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Steve, BMW Expert
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 25412
Experience:  BMW Expert
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I have a 2011 BMW 520d auto touring new shape. It has

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I have a 2011 BMW 520d auto touring new shape. It has done 96,000 miles and been regularly service by BMW over the first 3 years and a local garage since (only for breaks and 2 oil changes).
I have noticed a growing tapping noise when the engine is cold which is much more pronounced when the accelerator is pressed. I am not a mechanic but To me it sounds like valves or air intake flaps.
I have read on line about the timing belt issue and am concerned of course.
The noise disappears entirely after 2 or 3 mins of driving.
Any suggestions as concern is growing!
What timing belt issue are you referring to? This car has a timing chain...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry yes, I have read about timing chains going on these models even though they are billed by BMW as lifetime component and therefore located at the back of the engine which means removing the engine to replace.

I will provide an honest answer. I trust this will be appreciated. Please remember that a low rating PUNISHES me for being honest and that I receive nothing for my time until a positive rating is clicked.

as I am sure you can appreciate, it is difficult to diagnose a noise that one cannot hear, but I will do my best to provide helpful info

my assessment based on your description is that this is most likely nothing to be concerned about if it goes away once warm. usually a tapping noise is just the valve lifters being noisy which has no impact on longevity or performance.

if you are very worried, it would be worthwhile to have the vehicle inspected by a trained BMW technician who is familiar with this engine to make sure it is nothing more serious

Please let me know if you have further questions. Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you. Best wishes with your vehicle

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