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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok fellas-

I posted a few weeks ago about my e39 running in limp mode, sounding like a diesel. Since then, I ran a bunch of searches, and we've done the following:

-changed out cam position sensors (all 4)
-checked maf contact points - clean
-checked airbox for oil residue - clean
-car burns no oil

Still pulls up error codes, still in limp mode, and still sounds like a diesel. Is it the dreaded VANOS? If you think so, need the following assistance...

-I'm out of warranty...if there is a service bulletin, will BMW replace?
-If not, where can I get the best price on the part?
-Anyone in the Dallas Ft.Worth area that can be trusted with the work?
-Are the replacement VANOS units prone to the same issues, or have they been 'revised'?

Thanks,

Lance
 

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Hi Lance,

O2 sensors are another common issue - what are the fault codes? Might be worth taking it into the dealer to get the full story.

It could be the vanos but not a cheap one to just go and try! For earlier models there is an ECU update that my dealer tried ( didn't work though ). Again, you need expert advice. Good luck :byee55amg
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
My mechanic had a friend with a GT1 diag machine, and got the following codes:

DME-(184) B8 function, inlet VANOS, bank 1
DME-(205) CD misfiring, cylinder 1 without cylinder cutout
DME-(206) CE misfiring, cylinder 2 without cylinder cutout
DME-(207) CF misfiring, cylinder 3 without cylinder cutout
DME-(208) D0 misfiring, cylinder 4 without cylinder cutout
DME-(213) D5 misfiring, several cylinders without cylinder cutout

Master tech says to pin it down, he needs to dig in ...which costs more $$$ for diagnosis. We think it can be two things:

1) vanos control unit solenoid valve (part # 11367831450) - I've read this goes bad a lot....
2) entire vanos control unit

Techies...my questions:
-Am I really down to these two options? What are the chances of it being the solenoid, considering codes above?
-If so, is it wiser just to spend the money I would use for diag, replace the solenoid. and hope that corrects the issue?

Thanks for the help,
 

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Sounds like one bank of cylinders is experiencing the problem.

The way BMW tries to isolate the problem and you can as well, swap the solenoids for the two Vanos units. You should get the faults on the other bank then. If it's the solenoid, that will tell you. Shouldnt cost a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Common sense is a beautiful thing. We'll try that...hopefully it will do the trick. Thanks for the suggestion Pete....

Lance
 

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Wow, sorry to hear about your troubles. I would also go for the sensors first and see if that cures the problem. Please keep us updated on how you make out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hey everyone -

Well, after replacing to Cam sensors that weren't broken, we went to work on the magnetic solenoid on the VANOS unit. Following Pete's advice, we switched solenoids to the opposite bank.

The error codes followed the solenoid - confirming that the VANOS unit itself was fine. I'm replacing both solenoids to save on the labor.

So, since this post may show up on future VANOS panic-searches:

-PULL CODES.....it will help you keep track of trends.
-Check your maintenance sensors - o2, temp
-Make sure you do your research before assuming the worst. This board saved me some change with info about the solenoid.
-Before you think you need to replace your VANOS unit, check that solenoid...from what I gather, the VANOS itself isn't prone to go out...it's mostly a mechanical piece (the e36 VANOS had problems because of oil blowby). It will more than likely be the solenoid, which is SIGNIFICANTLY less moolah.

So....if anyone is interested in a perfectly functional CPS, or VANOS solenoid, I put an ad in the classifieds. And thanks again for the help.

Lance
 

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cvp911t said:
Make sure you do your research before assuming the worst. This board saved me some change with info about the solenoid.
-Before you think you need to replace your VANOS unit, check that solenoid...from what I gather, the VANOS itself isn't prone to go out...it's mostly a mechanical piece (the e36 VANOS had problems because of oil blowby). It will more than likely be the solenoid, which is SIGNIFICANTLY less moolah.

Lance
Lance, how much did the solenoid cost? And was it a DIY thing, or did the mechanic do it?
 

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...and let us know if once you have the new solenoids installed if the diesel clatter goes away.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Mechanic will do my solenoid installation.

Solenoid valve (part #11367831450) - Retail- $396.48 each
Gasket - Solenoid Cover (part #11361406838) - Retail $6 each
Labor = 3-4 hours, with normal tools...so techies should be able to DIY.... no timing diag/changes required.

Going rate for ONE VANOS bank is about $2500....add about 6 hours of labor . Requires GT1 for advance/retard timing, so definitely not DIY (unless you have a GT1 at home). Hello dealer, and thin wallet.

I'll confirm resolution upon completion of the job...the solenoid was actually a special order part. I wanted to make sure and follow up, in hopes that this will help alleviate owner's VANOS fears....it usually isn't the whole unit that needs replacing. Of course, the dealer may not tell you that, and probably doesn't want to dig in and find out.

Lance
 

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Great thread here...

I may be having a similar problem recently although I have been getting the B2 error (off the top of my head, I think it's a cat efficiency error). The other errors you've received are consistent with mine. My SES light has only come on once so I'm hoping it's an intermittent problem but will be tracking it (and this thread) closely.

I look forward to your follow-up and thanks for the information!!

:cheers:
 

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I am very glad to see you found the issue and saved some money by going with the solenoid. Great to know for future reference. Thanks for keeping us updated!
 

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Lance,

Glad it worked out!

Not even the Vanos solenoid is a DIY. It is a component with 4 100 BAR hydraulic valves and associated gaskets per Vanos unit (1 per cylinder bank).

There is also a 100 BAR gas-hydraulic pressure accumulator common to both Vanos units connected to the Vanos hydraulic system.
Before servicing the valves, you need to relieve that pressure in a controlled fashion. That requires access to special equipment.

