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Old 06-14-2017, 02:10 PM
JFord79 JFord79 is offline
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engine oil low pressure/drive train malfunction on 2012 328i f30

Hello all, new to forum so I will be detailed of my issue. have a 328i with 71,000+ miles never had any issues with it at all since owning it. last week while driving to work at 60+ mph screen alerted " engine oil low pressure " for bout 2 minutes then followed by " drive train malfunction" I stopped few minutes later since I immediately lost power and car wouldn't start anymore, i am 1500 miles past next oil service and was planning to get it changed on the weekend, no alerts of low oil and have been monitoring the levels as well. everything was fine up until last week. towed it to BMW Dallas and the performed diagnosis , stated i am not getting compression in engine. wanted to charge 1500$ to open valve cover and inspect valves and timing chain. had it towed to another repair shop hoping to save a little $$$ and they did diagnosis and stated i may need a new /used engine. i have read several forums about this similar issue . i am not accepting the fact that my engine is dead so any ideas ,help, anything i can check now is greatly appreciated . Most comments i have read seem to point to oil sensor , if anyone has any questions to get more info from me please let me know. i am needing a some point of direction to go with this so i don't resort to blowing 10 grand on another engine. Thank you all in advance!!!
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:43 PM
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screen alerted " engine oil low pressure " for bout 2 minutes then followed by " drive train malfunction" I stopped few minutes later since I immediately lost power and car wouldn't start anymore
There is no 2 minutes here, you have to stop the engine IMMEDIATELY when the oil pressure light comes on.

You are past 1500 miles of the next oil service. If you followed the BMW oil change intervals, which I think is way too long, and you made it even longer, possibly your oil lubrication system got clogged.
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:44 PM
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Welcome to Bimmerfest! I've moved your question to our F30 3 Series forum. Unfortunately I am guessing you've had the dreaded timing chain oil pump issue and you're engine is toasted. If you drove for two minutes with low oil pressure the engine will need to be replaced. No compression means one or more of the valves is hanging open, because the valve train is seized. I'm surprised they could get the motor to turn over.

If it was just a sensor you wouldn't have low/no compression.

Tim
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:45 PM
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Most comments i have read seem to point to oil sensor
A failing oil sensor will not stop an engine running at 60mph. Also it will not affect the compression in the cylinders.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:37 PM
JFord79 JFord79 is offline
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f30 low oil pressure

ok so i hooked up OBD and it is faulting exhaust camshaft sensor ( code 130f11) . i appreciate the replys also can i start the car in Nuetral? it is bypassed for towing purposes but wondering if i need to put back into park to try it? also i did stop as soon as i could since i was on the freeway. i alreay priced out a used engine so i get it that i may have to resort to that. only warnings i had were engine oil low pressure followed by drive train malfunction. now that it has been a week i got back into the car and it is not showing any low pressure issues just battery low and drive train malfunction drive moderately , well obviously i can drive at all . so this is where im at as of right now. so i ask:: can a cam sensor or oil pressure sensor cause possible shut down ?? thanks for the input from all . Glad this site is here!!
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:50 PM
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Will the car start? If the valve train overheated it could have ruined the sensor. You could pull the valve cover off and take a look, that is an easy starting place.

Tim
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:56 PM
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can a cam sensor or oil pressure sensor cause possible shut down ??
No and no. Cam sensor error points to a possibly failed timing chain or chain guide as Tim mentioned. So timing would be off. Which can cause no compression (since the valves are open when they supposed to be closed) and can cause immediate engine stall.

It is also possible that the camshaft error is a result of the problem or it was there already for a while.

read this article, read the comments too, listen to the videos. have you heard any unusual whining that they are talking about before?

https://bmwtechnician.com/2016/08/07...g-chain-issue/
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:03 PM
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Is the N26 on this model?
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:17 PM
JFord79 JFord79 is offline
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i will check out the videos and it is a N20 engine . it tries to start for a second when i push the start button then just a high pitch sound like a transformer energizing . my brother n law was under the hood when i tried to start and he noticed it is trying to turn but doesnt , almost seems like something is not igniting the engine to start, i tried to jump it off but of course that failed. again no leaks of any sort and no smells of fuel or anything else.
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:34 PM
JFord79 JFord79 is offline
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Thanks Acoste and all for the help so far ! i read the link, so maybe im heading torwards timing chain issue? i did look into the oil cap area and did see the chain well part of it . it is tight and shiney. i didn't look for the rubs that were provided by the pic on the link but now im very curious . car is at my father n laws house so i will check out tomorrow. i am taking it to another place tomorrow so at least i can look at it one more time. i will update all the way till the end on this even if it comes down to another engine. i just want to know the darn cause. it is driving me crazy that after all these miles and years now something happened and happened big !!!!
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:21 PM
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I'm assuming that you are taking your car to a BMW dealer and that any warranty is void.

In my experience of BMW engines is that they are so sophisticated that when anything serious happens, unless you are a very experienced mechanic, then you will not beat BMW diagnostics and knowledge.

