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Old 11-25-2015, 10:12 PM
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Default BMW 318i N43B20 Problems

Good morning,

I was a happy owner of a 318i until the problems started to appear. Last year the EML light turned on and after diagnosis it turned out to be "catalytic converter sulphurised" along with "Vanos exhaust and NOX sensor". It dissappeared after being deleted, and after a tough ride on the highway it haven't came back until a few weeks ago. It's still intermitent.

The diagnosis revealed:
2A99 Camshaft Sensor
2A87 Vanos Exhaust
30E0 NOX sensor

Also the car seems weak and has a rough idle when the EML light is on.

On top of this problem, it also leaks some oil.

The car has 38k miles on the clock and it's a 2008 production. The coils were changed two years ago under the recall, but not the spark plugs.

After another test, the mechanic said he should continue with checking the engine's timing. But it costs a lost.

Is it possible that the Camshaft sensor is connected to the Vanos solenoid error. Should I clean and switch the vanos solenoids first?

I'd rather start with cleaning the solenoids, changing spark plugs and then messing with the engine's timing!

Thank you in advance for any advice! Appreciate it greatly!

Last week I made the regular oil & filter changes and also cleaned and inter-changed the Vanos solenoids.

Now I just came home from an indy and this time the diagnosis revealed just the Exhaust VANOS error, without the Camshaft or NOX Sensor error. Even though I switched the Vanos solenoids, the error is still on the Exhaust one.

He said that the VANOS error is because of timing chain faults and I should change the chain, chain tensioner and guide rail. He didn't check the chain or the chain guide.

What I am afraid of is actually throwing money at the car without solving the problems...

Yes, a slight rattle noise is present.

What are other symptoms of a failing timing chain? The car seems extremely weak lately...

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Old 11-29-2015, 09:58 PM
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I have spent some of my weekend reading about the N43 engine problems and what I found is frightening:

It seems that the timing chain failure is more common than I though and the results are fatal for the engine. At least 5 users driving N43 engines reported the need to change the engine as the timing chain can damage the guide rail or slide rail and bits of plastic can flow in the oil, killing the engine.

I was aware about the injector, coils related problems, but those timing chain problems seems more serious, as they can end up costing half the car's value.

The point is, how do I know if my car is faulty? I am not driving it anymore before a mechanic will inspect the timing chain.

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