Plastic chain guide replacement -- $$$$? on 1997 BMW 540i

The BMW dealer that services my 540i is telling me that plastic guide that protects an engine chain (timing chain?) is coming apart and if not replaced could damage the engine. They are estimating repair costs exceeding $10,000, which is probably not much less than the resale value of the car itself. Can this be right?

by in Los Angeles, CA on April 27, 2009
3 answers 2 comments
ANSWER by on April 27, 2009
Replacing the timing chain ,guides ect is a huge job requiring special tools and about 22 or 24 hours labor to replace. Perhaps see if there is any BMW specialty shops in your area. Ask them if they have done this job before!
ANSWER by on May 13, 2010
Timing chain guides-rails wear off around 100-120 k miles and start making a diesel engine like noise. Three plastic guides/tensioner may result in breaking and the chain starts contacting the aluminum engine body. Timing chain and guides replacement job is an 18 hr job and the parts themselves cost around $1k. Your service is asking way too much. Do not even talk to them anymore. You can get a new engine even a new 540 for that price.
COMMENT by on June 14, 2010
I'm in the UK and my wifes 318ti which has 102k on it has started to make the diesel noise associated when the timing chain guides go. The independent BMW mechanic ( who we trust implicity ) is quoting around £800 - £1000 to replace the lot. He is quoting around a week to do it ! Just in case anyone else needs a ball park figure themselves !
ANSWER by on September 05, 2010
Replacing a timing chain guide on an 1998 Ford Explorer is running $2,000 US. This is an outragous repair and should have been recalled and repaired for free by Ford. Timing chain guides should not be falling apart in 100,000 miles. This repair is as costly as a total new engine at 100,000 miles.
COMMENT by on January 06, 2011
You are right it should not. Mine needed replacing at 80,000miles and cost slightly more