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Reliability of the BMW N47 (diesel engine)

FiestaST

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
42,540
#1
Simple one.

What is the reliability of N47 2L Diesel engine?

Reason I ask is that I found out the engine seized on my cousin's F20 120d, the pre-f/lift (Angry Birds shape). Mostly likely 2012 MY. 135kw & 380nm. 2nd owner car.

This after the car hit 110 000km. He is not a boy racer & mentioned no warning lights or any indication it would just give up the ghost.

Car was out of Motorplan & BMW SA charged him R7k just to look at the engine.

In the end he did the maths & sold it as is for R70k. Repair cost would have been R70k I was told. New engine all inclusive would have been over R100k.

Book value of car was about R150k.

I know the 1st batch of BMW 2L turbodiesel motors were prone to failures. E46 320d from the late 90's.

But the N47 engine, that 1st came out in 2007 & was still offered as recently as 2015.

So is this even normal, 110 000km normal driving & the engine goes kaput?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 25, 2008
Messages
14,043
#2
F20 had the n47t they are suppose be rock solid, same engine on my 320d.

Got over 170k atm, everything original.

Most probably engine is not kaput, bmw does not fix they only replace. Could been fixable for less, probably the turbo popped? Did he have a 3rd party look at it?

Know a guy with f20 n20 engine, 85k and his on his 3rd turbo lol
 

FiestaST

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
42,540
#3
F20 had the n47t they are suppose be rock solid, same engine on my 320d.

Got over 170k atm, everything original.

Most probably engine is not kaput, bmw does not fix they only replace. Could been fixable for less, probably the turbo popped? Did he have a 3rd party look at it?

Know a guy with f20 n20 engine, 85k and his on his 3rd turbo lol
Thanks for the info.

No 3rd party just BMW SA.

Don't know the full story but I believe it's nothing to do with the turbo. He flogged it already as he didn't wanna sit with the headache. His a numbers guy & weighed up the potential repair cost vs scrapping it.
 

Tman*

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
1,924
#4
R7k for a diagnostic doesn't seem right. Then again, BMW doesnt fix, they replace.

Those engines are rock solid, if looked after properly. Duds are few and far between, Im not sure what happened in this case.


Edit: I'm in my 3rd N57 car after numerous years. Not a single days trouble. Apart from consumables.
 

FiestaST

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
42,540
#5
R7k for a diagnostic doesn't seem right. Then again, BMW doesnt fix, they replace.

Those engines are rock solid, if looked after properly. Duds are few and far between, Im not sure what happened in this case.


Edit: I'm in my 3rd N57 car after numerous years. Not a single days trouble. Apart from consumables.
Thanks.

R7k was to "open" up the engine, not diagnostics. I recall him mentioned something about the crank. Hazy with all the details I'm afraid.
 

Rickster

EVGA Fanatic
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Jul 31, 2012
Messages
15,566
#6
You obviously know about the timing chain issues with this engine, you dont recon its that?
 

Colin62

Executive Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
7,124
#8
Mine went with no warning whatsoever. Low mileage (for a diesel engine)), about 200 000 km or thereabouts. I was pottering along the N3 and it just stopped. There are apparently two chains - I forget what the smaller one does, drives the high pressure diesel pump maybe, but it went, taking out the cam chain, bending a few valves. It cost R30k to repair, by a private mechanic who is a friend, and did the job as cheaply as possible while not compromising reliabilit, so R70k from the agents sounds about right. And they can't tell what's gone until they've opened the engine. No way of knowing how many valves are bent or what other damage the chain did.

I got it fixed and traded it in. Quite probably the last BMW that I'll own.
 

HavocXphere

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
31,487
#9
bmw does not fix they only replace.
I'd imagine this is true for all major car manufacturers though?

Having a global workforce on-site everywhere to actually repair with fast turn-around would cost an absolute fortune.

Better to churn out modules centrally via automation & get some semi-trained people to replace as needed.
 

Tman*

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
1,924
#10
I'd imagine this is true for all major car manufacturers though?

Having a global workforce on-site everywhere to actually repair with fast turn-around would cost an absolute fortune.

Better to churn out modules centrally via automation & get some semi-trained people to replace as needed.
Yes, I'd assume its true.

I am quite a firm believer in using OEM spec parts (as apposed to cheap generic parts). I dont however service my cars at BMW due to their policy to replace rather than fix. Case and point, I had a vibration on my driveshaft on a older E46 I owed few years back, BMW wanted to replace the entire driveshaft at an astronomical cost. Went to my resident RMI approved mechanic who diagnosed the driveshaft bearing. Cost less than 10% of what BMW wanted.

I also had a case where a friend had hard upshifts with his E90 auto box. BMW wanted to replace the ENTIRE gearbox at a crazy cost. He ended up going to ZF Engineering (the guys who build the gearboxes). and they serviced and replaced the faulty part at a fraction of the cost.
 

FiestaST

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
42,540
#11
Saw him tonight & asked him for some insight. All I could get was "the engine seized".

Gonna chalk it down due to timing chain issues in my book.
 

airborne

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
7,801
#12
F20 had the n47t they are suppose be rock solid, same engine on my 320d.

Got over 170k atm, everything original.

Most probably engine is not kaput, bmw does not fix they only replace. Could been fixable for less, probably the turbo popped? Did he have a 3rd party look at it?

Know a guy with f20 n20 engine, 85k and his on his 3rd turbo lol
Thanks for the info.

No 3rd party just BMW SA.

Don't know the full story but I believe it's nothing to do with the turbo. He flogged it already as he didn't wanna sit with the headache. His a numbers guy & weighed up the potential repair cost vs scrapping it.
I'd definitely only use an independent garage once out of warranty, as has been mentioned a few times already BMW doesn't repair only replace and for serious repairs they are stupid expensive.

But many people only know warranty and agent's for servicing, anything else and they get weak at the knees and trade it in for something newer. In the process loosing another R100-200k over the next few years due to the purchase premuim for a vehicle with warranty.
 
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