BMW 5 320d se- any reason not to buy?

Home Forum Chat Forum BMW 5 320d se- any reason not to buy?

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
  • BMW 5 320d se- any reason not to buy?
  • Hi,

    I’m looking at a 2012 plate one of these.

    Anything to watch out for on a 20,000 mile car?

    Specifically that’s not a huge amount of miles on a 6 year old diesel car- will it have killed it the engine/ dpf filter? If so, is it worth fixing? I kept last car 10 years and my wife has had hers a similar amount of time.

    We would be doing 15k per year

    Thanks 🙂


    I’m sure it will be fine, it’s not that old at all.

    3 series or 5 series?


    It depends how the mileage was done, as long as the DPF had the occasional 30-40 minute run at 70ish it’ll have been able to regen if it needed to so I wouldn’t expect any particular (sic) problems. Might be a bit sooted up if it’s done just short runs but I’d expect a few decent blasts to see it right.

    5series, 520d. I spent ages looking at 320d as well 🙂


    Will be fine, just get some good long motorway drives in.  Take it to an independent and they can check the re-gen cycles.  Is it a tourer, or saloon, if tourer, get the airsprings looked at as they wear prematurely (they fixed this a few years ago with a different rubber compound).  Not expensive (as long as you stay away from BMW).

    I’ve had two 520d’s and the engine will be fine. It won’t need a run out to clear the DPF as it has a re-gen system built in but they’re generally a clean engine anyways.

    My only worry would would be if it’s a manual, the clutch may be worn on such little mileage as they have good torque and if the previous owner was a bit on/off with the clutch then it may feel a bit like an on/off switch and a replacement will be mega money.

    Always go for an auto on a BMW Diesel if you can.

    otherwise a reliable monster mile car.


    Also, it would be worth forcing an oil change.  The service computer will be telling you it’s OK, but it’s old so get it done.  They are very good cars, i’ve had my tourer (520DMsport 2012) for 3 years, bought with 20K miles on the clock.  Been a right workhorse, now on 90K as it’s done a few South of Italy and France drives, as well as regular M25 commutes.  The EGR valve has now gunked up, so needs replacing, but other than that and the airspring issue, it’s been faultless.

    Hob Nob

    The big issue, and it is a very real issue, being the N47 engine, is the timing chain.

    If you want to scare yourself, have a Google. Budget for £2k to replace it with a specialist at some point would be my suggestion.

    Listen for the ‘death rattle’ before you buy. Starts on start up, then gradually gets worse, as the chain stretches and starts to fail.



    My 06 330D SE now has over 160k…. bought it 100k ago…. had one £300 job (alternator mount – most of which was getting towed)  and replaced clutch / DMF (reasonably cheap with RWD)

    The one thing I did change was the SE seats… In this case it was actually because I wanted leather and the car was otherwise a bargain and I got the whole set and door panels for £500

    What I realised after was (leather or not) the Motorsport seats are way comfier.. at least to me.


    What Hob Nob said – N47 engines had massive timing chain issues.  I think BMW did a recall?  Make sure it’s been done properly.  I think it’s a proper engine out job to fix

    Thanks for all the replies!

    Its a 2012 plate and the forums and Wikipedia suggest that the problem engines were produced from 2007 to 2009 (linked to bbc watchdog rather than total internet speculation)

    Thanks for the heads up on the oil and air springs

    Its an auto, so, good?

    Its got cream leather. As a careless mountain biker that is clearly going to get trashed, I might have to invest in a proper seat cover. Hopefully the seats will fit me!



    Its got cream leather. As a careless mountain biker that is clearly going to get trashed, I might have to invest in a proper seat cover. Hopefully the seats will fit me!

    If they are in good nick you might be able to PX them ??

    As I said the MS ones are nicer all round but I can’t believe how well my leather ones clean-up…. (compared to Honda leather)

    Mine have been seriously abused…. pedal pins and the lot and even pedal pins just left light scratches that you can mostly buff out….

    That said the SE ones might be better as a rear seat for bikes as they don’t have the upturned bucket bit…


    We’ve got two 320ds, both gone twice round the clock with no major bills. However three different people in the motor trade have warned me off getting a newer one so I hope you’re right about those years.

    Hob Nob

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: #222222; font-family: ‘Open Sans’; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 22.4px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>Its a 2012 plate and the forums and Wikipedia suggest that the problem engines were produced from 2007 to 2009 (linked to bbc watchdog rather than total internet speculation)</span>

    The timing chain issue is an inherent design issue with the N47 engine, regardless of age. Granted it is ‘less’ of an issue on the newer cars, but it is still a big issue. Speak to any decent independent for an honest opinion.

    I can attest to it certainly being an issue later than 2009 – 2 out of 3 2014 520d’s both have had timing chains replaced with my immediate colleagues.

    Having had one replaced (under warranty, which I had to fight tooth & nail for) I wouldn’t be touching any BMW with an N47 based engine, regardless of age, and regardless of whether it was replaced under warranty or not.


    Is there any way to tell if this is an affected engine? It doesn’t sound like BMW will be forthcoming with the information.

    Or should I just buy one with a bigger engine?


    Blimey, timing chains should really last the life of the car – 16 year old 120k mileage Nissan with a chain, no rattles.

    I’m maybe looking at a 2 series grand tourer in petrol next, need a car/van to shove bikes in back. Pertol because of 10 mile nose to tail commute, with weekend 130 mile motorway round trips.

    Hob Nob

    Basically, any N47 derivative you are taking a risk with. Which is fine, if you go into it with your eyes open. Walk away from anything noisy on start up or idle, and have a repair pot. BMW will want crazy money for the work, a good BMW independent will do it for £2k (they have had a lot of practice now!)

    Lots of reasons why they supposedly fail, service intervals are too long, tensioner design fails, bad chains etc, but nothing really definative. Otherwise they are a great car.

    Personally I wouldn’t bother, it’s going to be what, a 10k car & a £2k bill is a lot to stomach on something that is a widely known issue.

    The M57 3.0 engine also has chain but isn’t know for its issues. That’s where I would go if I had another (or I would buy one under manufacturer warranty!)


    the N47 was swaped out on 5series in the LCI release in July 2012, where it changed to a B47 engine, that’s when xenon’s also came as standard on the 5series.

    One of the odl issues was swirl flaps on N47, but these were mostly fixed, then yes timing chain, but again you can hear it early enough and a simply change of chain tensioner fixes that problem for good, again an Indy will do it pretty quickly and painlessly.

    The problem you have is that you end up researching to death everything about a car – do the same with any make/model and you’ll think you are doing the wrong thing!  It’s a v good car, go with it!!  And yes the sport seats are WELL comfy – infact when my back is in pieces, sitting in the car helps..  🙂


    I’ve heard plenty about the N47 timing belt failures but having two cars with this engine it’s never been a concern. I know a few others with the same engine in their cars along with a client who ran a fleet of cars with this engine and none had a issue. As Sui said if you hear a rattle you can get it checked not something you can do with a timing belt that can go between replacements with no warning.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    520D tourer here, love it to bits, terrific car, 2010, F11 shape, love it to Italy twice last year, fully loaded,. Once with 3 DH bikes on it once with the family, it was an absolute joy to drive too and not once did I feel pee’d off getting back in to drive it.

    Only thing I’ve that has gone so far is one air bag on the rear suspension, the rest has been consumables.

    Got it with 60k on clock, now its got 95k after two and a bit years.

    Perfect balance of economy, power, progress and comfort in my mind. Love the 8 speed auto too. It does its job way better than I could with a manual box.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.