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Pebble

Is timing chain replacement essential at 100k?

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Hi All,

 

I've had my 2012 520d for a few months now and I think it's great.  Will definitely be saving up for a 530 at some later point but hoping to get a few years out of this one first. 

 

I'm not particularly mechanically minded but keen to understand a bit more about my car, things it can do that I don't know about and things I need to do to keep it in going for a few more years.  It has just done 96,000 miles and I've seen a lot of conflicting reports of whether the timing chain needs doing at 100k.  Some argue that it needs doing regardless of any symptoms, some suggest that it only needs doing if it is rattling and I've even seen some arguments that say the only people who say it needs doing are those who want to charge £1000 to replace it for me.

 

I've done a quick search on here and can't find a definitive answer so any guidance or debating points would be welcome.

 

Thanks

 

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I would say no. As you point out, it is well into four figures to fix as it's an engine out job to do. £1,000 is probably at the cheaper end too.

 

Some N47 engines have done mega miles with no issues, some haven't. 

 

If you have no symptoms (which is usually a rattle from the top rear of the engine) then don't change it. Change the oil yearly or 10,000 miles which ever comes first to help keep the chains sweet.

 

But it's your money, your car and your piece of mind, only you can really decide for sure if you want to do it if you have no symptoms. It's a risk you need to factor in owning a car with an N47 engine.

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Thanks Andrew

 

That seems like a sensible approach and I'd be keen not to spend the money unnecessarily.  I'm a bit worried that I don't know what I'm listening out for so might ask a garage what they think but I'll ask someone who doesn't do timing belt changes in the hope they don't have a vested interest! 

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Definitely not. I think you are overly worrying this, and i personally wouldn't even get it checked out, unless it's causing issues/unusual noises. You've got a 2012, which will have the N47T engine, which I'm pretty sure the had the timing chain issue rectified.

 

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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I'm at 140k miles (63/520d se) with 10,000 mile oil changes since 33k and cars running sweet as a nut, took the decision to stop paying the warranty extension a few months ago and no more dealer services, this car will be driven into the ground, I'm aiming for 250k miles (another 3yrs or so of driving)

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8 hours ago, Spreadly said:

 

You've got a 2012, which will have the N47T engine, which I'm pretty sure the had the timing chain issue rectified.

 

Afraid not so, all N47 engines are susceptible to the timing chain failure. BMW never actually fixed the fault with that engine. 

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20 hours ago, Pebble said:

Thanks Andrew

 

That seems like a sensible approach and I'd be keen not to spend the money unnecessarily.  I'm a bit worried that I don't know what I'm listening out for so might ask a garage what they think but I'll ask someone who doesn't do timing belt changes in the hope they don't have a vested interest! 

 

The best description I heard, and its accurate is think of being on a push bike and rotating the pedals backwards - that's the noise you'll hear. It's not overly loud but you can clearly hear it in the cabin if the car has an issue. I test drove a car when I was first looking at the 5's and instantly heard the noise. 

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I bought a F11 with the N47T and my chain went at 125k I was pished off at the time because I did have some warning signs and I had done lots of research.  As others have said the theory is that the guides (plastic) and chain are both more prone to wear when exposed to old contaminated oil.  They changed the design slightly for the N47T  but they still have the same basic design.  I did think about getting the chains done soon after buying the car but my thinking was that it would be better to bank the money.  The clutch did start to slip at 122k on mine and I got that done and got the engine fixed.  

 

The N47 has plenty of bad press.  It is a proper tractor at idle but fine once on the move.  I have just done a 300 mile round trip and enjoyed every minute.  I was doing good speeds using my right foot a bit and still got 50mpg.  Add to this the cheap purchase price and the package is a brilliant proposition. So I say put a bit money aside and don't worry about it.  You could spend all the money and put it through a hedge backwards!  Just drive it and enjoy it.

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On 20/09/2019 at 20:26, Matthew Ashton said:

 

 

 

Afraid not so, all N47 engines are susceptible to the timing chain failure. BMW never actually fixed the fault with that engine. 

The irony is the b series uses exactly the same chain, oil sprayer and some of the guides as the final n47's. That being said some of the guides are different.

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Hi. I been talking to a few guys,they all bmw specialist and run their garages. One lad is in Latvia and has a youtube channel. He is unbeliveble with bmw's,knows them inside out.

He is doing quite a lot of timing chains on n47 and m57 engines. He sugests that after 220/230k km or arround 130/135k miles you should consider timing chain job as a service.

To do a timing chain on n47 and n57 there is no need to take engine out,just gearbox and its plenty of acces to do the job. Apparently after 2012 there was some mod to the timing chain kit,i am cant remember what exactly,but problems with streched out chains still happen.

On the f10 with rear wheel drive replacement of chains including genuine parts is arround 1200 euro,maybe bit less and if go for non genuine parts,then its 900 euro,but i would not trust non genuine staff.

If car has xdrive,then its another 150 euro on top. 

I think in UK ,friend of mine who runs a garage does a job for 1000 quid on non xdrive cars,only if chain didnt snap.

Not very cheap,but if you planning to keep car for some time and mileage is arround 130k then probably good idea to do the chains or at least take rocker cover off and check the cam chain.

Saying that though, 2 of my friends have f10 which is 2010 60reg and f07 62reg. Both cars done over 135k miles,both n47 and going well. Owners listen to the engine on the cold start though. 

To me its quite a tricky thing,those timing chains on the bmw diesels and everybody has to make their choice.

 

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I've seen that guy's videos. Box out and done with engine in situ but it didn't look easy doing it that way IMO.

 

The vast majority of N47s don't give issues, it's just when they do it's big money to sort.

 

Regular oil and filter changes is the key to keep the rattle at bay.

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2 hours ago, 535i Andrew said:

I've seen that guy's videos. Box out and done with engine in situ but it didn't look easy doing it that way IMO.

 

The vast majority of N47s don't give issues, it's just when they do it's big money to sort.

 

Regular oil and filter changes is the key to keep the rattle at bay.

The last bit for me is the important bit more oil changes than by the book, I mean time wise you are looking at a few hours at most.

 

I usually just pay bmw to do mine due to the age the pricing is competitive for a simple interim oil change.

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On 9/24/2019 at 10:13 PM, 535i Andrew said:

I've seen that guy's videos. Box out and done with engine in situ but it didn't look easy doing it that way IMO.

 

The vast majority of N47s don't give issues, it's just when they do it's big money to sort.

 

Regular oil and filter changes is the key to keep the rattle at bay.

Hi. No,its not simple job at all,but with experiance its becomes easier i guess. That same lad was doing timing chain on m57 and he said that he prefers n47/57 as its more comfortable for him,better access too.

I think that regular oil changes are they key to long lastimg engine,especially if car spends most of its life in city traffic.

I do oil change every 5k miles in all my cars as i dont believe in long life oil. To me its only a sales pitch by marketing people.

 

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1 hour ago, Yuri84 said:

 To me its only a sales pitch by marketing people.

 

 

Lol it can't be.  Oil marketing people will make more money if they sell more oil, to sell more oil you need to not advocate long oil change intervals. Unless that's their reason for making long life oil so expensive. 

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Mine went at just over 100000 miles. I had no sign of it going apart from error coding pointing to signal drop on camshaft sensor. My warranty covered it all so was done at BMW garage.

Upon examination the chain had stretched approx 1 link but nothing had broken and no bike chain noise either. 

I wonder if the new gears that were fitted as part of repair are updated parts to the original 2011 parts, does anyone know?

I intend to use a oil sucker vacuum pump and change oil myself at 10k or 1yr intervals, what ever comes first 

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