signs of F30 N20/N26 timing chain issue, and OCI to the rescue? - Page 7 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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The sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan F30/F31/F34 and the first first generation 4 Series Coupe F32/F33/F36. Get the latest 3 and 4 series pricing from our ordering and pricing guide sticky thread.

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  #151  
Old 06-08-2018, 09:16 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
Do they say "may" or "will"? I don't have an owner's manual so I'm not sure.

The point is in normal use any wear will be incremental. There are people here with 100,000+ miles on their F30's with no issues due to the ASS. Lets keep some perspective.
The owner's manual says:

"Certain vehicle components may experience additional wear as a result of this system"

It is unclear if those with 100k+ miles on F30's use ASS or not. Most festers appear to say their ASS are disabled, as in most F30 owners among family and friends.

My ASS was programmed by service to disable(one-time courtesy, no charge). This does not prevent the shiny patches from showing up.
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  #152  
Old 06-08-2018, 09:57 AM
PK2348 PK2348 is online now
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
Do they say "may" or "will"? I don't have an owner's manual so I'm not sure.

The point is in normal use any wear will be incremental. There are people here with 100,000+ miles on their F30's with no issues due to the ASS. Lets keep some perspective.
Engine start time is when it experiences the most stress. Is that still true or did BMW magically change the laws of physics?
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  #153  
Old 06-08-2018, 10:12 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
Engine start time is when it experiences the most stress. Is that still true or did BMW magically change the laws of physics?
That is why many festers question if ASS will contribute to this TC fiasco.
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  #154  
Old 06-08-2018, 11:19 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
Engine start time is when it experiences the most stress. Is that still true or did BMW magically change the laws of physics?
They upgraded the starter motor and battery to deal with this. Of course it's stressful but it's dealt with and does not to seem to be an issue.
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  #155  
Old 06-08-2018, 11:56 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
They upgraded the starter motor and battery to deal with this. Of course it's stressful but it's dealt with and does not to seem to be an issue.
Starter and battery are beefed up, the question is if TC and associated plastic rails are beefed up.

The suspicion of some festers is that ASS use cases are not accounted for/simulated/tested in the system level with TC + oil pump chain + plastic rails design.
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  #156  
Old 06-08-2018, 12:40 PM
PK2348 PK2348 is online now
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
They upgraded the starter motor and battery to deal with this. Of course it's stressful but it's dealt with and does not to seem to be an issue.
You know perfectly well there is a lot more to it than starter and battery. The stress is on the engine internals themselves, including TC and plastic guide rails.
Funny how they upgraded the starter, which is relatively easy to replace, and then decided to go with plastic internals for the engine, that require open heart surgery to replace. Yet, many are willing to blindly believe that BMW can make no mistake
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  #157  
Old 06-08-2018, 12:49 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
You know perfectly well there is a lot more to it than starter and battery. The stress is on the engine internals themselves, including TC and plastic guide rails.
Funny how they upgraded the starter, which is relatively easy to replace, and then decided to go with plastic internals for the engine, that require open heart surgery to replace. Yet, many are willing to blindly believe that BMW can make no mistake
BMW engineers did put N20/N26 TC in the front, so at least if caught early, the whole job parts + labor should be $2k-ish.

In contract, B46/B58 TC is at back of engine, hence any fix requires engine-out, which is more more expensive than $2k.

Now if disabling ASS can reduce the stress on engine internals and TC significantly, that will be saving grace that owners of affected N20/N26 hope for.
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  #158  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:00 PM
PK2348 PK2348 is online now
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
BMW engineers did put N20/N26 TC in the front, so at least if caught early, the whole job parts + labor should be $2k-ish.

In contract, B46/B58 TC is at back of engine, hence any fix requires engine-out, which is more more expensive than $2k.

Now if disabling ASS can reduce the stress on engine internals and TC significantly, that will be saving grace that owners of affected N20/N26 hope for.
i believe nothing good can come from using ASS.
It's a gimmick that they had to engineer due to government regulations on fuel economy. Real life benefits in terms of fuel consumption are very questionable. Just a temporary stop gap measure before they go full EV. It is an obvious huge increase of stress on the engine internals. I do not use it because its annoying. But if i owned my car i would not use it because of concern of long term effects.
As far as owners are concerned, BMW really dropped the ball. They kind of / sort of acknowledged the screw up, but only extended the warranty to 70K. That should be a good indicator of how much faith BMW has in their own engine. I believe there is currently class action litigation over that matter. Would not be the fist time.
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  #159  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:16 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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i believe nothing good can come from using ASS.
It's a gimmick that they had to engineer due to government regulations on fuel economy. Real life benefits in terms of fuel consumption are very questionable. Just a temporary stop gap measure before they go full EV. It is an obvious huge increase of stress on the engine internals. I do not use it because its annoying. But if i owned my car i would not use it because of concern of long term effects.
As far as owners are concerned, BMW really dropped the ball. They kind of / sort of acknowledged the screw up, but only extended the warranty to 70K. That should be a good indicator of how much faith BMW has in their own engine. I believe there is currently class action litigation over that matter. Would not be the fist time.
For one, B46/B58 won't be in my stable given those TCs are in the back. That's my faith in BMW's engineering given this N20/N26 experience, which is not too bad, as at least N20/N26 engineers understand accessibility and serviceability(on a component that should last 150k minimum).

