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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 01-26-2010, 07:49 PM   #1241
Rajaie
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Originally Posted by kwikt View Post
Thanks Rajaie! The car has 105,000 miles on it now and the oil separator system was replaced at 70,000 miles by the $tealer. Can it be possibly something else.
Double check the vent hose is snapped into the valve cover neck.
Make sure the pre-cat O2 sensor electrical cables didn't get swapped.

Here are some other things to check independent of the repair.

The idle control valve air intake boot branch gets cracks in the outer elbow accordion valleys. This can be inspected with a flashlight and mirror.

The idle control valve gets gummed up and sticks. Take it out and clean it with brake cleaner and towels.

The DISA valve is problematic on 01+ cars.
The DISA is a black box 4" high 6" wide on the side of the intake manifold adjacent to the MAF. Remove it. The flap should rotate with resistance and spring back when released. It shouldn't have play. It breaks at its base axis. If it's broken, the flap end axis pin can be removed and the flap will fall off.
The 01+ DISA has a base gasket built into the DISA. It shrinks over time and creates a small vacuum leak. Place an 8" piece of electrical tape on a table top. Cut the tape half width with a razor knife. Place one layer of half width electrical tape over the base gasket. This will thicken the gasket and create a tight seal with the intake manifold.

One more thing. Make sure you didn't swap the pre-cat O2 sensor electrical cables.

Last edited by Rajaie; 01-26-2010 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:36 AM   #1242
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P0015 and P0014 completely GONE after the seals installation. See my write up here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=427473

(update in post #8)
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:06 AM   #1243
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I'm leaniing towards a connection problem. Recently replaced ICV, disa valve, intake boots, 02 sensors, Maf, coils, and plugs. Like I said the car was code free until I worked on it this weekend. I'll look at it again tonight
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:48 AM   #1244
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Originally Posted by Starless View Post
P0015 and P0014 completely GONE after the seals installation. See my write up here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=427473

(update in post #8)
Thanks for the post. Glad to hear the seals came through on this.
Congrats on the repair!
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #1245
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I'm leaniing towards a connection problem. Recently replaced ICV, disa valve, intake boots, 02 sensors, Maf, coils, and plugs. Like I said the car was code free until I worked on it this weekend. I'll look at it again tonight
Double check you connected the vanos intake solenoid electrical connector.
This is a common mistake, but you would usually get an associate code.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:24 AM   #1246
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hey Rajaie, i did the vanos seals about half a year ago, got rid of my cold start idle issues, etc. noticed they're coming back now...not anywhere near as bad, but similar. any ideas? i was thinking either camshaft sensors or intake leak. or could it be vanos again?
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:42 AM   #1247
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hey Rajaie, i did the vanos seals about half a year ago, got rid of my cold start idle issues, etc. noticed they're coming back now...not anywhere near as bad, but similar. any ideas? i was thinking either camshaft sensors or intake leak. or could it be vanos again?
Here is a list of the common performance related problems. Your issue is likely on this list.

The idle control valve air intake boot branch gets cracks in the outer elbow accordion valleys. This can be inspected with a flashlight and mirror.

The idle control valve gets gummed up and sticks. Take it out and clean it with brake cleaner and towels.

The DISA valve is problematic on 01+ cars.
The DISA is a black box 4" high 6" wide on the side of the intake manifold adjacent to the MAF. Remove it. The flap should rotate with resistance and spring back when released. It shouldn't have any play. It breaks at its base axis. If itís broken, the flap end axis pin can be removed and the flap will fall off.
The 01+ DISA has a base gasket built into the DISA. It shrinks over time and creates a small vacuum leak. Place an 8" piece of electrical tape on a table top. Cut the tape half width with a razor knife. Place one layer of half width electrical tape over the base gasket. This will thicken the gasket and create a tight seal with the intake manifold.

The crankcase vent valve and 4 associate hoses fail and cause a vacuum leak. The valve gets stuck open and the hoses crack. These last 70-120k miles and usually fail 80-90k miles. Here are a couple diagnoses.
At warm idle, place small plastic freezer storage bag on its side over the oil fill hole. If the bag sits on top or gets slightly sucked in, ~1Ē, the valve is good. If the bag gets significantly sucked in the hole the valve is stuck open and bad.
With the engine off and cold, carefully remove the hose at the valve cover front corner. Blow hard into the hole. You should hear oil bubbling in the oil pan. If you donít hear the bubbling the top or bottom hose is likely cracked. The bottom hose often breaks just below the valve connection. There can also be cracks in the other two hoses.

