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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #1
choxor
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VANOS Solenoid Pack Failure

There are threads on this, but I wanted to share my experience just in case someone has a similar problem or throws similar codes. Archived for searchable goodness.

Car was running fine, no codes and no intermittent issues. 80K on the clock, all maintenance records and inspection II completed within the last few months. Driving home from work the SES light came on. When I'd come to a stop the idle would dip to ~500 and the car would shake. The idle RPM would return to normal after the dip, but the car still shook quite a bit. When driving the car would feel fine, though.

When I got to the house I fired up INPA. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE SCANNING SOFTWARE/CODE READER BUY ONE NOW. NO EXCUSE NOT TO HAVE ONE IF YOU CAN AFFORD AN M3.

Heart sunk when I saw the codes:

184 - EVanos1 Regulation
67 - EVanos1 Early Valve
72 - EVanos1 Late Valve
Misfire codes for all 6 cylinders

For those who do not know, there are two failures that can cause this to happen. Either the VANOS solenoid pack has failed or the exhaust sprocket hub tabs have sheared off. The latter being way more expensive than the former.

There is only one "test" you can do. Clear the codes, turn the car on, and let it idle. Usually, if it's the solenoid pack, the problem is intermittent and the codes will not come back for a while and the car will seem fine. If the exhaust tabs are sheared the code should come back within three minutes or so.

This is NOT a perfect test. It assumes the solenoid pack will only fail intermittently, which may not be the case. The only way to really tell is to remove the valve cover and inspect the tabs. If they're still present then it should be solenoid pack.

In my case the codes did not come back after 5 minutes of idling or a short spin around the block, however the car was still idling bad and RPM's were still dipping when coming to a stop. If I had let it idle longer I'm positive the SES light would have come on, but it would be pointless because the VANOS was still obviously not working.

I took the gamble and ordered a new solenoid from Beisan. He repairs units and improves the design to stop the solder joints from screwing up, which is what causes the failure (and why the failure is usually intermittent). Plus it's only $150 after a $150 core return, which is WAY better than $600 for a new unit. Find it here: http://www.beisansystems.com/products.html

I also ordered the S54 Vanos Sealing Plate Repair Kit per the instructions.

Ordered on a Thursday and had it in my hands by Friday. $25 for overnight shipping to my area. Rajae, I owe you a beer. Install took about an hour and 90% of that was cleaning, which I took my time with. As usual Beisan's instructions are flawless. Find them here: http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

One thing to note, the seals on my sealing plate were done. Really. Really. Really plasticized and flat. Checked the oil, crossed my fingers, and fired her up. Flawless victory.

As a bonus I seem to have picked up some throttle response. Car's quicker to react, which I've read in other threads. So cleaning the valve body, oil pressure restrictor, replacing/cleaning the filter, and replacing the plate seals may good PM to do during an inspection I, II, or VCG change. It's cheap, doesn't take much time, and you may feel the results.

Sadly there is no PM for the solenoid pack itself. It's basically a design flaw and I'm certain that every M3 will eventually be effected. Thanks to Rajae at Beisan for providing a fix that doesn't obliterate the wallet.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:56 AM   #2
taylor192
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The reason the car feels better is cause the Vanos is working. When the car detects the Vanos is malfunctioning it locks the timing. Since the failures usually happen under load the timing is locked at high rpms, thus low rpm performance suffers (thus the crappy idle you observed).

Glad it worked out for you. I had a similar issue and the Besian solenoid solved it. I could almost reproduce it consistently at high RPMs, which I guess stresses the solder joints just enough to fail.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:14 PM   #3
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How many miles does your car have?
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:32 AM   #4
46smg
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I had the same Vanos problem about a year ago. But instead of buying a new solenoid coil pack, my mechanic opened up the solenoid coil pack housing and found 3 broken connector pin solder joints. He re-soldered the pins and resealed the plastic housing. At the same he replaced the Valve Cover Gasket Set and the Vanos Gasket. I haven't had any problems since.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:41 AM   #5
choxor
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I thought about re soldering it, but I didn't want to chance it happening again. Beisan adds a couple of tweaks to make it more durable, but if you're handy with a soldering iron that's definitely an option.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:56 AM   #6
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Good info here. I got this code with the same symptoms you described

1b16 - exhaust camshaft vanos advance valve

Does it sound like the solenoid? I had the same idle drop issue for approx 2 months. I did a valve adjustment approx 7500 miles ago and the tabs looked be to be in great shape.
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