Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i

I'm called jason,just thought I'd join this site as I experienced what is more like a nightmare to me. Since I experienced what I'd call a premature timing failure on my bmw 116i 2005. What really annoys me is the fact that I wasn't wise enough to read the cars reviews before ever buying it. I'm just 22 years old and I'd always wished to have a 1 series. I saved for like a year in order to get one for myself. I bought the car in march from a private seller,drive alright for like 3 months,took the car for MOT and it passed(delighted)this reassured me because I was sceptical about buying second handed cars.

Here's my nightmare,I woke up ready for work,started my car,it started alright but when on 1st gear,it felt like I was on the wrong gear. Then I insisted in starting it,drove it away from my drive way but the car deliberately refused to pick up. So I call the AA,diagnostics were done and was told it has to do with a timing chain failure. Never heard of this before but was told it might worth about 2k to get it fixed. So I thought of going through the bmw goodwill because its the only way I could get it fixed as I can't afford 2k atm.

What baffles me is the car has full service history and has covered only 51000 miles. So I took it to elms bmw Cambridge explained to the guy who attended to me and he was puzzled at the timing chain failure at just 51000 miles. So he told me he'd try and request goodwill from BMW main office or something. So I want to know if anyone has faced the same situation of a premature timing chain failure and whether or not I stand any chances of a BMW goodwill. I have been stressed for a week now. Will appreciate if anyone could help. Regards

Edited by Avant on 19/05/2013 at 18:29

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Collos25

A very very common fault on the 1 series just about every car from this era has a timing chain problem often resulting in new engine.I suggest you google this site there is a number of incidents aslo BWM forums her in Germany just about every car had its timing chain replaced on request.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - gordonbennet

Much will depend on the cars service history but i hope they do honour this too common problem.

However you mention Cambridge, well Chelmsford isn't a million miles away and at Chelmsford lurks PMW a well respected BMW indy, a very nice chap to deal with and would be who i would ask advice from in the event goodwill is not forthcoming....we have used them twice for swirl flap removal on 320d's but other than that have no association.

I certainly wouldn't be giving any money to the main dealer who represents the maker unless you can come to some agreement.

ISTR that HJ mentions PMW in his in depth car by car revies of BMW.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
Thanks a lot gordon for ur reply. I'd bear that in mind. Chelmsford is just about an hour away. Soon as I get news from bmw I'll keep u updated bc it's weird now cycling or walking to work. Life seems to be on hold now. Thanks again
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
I wish I had done my homework before buying the car. I'm in total regret atm as I don't know what to expect. Been a week yet I'm still waiting on them to get back to me.

Edited by ajp116i on 26/05/2013 at 04:21

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
I just hope mine gets replaced at no cost lol or maybe at a cost which I could afford.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - thunderbird

A very very common fault on the 1 series just about every car from this era has a timing chain problem often resulting in new engine

Is that why you see thousands of broken down BMW's and other cars with snapped timing chains littering the sides of the roads.

What total nonsense. We currently have 3 cars in the family (one is a BMW) with chains and have had no problems, total age of the cars is 14 years. Prior to this in the past 20 years we have had another 5 cars with chains (3 were Nissans which some say have major issues) and guess what, no problems.

Like most things poor maintenance by previous owners causes the problems, use the correct spec oil/filter and change at the correct interval and problems are most unliekly.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
It's just rather unlucky thunderbird but I don't think my timing chain split due to Low maintenance etc as the car is just 51000 miles and was last serviced at 46000 miles. The service history is complete and I had to follow the same pattern in servicing the car more often as it has been the case with the previous owner. If you have a closer look,bmw produced before this spec was manufactured barely had any issues not even the chain. That's why you have been lucky owning a bmw for 14 years. Bmw just need to admit that it's a manufacturers fault in order to keep their good name. It's not just a few out there,it's quite a lot and even the guy from RAC who towed my car to the garage told me he had towed quite a lot of the 1 series with the same timing chain failure.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Cyd

Surely if it was timing chain failure the car would be completely undrivable?

Or am I missing something?

