The 2.0l engine with the code N47 (N47D20C) from BMW is an engine that is often assessed negatively. However, it is a quite popular bike. So, what are the causes of the problems with the two-liter N47 engine from BMW?
Characteristics of the N47 (N47D20C) engine
The 2.0 diesel engine is one of the most frequently installed engine in BMW cars, which have been produced since 2007. This engine powers smaller compact cars, but also much larger cars, including SUVs.
The problems with the two-liter N47 engine from BMW, however, result from the complicated and, at the same time, expensive valve timing.
It is worth adding here that the most popular BMW models with this faulty engine are the cars of the 1 series, 3 series, 5 series and X3. How is it in reality? Can his service really cost a fortune?
Timing, which is the biggest problem of the N47 (N47D20C) engine
- As mentioned, the biggest problem is the timing drive. Although it is not as problematic as in the case of the M47 construction, of which the N47 engine is an extension.
- There are even voices that in this case the problem is greater. While the M47 engine caused a lot of problems after a mileage of 200,000-250,000 km, the N47 engine is noticeable many times with much lower mileage.
- The stretching of the timing chain itself would not have been a bigger problem, if it were not for the fact that it was placed by the designers at the rear, from the gearbox side.
- In addition, the entire timing consists of three chains, four shoes and two tensioners, driving the oil pump and injection pump.
- Problems with the two-liter N47 engine from BMW are so serious that in the environment of mechanics there is an opinion that it is better to complete such a bike and replace the entire engine.
- If it goes to the service in its entirety, when it has only a stretched timing, it should be replaced together with the gears.
- The problem is that they are integrated with the shaft itself, which in this situation is also subject to replacement.
- Neglecting to replace the chains after stretching the chains, wear of the guide shoes and the loss of their properties by the tensioners, however, it leads to the chain breakage, which is synonymous with the destruction of the engine.
After buying a car, should you replace the N47 (N47D20C) engine timing?
Despite the high cost, replacing the timing chain seems to be justified. Before that, however, it is worth verifying the operation of the timing drive, with the help of an experienced mechanic. Vehicle History will also come in handy which may indicate such a service in the recent past.
As, in general, the replacement timing is suitable already at the mileage of 120-150 thousand. km, many drivers try to sell the car when this expensive procedure inevitably looms.
Checking a possible replacement in the past and verification of the operation of the timing drive by a mechanic, therefore, can help in negotiating the price of such a vehicle.
The last moment to replace it comes when this element makes a lot of noise. What else to replace after buying a car on the secondary market? You can read about it in the article entitled “ What to replace after buying a used car?“.
Read Also: 16+ The Most Reliable BMW Engine Ever Made
How much does it cost to replace the N47 (N47D20C) engine timing?
The timing problems of the two-liter N47 engine from BMW are unfortunately also costly. Its replacement with the slides and tensioner, using original parts, costs about $ 1,062. Approximately $ 210 less, this service costs when using substitutes.
The problem is that the final cost of such a service is determined by the mechanic only after verifying and dismantling the timing drive, which involves the disassembly of the engine with the gearbox and the fuel system with the cylinder head.
To make matters worse, the service manual also includes the disassembly of the power steering pump and the front of the exhaust system.
Such a service is therefore very complicated, and also requires high precision, for example when setting the position of the crankshaft deflection.
Therefore, it is important that specialists who have experience in replacing the timing drive of this engine take care of it.
According to the schedule, it takes them around 13 hours. The labor alone costs nearly $ 425. Parts cost at least twice as much, and let’s not forget about replacing seals or oil.
Which version of the N47 engine is the most common problems?
The N47 engine series is labeled differently. The versions with the code N47D20A, which were produced in the years 2007 – 2011, are most exposed to faster wear of the timing gear.
These engines generating power of 143, 163, 177 and 204 HP can be found in models 118d, 120d, 123d, 318d, 320d, 520d, X3 or X1. Particular care should be taken with a 177 hp engine.
At the same time, it should be noted that not every engine with a mileage of approx. 150 thousand. km must have the timing gear replaced. It happens that cars with original drive cover even more than 200,000 kilometers. km. Therefore, each such vehicle, as well as other used cars, requires thorough verification.
Service action for cars with N47 (N47D20C) engine
BMW was reluctant to inform its customers about it, but the concern also took a service action to verify or replace the engine’s timing drive.
So why were all owners of cars equipped with the N47 not informed about it? Well, due to the fact that the defect did not pose a threat to safety and the environment.
Therefore, it was not announced by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. However, the possible fact of carrying out such an action can be checked through the VIN report.
Is it worth buying a car with a N47 (N47D20C) engine?
The question that remains is whether, knowing the problems with the two-liter N47 engine from BMW, buy a vehicle with such a engine, or stay away from it.
The drive engine itself is characterized by good dynamics and, at the same time, low fuel consumption. If only for this reason, this engine can be recommended.
However, only for those who are aware of the risks and in a situation where it does not require immediate replacement of the timing drive immediately after purchase. The cars that have already been replaced are the best, which can be verified by Vehicle History.
Anyway, this is a report that also provides insight into many other important issues for a potential used car buyer.
It contains not only service actions, repairs at an authorized service station and documenting workshops, but also information about collisions and damages, as well as technical data or factory equipment as of the day when it left the factory.
As if that was not enough, checking the VIN it also helps in verifying the theft databases. The report also includes any past sales campaigns.
All this is helpful in verifying such a car. It perfectly complements the technical inspection, visual inspection, and, of course, a test drive necessary before finalizing the purchase.