My TC links still look OK, there are shiny patches but not too excessive(just checked at parking lot after returning from lunch, amidst teasing from coworkers ....) It looks like my F30 is becoming the laughing stock at my office.... oh well.
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  #160  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:18 PM
PK2348 PK2348 is online now
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
For one, B46/B58 won't be in my stable given those TCs are in the back. That's my faith in BMW's engineering given this N20/N26 experience, which is not too bad, as at least N20/N26 engineers understand accessibility and serviceability(on a component that should last 150k minimum).

My TC links still look OK, there are shiny patches but not too excessive(just checked at parking lot after returning from lunch, amidst teasing from coworkers ....) It looks like my F30 is becoming the laughing stock at my office.... oh well.
One of the reasons i prefer to lease. I would be constantly paranoid about every little sound in the car.
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  #161  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:22 PM
mr_clueless mr_clueless is offline
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One of the reasons i prefer to lease. I would be constantly paranoid about every little sound in the car.
I am too, hence the extended warranty.
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  #162  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
i believe nothing good can come from using ASS.
It's a gimmick that they had to engineer due to government regulations on fuel economy. Real life benefits in terms of fuel consumption are very questionable. Just a temporary stop gap measure before they go full EV. It is an obvious huge increase of stress on the engine internals. I do not use it because its annoying.
+1
Well said PK2348. Besides, in the U.S. market anyway, most drivers of vehicles equipped with ASS turn the darn thing off most of the time.

Mazda Motor Corp did research on the use of auto start stop in the U.S. market, and found that "almost to a person, people say they turn off their stop-start systems". That's why Mazda wisely does not incorporate auto start stop on its U.S. market vehicles, even though the company has offered i-stop in Japan and other markets since 2010. And Mazda's system, which uses a "combustion restart method" rather than the starter motor, is the smoothest and most seamless one available today.
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  #163  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:52 PM
mr_clueless mr_clueless is offline
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It looks like my F30 is becoming the laughing stock at my office.... oh well.
Just because of the timing chain?
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  #164  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:54 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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One of the reasons i prefer to lease. I would be constantly paranoid about every little sound in the car.
To me though reliability, accessibility, and serviceability are big parts of any engineering feat, and BMW with its deep troves of tech data should be way ahead on these versus anyone else.

Hand waving on failure rate of 1-2% really is quite lame on BMWAG's part.
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  #165  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:55 PM
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Just because of the timing chain?
That a F30 owner needs to check for shiny patches on TC links in parking lot after lunch ..... OK it can be just me being too paranoid ....
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  #166  
Old 06-09-2018, 08:26 AM
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For one, B46/B58 won't be in my stable given those TCs are in the back.
Ok, for MY17-only, B46 lower and upper TCs are still covered 15-yr/150k-mile by PZEV warranty. A low mileage MY17 330i CPO can be an option ....
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  #167  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:35 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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FYI, a foreman at another local dealer said they mainly saw N20/N26 issue in xDrive(e.g. X3, 528i), and they haven't seen that many failures(not with 328i RWD) lately.

Having said that Andreas per bmwtechnician(@ SoCal?) said he thinks most TC issues are with 328i RWD given the numbers sold. Plus Andreas just commented that they still see 1 to 2 a month.

My gut feel says Andreas is more transparent than local foreman.

Last edited by namelessman; 06-17-2018 at 10:14 AM.
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  #168  
Old 06-19-2018, 12:28 PM
jwalz1 jwalz1 is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
A coworker has a new theory on this. Given BMWAG does not update part# for the problematic guide rails post 2/2015, technically there is no improved design to address the plastic guard rails.

One speculation is that, post 2/2015, BMWAG changes the engine throttle maps/ASS(or whatever) to prevent the guide rails to be stressed.

Does this theory make sense? Hmm....
To me, the most obvious change is that the timing chain goes from a design that stretched and had stacked thin metal instead of stout thick chunks that are visibly and very noticeably different after the change.

I am not sure that it was a timing chain guide that broke and allowed the chain to jump, but instead lean to stretched chains that jumped the gears and then BROKE THE GUIDE.

I have nothing to prove that, but they replaced plastic with plastic, and it does not look much different. The chain, however, looks MUCH different.

I use the ASS and have no signs of any shiny spots but am just shy of 40,000. I think blaming ASS is fairly conspiratorial. Mine starts pretty gently and it would be no different now than a car with maybe 60,000 miles at this point and no ASS. Mine does not work half the year due to low temps and it is only shutting down the engine about 7 months per year.

