the correlating factor. BMW came out and said it was a faulty polycarbonate, which drastically undermined its longevity. My hypothesis is that due to that faulty material in combination with a lack of fresh oil (As in, you're sitting at a light for 30 sec to 2 min and assuming your car doesn't start, that oil is dripping off the chain and guide.), those using AS/S experienced higher wear and eventually engine failure.

Now, knock on wood, but I'm at 93k and I've been FBO/Stage 2 (and now E30) for at least 30k miles. No issues thus far and I do a regular check every 1k miles to see if deep scoring has occurred. I've also been running AS/S in off for the same period of time, so we'll see.
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      11-07-2018, 03:13 PM   #538
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The N20 is built in the UK at BMW's Hams Hall factory near Birmingham. It's not a bad engine but it suffers the same old problems that BMW fours have had since 2001. The N42 in the E46 had chain and tensioner guide breakage problems. So did the N46 that replaced it in 2004, and the direct injection N43 from late 2007 (not sold in the US) was even worse. If you think the N20 is a bit marginal, the N43 - by far the worst engine BMW has ever made - is a disaster. These were fitted to the 116i-120i, 318i/320i etc. It would be easier to list what doesn't go wrong with them. The N20 replaced it and chain apart, is much better.
The N20 chain/oil pump thing is not acceptable. It's the same fault they've had since the N42 and they really should have learned by now how to make a timing/pump chain assembly that is pretty much guaranteed not to go badly wrong at low mileages. I mean, they used to be able to do it in the E36! Look at the M44 fitted to the old 318Ti and Z3. How many of those ever went bang? By 70k, I would be biting the bullet and getting the complete timing chain/rails with oil pump chain assy replaced - it's not if yours will fail, it's when. For further proof that BMW struggle to make a timing chain that's suitable for the job, Google 'N47 diesel timing chain'. That's an eye opener!

https://www.bmwgroup-plants.com/hamshall/en.html
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