signs of F30 N20/N26 timing chain issue, and OCI to the rescue? - Page 4 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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  #76  
Old 05-03-2017, 02:34 PM
GandalfTheGrey GandalfTheGrey is offline
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Originally Posted by Lsg1114 View Post
I wanted to add my .02. I haven't posted for almost 5 years because I've been out enjoying my F30. I want you to have a point of reference from someone who has an F30 with an N20 engine with high mileage. I now have just over 87,000 miles on it and have had 0 issues. I bought it new, changed the oil every 7000 miles like clockwork. This car has been babied the entire time I've owned it and I'm sure the new owner will be very happy with it once I pull the trigger on a 440.
It's always nice to hear something other than a nightmare story. I bought a CPO 2014 328xi with ~29k miles a month ago. Factory warranty is good until 8/2018 and CPO warranty until 8/2020, so I feel good about that length of coverage on a pre-owned car. Also confirmed via the service records that the OCI has been ~7k miles for the life of the vehicle. Hoping that, along with a responsible driving style will keep me in the clear of any TC issue. And if something were to happen, I at least have another 3+ years of warranty coverage
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  #77  
Old 05-03-2017, 02:49 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by Lsg1114 View Post
I wanted to add my .02. I haven't posted for almost 5 years because I've been out enjoying my F30. I want you to have a point of reference from someone who has an F30 with an N20 engine with high mileage. I now have just over 87,000 miles on it and have had 0 issues. I bought it new, changed the oil every 7000 miles like clockwork. This car has been babied the entire time I've owned it and I'm sure the new owner will be very happy with it once I pull the trigger on a 440.
Thanks for sharing the data point. Based on evidence presented, , in addition to fresh oil, to me the key seems to be no hard driving without warming up the engine.
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  #78  
Old 05-03-2017, 03:11 PM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Originally Posted by GandalfTheGrey View Post
Just curious what personal experience or research you are using as the basis for your opinion? I've read through a number of threads in which you've constantly lambasted the n20 as being a s**t engine but haven't seen you explain why. Is it just a few stories you've heard about a timing chain issue or have you read research that indicates the TC issue is anything more than a random freak incident associated with poorly maintained cars?

As the owner of an F30 with the n20 I'd love to know, as I'm sure others would. Otherwise it's really hard to take your constant criticism seriously.
Exactly. Someone writes an article in 2015 about how BMW changed the part number of the TC and makes an assumption that that meant BMW acknowledgement of a TC issue requiring a redesign. Yet, there was nothing provided to show any difference in design of the TC or otherwise. Then that post seems to get reposted by everyone and their little pony, making the issue out to be bigger than it probably ever was. There was zero evidence then and now that there was a chain redesign or any information behind the part number change. BMW changes part numbers for many reasons, one of which is respec/redesign of a part, but no one has actually shown any difference in the TC. It's amusing that people make the assumption there was some redesign because of a part number change, but overlook the fact that the guides and rails changes from black to white without a part number change.

You'd think we would see far more of all those 2011-2015 N20's out there littering the roadsides, based on the chicken little diagnosis about the N20 TC....after all, those should have surpassed or drawing past the 60k mile mark.
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  #79  
Old 05-03-2017, 03:49 PM
Kafkaesque328 Kafkaesque328 is offline
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Originally Posted by F10-N52 View Post
I just had a bad feeling about the n20, preferred the inline 6 (even though it is a bit slower) and every damn car on the market is xdrive. The 2011 528 is RWD only made it easier for me to pick even though people seem to really be holding onto this model. Mines at 75k and runs perfect I am very happy with my decision.


Those of you looking, I advise looking into the 2011 528i. It's heavy but it has a very long lasting and proven inline 6 motor.
I personally have a bad feeling about there being some electrical short in the seat heater wires which causes the seat to catch fire, burning the occupants but hey..

http://www.toyotaproblems.com/recalls/Camry/2011/

Look up any car, any engine, ever and there will be recalls and some reported catastrophic failures. Just because some poor souls commiserate on a BMW forum to talk about how their (mostly first model year F30's from the looks of it) cars had timing chain issues, doesn't really mean much.

I included the Camry link because those cars are supposed to be dead reliable yet in 2010, they had a total of 10 recalls... TEN and a year later, 6. Looks like they are practicing quality control in more recent years. Point is, major things happen to every car on the road. The most amusing part is that you are one of the most outspoken anti-N20/N26 engine guys on this forum and yet, you drive a 5 series with the N52 engine. What is your motivation for this? Does it make you feel better or something? Its puzzling.

