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Old 09-21-2009, 08:47 PM   #1021
Rajaie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devedean View Post
I've replaced my VANOS seals with the Beisan about 6 months ago and have had a persistant SES light since I did the work. What I have done in addition to the VANOS is as follows:


Valve cover gasket
All coils and spark plugs
Intake/Exhaust cam positioning sensors
Engine flush with Redline oil change
cleaned and inspected the idle control valve

My symptoms are as follows:

*SES light on:
VANOS, faulty exhaust reference value
misfire #5
misfire #3
misfire #6
(I'm guessing the faulty exhaust value message is causing the misfires since I've replaced all the coils recently. Anyone have any ideas? Did I screw something up when I replaced the VANOS seals?)

*Rough Idle (not bouncy or erratic, the engine vibrates the whole car....not smooth)
*The engine chokes when letting out the clutch at low RPMs (500 - 1500) from a stop
*General lack of mid range power (2500 - 3500 RPM) but good acceleration at higher RPMs
*When turning off the car, the engine makes a sort of cluck when it completely stops

The car is a manual 2000 323i with 101,000 miles.

Thanks!!
I presume you have code P1520. This can happen in some cases after the seals install but would go away shortly.

Are the new CPS sensors OEM (dealership). OEM sensors have a BMW logo. Inspect for this with a mirror and flashlight. OEM sensors cost over $100 each. If you paid ~$50 you likely received aftermarket sensors. Aftermarket sensors don't work and can cause problems like you have.

Have you replaced the crankcase vent valve and 4 associate hoses? If not they are likely failed by your miles. Here's a diagnosis method for the valve. With the engine warm at idle, place a plastic freezer storage bag on its side over the oil fill hole. If the bag gets sucked into the hole the valve is failed.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:08 PM   #1022
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I made sure to use the OEM CPS sensors after reading numerous posts regarding the reliability (lack thereof) of the non OEM ones. I posted on a seperate thread regarding the CCV valve and it sounds like excesive oil consumption and smoke out of the tail pipe is one of the symtoms of it failing. My oil level doesn't change and no smoke. Would this count out the CCV?
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:30 PM   #1023
Rajaie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devedean View Post
I made sure to use the OEM CPS sensors after reading numerous posts regarding the reliability (lack thereof) of the non OEM ones. I posted on a seperate thread regarding the CCV valve and it sounds like excesive oil consumption and smoke out of the tail pipe is one of the symtoms of it failing. My oil level doesn't change and no smoke. Would this count out the CCV?
Not having smoke from the tail pipe and oil consumption is no indication the valve and hoses are well.
Try the plastic bag test I specified. Also try blowing in the vent hose as I specified in a recent post on this thread.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:47 PM   #1024
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I reset the SES light and the "VANOS, faulty exhaust reference value" minus the missfire codes came back. I also removed the oil filler cap while the engine was idling and there was definite suction that I could feel with my hand. The engine idles much more rough when I remove the cap as well. One thing I notices is that when I turn on the AC the idle smooths out. Not sure how that is related. Do you still recomend replacing the CCV?
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:40 PM   #1025
Rajaie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devedean View Post
I reset the SES light and the "VANOS, faulty exhaust reference value" minus the missfire codes came back. I also removed the oil filler cap while the engine was idling and there was definite suction that I could feel with my hand. The engine idles much more rough when I remove the cap as well. One thing I notices is that when I turn on the AC the idle smooths out. Not sure how that is related. Do you still recomend replacing the CCV?
You need to perform the test as I specified.
There is vacuum at the oil fill hole if the valve is good or failed. The vacuum is stronger when the valve is failed and that's what the test is attempting to assess. This needs a manometer to measure small vacuum, but the plastic freezer storage bag on its side is an effective alternate method.
Do this test at warm idle without the air conditioning.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:48 PM   #1026
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Gotcha. I'll have to wait until I get home as I don't have access to freezer bags here at work. I'll let you know the results. Thanks for your invaluable tech support!
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:45 PM   #1027
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I did the freezer bag test and it was definitely sucking it in. If I left it there it would have eventually sucked the whole bag under the valve cover. I reset the check engine light to see what new codes would come up and sure enough the "VANOS, faulty exhaust reference value" plus all 6 cylinder misfire codes came back. So, according to your calculations, random misfires + freezer bag sucking into the valve cover + the other symptoms I'e mentioned = CCV plus related hoses?
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:02 PM   #1028
Rajaie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devedean View Post
I did the freezer bag test and it was definitely sucking it in. If I left it there it would have eventually sucked the whole bag under the valve cover. I reset the check engine light to see what new codes would come up and sure enough the "VANOS, faulty exhaust reference value" plus all 6 cylinder misfire codes came back. So, according to your calculations, random misfires + freezer bag sucking into the valve cover + the other symptoms I'e mentioned = CCV plus related hoses?
Your freezer bag test indicates your crankcase vent valve is failed. This causes a major vacuum leak and creates havoc with the car. It can cause your misfire symptoms. You need to replace the valve and 4 associate hoses.

