BMW Timing Chains and Getting Completely off Topic

Why DIY BMW Service Days are Over

They have haunted BMW for a long time.

This is nothing new but just a little bit different because special tools and knowledge are key.  The days of the “DIY” or Do-It-Yourself are over.  The days of making marks on your timing gears and putting everything back to the way it was is over. BMW 4 Cylinder Turbo engines are taking over 400 FT LBS of torque after the procedure is completed. Holding an engine with a pry bar is not acceptable.  The shop you are using I can almost guarantee you is not doing the job correctly because they either did not want to purchase the correct tools, they did not send their staff for training, they just have no clue, or you are at the dealer and a technician that just quit the Toyota dealer is now over at BMW because there was no work.

Careful where you take your car.  Do not be fooled by the dealership with their big bright logos claiming they know everything. If there was ever a time in history where smoke is blowing from your dealerships mouths it would be now. Ok.  Enough about that.  Lets talk timing chains.  It is not just BMW.  Audi and Volkswagen share this game along with Land Rover and Jaguar.  Mercedes or Mercedes-Benz has recently entered the game with their new mater piece 2.0L Turbo.  Now we cannot just blame the manufacturers here.  Some of the blame comes from the customer too.

BMW Service Maintenance is King

When you purchase one of these cars and you are caught pumping the cheapest 87 octane you can find into it you may be the problem.  If you actually believe the crap the oil companies and manufacturers feed you about 10k plus oil services well then you can also take some of the blame. Maintenance is king. Take care of your car! Change the oil and filter every 5k miles. Fill the fuel tank with a quality fuel like Shell 93 for gasoline or find a good diesel station for diesel engines.  Listen to your shop and perform regular fuel injection services, filter changes, fluid exchanges and other vital things to keep the car in shape. The Mercedes 4 cylinder engine is not going through pistons just because it may be a bad design.  Fill it with good fuel! Change the oil! Don’t listen to the desperate salesman/saleswomen who sold you the car on a Saturday night to make his or hers quota.  Most sales associates will tell you everything you want to hear. Sounds great doesn’t it. “Oh regular is fine” or “Oh you only need to change the oil once every year”!  Come on now.  Really?  Do you actually believe that? If you do it may be time to upgrade to your next nightmare. Go get an electric car.  We service those too. Do we want to? Not really but we pay big time for training and equipment to stay ahead of any shop around here. There are some great shops too. Not many. But there are some. Back to these timing chains.  They break.  When they break you are in big trouble.  We started recommending these chains at 80k mile intervals but are seeing them fail sooner.  The tensioners typically fail first and then break everything else.

A bandaid shop will just “throw” a tensioner in and be a hero for a month until your engine explodes.  You will love them for those 29-30 days though.  They really saved you money right.  WRONG! – Kaboom. Engine explodes.  Now what? Get it done right the first time.  No time for a patch.  The engine in the picture was getting a timing chain update only to find out we had more issues on our hands. We had another one with such a loose chain that the engine jumped time.  We were able to revive that one. Both cars had over 90k miles. Get your timing chains updated in ALL new cars no later than 80,000 miles. Carmine’s Import Service recommends Pennzoil European Spec Fully Synthetic Engine Oil. Make the switch. Mobil is old news. If its not going to be Pennzoil then choose something great like Redline Synthetic Lubricants. If you must have your Mobil 1 we do carry it.  Just use 0w40 flavor.  Ask for an MOA too!

BMW service

Disclaimer – BandAid is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson and the word(s) are only being used to describe something.

Written by Carmine Cupani

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