BMW Redesigns N20 Timing Chain Components, N26 Too

The silver lining of having your new-to-you Certified Pre-Owned BMW in the shop for over forty days? The technicians get very intimate and find other parts that need replacing which otherwise would have been overlooked. In this case it was a boisterous blower motor and elevated levels of noise coming from the front of the N20 engine. The latter was of greater concern.

It was a few weeks ago when the shop foreman informed me that the he wanted to replace the timing chain but was going to hold off until the other issues were resolved. Apparently early model N20 and N26 powered vehicles coming in to diagnose front engine noise. Turns out the irregular noises have been the result of stretched timing chains. Catastrophic engine failure can occur if the timing chain snaps or jumps a tooth on the gear.

As luck would have it, today I received two updates. The first was that the Auto Start Stop failure for which I brought the car in originally, was resolved. The second update pertained to the timing chain. BMW just redesigned the n20 timing chain related components and my 328i would be one of the first to receive the update. The bad news is that the parts are on back order and likely won’t arrive until next week.

BMW N20 Timing Chain Close Up

The good news is that BMW recognized the timing chain components in the N20 and N26 engines were prone to failure. I’m happy to report that at least some of their technicians are proactively recognizing and recommending updating components them before any damage is done. It doesn’t matter what badge is in your driveway, knowing the manufacturer steps up and resolves problems before they get out of hand is great. This isn’t my first BMW but it is one of the few I’ve owned under warranty and I doubt the level of service I’ve received these past two months would be comparable anywhere else.

The Fix

The big news here is that BMW has redesigned the timing chain components. How exactly? Based on RealOEM, there was a part number change for the N20 Timing Chain starting 01/2015 so we can assume then that N20 and N26 engines with build dates of 2015 have the updated timing chain and components.

Up to 01/2015 – 11317584084
After 01/2015 – 11318648732

As of this writing, the update parts are back ordered and will soon be distributed to BMW dealers nationwide. I’ll be happy knowing I won’t have to worry about the n20 timing chain in the future. Can’t wait to get my car back!