The Famous N20 Engine Timing Chain Issue

The weakest link on the BMW N20 engine is a common timing chain failure, due to the guides breaking from the chain oscillations. The timing chain in most cases will rattle, oscillate wildly and in the process will break pieces off the chain guide, which will get picked up or sucked up by the oil pump which destroys the engine suddenly in the process.

The broken guide pieces may block the entire pick up screen for the engine oil pump which will seize or destroy the engine components, due to sudden lack of lubrication.

The real cause in my opinion is the ECO mode which is the default mode in the transmission after every single start of the vehicle. The chain oscillations are caused by the transmission selecting the highest possible gear with the lowest possible engine rpm to maximize the efficiency of the engine as it has been mandated by the CAFE (corporate average fuel economy in short). We had the first stage of the CAFE mandated for 2016 the next stage is proposed for 2025. The real issue at hand unfortunately is the 8 speed automatic transmission, which is programmed to provide the best possible gas mileage, which in this case is counterproductive as it will lag the engine at very low rpm to minimize fuel consumption and to maximize the efficiency of the engine.

BMW N20 engine repair because of timing chain failure.

BMW N20 engine repair

The N20 will fire at every half turn which is 180- degrees this will (two full turns equates to 720 degrees for all the 4 cylinders to be fired) which is problematic for the single row timing chain. I can tell you from the past, the last generation 4 cylinder sold in this part of the world was the M44 (before was the M42) which had a dual row chain to prevent this issue to happen.  So why did they switch to a single row timing chain system you may ask?

This is all done to maximize efficiency and to reduce the internal drag of the engine and it’s components.   Back then there was no CAFE standards, manufacturers were left to build whatever they deemed fit for the purpose.

This cars are equipped with a standard transmission in Germany, so they will get a work out when they are driven to the Autobahn. In North America every one of these cars are equipped with an 8 speed automatic transmission.

How can you prevent this problem? We recommend to flip your selector to sport mode after start and don’t be afraid to give your engine a work out, after all it was built for the Autobahn.  You can switch back to ECO mode to reduce the fuel consumption, when you drive on the highway at higher speed.

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This cars are meant to be driven spiritedly on the Autobahn. This doesn’t mean you have to drive it all the time as a maniac, it means keep the rpm at least medium or higher much as you can.  Naturally always use proper oil and filter, at more frequent intervals, than recommended by the manufacturer. You won’t believe how many inferior oil filters we find and replace on this cars where they got some cheap inferior filters installed elsewhere.

In case you are interested in a ECO car you may want to consider an i3 or other hybrids, perhaps a hybrid BMW and or a Prius.

You also should have your vehicle serviced by a specialist, a BMW technician, so we can give you an early warning which may prevent permanent engine damage. There are tell-tale signs of this issue for a trained seasoned BMW technician, this is what we are good at. We’re working on European cars since 1976.

Any questions, how may we help? Give us a call to: 905.795.0419!


A perfect example of a BMW N20 engine failure because of timing chain issue.


Today’s Modern European Cars Engine

Today we live in sensitive times, environmentally sensitive times, so modern engines from their respective manufacturers are rather complicated as they are squeezed from every direction.

The result of that the modern ICE (internal combustion engine) is shrinking in an alarming but progressive way over the years. We have seen the ploriferance of unusual and rather complicated systems as we are trying to squeeze every fuel molecule to burn more cleanly and provide more energy in the process.

The problem with all of this technological marvel’s of engineering, they are rather fragile and you need a plethora of special tools, plus dedicated and well-educated technicians whom are versed on this complex systems.

We at Techmax invest heavily on the technical know how and special tools to be able to fix some rather complex problems.

Here at down below are some pictures to attest to that. 2015 Mini Cooper Vanos (variable camshaft adjuster in German) issues which requires a jig to time the engine and some finesse to fix the problem at hand.

Then another complicated 2011 BMW N55 engine issue has been the valvetronic system failure, which in turn damaged the engine computer in the process by overloading the electrical system. Took some effort to correct the issue at hand but be assured it works as intended from here on.

I just wanted to show you a few examples why do you need a specialist in today’s complicated ICE engines and electronic systems.

The first photo is a  2011 BMW N55 damaged engine computer, the other tree is 2015 Mini Cooper three cylinder engine and its camshaft adjuster.

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Mini B38 Vanos adjuster failure causing multiple cylinder misfires in all cylinders. The engine under “surgery” with special jigs to be timed up to secure the timing chain.

Any questions, how may we help? Call us at  905.795.0419!



The Dangers of Worn Tires

Every year we go through the change of the seasons, none of them more dramatic than fall to winter. There are a number of things to do, perhaps nothing more urgent than replacing your worn tires, weak battery and last but not least your wiper blades with some quality components.

