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Old 08-05-2012, 06:14 AM   #9
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 89
My Ride: 2001 M3 TiAg
Sounds like something that happened to me three months ago.
Hopefully yours is something else, but mine was VANOS failure on exhaust cam... $3,400 replacing with a used VANOS and a bit of time in exploratory labor. Runs great now...

My symptoms:
-rough idle
-a little bit of power in low RPMs, but it was like the throttle was strangled above 3,000 RPMs.
-Check Engine light with codes of misfire on many cylinders.

This all came on very quickly: something seemed odd, then the CES light came on and there were many codes.
When the mechanic was searching for a VANOS unit, BMW Seattle informed him that they have sold one of these units in the past five years, so it seems like a rare failure.
It was some sort of a holding ring that slipped out somehow. This ring did fall into the timing belt chamber, but fortunately did not cause any further damage (or so my mantra goes).

Apparently mine was an expensive failure, but also rare, so maybe your coils just went sour at once. Damn, I'm pessimistic... just wanna share my pain, maybe.

Anyway, hopefully yours is something else.
Yours could more likely and hopefully be the VANOS solenoid that would render the same symptoms of not varying the timing of a cam and therefore causing simultaneous misfires. For a solenoid failure there is a site that sends you a refurbished and reinforced (improved) solenoid then gives you about a 50% refund when you send your ruined unit back to them. Like $300, then a $150 refund. HERE.

I also have my original and tested as functioning VANOS solenoid pack since I had to buy an entire VANOS for my repair. We could work something out if you want to use my unit to test or repair. It is unlikely I'll ever need it (mantra 2).
Slyde is offline   Reply With Quote