If your valves are stuck open the pistons could hit them causing catastrophic damage.

Hence perhaps the recommendation of a new engine/rebuild.

Sounds like the reason why I change oil and filter every 6,000m and not leave it to minimum bmw standards. Also, over here main servicing has to be done by bmw main stealer in order to maintain warranty.

Sorry mate.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:11 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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To OP, this does seem to point to the N20/N26 timing issue of early F30's. Did your engine have high-pitch whining like the videos shown on the bmwtechnician.com link?

In fact, one foreman said a CEL/camshaft sensor fault plus high pitch whining are symptoms of stretched timing chain, and should be brought to dealer immediately. The same foreman(and several others at other local dealers) said BMWNA has been covering timing chain failure even when car is out of warranty, but 71k miles can be a bit tricky to get BMWNA to bite.

The used engine replacement can be an option, one local indy said he recently sourced a used low-mileage(round 15k miles?) N20/N26 for $2500-$3000, plus $2500 labor, so the quote was $5000-$5500 dependent on availability of parts.

There has been chatters that BMWNA will provide ELW, and/or recall on the early N20/N26 timing chains, but none has been announced yet.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:42 AM
JFord79 JFord79 is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
To OP, this does seem to point to the N20/N26 timing issue of early F30's. Did your engine have high-pitch whining like the videos shown on the bmwtechnician.com link?



In fact, one foreman said a CEL/camshaft sensor fault plus high pitch whining are symptoms of stretched timing chain, and should be brought to dealer immediately. The same foreman(and several others at other local dealers) said BMWNA has been covering timing chain failure even when car is out of warranty, but 71k miles can be a bit tricky to get BMWNA to bite.



The used engine replacement can be an option, one local indy said he recently sourced a used low-mileage(round 15k miles?) N20/N26 for $2500-$3000, plus $2500 labor, so the quote was $5000-$5500 dependent on availability of parts.



There has been chatters that BMWNA will provide ELW, and/or recall on the early N20/N26 timing chains, but none has been announced yet.


Good morning , as far as the whining I haven't noticed loud signs of it . But again I didn't have the hood open when I would hear it . But yes I did hear something a few weeks leading up to this that sounded different . I thought maybe the transmission, since almost everyone thinks that is the first sign of that noise but not being mechanically inclined I figured with such high mileage it was just old age . Taking it to another shop today . I will post updates and where I go from there . Question ?? So when I look into the oil cap I do see the chain . It is tight to touch so can it still be stretched ? Is this something that has to be opened up to actually see if maybe the guide is
cracked ? Also before doing so do I need to drain the oil out before opening things up ? Just curious I doubt I will be performing this myself but just questions I had since looking at a lot of tutorials . Lastly , is the only way to put the cAr back in park is to go under the. At and loosen the bolt to go back into normal shift mode? I am not sure that they did that when I brought it in. It looking at videos it seems like that is the only way to bypass the shifter when the car shutdown and was locked in park and wouldn't start . I don't have the red tool in my trunk to unlock anything nor would I know where to even put it . Is there another way to bypass the shifter ? Again it's a 2012 328i luxury edition sedan F30 N20 . I will post a pic of the fault codes the dealer ship shown from my car once in diagnosis.


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Old 06-15-2017, 06:45 AM
JFord79 JFord79 is offline
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Here is a pic of the fault codes they circled , not sure if this is a list of all of them but this is what the mechanic circled . Of course I can only talk to the SA , seems like they keep the darn mechanics hidden in the back


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Old 06-15-2017, 10:06 AM
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acoste acoste is offline
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i will check out the videos and it is a N20 engine . it tries to start for a second when i push the start button then just a high pitch sound like a transformer energizing . my brother n law was under the hood when i tried to start and he noticed it is trying to turn but doesnt ,
Sounds like the engine seized due to no lubrication and over temperature. Try to turn it by hand.

On the note from BMW you can see the low oil pressure is definitely not a failing pressure sensor but for example the VANOS could not reach its position which is a sign that there was really no pressure in the lubrication system.
Since the oil pump is driven by the chain, it may or may not be related to the tensioners/chain.
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:42 PM
JFord79 JFord79 is offline
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Sounds like the engine seized due to no lubrication and over temperature. Try to turn it by hand.



On the note from BMW you can see the low oil pressure is definitely not a failing pressure sensor but for example the VANOS could not reach its position which is a sign that there was really no pressure in the lubrication system.

Since the oil pump is driven by the chain, it may or may not be related to the tensioners/chain.


I just had the thermostat replaced due to a recall last year . Told me the part was going to be on back order and had a loaner for 4 months . I am not understanding what VANOS is . I read a little bit about it but not much . I am learning a lot so far lol . How can I turn the engine by hand ?


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Old 06-15-2017, 01:44 PM
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I just had the thermostat replaced due to a recall last year . Told me the part was going to be on back order and had a loaner for 4 months . I am not understanding what VANOS is . I read a little bit about it but not much . I am learning a lot so far lol . How can I turn the engine by hand ?