I don't think gentle shutdowns and restarts should break any timing chain. Show me another vehicle where a few thousand starts snaps the timing chain. I just can't believe the starting of the engine, even if repeated several times per day, should snap a properly designed timing chain. Further evidence to support this is that they changed the timing chain with one that is extremely different from the original, but did not also include a re-program of ASS. They left ASS out of the fix, but the chain is replaced with a new part.

To me, the whole problem stems from a poorly built or designed chain prone to stretching, nothing more sinister than that. I doubt the stouter NEW chains will break due to ASS, which tells me auto start stop has next to nothing to do with the problem. But that is an obvious assumption on my part.
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  #169  
Old 06-19-2018, 12:53 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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To me, the most obvious change is that the timing chain goes from a design that stretched and had stacked thin metal instead of stout thick chunks that are visibly and very noticeably different after the change.
There is no part# change of TC, but there is a part# on oil pump chain. It is interesting that your new TC has stout thick chunks compared to the old one.
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  #170  
Old 06-19-2018, 04:02 PM
jwalz1 jwalz1 is offline
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There is no part# change of TC, but there is a part# on oil pump chain. It is interesting that your new TC has stout thick chunks compared to the old one.

My mistake. I was trying to find a picture I saw once about the visible differences, and sure enough when I found it, it is the oil chain.

Disregard my post I guess.

Looked at my timing chain though when I got home just because this thread had me thinking I should inspect. It sure is flimsy looking. I also just was researching through another thread and you had made a post that the timing chain was a new part number in 2013:

Post #5 https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?t=1098641

I did see on some other random thread a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy said their dealer went to a BMW seminar and was told by BMW that the chains have been altered a couple times and failure was rarely seen in 2014 and newer even though 2014's are part of the extended warranty. I wonder how my luck will be with the car, but I am constantly looking to replace it just because of this issue. Looking at a Golf R on Thursday. I wish BMW was more forthcoming with info but they don't want any info coming back to haunt them in lawsuits........
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Last edited by jwalz1; 06-19-2018 at 04:17 PM.
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  #171  
Old 06-27-2018, 01:12 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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My mistake. I was trying to find a picture I saw once about the visible differences, and sure enough when I found it, it is the oil chain.

Disregard my post I guess.

Looked at my timing chain though when I got home just because this thread had me thinking I should inspect. It sure is flimsy looking. I also just was researching through another thread and you had made a post that the timing chain was a new part number in 2013:

Post #5 https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1098641

I did see on some other random thread a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy said their dealer went to a BMW seminar and was told by BMW that the chains have been altered a couple times and failure was rarely seen in 2014 and newer even though 2014's are part of the extended warranty. I wonder how my luck will be with the car, but I am constantly looking to replace it just because of this issue. Looking at a Golf R on Thursday. I wish BMW was more forthcoming with info but they don't want any info coming back to haunt them in lawsuits........
A friend has another out-of-the-box theory, namely, the ELW coverage is up to 2/2015, even though there is no TC part number change and such.

The theory is that post 2/2015 was when BMW started to put 0w30 into N20/N26 at factory.

This sounds plausible, yes/no?
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  #172  
Old 06-27-2018, 04:37 PM
jwalz1 jwalz1 is offline
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Anything seems plausible I guess. I wonder what the big difference would be. But I have only been averaging 8,000 miles on the first few (coverered) oil changes, and switched to 5,000 mile intervals now that I am doing them. I see no marks at all on my chain at 40,000 even though that is kind of early.

I am still on the fence about a few things and would really love to hold onto the car long term for winter duty and add a third car with a stick.

For all my gripes about BMW, and I think this timing chain issue is a VERY valid one, outside of Porshce, they are making about the only car with a manual M240i that I find appealing right now.

Would love to see what the next 3 series reveals in regard to manual transmission.
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  #173  
Old 06-27-2018, 05:31 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
A friend has another out-of-the-box theory, namely, the ELW coverage is up to 2/2015, even though there is no TC part number change and such.

The theory is that post 2/2015 was when BMW started to put 0w30 into N20/N26 at factory.

This sounds plausible, yes/no?
I donít understand how oil viscosity makes a difference. But I suppose itís possibl that a little change in one variable may affect others.
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  #174  
Old 06-27-2018, 05:34 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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I donít understand how oil viscosity makes a difference. But I suppose itís possibl that a little change in one variable may affect others.
0w30 is better than 5w30 for cold start, which is the most stressful for engine parts(including TCs).
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  #175  
Old 06-27-2018, 06:33 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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0w30 is better than 5w30 for cold start, which is the most stressful for engine parts(including TCs).
Are the timing chain issues isolated to colder climates? 0 weight vs 5 weight only matters if the temps are low. If youíre in Vegas or Miami it doesnít matter.
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