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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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

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BMW N20 timing chain and oil pump chain issues

Why does early timing  chain stretching happen?

There are multiple factors contributing to this problem, not withstanding the 8 speed automatic transmission is one of the factors in my opinion. North American drivers prefer their cars to be automatic, in this case, the automatic is more economical, than the standard version which is preferred by the Europeans.

You may ask; Why is there a problem with the 8 speed automatic? The problem occurs with our driving habits and the programming of the automatic transmission. In normal ECO mode (the default mode) it will shift up quickly and efficiently to the highest possible gear to keep the fuel consumption at minimum, hence called the ECO mode.

N20 4 cylinder BMW engine 4 Cylinder BMW  N20 Engine

The quick up-shifting in daily driving will keep the engine’s rpm very low, which will cause the 4 cylinder engine to oscillate a lot more than would have been, if it driven on the autobahn at high rpm, where there are no oscillations are really present.

Naturally the chains, the guides are fairly weak design to make them light as possible. Our stop and go driving at low engine loads paired with an efficient automatic exacerbates the problem. Furthermore the extended oil changes also does not help to keep the whole thing properly lubricated for long life.

Needless to say the newer engines and their timing chains has been extensively redesigned to counter this common and often fatal problem.

In any case, if the chain makes noise it must be addressed immediately. All the components has to be replaced. For replacement, only an improved version available from the manufacturer. The replacement components must include the oil pump drive assembly as well, according to BMW repair instructions, also a revised, improved component.

There are multiple special tools required and attention to detail is essential to complete this rather delicate repair procedure properly and permanently.

 BMW timing chain guard
You can see on the above photo a broken timing chain guard and a clogged oil pump pick up, which could be fatal to the engine.

In case you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to ask. We are here to help. Thank you for your time and all the best.

Telephone: (1) 905.795.0419

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