Threads like this, and your ongoing relentless conjecture about the turbo 4 BMW engines is basically unfounded, short of a few guys who have had this problem and really just a way for you to prop up your antiquated BMW and troll the F30, on an F30 forum. Boooooooo
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  #80  
Old 05-03-2017, 04:05 PM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Well that is what the M sport suspension is sir. No surprises there.

Now if you think an f30 m sport rides rough.. what are you used to?

Last edited by F10-N52; 05-03-2017 at 04:07 PM.
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  #81  
Old 05-03-2017, 04:35 PM
momazacg momazacg is offline
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Please don't forget that N20 engine is located in almost more than 50% of BMW New cars so seeing problems about it from some owners is normal, checking the E90 Timing Chain issue after only 3 years of it's date you can figure out why the N20 still Pretty good engine

2011-2017 N20 Engine List

BMW 125i F20
BMW 220i F22
BMW 225i F22
BMW 228i F22
BMW 320i F30
BMW 328i F30
BMW 420i F32
BMW 428i F32
BMW 520i F10
BMW 528i F10
BMW X1 E84
BMW X3 F25
BMW X4 F26
BMW Z4 E89
BMW 320i GT F34
BMW 328i GT F34

http://mywikimotors.com/bmw-n20/
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  #82  
Old 05-03-2017, 04:46 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Having read through the online accounts of N20 TC issue, plus getting educated how it can fail, my gut feel is that this issue won't easily end in new engine without telltale signs. So it falls in the category of cooling system overhaul and such, it is something to pay attention to and but not worried about.

And since BMWNA has been proactive with vacuum pump recall, turbo oil line recall, and thermostat recall, and plastic OFH SIB, and NVLD ELW, there is a trend that BMWNA will do something if it is deemed necessary.
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  #83  
Old 05-03-2017, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Kafkaesque328 View Post
The most amusing part is that you are one of the most outspoken anti-N20/N26 engine guys on this forum and yet, you drive a 5 series with the N52 engine. What is your motivation for this? Does it make you feel better or something? Its puzzling.
Nostalgia for older, less powerful, less efficient BMW engines is perhaps the poster's motivation? N20 engine is superior to the N52 in almost every meaningful way.

FWIW, the MY 2011 F10 with N52 engine has a much higher problem rate overall than later F10 cars with N20 engine according to TrueDelta and Consumer Reports' reliability surveys.
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  #84  
Old 05-03-2017, 05:04 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
Nostalgia for older, less powerful, less efficient BMW engines is perhaps the poster's motivation? N20 engine is superior to the N52 in almost every meaningful way.

FWIW, the MY 2011 F10 with N52 engine has a much higher problem rate overall than later F10 cars with N20 engine according to TrueDelta and Consumer Reports' reliability surveys.
Is the reliability worse on just 2011 F10 528i with N52, or 2011 F10 in general(which is still early in F10 product cycle)?

The current owner of my old E39 often concurs, the old-school I6 N/A(both M54 and N52 are in his garage) feels fast, but the N26 is fast.
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  #85  
Old 05-03-2017, 06:44 PM
adhrp adhrp is offline
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Originally Posted by Kafkaesque328 View Post
The most amusing part is that you are one of the most outspoken anti-N20/N26 engine guys on this forum and yet, you drive a 5 series with the N52 engine. What is your motivation for this? Does it make you feel better or something? Its puzzling.

