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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 09-13-2013, 07:31 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Allentown, PA
Posts: 150
My Ride: 2002 325xi-sport pkg
fixing OBD2 codes can lead to a full day of work

I now have about 125K miles (30K since January)

I was getting 2 obd2 codes, one indicating an air pump problem, the other indicating a sub-par thermostat (below regulating temp or something like that).

A while ago I ordered a coolant kit along with vanos seals, because I figured if I was in there I'd have that stuff ready.

I decided to take it on today, and am glad I got VANOS seals, new plugs, coolant kit (everything but radiator), valve cover gasket, etc.

In process of thermostat I discovered poor condition belts and a wobbly water pump (all replaced)

In process of troubleshooting air pump discovered air pump and valve are fine, but had a busted vacuum hose. Had to remove top cover to troubleshoot so thought I'd do vanos.

My VANOS seals were totally shot (very hard) and not sealing well, so that was a great thing to do. the valve cover gasket was like hard plastic, glad I got one of those ( no way to re-use it).

All in all it took me about 7 hours... the longest single part was cleaning the VANOS because of all the gunk built up on it.

good vanos link:

I now have a minor coolant leak, but considering what I knocked out today I'm not too worried. Should be good for another 100K.

Side note, Change your oil! P.O. must not have and it was quite crusty inside the valve cover.

Driving test: VANOS was a big improvement in low RPM driving. The car doesn't rev as high driving around and seems to shift less, I think the ECU / transmission knew they now had more torque or something, after about 5 miles it seemed to be shifting lower. It's not night and day but I definitely notice slightly stronger below-3k performance. I'm hoping that picks up my fuel economy too

Last edited by bikesandcars; 09-13-2013 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Allentown, PA
Posts: 150
My Ride: 2002 325xi-sport pkg
Update: DO YOUR VANOS at 100K! It has changed the character of the car in a good way, I didn't even know before what I was missing. Now I realize that it drove like an over-cammed hot rod but without the rush (only 2.5), now it has a bit more torque and the transmission seems to like it a lot better. Much less shifting and a smoother drive around town. Maintains 2500 to 3K in most every driving condition where before it would shift up with much less provocation. Mileage however (suprisingly) hasn't changed.

Passed inspection today: For future reference to those throwing codes:

P0128 - Powertrain - coolant temperature below thermostat regulating temperature - FIXED by replacing thermostat
P0492, P0491 - Secondary air injection system (banks 1 and 2). - FIXED by repairing vacuum line to air injection check valve.

Codes reset using ELM wireless adapter and TORQUE app for Android

Last edited by bikesandcars; 09-19-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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