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - SteveLee

Those Germans are great engineers, they managed to take the almost unburstable PSA TU engine as a starting point and re-engineer it into a potential grenade. If it was a Rover engine the news would be plastered all over the media. Still, you've got a nice shiny "premium" badge to polish on a Sunday morning to impress the neighbours, that's all that matters? Isn't it?

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
These cars are indeed a nice shiny premium badge stevelee. That's just the word to describe them. Its a total mess I wish I could smack the bmw CEO or smthx. They all deserve a beating for stressing out people. Worst thing is they completely are trying to ignore the fact that it's a common problem.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - SteveLee

Surely if it was timing chain failure the car would be completely undrivable?

Or am I missing something?

May have just jumped a tooth rather than letting go completely.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Collos25

They normally rattle like hell for a long time before they go bang.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - daveyK_UK
Some genuinly go snap without the normal pre-warning rattle.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
Mine completely snapped without any ore warning rattle. It's quite strange.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
hello steve lee I don't think it's jumped just a tooth as the car is completely undrivable. I just wish I did my research before every buying that s*** hole. I was completely happy with my toyota celica vvti which I had for 3 years.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
Hello there and sorry for the late reply. Yes the car is undrivable. I towed it to my nearest bmw garage. Been a week now still no answers. Hope they sort this out bc I've been totally stressed
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - barney100
How long have you had it and where did you buy it from? Depending on answers will be determine the best path forward. Maybe some redress if you haven't had the car too long or the fault is inherent in this model. It could happen to anyone.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Collos25

It was part of a recall to have the timing chain replaced probably escaped the net on all 1 series here in Germany, I cannot think it would be any different in the UK.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
I just hope it will be the same in the uk because its a common fault with these models as I just read over the net and my mechanic told me the same thing. So I'm just hoping the timing chain gets replaced for me for free or at an affordable price. Because there's just no way I could afford over £1000 out of the blues at the moment. Been over a week and still haven't heard anything from bmw and they have my car in their possession
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
Hey barney I've had it for four months and bought it from a private seller with full service history but I'm pretty sure the lady whom I bought it from didnt know about the fault.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
This is getting more complicated than I thought. My local bmw independent mechanic told me it was a timing chain problem,RAC and AA who towed my car did a diagnostic and told me it has to do with the timing chain. So I was fully convinced these were the faults on my 116i as the car couldn't start up...I took it the to bmw Cambridge so I could request a goodwill for the timing chain. A week after I was shocked when they told me it has nothing to do with the timing chain. Bmw told me its a water leak,pdc and the positive battery cable got blown and battery as well needs changing. £900.2 bill is what I got on my invoice. At this point in time I don't know who to trust or what to do as my mechanic said its a timing chain but bmw says it's a water leak!!
So I'm beginning to think that there is something fishy going on here. Could anyone be of help in advising me on this please?
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Galaxy

So does the car now run perfectly then? If so then it can't have been a timing chain problem, can it?

Are you absolutely sure that the work you've described is the work the BMW dealer has carried out on your car? It wouldn't be the first time a large main dealer has managed to mix up the details on two similar car invoices.

Many years ago an AA patrolman told my dad that his car wouldn't run "because there was something wrong with the carburettor". In reality the cambelt had snapped!

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
Hello Galaxy the work I described is exactly what the dealership told me. But the car was completely undrivable. And when I told my mechanic he was surprised as well. However the case they did the job costing me £900.2. Can't wait till I get back in my car and drive. Less I forget they recommended me to change the o/s/r suspension top arm outer bush and two wheel bearing at the back. It's a shame as my car passed it's not last month.
Regards
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - SteveLee

I suspect it was the timing chain but the dealer would rather charge you for some invented problem which covers the (trade) cost of doing the chain over the hassle of chasing a warranty claim.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
Stevelee you are begging to sound and think more like me. I think that's exactly what the BMW did. The car was not drivable and couldn't start at all.two mechanics told me is a timing chain but BMW told me otherwise. Nonetheless the work is complete all I need to do now is raise the £900.2.
Thanks again for your concern.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - daveyK_UK
BMW main dealer cover up?
Surely not!
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
Hello guys I am back again. This time my car was jerking. Sent it to bmw and they diagnosed it as a timing chain failure quoting about £1000 to get it replaced. Told them about the premature failure for these make and model and they said they will send an email to headquarters requesting a goodwill gesture. Last time I spent roughly £1000 on a water leak problem. I hope they could help cover up some of the cost. Fingers crossed and hope you guys have been alight
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - HandCart

I hope they partially or fully pay the cost of repairing it - and it sounds like you might then like to get rid of it and return to a Toyota ?!

