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N20 engine problems right after motorplan.

Posted in Maintenance, Technical

So I didnt think I would have to do a write up about the petrol  F – series  engines.

My usual comments over the years to clients with the petrol E-series generation was

“service every 10000KM or once a year  as this car is prone to sludge and engine issues”

I said this like a broken record and honestly  it was terrifying  taking on these vehicles,  revs jumping  and engine cutting out issues, if they weren’t already a cleint with a service record with me.


Most of my clients now know to service more often and always keep records.


So here we are again 🙁 with similar issues just more aggravating as I am meeting new clients coming straight from the big deals.

These engines are siezing due to what seems like an arrangement of things. The the timing chain , oil pump chain and plastic guides break first with the oil pump failing due to pieces of plastic or sludge with somes cars.

(kindly note the N20 timing chain jobs we have worked on – the faults and mileage – way below – end of article)



  • If you hear any NEW noises (hum or rattle from engine not the direct injection “diesel noise” ) or see the “Drivetrain Message” –  see your  mechanic asap.
  • Sludge, oil pump failure, timing chain and guide failure.
  • Drivetrain message; due to above or below
  • Misfire and revs jumping
  • Fuel system issues.
  • Turbo failure if the client left the oil faults and sludge too long.



  • Strip and fault. We change the oil pump, guide and timing chain kit for a ¼ or less of what the quote would be for an engine replacement.
  • We drop the sump and change the big end bearings.


If it has seized solid and the Big end bearings damaged the crank, we fit a used motor with the parts listed above renewed.

You can save this motor from failing and rebuild the motor if you catch these faults just in time.

A new client was not so fortunate – see pic of bearings below

It went further and the Crank got damaged – as a courtesy we read all faults on cars with every lube service we do – we warn clients long before it gets to this*****

Unfortunately there are no oversized bearings available for N20.

This repair requires a brand new crankshaft with all new bearings.

IMG_2076 IMG_2075

DO NOT follow the service interval of 25000Km or every 2years. Service ever y 10000KM or once  a year.

Clean Oil is the bloodline of any car.

Recommend a good warranty policy as usual for everything else that fails with a car above 100000KM



See some of the comments online below and a statement from  BMW North America.

(kindly note the N20 timing chain jobs we have worked on – the faults and mileage – way below)

Note: there is a class action lawsuit against BMW US for timing chain N20 engine issue.

See link https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2017/bmw-n20-n26-engine-lawsuit-blames-timing-chains.shtml


BMW North America  has an extended warranty passed on these parts (N20 timing chain and guide)

– see below



List of forums and sites come up when you search N20 engine issues



My personal favorite comment.


Faults on N20 timing chain jobs we have worked on and mileage




image008Tech specs and engine information http://mywikimotors.com/bmw-n20/