BTW, 100 BAR is the pressure on a submarine at a depth of 3000 ft below surface...

David
 

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Just for reference:


100 bar == 1450.377 lbs/sq in
 

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or stated another way, 1 bar = 14.5038 psi. x 100 = 1450 psi

1 atmosphere(standard not metric) = 1.01325 bar = 33.8995 ft. water at 4 C.

so 100 bar = 3345.62 feet of water.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Badda Bam Badda bing

Just an update. Replaced both solenoids. All vibration gone. All diesel symptoms gone. All error codes gone. Power? Not gone....good to have the car back. Just wanted to let you know.
 

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DavidS said:
Lance,

Glad it worked out!

Not even the Vanos solenoid is a DIY. It is a component with 4 100 BAR hydraulic valves and associated gaskets per Vanos unit (1 per cylinder bank).

There is also a 100 BAR gas-hydraulic pressure accumulator common to both Vanos units connected to the Vanos hydraulic system.
Before servicing the valves, you need to relieve that pressure in a controlled fashion. That requires access to special equipment.

BTW, 100 BAR is the pressure on a submarine at a depth of 3000 ft below surface...

David
David,

The BMW TIS instructions for replacing the Vanos solenoid (#11 36 640) are straightforward and do not indicate any need for special tools. It seems to be a pretty easy DIY with ordinary hand tools.

Also, the BMW TIS instructions (#11 36 030) for replacing the entire Vanos unit does require the use of a GT1 or DIS to remove the Vanos. To quote: "When the engine is switched off, VANOS moves the camshafts to a position which is advantageous to engine starting. Before the VANOS adjustment unit is removed, the camshafts and the VANOS adjustment unit must be set with the Diagnosis and Information System (DIS) to the assembly position."

However, it appears that the GT1 and DIS is necessary only if you are replacing the Vanos unit only and don't need or want to take the valve cover off. If you are willing to take the valve cover off and move the camshafts into position by hand, then you don't need the GT1 or DIS. This is outlined in TIS instruction #11 36 050. Of course, with either method you will still need some special tools (around $200 total I think and an air supply).

Bottom Line:
1) Vanos solenoid is a DIY job.
2) Entire Vanos unit replacement requires special tools (around $200)/ air supply plus the GT1/DIS if you don't want to take anything else apart.
3) Entire Vanos unit replacement can be done with only special tools/air supply if you're willing to dig into the engine a little deeper.

Good Luck. YMMV.
 

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Thanks guys!!! very great thread.

I have just same error codes that cvp911t have but bank2 side.
Changed first one cam sensor which was broken but wont help anything.

I afraid that i have to change whole vanos unit but then i make a search and find this thread.

I just order the vanos solenoid unit and gasket to it and i change it myself on my yard with 1000 moskitos grrrrrrr

In service they just said to me that i have to change the whole vanos unit and now it seems like cvp911t said that it very rare that the adjustement unit is broken it mostly just the solenoid. But offcorse dealers try to sell whole unit to make more money.:grrrrr:

And start the beast and beast sounds like a beast again!!! GREAT!
 

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JoeCinVA said:
David,

The BMW TIS instructions for replacing the Vanos solenoid (#11 36 640) are straightforward and do not indicate any need for special tools. It seems to be a pretty easy DIY with ordinary hand tools.

Also, the BMW TIS instructions (#11 36 030) for replacing the entire Vanos unit does require the use of a GT1 or DIS to remove the Vanos. To quote: "When the engine is switched off, VANOS moves the camshafts to a position which is advantageous to engine starting. Before the VANOS adjustment unit is removed, the camshafts and the VANOS adjustment unit must be set with the Diagnosis and Information System (DIS) to the assembly position."

However, it appears that the GT1 and DIS is necessary only if you are replacing the Vanos unit only and don't need or want to take the valve cover off. If you are willing to take the valve cover off and move the camshafts into position by hand, then you don't need the GT1 or DIS. This is outlined in TIS instruction #11 36 050. Of course, with either method you will still need some special tools (around $200 total I think and an air supply).

Bottom Line:
1) Vanos solenoid is a DIY job.
2) Entire Vanos unit replacement requires special tools (around $200)/ air supply plus the GT1/DIS if you don't want to take anything else apart.
3) Entire Vanos unit replacement can be done with only special tools/air supply if you're willing to dig into the engine a little deeper.

Good Luck. YMMV.
The so called Vanos solenoids are not just the actual solenoids, it is the enitre hydraulc valves. (Unlike on the ABS/DSC unit where the solenoids are separate from the valves the control).

When the engine has been running the pressure is 100 Bar. Depending on how tight the Vanos valves are when the solenoids are unenergized, it will take different times for the pressurized oil to leak out of the Vanos unit into the oil-drain.

When you pull the Vanos soienoids, the actual valves com with those.

There is also a lot of oil in the Vanos oil pressure accumulator. If the shutoff valve there should be defective, the pressure accumulator will keep feeding pressurized oil into the Vanos units as the oil in the Vanos unit seeps out into the oil drain, and it will take a very long time before the pressure inside the Vanos unit is relieved.

If you want to do this without using BMW tools to open energize the Vanos valves and relieve the oil pressure, then at least let the car sit for a few days to make sure the oil pressure has leaked out.

I do not know why the TIS does not list pressure relieve as a first step for Vanos solenoid replacment. Pressure relieve is listed as the first step when replacing othe Vanos components, and it is all connected to the same hydraulic circuit. Maybe it is an omission?

Any pros reading this, please comment.

David
 
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