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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
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View Poll Results: Did you experience timing chain failure on your N20 engine?
Yes, my timing chain failed or required replacement. 12 11.88%
No, I have not experienced timing chain failure. 86 85.15%
I replaced my timing chain as a preventative measure. 3 2.97%
Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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      06-18-2019, 08:32 AM   #45
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Model: MY 2015 F31 328ix, 12/10/14 build date, USA
Mileage: 21.5k miles
Timing Chain Status: No problems
Oil Changes: Low mileage CPO - 5.5k, 11k, 13.2k, 13.5k from service history; changed at 20k since my ownership
Stop/Start Coded Status: Coded off
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      06-18-2019, 08:41 AM   #46
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Model: 2013 F30 328i Sport RWD 8AT
Build: not sure, will try to check later
Mileage: 106,000 miles
Timing Chain Status: No whining yet. Loud tick on cold starts, hoping DI noise. Need to check chain from oil cap. Vaccum pump failed around 50k, not sure if chain was replaced with the pump.....
Oil Changes: Done at factory intervals.
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      06-18-2019, 01:34 PM   #47
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2013 X3 28i. 82k miles. Heard whine and took into dealership. Called BMW NA and they paid 50% despite it being 14k out of warranty (owning more than 1 BMW may help) Timing chain/oil chain replacement, no engine damage. Everything serviced at BMW on time or earlier, no mods. Also, regional rep who looked at car told my SA to tell me to save my receipts for repair. Not sure why. Additional goodwill compensation or class action?

IMHO, the internet makes some issues appear worse then they are, however, in my opinion this issue is worse than it appears because it isn't model specific. No good single place to aggregate all the info.

Last edited by M2 CSL; 06-18-2019 at 02:16 PM..
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      06-18-2019, 10:31 PM   #48
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As promised, hereís the photos for the rail guide. Itís broken at 2 different places. Luckily I get it replace before anything major happen. My auto start stop is coded off since day 1 and service every 10000km. So I donít think thatís the root cause as this is clearly manufacturing defect. My service advisor also show me another car that had the same problem. The owner heard whining noise and bring in for repair. Looks like this might occur no matter how much care taken for the engine.

I voted under preventive maintenance but should be under problematic category.
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      06-19-2019, 12:04 PM   #49
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I've read this issue is related to all N20 engines produced before 1st of March 2013. Can anyone shed any light on this?

My production date was June 19, 2013

No issues.

Oil Changes every 5k miles.

start/stop coded off soon after I purchased it.
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      06-19-2019, 12:38 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridaorange View Post
I've read this issue is related to all N20 engines produced before 1st of March 2013. Can anyone shed any light on this?

My production date was June 19, 2013

No issues.

Oil Changes every 5k miles.

start/stop coded off soon after I purchased it.
all n20\n26's made before 03\2015 have the old guides.
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      06-19-2019, 12:54 PM   #51
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Model: MY 2013 328i . July 10, 2012 build date. Germany.
Mileage: 116k miles, mostly highway miles
Timing Chain Status: No problems
Oil Changes: Every 10k miles since 44kmiles; I change the filter every 5k miles and top off. Always use LL-01 5W-30 0il
Stop/Start Coded Status: Coded, always off since 50k miles.
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      06-19-2019, 02:03 PM   #52
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2014 BMW 328i  [5.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMachuca3d View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridaorange View Post
I've read this issue is related to all N20 engines produced before 1st of March 2013. Can anyone shed any light on this?

My production date was June 19, 2013

No issues.

Oil Changes every 5k miles.

start/stop coded off soon after I purchased it.
all n20
26's made before 03\2015 have the old guides.
This is correct. Cars built through 02/2015 have the old guides.
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      06-19-2019, 02:41 PM   #53
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Thought I'd share - I work in the industry writing service for a Non-BMW branded dealer. I've come to know an experienced tech in the highest volume bmw dealer in town and he mentioned to me that they have maybe done 2 timing chain jobs ALL YEAR. These guys do more volume in sales and service than any other BMW dealer in town, maybe even the country.

Take that for what it's worth. Seems to be reflected in the poll answers in this thread with majority saying no issues.
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      06-19-2019, 03:27 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arvi604 View Post
Thought I'd share - I work in the industry writing service for a Non-BMW branded dealer. I've come to know an experienced tech in the highest volume bmw dealer in town and he mentioned to me that they have maybe done 2 timing chain jobs ALL YEAR. These guys do more volume in sales and service than any other BMW dealer in town, maybe even the country.

