Not everyone realizes that the timing chain inside of their vehicle needs to be replaced at a minimum every 100,000 miles, and potentially in as few as 40,000 miles. As a result, there are plenty of vehicles, including BMWs, out there with a failing timing chain that is causing extra wear-and-tear on the vehicle and may even cause your vehicle to require repairs. If you have a BMW, you should know the symptoms that you have a failing timing chain and what to do about it. Here’s the information that you need.
Symptoms of a Failing Timing Chain
The symptoms of a failing timing chain often come on slowly, as the chain gets longer and more worn over time. So, you probably won’t notice a sudden dramatic symptom until the chain is about to give out entirely. Instead, you should reflect on how your vehicle is running today and try to consider how it ran several months ago. Small problems could indicate that a total failure of the chain is on the way.
Here are the symptoms that could mean you have a failing timing chain:
- Rough idling: Start up your car and set out of it. If it is shaking or vibrating more than normal, it could be that the timing chain is wearing out. Of course, there are other problems that could cause rough idling, but the problem is always worth looking into as they tend to get worse over time.
- Unusual noises: Especially when idling, but not just when idling, you may hear your engine rattle. If the sound is consistent and rough, then the issue could be that the timing chain is loose and rattling against something else.
- Metal shavings in oil: The timing chain will wear out over time. When it passes the end of its service life it may start to give off metal shavings. If it does, it will end up I your engine oil, which could cause more problems. Although, any part of your vehicle that is wearing down can create metal shavings so it’s worthwhile to investigate before you simply change out the chain.
- Engine failures: If your BMW won’t start, then it could be that the chai is broken and not providing enough pressure to start the engine. If the chain breaks while you are in the middle of driving, then the timing chain may have broken at that moment. If this happens, then the pistons may get damaged or the belt problem could do other damage to your vehicle.
- Engine misfires: Before the chain has broken altogether, it may cause your engine to misfire. The chain connects the cam and the crankshaft. When it is too stretched out, the chain can cause the vehicle to skip a gear on either the crankshaft or the camshaft. This will add stress to it and it will eventually break.
- Check engine light is on: Of course, the check engine light could mean a huge variety of things have gone wrong with your BMW. But one possibility is that the timing chain has given out or is about to.
If you notice any of these symptoms, then it is best to bring your BMW in to get professional advice about your timing chain or any other problems that might be going on.
What Causes Timing Chain Problems?
If you need to get your timing chain replaced after it broke down, you may wonder why it broke and what you can do to make the next one last as long as possible. Here are the causes of timing chain problems:
- Wrong oil: Using the wrong engine oil in your BMW can cause various problems. However, the timing chain is one of the major parts that will be affected. It will likely wear out faster if you use the wrong oil.
- Chain tensioner or guide problems: The chain relies on guides and tensioners to stay in place and work properly. If there is a problem with these parts of the vehicle, then the timing chain is likely to stop working properly, get damaged, and may break altogether.
- Time: Timing chains are not meant to last forever. They are under a great deal of stress between the camshaft and crankshaft. Eventually, you will need to replace it, the only factor is when.
The timing chain is an essential part of your vehicle. If you’re not sure whether you should replace yours or not, reach out to us.
Schedule your appointment at one of our three locations today! Contact us online here.