N20 Timing Chain failure Drivetrain malfunction. BMW F25 X3 2013 53,000 miles - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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  #1  
Old 05-14-2016, 11:43 AM
magas magas is offline
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N20 Timing Chain failure Drivetrain malfunction. BMW F25 X3 2013 53,000 miles

My wife's 2013 X3 just stopped and gave a drivetrain malfunction error in the middle of the road while she was driving.

I was unable to move it and could not push it.

I tried the emergency electronic release but after 20 minutes realized no matter what I did it would not work.

Then I remembered the manual release screw under the car!

This video helped.... But I had to remove the panels underneath with a 8mm socket to gain access to the Allen wrench screw.

Let me say..... what a pain in the ass!

Finally got the car out of gear and towed home. To make matters worse warranty just expired 3 months ago, car now has 53,000. I swear BMW does this on purpose.

No I am trying to diagnose the problem..

I am hoping its something simple... I have seen where the ignition coils have failed locking out the transmission to prevent damage...

ANy help would be appreciated. I cant believe how dangerous this car is designed. I was stuck in one spot for 1 hour trying to disengage the gear lock. I hope this helps someone else. The car was unable to be moved or towed until the lock is disabled.

Anyone have any idea on what it could be?...

***UPDATE***
The timing chain and or timing chain guards failed resulting in a total loss of the engine.


I have had many people with the BMW N20 issue email me of similar failures and am keeping a list here...
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...AH4/edit#gid=0

Please add your comments to this forum if you had a similar experience.
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Last edited by magas; 06-07-2016 at 01:18 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2016, 02:25 PM
TK-BMW TK-BMW is offline
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Ran into something similar except luckily I ended up on the shoulder out of traffic. The starter wouldn't crank, could not get it into neutral, so the tow truck had to drag it up the ramp. Ugh. Bad design to not be able to move a disabled vehicle in case of emergency, that's for sure.
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  #3  
Old 05-14-2016, 08:13 PM
guyver626 guyver626 is offline
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Must Read. Stuck Car! Drivetrain malfunction and how to disable it..

Do you have a link to the video? Or was it just the pictures you were referring to?

Thanks! Good luck with the fix! It happened to me and it was the megatronic module. One day my car was working perfectly fine and the next day it wouldn't shift out of park. No warning nothing. Car would turn on and everything would work as normal just wouldn't get out of park.

Last edited by guyver626; 05-14-2016 at 08:22 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-15-2016, 08:28 PM
magas magas is offline
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  #5  
Old 05-15-2016, 08:42 PM
magas magas is offline
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Problem is having to have all the tools available and the time.
I am trying to get the car to a service computer tomorrow. Bmw dealer will likely charge an arm and a leg. Will see what my local Bmw mechanic will say.
Didn't even know what a megatronic module was until you mentioned it. Then I noticed alot of posts on them failing.

What did the repair cost. I'm assuming you were under warranty.

Looks like this is my next project
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  #6  
Old 05-16-2016, 03:09 AM
ingenieur ingenieur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magas View Post
My wife's 2013 X3 just stopped and gave a drivetrain malfunction error in the middle of the road while she was driving.

I was unable to move it and could not push it.

I tried the emergency electronic release but after 20 minutes realized no matter what I did it would not work.

Then I remembered the manual release screw under the car!

This video helped.... But I had to remove the panels underneath with a 8mm socket to gain access to the Allen wrench screw.

Let me say..... what a pain in the ass!

Finally got the car out of gear and towed home. To make matters worse warranty just expired 3 months ago, car now has 53,000. I swear BMW does this on purpose.

No I am trying to diagnose the problem..

I am hoping its something simple... I have seen where the ignition coils have failed locking out the transmission to prevent damage...

ANy help would be appreciated. I cant believe how dangerous this car is designed. I was stuck in one spot for 1 hour trying to disengage the gear lock. I hope this helps someone else. The car was unable to be moved or towed until the lock is disabled.

Anyone have any idea on what it could be?...
You need to get the BMW codes read out - this can be caused by many things.
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2016, 05:16 AM
guyver626 guyver626 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magas View Post
Problem is having to have all the tools available and the time.
I am trying to get the car to a service computer tomorrow. Bmw dealer will likely charge an arm and a leg. Will see what my local Bmw mechanic will say.
Didn't even know what a megatronic module was until you mentioned it. Then I noticed alot of posts on them failing.

What did the repair cost. I'm assuming you were under warranty.

Looks like this is my next project

Don't know what the repair would have cost as it was under warranty. Big headache to deal with.
Good luck with your issue. And let us know what the problem is
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  #8  
Old 05-16-2016, 09:56 AM
magas magas is offline
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Opened the oil cover... the car is turning but not starting.
When I look in the oil cover the timing chain is not moving!

Now I'm thinking the car is got a big mechanical failure...

For some reason the mechanic's code reasder could not communicate with the computer to pull the codes with his BMW scanner.

