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Sup guys,

Just picked up an 06' E60 M5. She's beautiful, Silverstone Metallic with Silverstone Perf Full Leather. Really nice ride, optioned out exactly how I wanted it.

A little history, the car sat for quite some time, but it was a one-owner car with a comprehensive list of maintenance performed right at my local BMW dealership. So it wasn't neglected by any stretch, it just sat on a dealer's lot for quite some time when the first owner traded her in for an Audi (gasp).

So about 250 miles into my ownership, I ended up seeing an Increased Emissions warning, which extinguished itself after two more drives. It has stayed off for a bit, but comes on ever so often. I pulled the codes with my Peake reader and found:

*27B6 - VANOS oil pressure (low?)

*271A - VANOS control inlet bank 1

After resetting the codes and restarting the car, the only one that came back (so far) is the 27B6 VANOS oil pressure code. No more Increased Emissions (yet).

Now, this car being a late 2005 production car already had the VANOS line replaced at 1,075 miles on 2/24/06 as per the TSB I'm assuming.

The question is, does this automatically warrant a preventative pump change? Should I drive it an keep an eye on any codes that come back? I haven't driven the car much, so I wonder if the pressure in the accumulator falls while it sits, triggering the low psi warning.

Can someone please fill me in on exactly what I'm dealing with here? I don't see the engine in eminent danger, as some have posted sudden catastrophic failures (which I don't believe happened like that, all of a sudden, without plenty of codes and bad sounds for miles and miles).

I am very experienced with the S62 engine and E39 M5's in general, but this is a new beast for me.

Any advice or info on the VANOS low pressure subject?

Thanks guys!

Steve
 

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If the only symptom you have is low pressure, it may just be the internal VANOS discharge line. Cheap part, labor intensive though as you have to drop the oil pan to get to it. Might as well replace the rod bearings while you're in there.

The first step though would be have the dealer perform a VANOS pressure test. They may have to order the adapter/pressure sensor to do it, but it's a quick test in labor dollars.
 

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Jetpilot,

There are plenty of Vanos related discussions on this board, as well as rod bearing threads. I bring up rod bearings, as I just had a motor replaced because my car threw the same codes as yours and my Vanos was fine (well, not broken). My rod bearings had gone and between the metal from the bearings and the crank, it fouled the Vanos system and threw the codes. Within a mile of throwing those codes, the motor began to sputter, as if it was misfiring on multiple cylinders. I hope this isn't the case with your car.

While they are replacing the Vanos pump and high pressure lines, they take the bottom of the motor off, and this is a great time to check your rod bearings. Perhaps even check them first, before replacing the Vanos pump and lines.

I am not saying that this is your answer, but it sounded similar enough that I thought I should share my experience, and perhaps save you some time and trouble.

Good luck.
 

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I sometimes get the increased emission but on cold starts.i clear them and stays off for about a month or so.i have to take time and take care of that.codes I pulled were
*271A
*275F
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update: Drove the car three more times, checked my codes. VANOS pressure low code has not returned. I did end up with a tstat coolant monitor code, which could be a sticky tstat. Should rectify itself I'm thinking, as I put the car into more steady rotation given the heat cycles.

My plan is to drive the car frequently and monitor the codes at shutdown. I'm keeping a log of codes in this manner. Haven't had a CEL yet, other than the Increased Emissions warning. Even that hasn't returned yet.

As far as symptoms, this car exhibits none. No whines, no sounds, nothing scary and definitely no power loss what so ever. It actually feels faster in 400 hp mode than my e39 m5 feels, 500hp mode and she goes like sh*t off a shingle. The only issue I'm having is I have to plan out my pulls, you need quite a bit of room with this rocket.

Is there anything, other than the VANOS pump or line that could cause an intermittent low pressure warning? Would not driving the car for several days cause the line pressure to fall below the threshold and trigger a warning on startup? Sorry, I just don't understand the system as of yet.

Thanks again for all the help! I feel like a newbie to the forum again with this crazy car!

Cheers,

Steve
 

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When I first bought my car a few years ago, I had intermittent VANOS low pressure codes, but only when left out of the garage over night in really cold temperatures. My thought was that either the cold temps caused the system to deplete the accumulator faster than the pump built up pressure on start (accumulator on the S85 is similar to that on the S62 after the recall). However, I never received the fault again after the first year.

I eventually replaced the internal VANOS line and VANOS pump as preventive items when I did my rod bearings and lower end inspection (failed injector / hydrolocked) and switched to thinner oil and haven't seen it again.

