BMW cam chain failure?

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  • BMW cam chain failure?
  • boxxer7

    It was on watchdog this week, look on bbc iplayer it should be there.


    Was on Watchdog this week I think, perhaps the iplayer has it.

    Edit: snapamundo 😛

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix

    It was on watchdog, affects the 1,3,5 series. Seems if it has a full service history from a BMW garage then BMW go some way to helping towards costs. So look for full main dealer service history.

    N47 diesel, a problem on engine BUILD dates till march 11.

    Google it, there’s millions of reads all over the net.

    It’s an engine out job to replace the chain (tho its the sprocket that’s friction welded onto the cam shaft that throws the chain off)

    You really don’t wanna know the cost of replacing the cam shaft / timing sprocket 🙂


    Is it when the indicators get over used?

    Premier Icon monkeysfeet

    It was reported on this weeks watchdog. If you go on the BBC iplayer it should be viewable.
    I think it was 07 – 09 models (all models 1,3,5 series) but it was high milage models. The timing chain had failed leaving owners with huge bills in excess of 4-5k. BMW said that they had a good will policy but only on vehicles with full BMW history.
    Funnily enough a friends timing chain went on his 02 Audi TT, full history,low miles and Audi paid for the lot.


    cheers everyone,

    found the watchdog clip

    I’ll learn how to spell cam too 😉


    A bloke at work was telling me about some problem BMW are having with certain engines snapping (he said stretching?) cam chains

    I am thinking about getting a used BMW hopefully soon

    I only got half a story, does anyone know which years, models or engines it affects?



    N47 engine, so all 2 litre diesels I believe. One of the most common bmw engines.

    Unfortunately I have a 320 d touring. Chain and guards have already been replaced, under warranty, with the previous owner (father in law). However, there is no certain fix and looking online the issue can occur almost at any stage of the car’s life. Annoying as the engine is otherwise great and the car drives well.

    Replacement cost for the part is circa £4 to £5 k or something crazy. My car had only done 6k miles when problem was identified. It has now done circa 15k and my father in law recons he can hear the sound again. Annoying as the car is only 18 months old and the most expensive set of wheels I have ever bought.

    Car currently broken down with BMW dealer, alternator fried. I had already been in twice to the garage to point out the warning light for the battery was on and explained the handbook said this was an alternator issue…they just charged up the battery when I took the car in.

    Sorry for going off topic, but personally I wouldn’t get another, despite it being a nice car otherwise.

    I have an ’08 BMW 320d Touring. I’ve had it 3 and a half months. What’s this noise you speak of Gribble? Will make a note to watch Watchdog on iplayer tomorrow n


    King of biscuits – if you google n47 engine issues there are sounds of the problem on YouTube. Almost like a Metallica rattle/rubbing sound.


    Guy on program is disgusted at the fact the car he brought with 100+k on the clock car has fault and manufacturer won’t pay for repair. Didn’t tell us how many miles the car had done when the fault occurred or even if he had ever been inside a BMW dealership.
    I wonder how many of these people took the offer of extending the warranty on their vehicles when the manufacturer offered it?
    Some manufacturers have very good goodwill policies I have benefited from Panasonics myself but if you expect goodwill should you not expect to show them loyalty? You can’t expect to get work done by fred in the shed then expect the manufacturer to give you goodwill (whatever the product) unless there is a recall issue.
    Would it happen in your line of work?

    b r

    Sounds a bit like the Honda m/c cam-chain problem from the 80’s – I think it was to do with tensioner failure.

    Biggest problem for the BMW’s is that it’s at the rear of the engine, so needs engine-out to fix.


    I read about this 12 months ago on the BM forums; I believe the issue affects the 177 bhp diesel but not the pre sept 07 163 bhp engines.

    I don’t think it affects the 6 pot diesels.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    Happened to my mates 320d.
    Not sure who picked up the bill, but it was on over 100k & under 3yrs old still.

    Ho hum

    crikey – Member
    Is it when the indicators get over used?

    Ha ha!



    Premier Icon BigJohn

    Is it when the indicators get over used?

    Not enough evidence to prove it.


    My 2010 318d touring had the same thing happen.

    I didn’t know there was an issue, but it didn’t sound right so I took it in to be checked over. BMW said it was the cam chain tensioner that was failing!

    The engine had to come out and have parts replaced. That was at 76k, I think it’s just started happening again at 100k. They sorted it at no cost to me, lets hope they do it again.

    It’s been a pretty troubled car, two steering racks, replaced front suspension and a problem with the clutch. I’ve had it from new and drive like an old lady so I’m not very impressed.

    It’s a shame really as its a great car, 50+ mpg, fun to drive and all day comfy.


    Regarding the age and mileage of the car, I appreciate this has occurred on some cars that have done in excess of 100k. However, it has occurred on cars (like mine) that have done very low mileage. I suspect where it has happened on newer cars there is maybe less incentive for people to report this on BMW forums etc, as the warranty will pick up the cost.

    It is also fair to point out that in this day and age you should be able to expect 150k plus miles from a well engineered car, providing it has been serviced and maintained. The part is effectively not serviceable, due to location, so even people who have had this happen on older cars would have reasonably been hoping for better.

    I personally am thinking the car needs to be sold before warranty expires, frustrating as I had hoped to keep it for a good 10 years. I don’t want to spend in excess of £4k in parts, that was more than the value of my previous car.

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