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - RobJP

I hope they partially or fully pay the cost of repairing it - and it sounds like you might then like to get rid of it and return to a Toyota ?!

If it's the same car the OP had originally (when he started this thread) then it is now 9 years old. Or maybe you are telling him (and us) that Toyota would fix problems on a car of that age for free ?

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - HandCart

No, I merely meant that supposedly he had the timing chain fixed not so long ago (or maybe not - it's not crystal clear what the original problem/diagnosis/fix was) so it's a bit poor that it has broken yet again.

And he mentions he previously had a Toyota, with which he didn't suffer any such shenangians. So having neen stung twice in a relatively short period, he my well feel inclined to offload this troublesome BMW and revert to a car from a manufacturer from which he previously had reliable operation.

But if he can't get BMW to pay anything towards the repair and he has to pay the full whack, he may then feel he needs to keep the BM a bit longer in order to get his money's-worth out of this shell-out. But that may be yet another gamble. :-)

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - ajp116i
This is crazy. Elms bmw opted to request a goodwill gesture from bmw but it was rejected giving rise to the fact that the car is 9 years old but what baffles me is the fact that it has only done 58k miles. That's crazy. I got quoted £1500 to get it fixed. Parts are about £650 and the rest is labour. That's scary. Think I might have to scrap the car spending another £1500 will rise up to about £2500 in a year. And what scared me most is all these local garages around as they couldn't even tell me what the exact problem was till I had to go to bmw. So at the end of the day it's either I scrap it or get bmw to fix it. Don't trust all these garages.
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - gordonbennet

Not far from you, call PMW Chelmsford, well know BMW indy, no connection other than as a satisfied family customer.

If anyone can sort it he can, if not he can advise you well.

edit...ignore that i suggested the same some time ago.

Edited by gordonbennet on 16/05/2014 at 12:32

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - HandCart

Tricky isn’t it: The car IS 9 years old, so well past even a Kia warranty duration. And 58k miles in 9 years suggests short journeys, which put more strain on things than long journeys. But if the car had done long journeys, BMW would no doubt be saying “Ooh, not warrantied with such high miles on, sir.”

Did you ever actually consult an independent BMW specialist, like that one suggested in Chelmsford?

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Snakey

Is this the same 1.6 as fitted to Minis of the same era? If so there seems to be a lot of stories about timing chains failing on those as well (search for mini 'death rattle'!)

Might be more ammunition for goodwill, but to be honest no manufacturer gives out goodwill unless theres a sh-tstorm of bad publicity waiting to break over it (toyota diesel engines anyone?)

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - RobJP

I really do struggle to understand the approach of BMW group to servicing. If this car has only done 58k, and has been on the 'official' servicing regime, then it might have only had 3 oil changes in the 9 years that it has been going for. I don't think there has been anything inherently wrong with the engines, or the timing chains. But that sort of oil change interval is asking for trouble. That is, to put it simply, insane.

But then again, I suppose their thinking might be "VAG and Merc are doing this too. So we'll lose some customers to them, and get some from them. Eventually, it evens out".

Seems like a hell of a way to run a company

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - gordonbennet
Seems like a hell of a way to run a company

Yet people still want to buy into the lifestyle/image these badges provide, amazing.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - VK100

I too have a brokem timing chain on a BMW 116i 2005 with 51k miles with FSH,, the franchise BMW dealership won't assist in the repair costs which is £1800! I have complained to BMW UK as they are the ones who decide on gesture of good will payments, I'm still waiting to hear....... Has anyone been successful in getting any money out of them??

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - RobJP

Not that I'm aware of. But do remember, this is a 9 year old car you've got.