Driving around on all season or worn winter tires at winter time has their consequences. In slippery snow or on an icy road the choices you make, might have more expensive, longer lasting and yes, sometimes fatal consequences.

I made the next pictures, after the recent snowstorm a few days ago where the driver tried to get around on worn tires, probably also going too fast as well.

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worn all season tireDrive on worn all-season tire at winter time is suicide.

If you thought you can “fly” around town with worn out “all season ” tires here is the result of that. Pretty much a disaster so to say. The entire right front suspension is torn apart.

The cost of a set, new budget winter tires are $800.00,  the cost of destroying this car, which was a perfectly functioning car about $8 thousand. This car is a total write off, meaning the repair would exceed the value of the vehicle.  I think it’s not hard to decide which one makes more sense.

Broken Suspension AssemblyBroken suspension assembly from the same car as above.

On the photo at left is a broken suspension assembly, due to going way too fast and running over the curb which broke the suspension assembly entirely.

Worn winter tires are dangerous, worn all-season tires are lethal, when your car become a nearly 2 ton unwilling projectile in foul weather. So make wise choices your decisions will have long-lasting effects in either direction. Here are some more pictures to show you the effects of a wrong decision.

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How to keep your car’s battery in top working condition?

Time to Think About Winter Tires Again

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Car dore handleFrozen Door Knob

When your car’s temperature gauge shows  -12C outside, like at above, and your door’s knob looks deeply frozen, like the one at left, than just like in footwear you have to switch from flip flops to winter shoes, just makes sense.

When it comes to winter tires they are more less all black and round; So which will suit you your car and your driving habits the best?

Well, you need someone with decades of driving experience, who tried all and can provide you with an unbiased opinion.  Always pay close attention to  the details and the manufacturers recommend load and speed rating.   Alloys must be EH2 approved to support run flat specific tires.

The rubber compound on winter tires is designed to stay soft and provide more grip in freezing temperatures.

tire groovesWinter Tire Grooves

The grooves and channels on winter tires are designed to push water out of the way to help stop you from hydroplaning. They keep your vehicle stable, and help you to stay in control.

One more thing, don’t forget to check your car’s battery and the wiper blades.

Ask us about our heated  tire’s storage. For more information please visit us on facebook.

Give us a call to: (1) 905.795.0419.


All weather, all-season or winter tire?

BMW 328-I Cooling System Failure.

Winter Tire Replacement

When you are in the rush to get your wheels replaced in a hurry, and if you go to the wrong place, you may end up with all sorts of problems just like on the picture.

A gentleman wanted to have his car tires replaced in a hurry and took it to a tire shop.  Unfortunately he’s Mcguard anti theft wheel locks stripped by using the air gun to remove it. So the person trying to remove it, figured let’s hammer a long socket on to dislodge the stuck wheel lock.

Well as the picture can attest to it, that didn’t work out as intended. Indeed, the cheap Chinese socket shattered and got jammed between the alloy rim and the wheel lock bolt still remaining on the wheel.

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anti theft wheel lock

Looking at it, he probably tried to extract it but now the long socket firmly jammed on and dug into the alloy rim as well.

So what does he do? Instead of coming up with a solution, he decided to park the car outside and release the vehicle. Keep in mind this late in the day, so by the client went to pick his car up, it was pitch dark, so he was not aware of the problem.

Long behold owner drove home, and next day this problem ended up with us to be resolved. Needless to say this is completely unacceptable to release a vehicle with this socket protruding out of the wheel and spinning at high speed which could literally kill someone if it would have dislodged by the rotating bouncing wheel on the road.

Buyers beware, in your rush and effort trying to get the cheapest alternative, you may end up with something like this. Bargain hunting on essential safety items has its consequences. You get what you pay for. This is a perfect example for having unqualified persons working on your car to cut cost.

Naturally we took care of this problem.  I had to weld the socket together while it was stuck on the bolt and weld a nut to it and applied a puller to extract it.

We understand, everyone wants to get their car taken care of as fast as they can especially in the winter.

I share this with you so others learn from this drivers experience. Any questions, how may we help? Give us a call to: (1) 905.795.0419.


Replica Wheels and Tires for BMW & Mercedes

Get Your BMW and Mercedes Benz Winter Ready

Winter is a tad early this year, the common sense dictates that to have your car meticulously prepared for the harsh climate.

Number one is check your battery state of charge and age, anything older than 5 years is on borrowed time for a standard lead acid battery. For the best results we prefer genuine quality batteries from BMW and Mercedes Benz. Nothing is more annoying when your car won’t start due to cheap lousy quality battery.  Agreed? If your car won’t start when needed no other preparation would mean anything.

