LCI N57 Timing Chain Issues?

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ckl139
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LCI N57 Timing Chain Issues?

Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:53 am

Hi,

As part of my search, i've came across a few posts on the net about timing chain failures...are these quite a common thing on these?

Or is this a case of a few very very rare cases that are being vocalised online?

If not, what to look out for? What causes it? What is repair cost, or is it a thing that should be changed at certain mileage?
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StuBeeDoo
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Re: LCI N57 Timing Chain Issues?

Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:19 pm

This is going to be another post which I start with..............

AS I UNDERSTAND IT

The N57 isn't immune to the chain issues, but they seem to be less frequently documented than the N47. There could be a several reasons for this, including but not limited to:-

4-cylinder engines being more common than 6-cylinders
6-cylinders running at lower engine speeds
6-cylinders having a greater oil capacity


Personally, I feel that 18k miles between oil filter changes is far too much, given the size of the filter. OK, so the oil might be "longlife", but IMHO 18k+ of swarf and crud in that filter is going to severely restrict its flow capacity. I have seen no comments on engines with timing chain issues having clogged oil filters, so I can't back-up my theory.

I looked into this very subject before I bought my X3, because I had read the horror stories. I came to the decision that I would go for it, providing the car hadn't been allowed to do excess mileage between oil/filter changes. I have stuck to changing the oil & filter every 6k miles. It might not be necessary, but it makes me feel better. I see the cost of extra oil & filters as a form of insurance. Whether that pays-off in the long-term remains to be seen.
Last edited by StuBeeDoo on Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
October 2012 build X3 30d SE, Bluewater.  Now with Webasto sunroof.   8)
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Re: LCI N57 Timing Chain Issues?

Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:33 pm

The N47 was the engine with the real problem, now replaced by the B series units as fitted to my F46.

Timing chains on any car can and will fail. We have seen many more failures on the V8 engines where the plastic guides fail than on any of the 6-cyl engines be they M or N series. There was a thread running on here about a possible timing chain break that may actually be something else as the images still show a chain so what the issue actually hasn’t been fed back yet..

As far as repair costs go, the chain is at the back of the engine (no I don’t get that choice either) so replacement will involve removal of the engine from the car. That won’t be cheap.

If it fails at speed then that will be the end of the engine, as has been the case with all higher compression, multi-valve engines (petrol or diesel) since the mid 1980’s. I had a belt break on a 1983 Escort van and that was that. It had 6,000 miles in the clock. A broken chain terminating an engine on a used BMW without a warranty is likely to be upwards of £10k.

As with all cars forums, we only see the bad stuff and that can skew peoples views. I had an absolutely sh!t time with my 2005 E53. It spend significant time in the garage right from the word go, and I swore that I would never buy BMW again. We have a 14 year old 330Cd E46 that keeps on running. It’s had a new starter (common issue), brake control valve (one failed after 13-years), a battery after 10 years and two new front airbags (recalls).

my X6 has only had a prop shaft replaced (recall), security updates (recall), glowplugs & controller (failed after 8 years) and heater wiring repaired (recall).

We now have an F46 with the B47 engine and Toyota gearbox. It replaced a Škoda Superb Mk3 estate which was nothing but trouble (electrical, mechanical and electronics). That was my 4th Škoda and the first we had trouble with.

Oil changes are done on time as well as mileage. I have had a three now at two year intervals where I have done less than 10K between them - mine is low mileage. As my use drops so I do my own intermediate changes at 12-month intervals now and don’t reset the service clock. That applies to all our cars.
:ant: Never anthropomorphise computers. They hate that.
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Leslie
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Re: LCI N57 Timing Chain Issues?

Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:38 pm

I did see one for sale locally and the ad said new timing chain and before 100k too, I wouldn't touch a car for sale that just had a new chain with a bargepole as its likely just had a chain to sell it and whatever caused it will go again soon . Dealers should fix it right but nobody is going to a dealer due to the horrific cost unless its under warranty.
My old e46 330d had 200k before rot finished it and it was driven hard a lot the 12 years I had it and often seen 4k+ revs and going as well as the day I got it so there could be something in this letting cars doddle along at silly low revs in a high gear although as an x5 is auto only this shouldn't be as bad .
ckl139
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Re: LCI N57 Timing Chain Issues?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:06 pm

Thanks chaps.

Sorry I thought I had replied to it.

From what I'm reading it seems like few and rare then....


Most if not all cars I've seen have followed the bmw 18k service interval....Assume this is unavoidable and best thing to do is to just go for a nice one and then reduce oil changes down to say 10k?

Any other thoughts

FYI I'm looking at cars up c.60k.... though have currently not viewed any for a while now due to other commitments.

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