The P1520 vanos exhaust fault is not likely causing your symptoms. The car will drive fine with it. I suggest to fix the valve and hoses first and see what happens with the P1520 code. Once the valve and hoses are replaced and the car is driving well, drive the car hard and see if that resolved the P1520 code. If it doesn't resolve get back a hold of me and I'll walk you through the other possibilities.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:02 AM   #1029
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I replaced the CCV valve over the weekend and consensus is accurate: it is a major pain in the @$$. While I was in there I cleaned the throttle body, idle control valve, and mass airflow sensor. The random misfire codes are gone but the "VANOS, faulty exhaust reference value" keeps coming back. The idle is still a little rough though it seems better after the CCV replacement. Any ideas?
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:07 AM   #1030
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I replaced my seals last week. Seems like the car has less lag at takeoff but I will not know for sure till winter if it fixes my cold start bounce.
Its really not hard at all, just tedious.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:14 PM   #1031
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I found a definition for the "VANOS, faulty exhaust reference value" fault code: (P1520; DME internal values logical) Maximum VANOS adjustment angle, checked at every engine start must be within a specified limit. Rajaie, any idea how to fix this?
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:16 PM   #1032
Rajaie
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Originally Posted by devedean View Post
I found a definition for the "VANOS, faulty exhaust reference value" fault code: (P1520; DME internal values logical) Maximum VANOS adjustment angle, checked at every engine start must be within a specified limit. Rajaie, any idea how to fix this?
When you replaced the vanos seals did you remove two rings and install two rings for each piston groove?

Remove the vanos exhaust solenoid and the solenoid piston underneath it. You'll need a 32mm deep socket. Spray clean the solenoid piston and the vanos cavity it inserts into. The solenoid piston has a spring at the end of it. While mounted, press the piston in and release it. It should press in smoothly without sticking and spring back smoothly when released.
After you put everything back, clear the code and see if it comes back.

Here are the things that cause a P1520 code:
1. Failed vanos seals.
2. New rough vanos seals.
3. Aftermarket CPS sensor.
4. Sticking exhaust solenoid piston.
5. Wrong engine timing.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:54 PM   #1033
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Yes. I made sure to follow your step by step directions exact. I replaced both seals for each groove, lubricated them with new engine oil, and made sure the pistons moved smoothly in their cylinders during reassembly. I'll remove and clean the VANOS exhaust solenoid and piston and let you know the results.

Number 4 and 5 are the most likely causes. Is it possible to mess up the engine timing when re-attaching the VANOS to the cylinder head?

Last edited by devedean; 09-29-2009 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:14 AM   #1034
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hey rajaie ordered the double vanos seals on sept 24. when can i expect it to arrive? (toronto)
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:39 AM   #1035
FatBimmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddkageals View Post
Just one suggestion or rather question.....You do realize that under vac., you can't use "soapy water" to verify vac. leaks. The soapy water would be getting sucked in instead of blown out (at least until the SC kicks in).
If there's sucking there's a leak incoming
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:54 AM   #1036
Rajaie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devedean View Post
Yes. I made sure to follow your step by step directions exact. I replaced both seals for each groove, lubricated them with new engine oil, and made sure the pistons moved smoothly in their cylinders during reassembly. I'll remove and clean the VANOS exhaust solenoid and piston and let you know the results.

Number 4 and 5 are the most likely causes. Is it possible to mess up the engine timing when re-attaching the VANOS to the cylinder head?
To disturb the timing you would have had to loosen the sprocket(s) bolts/nuts.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:55 AM   #1037
Rajaie
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hey rajaie ordered the double vanos seals on sept 24. when can i expect it to arrive? (toronto)
It takes 6-10 days. Sometimes 2 weeks.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:24 AM   #1038
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This thread is a golden nugget and the OP is very knowledgable and helpful. e46fanatics should have a GOLDEN NUGGET section for threads like this . Very good info and exchange of ideas and scenarios from everyone. I hate to spoil it...

But I hope you dont mind me asking this:

This may be one of the dumbest question, if not The Dumbest, you'll ever read. Well, so be it but I'll be hard pressed if I dont ask this question.
If the vanos issue (low power,rattling) is more pronounced under 2K rpm,
can the rpm be manually or programmatically set to say 2.5-3.0 rpm (to mask the vanos problem), until such time the vanos problem is fixed? The question can be answered by Y or N, the dumb part is why would one waste gas (higher rpm) when you could just fix the damn vanos!.
Anyone know the answer (Y or N) for sure?
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:54 PM   #1039
devedean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajaie View Post
To disturb the timing you would have had to loosen the sprocket(s) bolts/nuts.
I didn't touch the cam sprokets, bolts, or nuts. I'm crossing my fingers that the VANOS exhaust solenoid piston is sticking and needs cleaning....
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:59 PM   #1040
Rajaie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBimmer View Post
This thread is a golden nugget and the OP is very knowledgable and helpful. e46fanatics should have a GOLDEN NUGGET section for threads like this . Very good info and exchange of ideas and scenarios from everyone. I hate to spoil it...

But I hope you dont mind me asking this:

This may be one of the dumbest question, if not The Dumbest, you'll ever read. Well, so be it but I'll be hard pressed if I dont ask this question.
If the vanos issue (low power,rattling) is more pronounced under 2K rpm,
can the rpm be manually or programmatically set to say 2.5-3.0 rpm (to mask the vanos problem), until such time the vanos problem is fixed? The question can be answered by Y or N, the dumb part is why would one waste gas (higher rpm) when you could just fix the damn vanos!.
Anyone know the answer (Y or N) for sure?
Thanks for the nice comments.
The answer to your question is no.
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