If you've got a full BMW main agent service history, then I suppose there's a slight chance of getting some goodwill payment/discount, but if it's been serviced by an independent then I don't think you've got much hope at all.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - gordonbennet

deleted post, i'd already mentioned PMW twice before, waste of time it would appear.

Edited by gordonbennet on 13/06/2014 at 15:23

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - RobJP

What ? You mean you actually expect people to read the thread before posting ?

In all fairness though, the OP might have read the thread through. If they're not down in the Sarf East though, PMW wouldn't be much use to them

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - gordonbennet

In all fairness though, the OP might have read the thread through. If they're not down in the Sarf East though, PMW wouldn't be much use to them

Up to a point, my post was along the lines of has anyone contacted a good BMW indy, before their car goes pop that is, to see if there's any preventative measures that could help, inded maybe even (perish the thought) of replacing/removing a troublesome or just plain rubbish part before it fails, as with the swirl flap issue.

Then i woke up and remembered that most people can't even check their own oil level these days, so ignore me and i'll resume my afternoon snooze...zzzz.

Edited by gordonbennet on 13/06/2014 at 15:56

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - HandCart

OP mentioned he'd taken the car to Cambridge, and says Chelmsford is about an hour away for him, Rob. So he is somewhat sarf and somewhat east.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Ongetrepreneur
Hi Jason,

I'm currently in the same position as you 3 years later.

Just wondering what the outcome was?
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - RobJP
Hi Jason, I'm currently in the same position as you 3 years later. Just wondering what the outcome was?

Jason has not posted on the forum in over 2 years, so is unlikely to see that

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - RobbieT2016
BMW 116i Petrol.

Open to anyone with an opinion.... googling and this thread came up, newbie here, please ignore the name, I'm actually female and openly clueless!
I'm having the Same issues as above, except mine has happened for the fourth time this evening!
It's on 07 plate, and done just under 61k miles, one owner before me and I purchased in 09 @19k
I've had it serviced independently more than regularly by independent garages (4 times I think) the last being a major service just 7 weeks ago. I'm pee'd off to say the least!
Elms stanstead the first time it went I took to Elms Stanstead who did cover the goodwill gesture as it had only done 20 odd k back in 2010. And a highly recommended BMW specialist the other 2 times.

I'm getting just over a year and a month out of each time it breaks down on me. Last was May 2015.

I know from too much experience what timing chain issues feel like in the car, but Tonight I had no prior warning it would snap or skip except an oil light coming on on the M25, (which, given the service, I thought was bizarre) But I pulled over topped up a little and carried on home. It conked out 3 times at traffic lights and died again at a roundabout, then did the thing where it shudders and refuses to come back to life in the middle of rush hour.
I feel like my car is a death trap and as a mother of 2 I'm anxious to have my children in the car with me.
I trust the specialist who has carried out the work previously with my life, but sometimes you do just get them cars... But I'm a bit lost as to who to go to for repairs, due to family breakdown I'm no longer in a position to just fork out a thousand pounds for something that's already been repaired 3 times.
Does BMW not have some sort of duty of care to its customers in circumstances like this? Do I stand a chance if they've provided goodwill before?
My car is only at 61k miles now, it's just seems really awful they can just ignore the problem...
Some thoughts on this would be very much appreciated, I've totally had enough of the car now, but getting shot isn't an option while its undriveable. I'm 15 miles from family,live remotely, have a 30 minute commute to work everyday and this is my only vehicle hence why ive taken such care to have it devices regularly.

(Service carried out by local Halford Auto Centre - groupon deal. Couldn't resist the bargain, (still confused by oil light...)
Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - John F
Some thoughts on this would be very much appreciated......

Here is an extract from one of the many sources of N47 family engine failures

Engine Rebuilds by “Prestige German Engines”
We have rebuilt over a thousand BMW engines damaged by timing chain failure, and we have developed a thorough, highly successful engine rebuild procedure.......

My thought is one of astonishment that by the 21st century BMW engineers were still unable to design and produce a more durable sprocket and chain mechanism than the one in my 1980 British Leyland TR7. No wonder its initials still stand for 'Big Money Worries'. (I've instinctively never liked them).

