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Daaaveee

Original Poster:

509 posts

107 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st September 2010 quote quote all
Evening all,

Had the Z3 MOT'd and serviced today, sailed through which is always nice to hear. The car is still at the garage as I'm picking it up tomorrow morning, however on the phone today they mentioned the timing chain is stretched and could do with replacement, but they would chat to me more about it tomorrow. A quick Google shows that 90,000 miles is about the right time to replace (my car is on 97,000), so it sounds reasonable enough.

Does anyone know roughly how much I should expect to pay for replacement?

Thanks in advance.

dave144

260 posts

54 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st September 2010 quote quote all
Wow 90k replacement? I thought chains were good for 200k? I had 180k out of a E36 with no problem to speak of.

LC23

1,031 posts

109 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st September 2010 quote quote all
Never had to replace a timing chain on any of mine. Highest mileage was on my old 323i at 115,000. Still going strong when I sold it.

willis54321

11 posts

53 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st September 2010 quote quote all
New to me. If it's making a "slapping" sound it could be the guides???

4rephill

1,986 posts

62 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st September 2010 quote quote all
I'd get a second opinion on that before you splash any cash!.

It's pretty rare to have problems with the timing chains on these engines, the chain on My E36 328i sport has passed 138,000 miles so far and the chain is fine. As far as I'm aware, the chain should last the lifetime of the car!.

Watch out they're not trying to bill you for a complete timing chain job when all they will do (if anything at all!), is adjust/replace the timing chain tensioner.

Like I say, If it were Me, I'd be getting a second opinion (preferably from a BMW specialist), before agreeing to any work being done!.




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Daaaveee

Original Poster:

509 posts

107 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st September 2010 quote quote all
Thanks all, always good to have a second opinion.

So it's possible to simply adjust the tension of the chain? Also is it easy to identify if it is too slack?

Used the garage for years and also a good friend of my parents works there, so I'd hope they wouldn't try and pull a fast one, they've done a few freebies for me before etc!

chrisr29

1,136 posts

81 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st September 2010 quote quote all
How do they know it's stretched, did they take it out and measure it?!

If the engine sounds quiet don't worry about it.

Daaaveee

Original Poster:

509 posts

107 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st September 2010 quote quote all
Also I spoke to the receptionist who may not have gotten the full story from the mechanic, so I'll have to see what he says tomorrow about it, it might just be a case of letting me know it's not as tight as it could be? I'll have to report back smile

john_p

7,070 posts

134 months

[news] 
Tuesday 21st September 2010 quote quote all
No way. VANOS maybe, or tensioner.

Daaaveee

Original Poster:

509 posts

107 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd September 2010 quote quote all
Right, got the car back now all serviced and MOT'd.

The engine management light was on (I thought it was related to the servicing becoming due but obviously not), and the source of the error came from the sensor for the chain. They're not going to do any work on it at the moment or without a thorough investigation of what is causing it, but they said a possible cause is the chain becoming stretched and therefore knocking the timing out a little and confusing the ECU in to over fuelling?

Anyway, all error codes reset and light turned off, now just going to wait and see if/when it crops up again and then diagnose from there.

phelix

2,334 posts

133 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd September 2010 quote quote all
I don't think there's a sensor for chain tension but there is 1 or 2 camshaft sensors (depending upon M52 or M52TU I think) - might that be what they meant?

E30M3SE

7,636 posts

80 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd September 2010 quote quote all
If the chain needs replacing it will be evident as you will hear it.

(Tonguefirmlyincheek) It's not at a garage in the East Sussex is it?

StuB

5,496 posts

123 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd September 2010 quote quote all
It sounds like you need to find someone with some BMW diagnostic gear and the first clue about the motor in your car.

My E36 328 saw 214k miles with no issues.

As mentioned, camshaft position sensor is a common fault and very cheap to sort out, but find a recommended BMW specialist near you to check it out.

Daaaveee

Original Poster:

509 posts

107 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd September 2010 quote quote all
OK thanks for the extra info. I would certainly suspect the camshaft position sensor being duff rather than the timing chain.

Is it an easy DIY job to replace? If so, and the light comes on again I would rather replace that seeing as it's a much cheaper possible fix.

Daaaveee

Original Poster:

509 posts

107 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd September 2010 quote quote all
Also anyone know of a good specialist around Notts? I'm not in East Sussex if you are referring so some garage with a bad reputation?!

john_p

7,070 posts

134 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd September 2010 quote quote all
Daaaveee said:
OK thanks for the extra info. I would certainly suspect the camshaft position sensor being duff rather than the timing chain.

Is it an easy DIY job to replace? If so, and the light comes on again I would rather replace that seeing as it's a much cheaper possible fix.
Looks a simple enough DIY:
http://www.bmwe36blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/...

4rephill

1,986 posts

62 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd September 2010 quote quote all
Daaaveee said:
OK thanks for the extra info. I would certainly suspect the camshaft position sensor being duff rather than the timing chain.

Is it an easy DIY job to replace? If so, and the light comes on again I would rather replace that seeing as it's a much cheaper possible fix.
I replaced My camshaft sensor a few weeks ago and it's a pretty simple task to perform.
The link posted by john p basically covers it. If you're like Me and have long, skinny arms then you don't even have to take the plastic cover off the engine to get access to the plug. This enabled Me to do the job in around 30mins from start to finish and that was Me taking things cautiously. I didn't need to remove the oil filter cover but I did unclip the alternator cooling duct for a little extra space.

(BTW, the "black cable" mentioned in that link is actually an oil pipe with a "banjo" fitting on the end. When I did My sensor I merely loosened this fitting to swing it out of the way, I didn't need to remove it).


The sensor costs @£75 from BMW and from what I've read on the BMW sites, it's worth paying the extra for the genuine part (other owners may disagree but I went with a genuine sensor for piece of mind).
When I collected My sensor from BMW I asked them what they charge for this job and was told it was £75 for the part and £260 labour! (really made Me grateful for having skinny arms! smile ).

Hope this is of some help to you and I hope the new sensor solves the issue for you. driving
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