E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > ///M3 Forum

///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!

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,406
My Ride: JDM
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.


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.
choxor is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 02-04-2013, 11:56 AM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The Best Place on Earth
Posts: 1,654
My Ride: 2003.5 M3
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.
taylor192 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013, 03:14 PM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 31
My Ride: S40 T5 / E46 M3
How many miles does your car have?
Kyle w/ ForceFed Motorsports
TheRetrofitSource | 2020 Motorsports | RTernie | H&R Springs | Import Meet | Girodisc
-ForceFed- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 03:32 AM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Tulare County California
Posts: 94
My Ride: 2003 M3
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.
46smg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:41 AM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,406
My Ride: JDM
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.
choxor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2013, 02:56 AM   #6
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: WA
Posts: 858
My Ride: E53 4.8is
Send a message via AIM to itscoo2pyopants
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.
itscoo2pyopants is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use