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Old 12-30-2012, 09:13 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 659
My Ride: E46 ///M3
E46 M3 Maintenance / Vanos Related

Hi All,

Just thought I'd post about some maintenance work I've done on the M3 in the last couple of months in the event that some other members with M3's get these problems/symptoms.

Firstly, the car is a 2006 M3 Competition Package with 60,000KM

The car was at operating temperature and everything was fine, i had been driving for about 20 minutes and no hard throttle applications, just softly through suburban streets. Then turned onto Nepean Hwy and fed in 50% throttle and usually at about 3500rpm the car will surge with power, however in this case it didnt. It felt odd as the car idled and progressed through the revs normally without misfiring but felt like it had half the power it usually does when accelerating.

Turned into North Rd and pushed it a little to see if the problem was still there, so gave it about 70% throttle to 5000rpm and it was very evident that it did not have the power it usually does. No check lights at this stage, i pulled over, turned off the engine and popped the bonnet to see if there was anything going on. There was nothing unusual - i closed the bonnet, restarted the car and had a Check Engine Light come on.

Got the codes read and it came up with these errors:
(067) 43 Inlet VANOS, advance valve
(184) B8 Inlet VANOS, function

So anyway, i pooed my pants seeing these codes because for about six months prior to this i had been wanting to get my vanos bolts replaced due to a number of late model E46 M3s having bolts fail and tabs break (resulting in engine failure), but had not had a chance to have my car off the road to get it done.

My mechanic locked down the cams and then had a look at the vanos bolts and tabs - all bolts were tight and tabs in tact. I had all the vanos bolts replaced as a preventative maintenance measure (which has always been at the back of my mind since getting an 06 model). Further investigation found that that Vanos solenoid had failed which was causing the issue. My vanos solenoid issue was constant (i.e. consistent lack of power), however others which report vanos solenoid issues say that theirs was intermittent. Apparently Vanos Solenoid failures are a common issue, but i never had any issues with my 2002 M3 or read any widespread posts on forums.

Secondly, this 06 M3 has the temperature always sit straight in the middle of the temp gauge, and sometimes when cruising on a freeway on a hot day (35+deg) it will start pushing to the right. On that recent 40+deg day it started pushing towards the 2nd dot just crusing at 100kmh in 6th! My 2002 M3 never did that and it always sat just to the left of the middle of the dial (or straight in the middle on 40+ deg days).

I had all of my drive belts replaced as some were showing wear - this was to ensure that the belts were driving the water pump efficiently. Also removed my fan clutch during the vanos solenoid replacement and found that it was broken. Replaced the fan clutch and now all is well. Its weird because my 02 M3 never had any issues on hot days and the temp was always under control. This 2006 M3 does not like the heat and other owners i speak to that have late model E46 Ms report the same issues... its not a massive issue as i don't drive the car hard when there are ambient temperatures over 30deg anyway.

At the same time, another 2005 (or 2006) M3 came into my mechanic for vanos issues. His vanos unit was making a really ordinary sound when the vehicle was running. Further inspection found that the vanos bolts were loose and that the unit itself needed to be replaced in full.

She is back to running like a champ now

2006 CS M3 | ESS Tune : CSL SMG tune : Eisenmann Race : Eibach : Tekarbon
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