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - RobJP

If the oil light comes on whilst driving, then the critical question is whether it is the oil level or the oil pressure that you are being informed of a problem with.

I suspect there is something other than just the timing chain at issue here.

It may be that oil is being burnt or leaking - in which case the level will have dropped, possibly causing major damage. If, on the other hand it is oil pressure, then that would indicate a blockage (or partial blockage) somewhere in the engine so that oil is not moving through the engine.

A little bit about the timing chains, and how they are lubricated : Basically, the timing chain is sprayed with oil on these engines, through a few very fine nozzles. If crud/sedimentation is in the engine oil, then it can quite easily block those nozzles. Leading to a lack of lubrication on the chain, the chain then fails.

As such, a lot of BMW owners (myself included) get oil and filter changes done every 10k miles, rather than BMWs usual 18k miles. It's also critical to get the old oil drained FROM THE SUMP (the proper way) rather than pumped out via the dipstick hole (the cheapest way) to assist in moving any crud/sediment from the oil. In addition, going for the best quality of oil, and the proper BMW filters, certainly won't hurt matters.

Unfortunately, especially if you've had a 'groupon cheapie' deal on a service, you'll probably have had the old oil syphoned out, a cheap generic filter fitted, and the cheapest possibly grade of oil put in. A classic case of 'you get what you pay for'.

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Big John

As such, a lot of BMW owners (myself included) get oil and filter changes done every 10k miles, rather than BMWs usual 18k miles. It's also critical to get the old oil drained FROM THE SUMP (the proper way) rather than pumped out via the dipstick hole (the cheapest way) to assist in moving any crud/sediment from the oil. In addition, going for the best quality of oil, and the proper BMW filters, certainly won't hurt matters.

100% agree re 10k miles oil changes- this should be for all manufacturers. On some VAG variable servicing it is possible to go 30,000 miles without an oil change on some engines - this is BAD. Oil is the life-blood of an engine. As well as lubricating all parts it's used to pressurise chain tensioners, hdraulic tappets, variable valve timing etc...

Poor oil, low oil or blocked strainer = trouble

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - John F

I suspect there is something other than just the timing chain at issue here.

There is - bad design.


youtube.com/watch?v=HQpQIi7gI_U

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Big John

My thought is one of astonishment that by the 21st century BMW engineers were still unable to design and produce a more durable sprocket and chain mechanism than the one in my 1980 British Leyland TR7. No wonder its initials still stand for 'Big Money Worries'. (I've instinctively never liked them).

It's not just BMW that have trouble with chains. Oil pressured tensioners and long life servicing is part of the problem - Chains like clean oil !!

Edited by Big John on 25/06/2016 at 11:45

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - Big John

Thnking about it though - In the past I never had any hint of chain problems with my chain driven overhead cam 1750 Austin Allegro and that was used and abused. I suppose there was less driven off the cam shafts back then such as high pressure fuel pump. I also think the timing chain had manual adjustment

Bmw 116i 2005 - Premature timing chain failure - No1Spank

Long service intervals and any oil used that is lower than BMW Longlife 04 spec will cause these engines to burn a lot of oil and dirty the Vanos solenoids which will cause poor running.

The plugs need to be changed by 60,000 miles or they also cause poor running. Although my 116 came with a full service history it had gone up to 20,000 miles between oil changes and did 80,000 miles on the original plugs. Car runs really since I serviced it myself and fitted a new cam chain tensioner at 110,000 miles just to be on the safe side. Also have had a remap to 127 bhp, I will replace the vanos solenoid o rings soon as they are visably leaking and there is a slight misfire again now.

The dealer I got my car from used cheap oil, I topped up 2.5 litres in 4000 miles before changing it for Castrol Edge 0w30. Instantly the car ran better and I only used 500ml in 6000 miles before the next oil change. Car isn't that hard to work on generally but changing the plug at the back of the engine took time. Only real annoyance is the oil filter housing which is still leaking over the back of the engine despite replacing the O ring gasket.

On the 2004 - 2006 models you can see the cam chain when you look in the oil filler at the top of the engine, if it is snapped you won't be able to see the chain. The newer engines from 2007 on have the chain on the back of the engine and are more fragile.

 

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