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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The oil levels good, no codes or warning lights and 55000 on the clock. But over the weekend it sounds more tappety or diesel like(it's an N18 Petrol).

It's no worse hot or cold so unsure if normal or I just didn't notice it before ?
 

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The oil levels good, no codes or warning lights and 55000 on the clock. But over the weekend it sounds more tappety or diesel like(it's an N18 Petrol).

It's no worse hot or cold so unsure if normal or I just didn't notice it before ?
Generally if the engine is manifesting a death rattle the noise is quite unhealthy and there is no mistaking it for something benign.

But my Porsche Boxster developed a noise out of the blue which I was convinced was something seriously wrong. Had the car flat bedded 30 miles to dealer. At the dealer off the truck I started engine to a large audience of service techs and management. (The car had about a bazillion miles on it (well, over 300K miles at the time) and people knew the car and were anxious about it along with me.) After I started the engine nothing but crickets. The noise was gone.

SA and tech told me they see/hear this a half dozen times a year. Something gets caught in the serpentine belt drive. Not something that harms the belt or the pulleys/idlers just something that makes a lot of (scary) noise. The whatever got blown out while the car was on the back of the flag bed. Tech did check over the accessory drive system and found nothing amiss. I drove the car and was unable to reproduce the noise. Got the car back and drove it to 317K miles then sold it.

While one time was a false alarm, at other times the noise proved to be a bad water pump, and with another Porsche (Turbo) a bad idler roller bearing, two different times.

So err on the side of caution. My advice is to avoid running the engine any. Get the car to a qualified shop so a professional tech can give a listen and advise you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I just checked the oil which was as I thought on 3/4, I've toppef it to the max point anyway and it's made a huge difference to the sound. It's much much quieter.

But I see a few days off work in the very near future to change out the cam chain kit.
 

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The n18's while apparently "immune" to the death rattle can, and will get it eventually.

The prince engine loves to eat oil, reports of a litre or more every 1k is almost considered normal ;)

But keep a litre or 2 in the boot and monitor it regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've read the site extensively, the advice to check weekly and keep just above the max seems the way to go. It's just so much quieter with the extra litre of oil. They sure are a Noisy engine anyway compared to what I'm used to.

I should say it's not mine but my son's car. But I do the maintenance, but compared to my Audi TT the engine sounds scary, but the proofs in the pudding as this Cooper is really nippy in comparison at low revs.
 

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I've read the site extensively, the advice to check weekly and keep just above the max seems the way to go. It's just so much quieter with the extra litre of oil. They sure are a Noisy engine anyway compared to what I'm used to.

I should say it's not mine but my son's car. But I do the maintenance, but compared to my Audi TT the engine sounds scary, but the proofs in the pudding as this Cooper is really nippy in comparison at low revs.
the N18 engines bmw used a longer tensioner travel as a way to push the failures later in its life i would guess as they never addressed the real issue ie the bottom sprocket and the narrow timing chain, so it seems they dont rattle as soon as the early engines but then you dont get much if any warning the top guide is about to let go,, it would seem that the top guide failures have reduced a lot from this, ie when tensioner has no spring load left in the travel the chain on the inlet cam shaft is left to lash around causing the top guide to snap off,, downside of ths is no warning to when things are close to chain slipping on a rounded off bottom sprocket,
i see a equal amount of fsi and tfsi vag engines with chains worn out around 100k , notice a pattern i always ask customers when last check oil, and all with early chain fails customers dont check until they feel its maybe on min mark, trouble in anything under the max mark starts eating away at chain life, bmw have a habit of ignoring chain problems go research the n47 diesels they still run same gear on mini diesel after 2010 march,
 

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the N18 engines bmw used a longer tensioner travel as a way to push the failures later in its life i would guess as they never addressed the real issue ie the bottom sprocket and the narrow timing chain, so it seems they dont rattle as soon as the early engines but then you dont get much if any warning the top guide is about to let go,, it would seem that the top guide failures have reduced a lot from this, ie when tensioner has no spring load left in the travel the chain on the inlet cam shaft is left to lash around causing the top guide to snap off,, downside of ths is no warning to when things are close to chain slipping on a rounded off bottom sprocket,
i see a equal amount of fsi and tfsi vag engines with chains worn out around 100k , notice a pattern i always ask customers when last check oil, and all with early chain fails customers dont check until they feel its maybe on min mark, trouble in anything under the max mark starts eating away at chain life, bmw have a habit of ignoring chain problems go research the n47 diesels they still run same gear on mini diesel after 2010 march,

Hi Mike,
My 2013 JCW has 26,000 and I change the oil every 12 months/5,000 miles. At what mileage do you think I should have my timing chain replaced?
I only do 5,000 miles a year and very rarely drive it hard.
 

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Hi Mike,
My 2013 JCW has 26,000 and I change the oil every 12 months/5,000 miles. At what mileage do you think I should have my timing chain replaced?
I only do 5,000 miles a year and very rarely drive it hard.
yours will be one of the longer lasting ones for sure i've seen many like that over 100k still running well but they are nursed and pampered,, theres two ways to keep a eye on them, one is a laptop mini camera and feed it in the oil filler towards the rear of the front of engine ie driverside corner where timing chain tensioner lives and so to look down at how much of the shaft is out of the outer casing of the tensioner, ie 10mm sort of ok 14mm needs looking at,
or with software autocom will show the vanos position actual and prescribed also will show timing..

or remove the tensioner and screw the special preload tool from chain fitting kit and measure the length of it, or better still pop rocker cover off and lock engine and see how much slack in on the chain edge from exhaust cam to crankshaft sprocket,,
this all said i have seen them with 28k needing doing from being nailed or low oil wrong oil etc, it would seem.
if were my car 60-80k maybe depending on how i drove it etc, driven hard 50-60k tops..
 
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yours will be one of the longer lasting ones for sure i've seen many like that over 100k still running well but they are nursed and pampered,, theres two ways to keep a eye on them, one is a laptop mini camera and feed it in the oil filler towards the rear of the front of engine ie driverside corner where timing chain tensioner lives and so to look down at how much of the shaft is out of the outer casing of the tensioner, ie 10mm sort of ok 14mm needs looking at,
or with software autocom will show the vanos position actual and prescribed also will show timing..

or remove the tensioner and screw the special preload tool from chain fitting kit and measure the length of it, or better still pop rocker cover off and lock engine and see how much slack in on the chain edge from exhaust cam to crankshaft sprocket,,
this all said i have seen them with 28k needing doing from being nailed or low oil wrong oil etc, it would seem.
if were my car 60-80k maybe depending on how i drove it etc, driven hard 50-60k tops..
Thanks very much Mike.
 
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