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      10-04-2012, 03:27 AM   #1
KUSH
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Disa Question

There are 2 Disa Actuators on the 2006 e90 325i 1 on the inside & 1 on the outside of the manifold. My car is reporting Disa Actuator 1 Mechanical or Hardware Defect is this the inside 1 or outside 1 ? Cant find it anywhere on the internet. The car is running fine & it may be a carbon build up but may replace it at some stage or try to clean the existing Disa. Anyone know ?
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      10-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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The DISA system is the "3 stage manifold" that people refer to it as around these parts.

The 1st adjuster unit is the one closest to the throttle body. The concept behind them is to stabilse the air pressure behind each valve and allow it to make more power in the higher rpm range.I had a good illustration that explained the system but cant find it atm.

It shouldnt be dirty from carbon build up, unless of course you dont have the air filter on properly or havent changed it for a long time.

Its has most likely just failed and needs replacement. Should cost about $200-300 for the part. Talk to Stu at bmrautowerkes to see if he can get the part cheaper for you than BMW.
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      10-05-2012, 05:51 PM   #3
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Thanks so is it the disa on the inside or outside of manifold this is my main question? I have standard paper element so I will just replace it Thanks
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      10-17-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Thanks so is it the disa on the inside or outside of manifold this is my main question? I have standard paper element so I will just replace it Thanks
Did you get this sorted out, and what symptoms were you having as a result of this failed DISA Flap?
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      10-20-2012, 01:10 AM   #5
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Not really a problem only showing codes on disa idles ok. Sometimes it flatspots a bit on low revs . Could ignore it will fix soon.
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      10-25-2012, 02:23 PM   #6
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Not really a problem only showing codes on disa idles ok. Sometimes it flatspots a bit on low revs . Could ignore it will fix soon.
Mine is going back to the agents for their technical rep to take a look and listen. But I think I am just wasting time with the agents - will most likely have to just foot the bill and get the specialist tuner fit the new thermostat and two DISA flaps...
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      10-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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Not really a problem only showing codes on disa idles ok. Sometimes it flatspots a bit on low revs . Could ignore it will fix soon.
Mine is going back to the agents for their technical rep to take a look and listen. But I think I am just wasting time with the agents - will most likely have to just foot the bill and get the specialist tuner fit the new thermostat and two DISA flaps...
I have ordered a disa the one on the outside of the manifold or right hand if you are looking from in front of the engine. This is disa 1 and is a simple repair I didn't get a code for disa 2 as it is activated after 4000 rpm & has nothing to do with flat spotting or stalling. The damaged thermostat can cause over fueling & you may as well replace the water pump as you take it out any way. The inside disa would be a bigger job to replace so do the easier one first
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      11-02-2012, 03:38 PM   #8
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I have ordered a disa the one on the outside of the manifold or right hand if you are looking from in front of the engine. This is disa 1 and is a simple repair I didn't get a code for disa 2 as it is activated after 4000 rpm & has nothing to do with flat spotting or stalling. The damaged thermostat can cause over fueling & you may as well replace the water pump as you take it out any way. The inside disa would be a bigger job to replace so do the easier one first
Not sure if you have come across this site and this page before, but here:
BMW TIS - N52 engine, intake manifold: E60, E61, E63, E64, E65, E66, E87, E90, E91

It seems DISA motor 1 is indeed the one on the outside easier to see and access.




Apart from the error that you are getting pointing to this DISA flap, what symptoms are you experiencing with the engine performance or noises etc?

Please keep us posted - very interested to hear more about your problem and as you progress with solving it.
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      11-02-2012, 08:33 PM   #9
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Hi I have ordered the disa 1 the part has been revised three times. Cleaning the vanos solenoids & switching them makes a big difference & I believe it helps cause carbon build up on the vanos system & will cause it to throw vanos & solenoid codes. As far as symptoms the car still idles perfectly but flat spots on low rev acceleration from time to time as the fault is a jamming vanos. I am waiting for my disa 1 to arrive from the us they made a mistake with my order so i have had to re order it. Should arrive in the next couple of weeks. Will keep you informed of the results
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      11-03-2012, 06:22 AM   #10
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Hi I have ordered the disa 1 the part has been revised three times. Cleaning the vanos solenoids & switching them makes a big difference & I believe it helps cause carbon build up on the vanos system & will cause it to throw vanos & solenoid codes. As far as symptoms the car still idles perfectly but flat spots on low rev acceleration from time to time as the fault is a jamming vanos. I am waiting for my disa 1 to arrive from the us they made a mistake with my order so i have had to re order it. Should arrive in the next couple of weeks. Will keep you informed of the results
I have often heard about cleaning vanos solenoids but never done this or investigated yet since the car has just come off motorplan. How easy is this to do, access? Will search of course.

My 330i's symptoms are similar in retrospect, except there are apparently no codes coming up at all - so according to the agents everything is fine and "normal", which it isn't!

To be exact, my main annoyance has always been a rattling noise at certain low engine speeds only when under acceleration/load and sometimes on the top of a gear change. At first I thought this was a dual mass flywheel chatter, then the agents diagnosed it as pinging - updated software, reset adaptation and tightened an exhaust bracket. No difference at all, and now off motorplan. Replaced spark plugs (still 35k km life remaining) and also ran a tank with Liqui Moly Injector Cleaner - still no improvement. Now coupled with this noise I have become more aware of other issues (more annoying issues), and this is definitely also flat spots and jerkiness at low revs, plus often there is a distinct drop in performance between 3000 rpm and around 4500 rpm (intermittent).