To prevent breakdown and keep you on the road safely, we use Midtronincs GR8-1200 Electrical System Tester – Analyzer to check, test your battery and your automobile electrical system. Read more about battery testing…

Tires would be the next item on the check list, preferably winter tires for the season. Just like you use the appropriate foot wear, same goes for your car. I assume you don’t wear flip-flops in the winter. Correct? Worn tires regardless of season are useless when the going gets tough.

The next item should be wiper blades, light bulbs for safety’s sake. Remember, you get out of your ride, what you put into it, just make sense.

Naturally any cooling system issues will have negative consequences as the interior heat is heavily dependent on proper system operations, same goes for the blower motor. If your blower motor makes funny noises chirping and so forth, now is the time to replace it, not when it failed completely and you can’t see out on your iced and fogged up windshield.

Do you have any questions, how may we help? Give us a call to: (1) 905.795.0419.


More information on our  winter service.


Mini Cooper pre winter check

Before you dive into winter driving, you should have your car checked by a professional so you don’t get stranded on the road.

One of the most common parts to deteriorate on the Mini Cooper are the engine mounts. The rubber that is contained within the mounts becomes brittle, and brakes.  A broken engine mount will  cause a lot of problems.

As the pictures can attest to it the top engine mount looks intact, the one below is broken in pieces; they are from a Mercedes-Benz.

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Mini Cooper repair

The broken fallen apart pulley is from a Mini Cooper S JCW which caused multiple drive ability issues, owner thought the supercharger is seized, lucky it wasn’t.


Off the track, Cooper created the possibility of a vehicle meant for the road, but with the heart of a race car.  This came together in a Mini Cooper S Hatchback Continue Reading…

BMW N20 engine failure

Here is a perfect example of a BMW N20 engine failure because of the lack of maintenance.

You can see on the third image, a bunch of granulated pieces and metal shavings, which resulted in a broken timing chain guides and chain failure. If you want to prevent this from happening, change your oil at minimum once a year or ten thousand kilometers.

Also try to forget about the ECO mode put your gear selector into sport mode and leave it in there.

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If you need any further information I will be happy to explain in person, how may we help? Give us a call to: (1) 905.795.0419!

BMW Timing Chain Replacement

BMW Timing Chain Replacement

Timing chain replacement for a 2013 BMW 550xi due to broken chain guides and jumped timing chain which resulted in an undriveable vehicle.

Engine work on 2013 BMW 550xi

We received this beauty from the local dealer where at the owner has been told, to properly diagnose the problem at hand, will cost him 3500.00 dollars. Which is somewhat understandable since to achieve anything on this N63 engine, it must be removed to gain access to the vital components. It’s worth to note, this vehicle had only 78 thousand kilometers in. The question is; Why this happened? The answer is actually two fold.  The number one issue is, it has been driven ultra short distances, from home to work and back, 8 km either way.

The second issue has been, this particular chain design is an early version of a toothed chain design, which was unproven at the time.

Ladies and gentlemen this engine was built for autobahn speed, where it gets a work out, this modern high tech engines designed and build for a certain purpose, that’s the way they should be driven.

Low tension, low friction piston rings will allow more blow by especially with a cold engine, condensed water will be collected in the motor oil and will have no chance to boil off. Consequently, will damage the internal components.

Naturally we have done a lot of additional repairs on this car, like cleaned the intake valves and replace all the components with new revised versions.

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BMW 550xi’s Timing Chain Replacement

Any questions? How may we help?

Don’t delay, call today (1) 905.795.0419!


Our services.
Type of services offered by Techmax auto.

Professional Air Condition System Cleaning

Import car’s a/c system cleaning and treatment with Liqui Moly‘s  re-conditioner and deodorizer.

We also recommend the replacement cabin filter to be done at the same time with the most effective cabin filter available on the market today, direct from Germany, it’s called the ferrocious + charcoal laced most potent cabin filtration on the world, designed and developed by Mann and Hummel the inventor of the original filtration system specialist.

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It’s an innovative 3 layers design for 100 percent filtration. Peoples with asthma, pollen,  and or mold allergies will appreciate the best most effective cleanest filtration available today.

Mann Filter designed a bio functional cabin air filtration system which is a world first. First layer is a particle trap, next layer is a premium activated carbon filter which removes unpleasant odors, exhaust fumes like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The final layer is a biofunctional layer which contains polyphenol and an anti microbial coating which kills bacteria and mold.

Professional Air Condition System Cleaning

If you have any related questions don’t delay, call today (1) 905.795.0419!


Read more about our air conditioner service for European Import cars