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VANOS is variable valve timing. It basically gets you more power.

I would take the valve cover off and see what is going on inside.
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:54 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Good morning , as far as the whining I haven't noticed loud signs of it . But again I didn't have the hood open when I would hear it . But yes I did hear something a few weeks leading up to this that sounded different . I thought maybe the transmission, since almost everyone thinks that is the first sign of that noise but not being mechanically inclined I figured with such high mileage it was just old age . Taking it to another shop today . I will post updates and where I go from there . Question ?? So when I look into the oil cap I do see the chain . It is tight to touch so can it still be stretched ? Is this something that has to be opened up to actually see if maybe the guide is
cracked ? Also before doing so do I need to drain the oil out before opening things up ? Just curious I doubt I will be performing this myself but just questions I had since looking at a lot of tutorials . Lastly , is the only way to put the cAr back in park is to go under the. At and loosen the bolt to go back into normal shift mode? I am not sure that they did that when I brought it in. It looking at videos it seems like that is the only way to bypass the shifter when the car shutdown and was locked in park and wouldn't start . I don't have the red tool in my trunk to unlock anything nor would I know where to even put it . Is there another way to bypass the shifter ? Again it's a 2012 328i luxury edition sedan F30 N20 . I will post a pic of the fault codes the dealer ship shown from my car once in diagnosis.


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While inspected through the oil cap opening, does the timing chain show signs of rubbing, as shown in pictures on bmwtechnician.com? A picture may help.

As far as slack on the timing chain, warm/hot engine usually is snug without slack, so do check for timing chain play/slack with cold engine.

It is a good question whether the plastic snap points of slide rail and guide rail can be inspected through the oil cap opening. An indy tried that with a flex borescope and the twists and turns were not easy to navigate. Someone(or BMW) needs to come up with a custom scope that has the bents needed to get to the right spot.

The ZF 8AT does have a manual release to go from P to N for towing purpose. There are pictures of that online somewhere but can't readily locate them at the moment.

Last edited by namelessman; 06-15-2017 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 06-15-2017, 02:05 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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But yes I did hear something a few weeks leading up to this that sounded different . I thought maybe the transmission, since almost everyone thinks that is the first sign of that noise but not being mechanically inclined I figured with such high mileage it was just old age .
The local foreman diagnosed a high-pitch whining N20 at the service bay a few weeks ago. The sound was recorded and sent to BMWNA for approval. In that case the engine was still OK so BMW protocol was to change timing chain, oil pump chain, oil pump, slide + guide rails, and misc. parts. The foreman said they saw around 5 so far, all covered by BMWNA even out of warranty(no mileage info was disclosed though).

The foreman said if the engine is already seized, they have to take VCG off to check. If the diagnosis is timing chain failure, and BMWNA approves the repair, the VCG job will be reimbursed.

It is a leap of faith to keep signing authorization for additional $$$$$ diagnosis, but if the outcome is an approved engine replacement/timing chain fixes then it will be worth it.
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Old 06-15-2017, 02:05 PM
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How can I turn the engine by hand ?
This video is not for BMW but the principle is the same.

Don't force it too much because if the timing is off you could bend the valves. If it moves easily in one way but stuck the other way, that would mean timing problem. This can happen to an "interference engine" only where in case of wrong timing the valves could hit the pistons. I don't know if this is an interference engine or not.

If it is hard to turn in any direction, the engine is seized. When I tried this on a seized engine, I had to use my full body weight using an extension pipe on the wrench to turn the engine.

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Old 06-15-2017, 02:15 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Do check out this video, the plastic piece that breaks is the one pointed to by mechanic@5:32.

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Old 06-15-2017, 06:03 PM
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There has been chatters that BMWNA will provide ELW, and/or recall on the early N20/N26 timing chains, but none has been announced yet.
I keep hearing about this only from you. Where else can this "chatter" be heard?
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:27 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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I keep hearing about this only from you. Where else can this "chatter" be heard?
Check out bmwtechnician.com. Similar comments were made by local foremen.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:18 PM
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Check out bmwtechnician.com. Similar comments were made by local foremen.
I've seen a little bit said on that blog before, but other than that I haven't heard anything about such a recall from any other source. It seems total speculation to me, although I do hope that I am wrong because I will be first in line for a recall considering that I have 60k+ miles on my 2012 N20. I don't have high hopes though.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:37 PM
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I've seen a little bit said on that blog before, but other than that I haven't heard anything about such a recall from any other source. It seems total speculation to me, although I do hope that I am wrong because I will be first in line for a recall considering that I have 60k+ miles on my 2012 N20. I don't have high hopes though.
Unfortunately that's the status quo. Three different foremen at three different local dealers said they have been each seen 3-4 of these, and each said BMWNA covered the fixes, with no confirmation(e.g. paperwork), so it is up to reader's interpretation.

Having said that, every one of these foremen is well aware of this, so it is a known issue, albeit no data to show the extent.
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