I think it's one of those that on it's own, isn't a great concern. There is absolutely no way that low VANOS pressure alone can cause engine damage. That's not to say that other damage (e.g. particulate in oil pan fouling VANOS pump) won't cause low VANOS pressure.

Probably not bad idea to knock out your first oil change and cut apart the filter to inspect, just to be on the safe side. Barring finding anything there, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

There is a VANOS performance test and bleeding procedure in DIS/INPA/ISTA-D that can be run as well. I usually tell people to run the bleeding procedure (titled "ventilation") a couple of times before the performance test. The VANOS system (like most of BMW's hydraulic systems) has no high point to vent the system properly, so entrained air eventually finds places to hide out. Most people notice a difference in the VANOS performance test before and after bleeding.

If you run that test, ignore the "valve quality" ratings that are given for the solenoid valves, they're useless. Unlike the S62, the VANOS colenoids on the S85 are a little finicky and way overpriced for what they are. What really matters is the stroke times, titled "spread too great" and "spread too small". These measure the advance/retard times for the VANOS actuators and as long as they move freely, the solenoids are doing their job properly. The only other concern on the solenoids is the null current, if that's really far off from spec, something is amiss in the pressure balance on the pistons.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I first bought my car a few years ago, I had intermittent VANOS low pressure codes, but only when left out of the garage over night in really cold temperatures. My thought was that either the cold temps caused the system to deplete the accumulator faster than the pump built up pressure on start (accumulator on the S85 is similar to that on the S62 after the recall). However, I never received the fault again after the first year.

I eventually replaced the internal VANOS line and VANOS pump as preventive items when I did my rod bearings and lower end inspection (failed injector / hydrolocked) and switched to thinner oil and haven't seen it again.

I think it's one of those that on it's own, isn't a great concern. There is absolutely no way that low VANOS pressure alone can cause engine damage. That's not to say that other damage (e.g. particulate in oil pan fouling VANOS pump) won't cause low VANOS pressure.

Probably not bad idea to knock out your first oil change and cut apart the filter to inspect, just to be on the safe side. Barring finding anything there, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

There is a VANOS performance test and bleeding procedure in DIS/INPA/ISTA-D that can be run as well. I usually tell people to run the bleeding procedure (titled "ventilation") a couple of times before the performance test. The VANOS system (like most of BMW's hydraulic systems) has no high point to vent the system properly, so entrained air eventually finds places to hide out. Most people notice a difference in the VANOS performance test before and after bleeding.

If you run that test, ignore the "valve quality" ratings that are given for the solenoid valves, they're useless. Unlike the S62, the VANOS colenoids on the S85 are a little finicky and way overpriced for what they are. What really matters is the stroke times, titled "spread too great" and "spread too small". These measure the advance/retard times for the VANOS actuators and as long as they move freely, the solenoids are doing their job properly. The only other concern on the solenoids is the null current, if that's really far off from spec, something is amiss in the pressure balance on the pistons.


Thank you very much for the detailed explanation. I too agree, that the low pressure warning in and of itself isn't a catastrophic failure causing issue, but one of the symptoms on the way to an S85's early demise. Drove 40 miles to work today with two stops (gas, of course... and a coffee) and checked my codes - clear. Most happy I've ever been to see the red [ - - ] on the peake reader screen!

So far, so good. A 4th gear pull confirms still not shy on power, lol. Almost made it to redline before letting off this time, really starts to pick up steam after 6,000 rpm!

Maybe I just did the 4th gear pull for fun... :biggrinbounce: Whatever!

Steve
 
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Is it the oil temp/pressure sensor error, or Vanos high pressure error? This are two different issues and both emit the same light on the dash I think.

If you have a leak in the line, it would get worse as the engine oil heats up since it thins out.
 

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Is it the oil temp/pressure sensor error, or Vanos high pressure error? This are two different issues and both emit the same light on the dash I think.

If you have a leak in the line, it would get worse as the engine oil heats up since it thins out.
Sorry Troy if I wasn't clear. Let me clarify, it is the VANOS low pressure warning (I'm using a Peake reader to decode errors). I was actually hoping you would weigh in as well, given your experience with the S85. So far, so good. Codes are behaving themselves, and all other symptoms are not present. Car warms up quickly (more so than my E39 M5 S62), oil temperature comes up and sets right at 7 o clock to 6 o clock depending on traffic and speed. No noises. Plenty of power. No CELs on the dash, other than in the beginning I had the Increased Emissions which has since not reappeared. So, basically, no end-user idiot lights, just what I have been monitoring myself with the Peake reader. So, me looking for issues, not issues presenting themselves.

Thanks,

Steve
 
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