Threads like this, and your ongoing relentless conjecture about the turbo 4 BMW engines is basically unfounded, short of a few guys who have had this problem and really just a way for you to prop up your antiquated BMW and troll the F30, on an F30 forum. Boooooooo
+1. I have no idea why anyone without the N20/N26 would spend so much time on this forum unless he/she were suffering from a serious case of sour grapes and constantly trying to confirm their (wrong) choice to themselves by belittling the thing that they should have/wanted to get in the first place, but couldn't. I don't think I have bothered replying to a single one of his posts and if everyone did the same then he might eventually get tired of shouting at the walls.
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  #86  
Old 05-03-2017, 06:51 PM
GandalfTheGrey GandalfTheGrey is offline
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Originally Posted by adhrp View Post
+1. I have no idea why anyone without the N20/N26 would spend so much time on this forum unless he/she were suffering from a serious case of sour grapes and constantly trying to confirm their (wrong) choice to themselves by belittling the thing that they should have/wanted to get in the first place, but couldn't. I don't think I have bothered replying to a single one of his posts and if everyone did the same then he might eventually get tired of shouting at the walls.
I think you're exactly right. I was just curious to see if there was anything he could actually offer beyond hyperbole and anecdotes.
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  #87  
Old 05-03-2017, 07:00 PM
Kafkaesque328 Kafkaesque328 is offline
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^^ Yeah, you guys are pretty right on. No other motivating factor makes sense. If he is so happy with a 10 year old 5 series with an engine that BMW will never make again, what else besides a feeling he is missing out would motivate him to troll this hard on an F30 forum? Thankfully, no one cares.
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  #88  
Old 05-04-2017, 08:18 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by imtjm View Post
Exactly. Someone writes an article in 2015 about how BMW changed the part number of the TC and makes an assumption that that meant BMW acknowledgement of a TC issue requiring a redesign. Yet, there was nothing provided to show any difference in design of the TC or otherwise. Then that post seems to get reposted by everyone and their little pony, making the issue out to be bigger than it probably ever was. There was zero evidence then and now that there was a chain redesign or any information behind the part number change. BMW changes part numbers for many reasons, one of which is respec/redesign of a part, but no one has actually shown any difference in the TC. It's amusing that people make the assumption there was some redesign because of a part number change, but overlook the fact that the guides and rails changes from black to white without a part number change.
The slide rail and guide rail are the same part#, the changing from white to dark brown color is likely due to exposure to high shear/high temp for 10k's of miles.

There is no comparison of brand new part# before and after 1/2015 on the timing chain itself. Looking at my MY13 with 45k versus relatively new 2017 with, say, 4k miles, the timing chains itself look structurally the same, while the old one with 45k is slightly bronze-color(due to 10k's of high shear/high temp?!?) while the new one with 4k looks chrome.

BTW, the oil pump chain also has new part#, those part# do have structural differences, e.g. online pictures show that the center links of old part# are made of 2 plates, while the new part# are made of one solid piece.

It is worth noting that bmwtechnician.com does show how the rails broke, so there is factual evidence of failures. From the pictures/videos, the failure point is the snap attachment of the slide rail(#1 in diagram) and the guide rail(#2). The guide rail piece with the holes broke off, and that's not normal.

But given that Munich engineers were OK with that snap attachment in the first place, it would seem the expectation is there should be zero/minimal stress and force on the rails, hence those flimsy looking attachment points are not expected to be weak links.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=11_4773
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  #89  
Old 05-04-2017, 09:23 AM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Did the n52 require a timing chain redesign? I'm just really confused as to why it goes through the same oil change intervals and seems to have no problems.

Also, it looks like the n63 and n20 both have similar timing chain guides. I think both these engines were purposely designed to be less reliable (especially with the lengthy intervals) because one is a mass market engine and the other is upscale for richer buyers. They are simply leeching money.
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  #90  
Old 05-04-2017, 10:25 AM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
The slide rail and guide rail are the same part#, the changing from white to dark brown color is likely due to exposure to high shear/high temp for 10k's of miles.

There is no comparison of brand new part# before and after 1/2015 on the timing chain itself. Looking at my MY13 with 45k versus relatively new 2017 with, say, 4k miles, the timing chains itself look structurally the same, while the old one with 45k is slightly bronze-color(due to 10k's of high shear/high temp?!?) while the new one with 4k looks chrome.

BTW, the oil pump chain also has new part#, those part# do have structural differences, e.g. online pictures show that the center links of old part# are made of 2 plates, while the new part# are made of one solid piece.

It is worth noting that bmwtechnician.com does show how the rails broke, so there is factual evidence of failures. From the pictures/videos, the failure point is the snap attachment of the slide rail(#1 in diagram) and the guide rail(#2). The guide rail piece with the holes broke off, and that's not normal.

But given that Munich engineers were OK with that snap attachment in the first place, it would seem the expectation is there should be zero/minimal stress and force on the rails, hence those flimsy looking attachment points are not expected to be weak links.
well, it's interesting you mentioned bmwtech, because he posted that the plastic was different. I suppose, I should not be using one statement of his over another without any evidence of anything, either, so shame on me for that.