The MAF sensor can be dirty and not perform well or can be failing. After market oiled air filters foul the MAF.
Take out the MAF and clean it with CRC MAF spray cleaner. Spray the MAF lightly. There are delicate wires that can be damaged. Let the MAF fully dry before reconnecting.
Cold air intake setups can drive the MAF beyond its intended operating limits and cause it to fail.
The MAF can be tested by disconnecting its electrical cable connector. If the performance problem resolves it might be the MAF. But this test can be deceiving and should be used with great care. When the MAF is disconnected the DME will err on enriching the air/fuel mix. This can easily cover up another performance problem like a vacuum leak. If the problem is unchanged after disconnecting the MAF the problem is not the MAF.
Aftermarket MAF sensors donít work.

The fuel filter gets clogged and inhibits the flow of fuel. Replace it every 60-100k miles.

Sparkplugs should be replaced every 60k miles.

Replace air filter every 15k miles.

Pre-cat O2 sensors have a lifespan of 100k miles. They have a significant effect on fuel consumption. They also affect performance. When they start degrading they cause a rich air/fuel mix. This will degrade performance some but will not cause any rough running symptoms. The main symptom is degraded fuel consumption.
The pre-cat O2 sensors are not used on cold weather cold start. The O2 sensors donít function when cold and are thus not utilized by the DME.
Aftermarket O2 sensors donít work.

Camshaft position sensors can fail and cause problems. They will usually produce a code, but they might initially malfunction without producing a code. A failing exhaust CPS will cause light performance problems. A failing intake CPS can cause significant performance problems.
Aftermarket CPS sensors donít work. OEM CPS sensors are only available through BMW. OEM CPS sensors have a BMW logo and this can be used to check if a CPS sensor is OEM.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:22 AM   #1248
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Ok... update again I disconnected and reconnected every sensor dealing wth the Vanos job and everything appears to be code free once again going on day 2. It could have been BMW's screwy wiring harness. I"ll keep you guys updated.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:00 PM   #1249
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Ok... update again I disconnected and reconnected every sensor dealing wth the Vanos job and everything appears to be code free once again going on day 2. It could have been BMW's screwy wiring harness. I"ll keep you guys updated.
Congrats. Hope it stays good.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:00 PM   #1250
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Need some one in New york , New jersey or PA to do my vanos??????
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:22 PM   #1251
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1 month later and no codes yet. The car runs great
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:44 PM   #1252
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12k miles later and still good. No codes and the car drives like a champ.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:47 PM   #1253
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If anyone in the MD area needs help, i can help out or do it for you. I live in hagerstown, I also go to school down in lynchburg, VA so if you are from down there I can hook you up. Ive done this 3 times now on different cars for friends and mine personally.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:01 PM   #1254
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I am definitely a victim to the infamous vanos =/ I have a 325ci 01 e46 about to hit 120,000 miles .... would i be better off ordering a fully rebuilt unit from drvanos or just a diy kit from beisan systems ?
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:44 AM   #1255
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great thread~

Last edited by ///Flash; 03-06-2010 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:06 AM   #1256
Rajaie
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I am definitely a victim to the infamous vanos =/ I have a 325ci 01 e46 about to hit 120,000 miles .... would i be better off ordering a fully rebuilt unit from drvanos or just a diy kit from beisan systems ?
This is really up to you.
I prefer to not answer these questions, but since no one else is responding I will. I own/run Beisan, so you can consider my answer is bias.

The seals are not difficult to install. The Dr Vanos unit has a core charge, so you need to ship back your unit. This involves some cost and effort.
Beisan is using the OEM Teflon material. This is a special high grade very expensive material. It's appropriate for this vanos application. Dr Vanos used to use the Beisan seals but no longer does.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:09 AM   #1257
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Beisan is using the OEM Teflon material.
I thought you used a new material, that lasts longer and stands up to the heat? I also thought DrVanos used OEM material that will fail again shortly?
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:47 AM   #1258
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[QUOTE=AEmedic;11423441]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajaie View Post
Beisan is using the OEM Teflon material. QUOTE]

I thought you used a new material, that lasts longer and stands up to the heat? I also thought DrVanos used OEM material that will fail again shortly?
The vanos piston seals are a two ring apparatus. There is an outer Teflon ring and an inner rubber O-ring. The outer Teflon ring provides low friction and wear resistance for piston reciprocation movement in the cylinder. The inner rubber O-ring energizes the Teflon ring pushing it out so it can make a tight seal with the Cylinder wall.

The inner O-ring is the component that fails. The EOM O-ring is made of Buna, a material that fails quickly in the engine environment. The Beisan O-ring is made from Viton which will last for a long time in the engine environment.

