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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 08-26-2015, 08:42 AM   #1
rosshurlow1
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Clinton, IN
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My Ride: 2004 bmw 325i
vanos failure?

So lately my car has suddenly gotten horrible gas mileage. Like 2/3 of what i usually get. it has had a lack of power below 3k rpm. So I assume with 120k miles that the vanos needs addressed anyway. But, when I did my valve cover I remeber my vanos looked almost burnt. Do you think there is something seriously wrong with my vanos?
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:58 AM   #2
markusmarkus
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The burned look is caused by oil. What is the car's maintenance history? How many miles was the car driven between oil and filter changes? Is the engine using oil? What brand and weight of oil was used? Did the oil bottles have the "BMW LL-01" logo?

VANOS doesn't usually go bad all at once. It's usually a slow deterioration of performance. Yes, the lack of power at revs less than 3000 is a typical symptom, but as noted, it's a gradual loss of performance.

Have the engine scanned for codes. That's always the first step. They can be pending codes which do not trigger the SES/CEL light.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:03 PM   #3
rosshurlow1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
The burned look is caused by oil. What is the car's maintenance history? How many miles was the car driven between oil and filter changes? Is the engine using oil? What brand and weight of oil was used? Did the oil bottles have the "BMW LL-01" logo?

VANOS doesn't usually go bad all at once. It's usually a slow deterioration of performance. Yes, the lack of power at revs less than 3000 is a typical symptom, but as noted, it's a gradual loss of performance.

Have the engine scanned for codes. That's always the first step. They can be pending codes which do not trigger the SES/CEL light.
I just got the car at 110k, and changed it then. I tried going for 10k intervals on mobil 0w-40. but I think I will go to 7500 now.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:02 AM   #4
markusmarkus
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If there's no gunk in the valve train the previous owner probably changed the oil & filter more frequently than the 15k mile interval that was recommended by BMW. Most folks here change their oil & filter every 7000-7500 miles.

As far as the performance issue, you need to see if the ecu has any codes including pending codes. That's always the first step.
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:12 AM   #5
rosshurlow1
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Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
If there's no gunk in the valve train the previous owner probably changed the oil & filter more frequently than the 15k mile interval that was recommended by BMW. Most folks here change their oil & filter every 7000-7500 miles.

As far as the performance issue, you need to see if the ecu has any codes including pending codes. That's always the first step.
I have lean codes because I think my valve cover is cracked. It leaked on a smoke test. So when I'm tearing into that I assume I should do the vanos mainly because of possible performance, and it does a rattle.
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