Ill keep updating as I figure it out. Any suggestions are welcome.
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  #9  
Old 05-17-2016, 12:31 PM
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gfeiner gfeiner is offline
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Only 3k miles out of warranty. Being so close i bet the dealer would call bmw on your behalf to see if they would cover the expense or at least give u a big discount.
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2016, 05:08 PM
ingenieur ingenieur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magas View Post
Opened the oil cover... the car is turning but not starting.
When I look in the oil cover the timing chain is not moving!

Now I'm thinking the car is got a big mechanical failure...

For some reason the mechanic's code reasder could not communicate with the computer to pull the codes with his BMW scanner.

Ill keep updating as I figure it out. Any suggestions are welcome.
So the engine is turning over, but looking into the oil cap nothing is moving?

Sounds like a timing chain failure...
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  #11  
Old 05-19-2016, 04:52 AM
magas magas is offline
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Latest update....
First it was 100 dollars to diagnose the problem at the dealership.
Then they needed to do an "deep" inspection. Another 790 dollars.

I was told they have found metal shavings in the oil filter and still don't know what the problem is.

I think the gear of the timing chain failed, but I hope I'm wrong.

Lets see what Bmw does.

I can say I am very disappointed so far and hope bmw extends the warranty. for the 3k miles is over.
If not this is the last time I make the mistake of buying and not leasing. Also it will be the last BMW I drive.
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  #12  
Old 05-20-2016, 09:34 PM
Zerofoxm Zerofoxm is offline
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Must Read Stuck Car Drivetrain malfunction and how to disabl

Just out of interest, would you have linked to the same sort of story if it had been a UK policewoman who been killed on her first day on the job ?
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2016, 06:33 PM
magas magas is offline
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So they took the care apart and found the plastic timing chain alignment guard was shattered. They are charging 6k for the repair or 17k if they need to replace the Motor.
The said I can try to contact Bmw America if they will help. And maybe give a 10% discount.
Bad news.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2016, 06:39 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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N20 engine?
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2016, 05:17 AM
magas magas is offline
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Yes n20
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  #16  
Old 05-25-2016, 05:21 AM
magas magas is offline
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Here is a picture of the broken plastic guard of the timing chain
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  #17  
Old 05-25-2016, 08:26 AM
chloe92us chloe92us is offline
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Omg. This freaks me out....I hope BMW helps you. How could this have been avoided, or can't it? Is this a rare occurrence or a known fault? Why is there a PLASTIC piece in there tha, if broken, can cause failure of the entire engine?
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Last edited by chloe92us; 05-25-2016 at 08:27 AM.
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  #18  
Old 05-25-2016, 12:35 PM
farg farg is offline
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I found this

http://www.rightfootdown.com/cars/au...nents-n26-too/
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  #19  
Old 05-25-2016, 05:45 PM
magas magas is offline
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Yes I ran across that site too and just posted a link..
I think we need to officially recall or make a service bulletin on this issue.
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  #20  
Old 05-26-2016, 09:47 AM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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To OP, is there any mod to the car? If not this seems to be an engine design issue. The plastic chain guide does look flimsy in the N20 engine build video, BMWAG should really step up and get this right, preferably with a recall.

At 1:05:

Last edited by namelessman; 05-26-2016 at 11:30 AM.
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  #21  
Old 05-26-2016, 01:47 PM
magas magas is offline
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No mods in my car.. All service done on time and at BMW.

Writing a letter to BMW NA. I hope that this helps someone else. If anything you need to extended warranty, big mistake by me to not get it.
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2016, 03:10 PM
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Lotus99 Lotus99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
To OP, is there any mod to the car? If not this seems to be an engine design issue. The plastic chain guide does look flimsy in the N20 engine build video, BMWAG should really step up and get this right, preferably with a recall.
How many other losses like this have there been? I don't recall reading about it here before. Is it really that frequent to warrant a recall? A service bulletin perhaps, but a recall? Plus, doesn't a recall need to be related to a safety issue?

Regardless, there is unfortunately always a certain percentage of any thing, no matter how perfectly designed it may even be, that will fail.
.

Last edited by Lotus99; 05-26-2016 at 03:12 PM.
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  #23  
Old 05-26-2016, 07:38 PM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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Originally Posted by Lotus99 View Post
How many other losses like this have there been? I don't recall reading about it here before. Is it really that frequent to warrant a recall? A service bulletin perhaps, but a recall? Plus, doesn't a recall need to be related to a safety issue?

Regardless, there is unfortunately always a certain percentage of any thing, no matter how perfectly designed it may even be, that will fail.
.
A recall can be for safety issues, or can be for manufacturer defects too.

On the F30 subforum a poster said his dealer sees a few N20 timing chain and oil chain failures, so these failures may not be as rare as hoped.

Last edited by namelessman; 05-26-2016 at 11:43 PM.
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  #24  
Old 05-27-2016, 03:33 AM
hlrose hlrose is offline
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This isn't good to hear. I'm counting the days to get out of 2013 x3 with 58k on it. Waiting on next gen to see if BMW makes a better performing and handling vehicle. If I have to address an engine issue beforehand this may be my last BMW.
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  #25  
Old 05-27-2016, 04:22 AM
magas magas is offline
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Looks like there is a whole Facebook community dedicated to this topic.

ttps://m.facebook.com/BMW-Problem-Timing-Chain-293617047394760/
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