The seal rings sit in a piston groove. It is essentially impossible to replace the failed inner O-ring without damaging the outer Teflon ring. Thus the outer Teflon ring needs to be replaced. This is a custom seal and needs to be custom manufactured. Teflon is not used in its virgin form. Fillers are added to increase resistance to wear and deformation. The type and grade of filler is critical. BMW has chosen a special high grade expensive material that is appropriate for this application. This vanos is made from soft non-anodized Aluminum. It also operates under very low engine oil pressure, as opposed to standard hydraulic applications that use thousands of PSI oil pressure. The OEM Teflon material has a carbon filler which is appropriate for Aluminum, but the grade is very high. Thus it provides a very low friction surface which facilities superior movement of the piston in the vanos cylinder and thus superior vanos function. This is needed due to the low oil pressure. The high grade material also assures the soft aluminum walls will not be damaged.

Beisan makes their Teflon rings from the same high grade OEM Teflon material.

I would rather not speculate on what Dr Vanos does.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:07 PM   #1259
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As many of you know E46 6-cylinder cars are experiencing a vanos problem. A friend and I diagnosed this problem three years back. Hereís the link where we made our findings public. http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/7494631-2.html

The double vanos in question is part # 11-36-1-440-142, and is found on 6-cyl engines M52TU, M54, M56. These engines are all found on E46 models. If you have an E46 6-cylinder (non-diesel, non-M3) then you have one of these engines and implicitly this vanos.
On M52TU cars, 99-00, the failing vanos is manifesting cold weather cold engine start idle jolts and possible stall. I expect most 99-00 owners have experienced this symptom. On cold mornings the DME utilizes the vanos to help warm up the cats to bring them to operating temperature faster. When the vanos malfunctions the DME reacts badly and causes the idle jolts and possible stall. This scenario was addressed in the subsequent engines M54 and M56 with a software patch to address the DME reaction to the failing vanos. There is also apparently an update to the M52TU software that also addresses the symptom.
The failing vanos will reduce torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range (< 3K). Hiccups and hesitations are also experienced in the lower RPM range (< 3k). Owners are now also beginning to encounter fault codes caused by the failing vanos. These codes are all related to the vanos exhaust side.
P1520 (BMW 104, 0x68): B (exhaust) Camshaft Position Actuator (faulty reference value).
P1523 (BMW 106, 0x6A): B (exhaust) Camshaft Position Actuator Tight or Jammed (mechanically stuck).
P1397 (BMW 18, 0x12): Camshaft Position Sensor B (exhaust) Circuit.
The Camshaft Position Sensor (CPS) is a common failure. But if replacing the exhaust CPS (w/ OEM CPS) doesnít work then itís likely the vanos failure.

The vanos failure is due to deteriorating vanos piston seals. The seals are a combination of outer Teflon seal ring and underneath supporting O-ring. The O-rings are hardening, shrinking, and having flat top and bottom surfaces. This causes them to lose their supporting function to the Teflon seals. This causes the piston seal function to fail and in turn the vanos function to fail.
The OEM O-rings were tested for material makeup and were found to be made from Buna-N (Nitrile, NBR). This material is not compatible with the engine synthetic oil and high temperature. The high temperature in particular is causing its failure.

BMW was engaged for some period regarding this matter but has indicated they have no intention of addressing the issue.
http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/7613395-2.html

The O-rings can be replaced with a better material to withstand the synthetic oil and high temperatures, but to replace the underneath O-rings the outer Teflon seals need to be removed and necessarily damaged. Thus the Teflon seals also need to be replaced in the process. The Teflon seals are significantly more expensive than the O-rings and need to be semi-custom manufactured. This has to be done in large volumes (thousands) to even approach a reasonable cost.
I have taken the initiative in the past two years to pursue this endeavor and have succeeded in reverse engineering the seals and producing a seals repair kit that addresses the vanos failure. Here is the post where I recently introduced this solution.
http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/8705552-2.html

Here is the website for the company I created to vend the product: http://www.beisansystems.com
You will find more information there, including a repair procedure: http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
The procedure currently addressed the E46 with the electric fan. I hope to update it soon to show the E46 mechanical fan. For now the E39 mechanical fan removal can be referenced.

The vanos seals repair kit currently costs $60, plus $5 US shipping. It addresses all the known vanos failure symptoms. Owners have also been quite please with the performance enhancements attained from the repair.
A new (rebuilt) vanos will solve the vanos failure, but a new vanos costs ~$500. Even more problematic, a new vanos still comes with the same failing Buna O-rings. Numerous owners have installed new vanos units only to have them fail again. I inspected my new vanos seals after 20k miles and found them to be significantly degraded.

I will be happy to answer any questions. Please take the time to read the information in the referenced links.
In the future, please direct your questions to the vanos forum referenced by the Beisan website.
Are you saying that my M54 definitly has a vanos issue even though it runs great and has no codes?????
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:35 PM   #1260
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Are you saying that my M54 definitly has a vanos issue even though it runs great and has no codes?????
That's correct. No unit has been opened with more than 20k miles that didn't have fully failed seals. We have had some owners with 40-50k miles replace the seals and the old seals were fully failed.
You might post on the forum and ask. Many here have performed the repair.
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