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

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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?...

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...

Please add your comments to this forum if you had a similar experience.


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If I were you I'd do it. This is a clear problem occurring in the X3's, rather you put down 2-3 Grand as opposed to the 20 it would take to replace an engine. Plus you get security in regards to other things going wrong.
This thread makes me worry - mine is going out of warranty in few days. Wonder if I should run to the dealership tomorrow and pay $$$ to renew warranty or ask them to replace the old part with the new design as a preventive measure.
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