He shows rails broken, yes, so what? The complaint is about the TC. Yes, yes, people are guessing and sleuthing that slack in TC is braking the plastic components, but no one, even bmwtech, didn't actually show or measure the length of the old TC to new TC. Measuring the stretched length would indicate if the TC was in fact stretched; however, even then, bmwtech also did not show any evidence that x length of slack causes broken plastic rails. Plus, we don't know how the vehicle with the broken rails was used or maintained. Maybe he just got a bad part or production lot. Again, lots of sleuthing without any factual information. What factual evidence showed it was a bad TC over a bad guides and rails? As I noted, I never disputed that there were reports about busted guides and rails. I disputed the notion that it is widespread and disputed the TC is a widespread issue. You'll notice the new TC also supercedes TC from 2004-2011, so did we see failures in TC's replaced in 2004-2011 models? No. anyhoo, again, using anecdotal stories without actually showing facts about cause-effect or even showing comparisons is not a widespread epidemic make.

As fas as the oil pump chain: it wasn't an issue was it? It wasn't, yet the part number changed two times. Actually, I haven't seen any differences in the oil pump chains. I'd like to see what you saw online. One needs to ensure they are looking at an actual BMW part rather than febi, IWIS, etc. but I don't understand what you mean by two plates versus one. anyhoo, the oil pump chain hasn't been a complaint, though.

Last edited by imtjm; 05-04-2017 at 10:26 AM.
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  #91  
Old 05-04-2017, 12:25 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Actually, I haven't seen any differences in the oil pump chains. I'd like to see what you saw online.
Check out the thread in post#54. IN that thread, post#202 shows a broken oil pump chain, and post#246 shows the old versus new old pump chain pictures.
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  #92  
Old 05-04-2017, 01:13 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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He shows rails broken, yes, so what?
A coworker showed me the pictures on this other thread. His thinking is that an inspection camera may be snaked through the oil cap opening to inspect those flimsy snap holes of the guide rail.

The issue is that, if a plastic part like the guide rail breaks in place as shown, and the guide rail is not supposed to be maintenance item as it is inside engine, it will be a real problem, regardless of redesigned TC or otherwise.

https://bmwtechnician.com/2016/04/29...g-chain-noise/
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  #93  
Old 05-04-2017, 01:16 PM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
Check out the thread in post#54. IN that thread, post#202 shows a broken oil pump chain, and post#246 shows the old versus new old pump chain pictures.
ok, I see. This is the oil chain, not the TC, though. And the hysteria is over the TC. Also, note the failure point of the oil chain for the one person that posted: it is the center links. Then notice that both the new and old oil chain use two plates for the center links, which is what failed in that person's old chain. Anyhoo, no widespread issue about the oil chain. In that whole thread, I didn't see one person actually measuring out the TC to demonstrate any stretch of a failed TC. As far as f30ed oil chain, hey anything is possible, but I revert to the point that the hysteria is over TC not the oil chain...respective of f30ed's oil chain bust. I also don't know how people actually drive their cars, so I try to temper people's issues from the hysteria.

Last edited by imtjm; 05-04-2017 at 01:20 PM.
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  #94  
Old 05-04-2017, 01:22 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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ok, I see. This is the oil chain, not the TC, though. And the hysteria is over the TC. Also, note the failure point of the oil chain for the one person that posted: it is the center links. Then notice that both the new and old oil chain use two plates for the center links, which is what failed in that person's old chain. Anyhoo, no widespread issue about the oil chain.
That is correct, the center link(of old oil pump chain part#) broke on that picture. The chain has 3 sets of links, one middle, and two outer. All are 2-plate/2-piece links.

The new oil pump chain picture shows the outer 2 links are now solid 1-piece, while center links are still 2 plates.

Last edited by namelessman; 05-04-2017 at 01:25 PM.
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  #95  
Old 05-04-2017, 01:26 PM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
A coworker showed me the pictures on this other thread. His thinking is that an inspection camera may be snaked through the oil cap opening to inspect those flimsy snap holes of the guide rail.

The issue is that, if a plastic part like the guide rail breaks in place as shown, and the guide rail is not supposed to be maintenance item as it is inside engine, it will be a real problem, regardless of redesigned TC or otherwise.

https://bmwtechnician.com/2016/04/29...g-chain-noise/
I agree, but let's separate out one off's from widespread hysteria. new N20 TC and oil chains replace 2004-2011 and the N20 2011-2015 for TC and 2016 for oil chain, so unless folks are seeing a bunch of N20 cars strewn across the global roadways, I find it simply hysteria. Yeah, plastic/nylon isn't necessarily the best when used with metal, but then again, there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands and millions of vehicles and other mechanisms which marry up plastic/nylon with metal without issues. The fact is mechanical things have x failure rates. Perhaps the oven was a smidge off for a batch. That's is plausible, but doesn't mean that every N20 engine TC and/or oil chain is going to blow up, brake, or stretch prematurely.

