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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 10-19-2005, 11:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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timing chain tensioner?

timing chain tensioner?

1997 328iC 115k Automatic

Whenever I start the car in the cool morning, it makes a rough start noise. But as soon as I put the car in drive, the noise goes away. It also makes the rough engine noise when the car is reversing.

When should the timing tensioner be replaces and how much would this job cost?

Thanks.
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Old 10-20-2005, 12:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For most people, the timing chain tensioner gets replaced when the car rattles. I've made a habit of changing it every 30,000mi. (probably unnecessary)

The change is very easy. stand in front of the car and open the hood. If you look to the left side of the engine, about 1/2 way down the side of the block (pretty much right behind the radiator resevoir) there will be an aluminum 'knob' of sorts. That's the tensioner. Unscrew it and feed the new one in. If your tensioner has a tab on the internal portion of it, you'll need to make sure that lines up with the tensioner rod inside the block. If not, put the new one in and tighten it down.

It took me about 15 minutes to change this part, and it only cost me about $30.

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I canít see how changing the chain tensioner is going to cure a noise thatís intermittent if the chain tensioner gone itíll rattle all the time on over-run. There is not service life for the chain tensioner because they donít go wrong. From what you describe Iíd start look at the gearbox/torque converter.
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bad man working
I canít see how changing the chain tensioner is going to cure a noise thatís intermittent if the chain tensioner gone itíll rattle all the time on over-run. There is not service life for the chain tensioner because they donít go wrong. From what you describe Iíd start look at the gearbox/torque converter.
because there is low oil pressure during start up, only the spring in the tensioner is tensioning the chain, a worn tensioner will leak and not build up sufficient pressure causing chain slapping at low revs. replacing this part will normally fix the problem with timing chain noise, providing the noise does not exist at high revs.
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gilesmortimer
because there is low oil pressure during start up...
speaking of oil pressure, make sure yours is well within the two marks on the dip-stick. your oil may be just a little low or something. that usually quietens down my engine. cheers!
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