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Old 12-30-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
LSM3
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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
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:20 PM   #2
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Good to hear no major dramas.

I also had to replace my fan clutch & thermostat (71k on the clock) last week. Will look into replacing those bolts when I do the rocker gasket shortly. Probably happening now because of the temps, I know mine has been bad for some time.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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Hello,

I just bought an E46 2002 M3. Where abouts you do normally go to get your service done? I haven't decided on a place yet.

The car was serviced in south bank by a mechanic shop for like 7 or 8 years. Thing is that its a little bit far for me to drop it off. My other options are either through BMTECH or a friends' Mechanic that specialises in BMW's. Is it worth giving up the 7-8 year record?
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for the heads up Liam. My car is currently at 144xxx and still going strong, just doing some preventative maintenance of all crucial operating systems Just did a compression test, everything is firing fantastic. Going to do an order from ECS and do a complete refresh of the my M3's Cooling systems, Vanos, Valves done, belts, bushings as well as all my Inspection 2 servicing. Always good for peace of mind, Love my M3 - wouldn't want to see her on a tow truck... Again..
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:49 AM   #5
LSM3
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Originally Posted by Smote View Post
Hello,

I just bought an E46 2002 M3. Where abouts you do normally go to get your service done? I haven't decided on a place yet.

The car was serviced in south bank by a mechanic shop for like 7 or 8 years. Thing is that its a little bit far for me to drop it off. My other options are either through BMTECH or a friends' Mechanic that specialises in BMW's. Is it worth giving up the 7-8 year record?
Hi Smote,

I go to SouthernBM in Moorabbin. With regards to keeping a consistent service record, it depends on what you'll gain from taking it there; and being the age that it is, i doubt it will contribute to resale value therefore it comes down to who you feel most comfortable with when it comes to maintenance. Even though i own other cars aside from BMWs, i still take them to SouthernBM because i just cannot be bothered with potentially getting fingered by mechanics anymore.

So take it to which ever place puts you most at ease when you discuss maintenance of your M with them. I find that mechanics that have good external suppliers of OEM parts as well as aftermarket bits are the best to suit all the enthusiasts needs.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:42 AM   #6
LSM3
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Originally Posted by 11EAS View Post
Thanks for the heads up Liam. My car is currently at 144xxx and still going strong, just doing some preventative maintenance of all crucial operating systems Just did a compression test, everything is firing fantastic. Going to do an order from ECS and do a complete refresh of the my M3's Cooling systems, Vanos, Valves done, belts, bushings as well as all my Inspection 2 servicing. Always good for peace of mind, Love my M3 - wouldn't want to see her on a tow truck... Again..
Elliot that is some SERIOUS preventative maintenance, i thought you were thinking of selling up? You must be considering keeping the M3 for a little bit?

Refresh of the cooling system is great preventative maintenance. I know the E36 M3's had cooling system issues, however knock on wood my cooling systems in both M3's have not shown signs of crapping out. My previous M3 got to 180,000km and was solid as a rock with temperatures.

What are you planning to do with your Vanos?

I had the valves adjusted at 140,000km in the PY M3, as you could hear a ticking noise from the engine bay when coasting at a constant speed with your window open. Had them checked in my IB M3 whilst doing the vanos bolts and they were all within tolerance.

Do you often buy from ECS? I usually buy all my parts from TurnerMotorsport... What do you like about ECS?
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by LSM3 View Post
Elliot that is some SERIOUS preventative maintenance, i thought you were thinking of selling up? You must be considering keeping the M3 for a little bit?

Refresh of the cooling system is great preventative maintenance. I know the E36 M3's had cooling system issues, however knock on wood my cooling systems in both M3's have not shown signs of crapping out. My previous M3 got to 180,000km and was solid as a rock with temperatures.

What are you planning to do with your Vanos?

I had the valves adjusted at 140,000km in the PY M3, as you could hear a ticking noise from the engine bay when coasting at a constant speed with your window open. Had them checked in my IB M3 whilst doing the vanos bolts and they were all within tolerance.

Do you often buy from ECS? I usually buy all my parts from TurnerMotorsport... What do you like about ECS?
Haha yeah Liam, I know.. Some serious preventive maintenance but necessary I think seeing as my KM's are climbing up! Yes, I was going to sell and pick up another car or a Harley V-rod but I decided it was best to keep my M3 as I think I will definitely regret it if I was to go through with it. So I'm going to keep it and all this extra preventative maintenance is the first step in making sure I have my M3 healthy for a long time!

Just preventative things with the Vanos, ordering the Vanos filter kit to replace everything. I haven't had my valves checked since last major service so figured I'd make sure it was all good to go while I'm getting all the other major work done too!