I would think that given the age of the vehicles at this point, we would see far more than what has been reported issues than we have if it was truly a problem.
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  #96  
Old 05-04-2017, 01:29 PM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
That is correct, the center link(of old oil pump chain part#) broke on that picture. The chain has 3 sets of links, one middle, and two outer. All are 2-plate/2-piece links.

The new oil pump chain picture shows the outer 2 links are now solid 1-piece, while center links are still 2 plates.
correct, and it was the center two plate links that broke. If center two plates was the weak point, it would remain the weak point. So I don't see the big woop in the redesign as somehow acknowledgement or fix to the original chain. At least in terms of f30ed's broken oil chain. The center link two plates are still reinforced by two single outer plates, not the solid links. So, the center links would still remain the weak link (pun included) if that was the original issue. One broken chain does not a problem make.
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  #97  
Old 05-04-2017, 01:37 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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I agree, but let's separate out one off's from widespread hysteria. new N20 TC and oil chains replace 2004-2011 and the N20 2011-2015 for TC and 2016 for oil chain, so unless folks are seeing a bunch of N20 cars strewn across the global roadways, I find it simply hysteria. Yeah, plastic/nylon isn't necessarily the best when used with metal, but then again, there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands and millions of vehicles and other mechanisms which marry up plastic/nylon with metal without issues. The fact is mechanical things have x failure rates. Perhaps the oven was a smidge off for a batch. That's is plausible, but doesn't mean that every N20 engine TC and/or oil chain is going to blow up, brake, or stretch prematurely.

I would think that given the age of the vehicles at this point, we would see far more than what has been reported issues than we have if it was truly a problem.
Yes F30 N20/N26 are pushing 5 years and some are crossing 80k-100k miles, but many N20/N26(including mine) is less than 50k miles. Another interesting tidbit is that someone commented a number of failures is on X3(heavier than F30), and from Canada(harsher cold start than US).

The inspection camera idea sounds promising, if that snap piece can be verified to be intact, that will at least be definitive proof nothing is broken, yet!
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:45 PM
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many N20 with less than 50k presumably came with the different TC chain and oil chain since 2015, so presumably wouldn't be an issue, based on all the sleuths' arguments. We should have seen massive failures on the 2011-2015 N20s, but crickets keep chirping.

yeah, it would be good if the rails and guides were a widespread problem for BMW to require a scope to verify, but again if it hysteria met reality, we should be seeing lots of N20's along the roadside.
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  #99  
Old 05-04-2017, 02:08 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by imtjm View Post
many N20 with less than 50k presumably came with the different TC chain and oil chain since 2015, so presumably wouldn't be an issue, based on all the sleuths' arguments. We should have seen massive failures on the 2011-2015 N20s, but crickets keep chirping.

yeah, it would be good if the rails and guides were a widespread problem for BMW to require a scope to verify, but again if it hysteria met reality, we should be seeing lots of N20's along the roadside.
The thinking is that a normal inspection camera with 3-ft scope should be good enough. My MY13 N26 and a few other friend's N20/N26 of MY12-13 are all less than 50k miles.

Let's hope it is just hysteria, but the thing is that even 0.1% failure that can lead to $20k repair bill, on a 5-year to 6-year old F30 that is worth less than $15k, is still meaningful stats.

Let's say there are 5 million N20/N26, the total repair bill of 0.1% [email protected]$20k a pop is $100m loss to customers .... a 0.01% failure knocks that down to $10m.
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  #100  
Old 05-04-2017, 03:45 PM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
The thinking is that a normal inspection camera with 3-ft scope should be good enough. My MY13 N26 and a few other friend's N20/N26 of MY12-13 are all less than 50k miles.

Let's hope it is just hysteria, but the thing is that even 0.1% failure that can lead to $20k repair bill, on a 5-year to 6-year old F30 that is worth less than $15k, is still meaningful stats.

Let's say there are 5 million N20/N26, the total repair bill of 0.1% [email protected]$20k a pop is $100m loss to customers .... a 0.01% failure knocks that down to $10m.
conjecture, conjecture. we can put superfluous numbers out there all day long, but they are meaningless. but i understand your point.
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