Baby BMW Forum banner

Which is the most reliable m sport engine?

  • 123d

    Votes: 2 100.0%
  • 120d

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 118d

    Votes: 0 0.0%
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am looking to get either of the following:

2nd hand budget £4000-£4500
all BMW 1 Series m sport spec hatchback 5 door

either

123d
120d
118d

which one is the most reliable and has the better engine in terms of reliability?

Also is the 1st gen more reliable than the 2nd gen models?

thank you in advance for any advice
 

· Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I would suggest 2nd gen models always more reliable as the manufacturer will have ironed out a few issues and of these three models I would go for the 123d. I've had two coupes, I love them, super car.

I say this because I do not believe you will get quite the economy the 118d and 120 d are supposed to offer, it won't be dramatically different. If you hoom it in a 123d you'll get 40mpg or less rest of time it will be 45mpg -50mpg. Look out for cars that have evidence of timing chain done, and also be careful to check no droning from rear of car, may not be a wheel bearing could be a differential output shaft bearing, more costly to deal with.

Some jobs like glowplug replacement a bit tricky, to do easily inlet manifold needs to come off ideally, but while at it you can do a 'Swirl flap' delete, if not already been sorted. Re glowplugs make sure any car you go to buy at this time of year has not been started before you get there, that engine is stone cold so you can check the cold starting is ok!

Search youtube on N47/George Austers for this stuff. But if you find a peach of a car I think they are great.
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
634 Posts
None of them are known to be especially reliable. The N47 engine, fitted to all the vehicles in your list, suffered from timing chain issues so as Brexon said, you'd need a solid service history and confidence that there isn't any chain rattle to purchase one of these vehicles.

The only exceptions are the 2004-2007 (pre-facelift) 118d and 120d which had an M47 engine instead which was better. If your budget can stretch to an F20 (62 reg or beyond), you could get a car with the improved version of the N47 (the N47T) which is supposed to have been fixed but again, any car can have timing chain issues if not serviced regularly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kostatkb

· Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Recently got a 2010 my 123 Msport manual and getting 40mpg, my 118Msport manual 2009 does 45-48mpg both these cars are after factory timing chain upgrade changes made in 5/2009>.
123d has 99 k miles,and very quite engine
118d,148000 miles a bit noisy from cold,they are both the same engines,but one is much much faster :)
Think the swirl flap issues are ott,they need inspection asap after buying a car and removal of the actuator a visual check will show wear on the shaft area and oil seepage from O rings,its a quick job once actuator is removed 3 bolts,they are different swirl flap design form early models.
So all of these/any engines needs care.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I think you need to look for a car where the chain has been done, unless the owner can prove it has been done, walk away.

Once the chain has been done, as long as you use the correct oil (it is 10w 60 in the early cars 2007-2008 period due to a different bearing fitted in the crankcase that required a higher viscosity oil with more protection) and keep it topped up you have no worries. Later engines take more regular 0w 30 BMW LL04 oil.

Most of the problems people will have had with the timing chains is in cars where the engine oil was not kept topped up properly with oil, so where the chain which was 'wet' (needed bathing in oil) ran over the plastic tensioner guides they wore or broke up and allowed the chain to run slack and timing go out.

It's true that the later cars after summer 2009 have a smaller differential case. Its surprising the number of differences between my Jan 2008 coupe and Oct 2010 coupe, even the oil filter cap is different (yes oil filter, not filler!) as I found out when I went to swap the one I'd araldited 'dimple' magnets to on to the new car, not only was the hex tool required different the thread was too!

I think they are very nice cars, just some jobs are awkward like the glow plugs, but that goes for many modern cars, if you are going to pay a good independent to service the car no worries, but if you like to tinker yourself brace your self for some fiddly jobs. If you find one thats full bmwsh more or less happy days, but I'd still then head for a knowledgable independent thereafter, otherwise its plenty of ££££s to keep that up.

My 2008 car has nearly 225,000 on the clock and the 2010 car 143,000. I wouldn't have bought the new one if I hadn't found the previous owner of mine had screwed the glow plugs up. If it wasnt for the fact it had a noisy diff too and needed paint I'd have stuck with it. If anybody fancies a nice project car with some dents to fix, a diff overhaul required and glow plugs to extract make me an offer lol!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
A few years ago I bought a 123d and the seller had an invoice and video proving that the chain was replaced. Fast toward a year later and the chain needed replacing again.

So, much like what everyone has said so far. Double-check that the chain has been replaced or put a side 1k (give or take) to get it done yourself.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
So, the type of engine is important and it should be M47 and not N47. This applies if you buy BMW 1 and 3 produced in the period 2004-2009. In 1, I think that M47 engines were installed somewhere until 2006-06, and if you are lucky you can find an engine without DPF and without swirl flaps, which is also a big advantage.
The M47 engine rarely has a problem with the chain (mine has about 300,000 km and the first chain), but changing the chain in the M47 is much simpler and cheaper.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
678 Posts
A decent M47 is hard to find, and environmentists have decided that you can not go everywhere with it🤬
It is a good engine, done 450000 km with my ‘05 118d with only regular maintenance. But, the X1 is at 330000, has a N47d20C and no chain or other issues so far.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
So, the type of engine is important and it should be M47 and not N47. This applies if you buy BMW 1 and 3 produced in the period 2004-2009. In 1, I think that M47 engines were installed somewhere until 2006-06, and if you are lucky you can find an engine without DPF and without swirl flaps, which is also a big advantage.
The M47 engine rarely has a problem with the chain (mine has about 300,000 km and the first chain), but changing the chain in the M47 is much simpler and cheaper.
Very well put . 👍

Another plus on early cars, no SS so no IBS and H power steering over electric.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top