Take that for what it's worth. Seems to be reflected in the poll answers in this thread with majority saying no issues.
To follow this sentiment, the largest non BMW repairshop in town, well respected and quite busy with BMW's locally, have done zero timing chain repairs, none at all, and according to one of the two big bmw dealers in town, they have only done a "couple" of TC jobs on n20's over the last few years... how much truth there is to that i dont know, but i trust the independent bmw shop i spoke to first.
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      06-19-2019, 04:14 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMachuca3d View Post
To follow this sentiment, the largest non BMW repairshop in town, well respected and quite busy with BMW's locally, have done zero timing chain repairs, none at all, and according to one of the two big bmw dealers in town, they have only done a "couple" of TC jobs on n20's over the last few years... how much truth there is to that i dont know, but i trust the independent bmw shop i spoke to first.
Picked my car up today. I was one of two 2013 x3s in there with timing failure. Both cars had ~85k miles. Unfortunately the other guy didn't catch it in time and needs an engine replacement. There will be more and more reports of this. The whole idea floating around that if they were going break they would have early on is totally BS. My dealership has already done several.
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      06-19-2019, 06:51 PM   #56
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Just to let you guys know before I do the replacement, I didn't hear whining noise although the TC guide is broken. So, doesn't means that there's no problem without the noise. Also, before I bring in the car for timing chain replacement, my SA try to downplay the issue when I talked to him. After confirming the issue, the mechanic mention to me the plastic looks kind of too thin and always break at the same place. If you think they honestly will tell you major problems other owners encountered, you better think twice. I personally think even if the failure is 5%, it make me feel uneasy to own the car long term if I don't get it fix with new parts.

Last edited by pierreye; 06-19-2019 at 06:56 PM..
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      06-19-2019, 08:12 PM   #57
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Model: 2014 428i, 6 speed manual, May 2014 build date, Germany
Mileage: 29,000
Timing Chain Status: No problems
Oil Changes: Every 8000 miles
Stop/Start Coded Status: Off
Additional info: assuming I don't have any issues before then, I plan to have it changed when the extended warranty runs out at 7/70.
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      06-19-2019, 11:57 PM   #58
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Model: 2013 328i xDrive
Mileage: 66k miles
Timing Chain Status: replaced on CPO warranty earlier this year
Stop/Start Coded Status: Not coded, but always turn it off
Additional Details: took into local BMW dealer with complaint of a whine (wasn't that bad yet imo - https://streamable.com/1hk49), shop foreman listened with the hood up then met me back in the waiting area and said they're going to replace it all and that was it.
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      06-20-2019, 02:30 AM   #59
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Just got my car back today. Also got other issues fix at one go. Below is the breakdown if anyone interested.

Timing chain, guide, oil pump timing chain module, gasket, tensioner and vanos central valve (2 units) + labor:
RM 4800 = USD 1200.
Another item to change for older car is the turbo oil supply line with valve which cost around RM 900 = USD 225.

Fix the thermostat issue which show error in diagnostic program but no error code in iDrive. Also replace engine mounting and front spring strut mounts and damper. Now the car drive like a new car and feel tight and nice. The price above is after 25% discount as long term customer. SA advice me to drive for 2 weeks and bring back for inspection if there is any oil leak.

Last edited by pierreye; 06-20-2019 at 09:05 PM..
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      06-25-2019, 12:52 PM   #60
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Model: MY 2012 328i rwd. February 14th, 2012 build date. Munich. (CPO)
Mileage: 91,326 miles
Timing Chain Status: No problems
Oil Changes: Every 7k miles since 67k miles, not sure about PO (but it was dealer maintained as per lease arrangement)
Stop/Start Coded Status: Not coded, but always turn it off
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      06-26-2019, 08:04 AM   #61
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Here's a peak of my timing chain guide through the oil filler hole at 91,328 miles. February 2012 Munich build.

No problems so far. IF the guide were to become a problem, would there be warning signs visible from the oil filler hole?

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6u5rxzlmj...JozcgitPa?dl=0
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      06-26-2019, 02:43 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Kurgan View Post
Here's a peak of my timing chain guide through the oil filler hole at 91,328 miles. February 2012 Munich build.

No problems so far. IF the guide were to become a problem, would there be warning signs visible from the oil filler hole?

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6u5rxzlmj...JozcgitPa?dl=0
It's unlikely that you would be able to see a coming timing chain failure through the oil fill cap, unless you saw a crack in the minimal amount of plastic you can get a good look at.
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      06-26-2019, 09:50 PM   #63
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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.
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      06-27-2019, 06:38 AM   #64
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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?
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      06-27-2019, 08:30 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjdnyy224 View Post
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?
Disclaimer, I have a boroscope and have tried tirelessly to get an angle on the most common area of failure. It is near impossible. There is a very small space to actually get the boroscope down past the valve cover at which point you would need to have the camera angled 90 degrees to properly see anything. Which is of course impossible once you have the boroscope down past the cams.
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      06-27-2019, 08:38 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BettyFkinCrocker View Post
Disclaimer, I have a boroscope and have tried tirelessly to get an angle on the most common area of failure. It is near impossible. There is a very small space to actually get the boroscope down past the valve cover at which point you would need to have the camera angled 90 degrees to properly see anything. Which is of course impossible once you have the boroscope down past the cams.
Well, thanks for saving me the time and money.
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