HomeAFTERMARKET NEWSAll you need to know about the PSA Prince Engine: N12, N13,...

All you need to know about the PSA Prince Engine: N12, N13, N14, N18, EP3, EP6

The ‘Prince Engine’ is a codename given to a series of straight 4-inline developed engines by PSA Peugeot Citroen which has also been used in several BMW & mini models.

The BMW versions of the Prince Engine is often known as N13 whereas the Mini version is often known as N12, N14 & N18. PSA Models of this engine are referred to as EP3 & EP6.

The Prince Engine is a compact engine family in configurations of 1.4L – 1.6L (displacement) and includes modern features such as turbocharging, BMW VANOS, variable valve timing and direct gasoline injection. The engine has won eight consecutive international Engine of the Year awards in the 1.4 to 1.8-litre category since its original development by PSA in 2006 which replaced their TU family engines.

The engineering design was mainly dictated by the PSA group with some support provided by BMW – the engine’s components are produced by PSA at their Douvrin, France facility with MINI and BMW engine assembly at Hams Hall in Warwickshire, UK.

The 1.4L VTI (smallest engine) produces an output of 89-94HP while its 1.6L VTI variant reaches an output of 118HP. A turbocharged 1.6L VTI variant which was produced and supplied on various models reached an outstanding output of 197HP.

BG Automotive (BGA) has identified several issues related to the Prince Engine after analysing industry data and has concluded that the Prince Engine may not have been originally designed to produce the achieved power and thus will experience the following:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Reoccurring timing chain failure / issues
  • Carbon built-up on engine valves

The ‘Prince Engine’ is experiencing higher than average timing failure within the timing chain system particularly the timing chain stretching over time (as its not durable for its application) and the faulty design of the timing chain tensioner which cannot maintain oil pressure – mechanics often describe this as the ‘Timing Chain Death Rattle’.

A timing chain essentially synchronizes the crankshaft (bottom half of the engine) to the camshaft (top half of the engine) in order for the valves to open and close at the right time in synchronization with the pistons to produce a combustion inside the cylinder.

Excessive oil consumption on this engine is often exacerbated by the low viscosity oil required by the manufacturer (0W-30 or 5W-30) and the low piston ring friction requirements (allowing oil inside the combustion chamber) which often worsens with mileage. Reducing the oil change interval and changing your oil & oil filter more regularly is the recommended solution to prolong engine life in this instance.

The excessive carbon built-up on the cylinder head components is mainly attributed to its direct fuel injection characteristic (where the fuel sprays directly into the chamber and not over the valves to clean them) which can be resolved by changing the valves & cleaning the cylinder head.

The failure on the Prince Engine can be easily identified by excessive engine noise during start-up and in operation, sluggish acceleration when the engine is cold and slight misfires during operation.

BGA is now offering technicians & consumers advice on the correct course of action to getting your engine back to original specifications.

PSA EP3 EP6 Timing Chain Death Rattle Solution:




BMW N13 Timing Chain Death Rattle Solution:

N13 B16

N13 B16

N13 B16

Mini N12, N14, N18 Timing Chain Death Rattle Solution:

N12, N18

N14, N18

N14, N18

About BGA (BG Automotive):

BGA (BG Automotive) is an Automotive Aftermarket parts supplier, celebrating over 90 years of OE manufacturing heritage as the aftermarket division of the largest privately owned OE supplier, 4BG Group, established in 1929.

BGA (BG Automotive) focuses on providing one of the largest ranges of high quality, competitively priced parts in the aftermarket containing Auxiliary Drive, Camtrain, Cooling, Gaskets, Lubrication, Power Steering, Steering & Suspension, Timing Belt Kits, Timing Chain Kits and Transmission.


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