I've never bought from ECS or Turner. Declan orders a lot from ECS so good enough for me! I do have to do some orders from Turner though for things like TMS Subframe plates because I'm going to get that all reinforced properly as well. I've already got everything priced up from ECS but maybe I'll take a look at turner and just get everything from there..
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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Some great info Liam. I really need to check out my vanos. The previous owner had replaced something in the vanos system but couldn't tell me exactly what it was. It seemed more than likely to be the solenoid based on his description and the invoice amount. I really want to check my tabs though but have no idea how to do so. If you've got any links handy that would be greatly appreciated

As Elliot mentioned I order through ECS a fair bit. I've found their shipping times and costs to be extremely reasonable, they also seem to be able to source all OEM parts very quickly. Not sure if Turner is the same, I think I've ordered brake components off Turner before. I occasionally compare the two and ECS has always come up best for me in the past.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:58 AM   #9
JASE46M3
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Here is a link from www.m3forum.net on DIY: Vanos hub + bolts

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=411224
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:15 AM   #10
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Here is a link from www.m3forum.net on DIY: Vanos hub + bolts

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=411224
That looks pretty epic. I think I'll just wait until I get my valve adjustment done and ask them to check out the tabs and bolts then.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:47 AM   #11
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Had my vanos bolts replaced with the newer style ones a few months back. Unless you are fairly confident in your mechanical skills, give it a miss doing it yourself, too much can go wrong! My mech did it, said 2 were slightly loose, and one was slightly stripped. New bolts and loctited the lot. Both tabs fully intact thankfully...!
And remember to clean/change your filter every service, even I can manage that one on my own Level 1 in this vid

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...t=vanos+filter

As to parts, I order from Pelican, Turner, ECS, and Tischer/GetBMWParts. You need a forwarding address in USA for Tischer as they dont ship OS, so I use Shipito for forwarding.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:36 PM   #12
JASE46M3
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Hey kook, how many KM has your 2005 M3 traveled for the Vanos bolts coming loose ?
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:44 PM   #13
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Just ticked over 100,000 kms a few weeks back. One was not so much loose, just not torqued to spec. Other was loose. The new style BMW bolts have some kind of coating on them as well, I imagine to help keep them tight. My mech loctited them all anyway.
How many klicks on yours?
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #14
JASE46M3
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Hey hook, mine just tick over 30,00KM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:03 PM   #15
kook
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Hey hook, mine just tick over 30,00KM.
Damn, low kays! You'd presume you'd be okay with that many kays on the clock, but replacing the bolts is still something I'd be doing eventually. Maybe combine it when you need a valve clearance check. And check/clean your vanos filter, thats a 5min job at home.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:55 AM   #16
JASE46M3
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Yeah, I'm planing to do the Vanos filter my self, thats easy enough to do.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:58 AM   #17
kook
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Even I've done it twice and the car still works, and thats quite an achievement...
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:28 PM   #18
LSM3
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Originally Posted by DeclanM3 View Post
Some great info Liam. I really need to check out my vanos. The previous owner had replaced something in the vanos system but couldn't tell me exactly what it was. It seemed more than likely to be the solenoid based on his description and the invoice amount. I really want to check my tabs though but have no idea how to do so. If you've got any links handy that would be greatly appreciated

As Elliot mentioned I order through ECS a fair bit. I've found their shipping times and costs to be extremely reasonable, they also seem to be able to source all OEM parts very quickly. Not sure if Turner is the same, I think I've ordered brake components off Turner before. I occasionally compare the two and ECS has always come up best for me in the past.
Yeah, the Vanos Solenoid was probably about $1,000 installed.

I will be up for brakes soon, and will most likely order through TurnerMotorsport. Having Competition Package brakes leaves me limited options in terms of where i can get them from, whilst trying to avoid getting fingered by retailers.

Kook - I had my bolts replaced with the revised BMW versions too, and my mechanic used loctite when installing them. I just noticed your car in your signature - LeMans blue on an E46M looks the business!

I haven't ordered from ECS or Pelican before, and from what you've mentioned i don't think i'll use Tischer because it sounds too hard. I think ECS have some good pricing for CSL brakes though.

JASE46M3 - 30,000km! That is some low km! What year is it? Do you still have a dealer warranty with it?
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #19
JASE46M3
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LSM3, my car's build date is Jan 2006, first registered in 10/2006.
No more warranty left.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:18 PM   #20
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Thanks, I've only ever seen one LeMans Blue M3, owned by a guy in Germany, I think its a pretty rare colour. Its an Individual package, that I'm slowly adding CSL bits too, done bootlid, diffuser, steering wheel and intake. Intake is definitely the best mod, if I had to recommend any one mod, that would be it. Bought all those parts from CA Automotive in the UK, they let you buy OEM CSL parts without supplying a VIN. Car now has an Evolve-R tune ( http://www.evolveautomotive.com/engi...ap-alphan_940/ ), the intake noise of the throttles sucking is mental, this is the sound you get



I buy ALL my parts from the US, the price differences between here and there are crazy. I always have enough parts in the shed for 2 full services. The BMW dealer here doesnt mind, I just rock up with my car & parts on the backseat, and pay for labour. I remember when I first got the car I got quoted $650 here for a MAF sensor, same part in the US was $107! Car is MAF-less now anyway with the new intake. CSL intake filters are still a bit rich though from either US or UK, around $130 a pop! Who knows what BMW Aus would charge for them, $6-700 probably...!
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