I took the car to a local highly regarded tuning specialist and their diagnostics which takes almost a full day to run picked up a few issues. On the live reading while on the road they picked up that the engine was being forced to run too cold indicating that the thermostat is not regulating temperatures properly. They said that the valvetronic motor is out of spec by 10% which can be corrected with software (recalibrated I imagine). But, they claim that the noise that I am hearing is from one or both of the DISA flaps fluttering and/or trying to make constant adjustment.

Supplying all of this information to the agents they are adamant that there is nothing wrong with these items - now I know (under confidence) that they cannot perform live diagnostics while driving cars, so it is very likely that they are simply plugging their system in and not finding any stored codes. The thermostat is not broken, it is working, just not correctly, and so are the DISA flaps and valvetronic according to the tuner. Oh, and the tuner is 100% sure that the engine is not pinging at all - of course the agents are too willing to point the blame at local fuel (95 unleaded) and say things like, the 320i's are even worse, or the automatic 330i's are also worse...

Sorry about the long post, but trying to convey as much info across as possible to see how close our car's issues are related. Based on the tuner's assessment it was indicated that I should replace both DISA motors, the thermostat and then see how it goes. The valvetronic recalibrated otherwise also something to replace (costs roughly the same as one of the DISA motors) - in that case also inspect/replace the valvetronic sensor also referred to as the eccentric shaft sensor which is located just behind the vanos on top of the engine (there is a plug visible where this is situated). Apparently a shot valvetronic sensor is usually the cause for erratic idling.

If you have a few minutes, took this vid a few weeks ago from my dashboard while driving my car. Of course typically it was behaving that day, but it was making the noise which sadly is never picked up with the simple GoPro's built-in mic. But you can hear at around 4800 rpm or so the engine note changes slightly up until red line, which confirms the stage change over from the DISA flaps - often the between 3000 rpm to 4500 rpm is very noticeable and in particular the way the car suddenly picks up speed from 4500 rpm and 4800 rpm onwards!

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      11-03-2012, 05:21 PM   #11
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http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...vanos+solenoid try this first. Your car seems to be using a lot more fuel than mine 10.2 ltr/100 I dont know if this has any bearing on it. I would do this first & see if that makes much difference but if not it may be the Disa. Put some fuel injector cleaner through after you have cleaned the solenoids. Dont worry take your time this is an easy diy.
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      11-04-2012, 06:29 AM   #12
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http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...vanos+solenoid try this first. Your car seems to be using a lot more fuel than mine 10.2 ltr/100 I dont know if this has any bearing on it. I would do this first & see if that makes much difference but if not it may be the Disa. Put some fuel injector cleaner through after you have cleaned the solenoids. Dont worry take your time this is an easy diy.
Awesome thanks! Have been searching and not found anything yet, even google. Will definitely give them a clean and see how it goes. I have just run injector cleaner through a month or so ago, still necessary?

Consumption is higher than normal on this tank due to mostly driving around town and traffic - combination of open road and it is usually quite a bit better, can see my fuelly info below my sig...

Will let you know once I have cleaned these solenoids, hopefully this solves the stumbling and flat spots at low revs.

Just had a look, seems to be easy to get to, a bit cramped, but manageable and don't really need to take anything else off, maybe the intake just for some extra space...
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      11-05-2012, 06:21 AM   #13
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Right, so I got busy with this last night!

Located the two Vanos solenoids and started by unplugging them taking note of the cable orientation (easy since the cable holder keeps them in the correct order - top going to the top solenoid and bottom to the bottom solenoid etc).



Both solenoids out, not as much oil as I thought would spill out, but then the engine had been not moved since Friday.




Decided to use some unleaded petrol that I have in bottle for cleaning things and it seems to be one of the effective cleaning agents in general. Then once satisfied that all of the gunk had dissolved and been cleaned off (replace with fresh petrol in necessary) and had time to dry properly, I dipped them into some spare oil (as per what the car takes just to play safe) so that any petrol residue is not left.



Two cleaned solenoids - in retrospect they weren't very dirty with the exhaust solenoid being the dirtier of the two.



Unfortunately I can't say that I feel or hear any improvement, and no change to consumption, so I gather they were functioning fine to begin with. But does not hurt to have them nice and clean - and now that I know how to do this it can be cleaned easily in future.

For those wanting to do this, above link is a must, but found this pretty easy!!

Really easy job overall, as you can see nothing had to be removed to access the solenoids. A bit cramped but enough space to work - just take time and care not to drop anything! Ideally use your small 10mm socket to loosen the bolts holding the solenoids onto the head, and then remove them carefully with your fingers. Push metal clips to release the plugs and gently pull away from the solenoids - take note of which plug goes to which solenoid. Place a rag beneath the two solenoids and pull them out - helps to twist them slightly as you do this. Expect a small amount of oil to spill out. But be careful of the plastic ring that can easily slide off the solenoids when removing since you have to angle them out from this tight space, this is because the O-rings tend to stay inside rather than come out with the solenoids. Clean and refitting (only the forward portion with the holes) is as simple as reverse of the above. Oh, only do this when the engine is cold!!!
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      11-06-2012, 03:43 AM   #14
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Give it a bit of time mine took about 1500 kms to settle in & I could feel the power difference. You could also disconect your battery negative terminal for about 15 mins to reset the computer this may help reset the values of the computer. Giving it a bit of a caneing will do it some good as well helps clear out amy cobwebs stay in 3rd & 4th gear keep the revs over 4500 rpm or more . This motor loves to rev
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      11-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #15
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Give it a bit of time mine took about 1500 kms to settle in & I could feel the power difference. You could also disconect your battery negative terminal for about 15 mins to reset the computer this may help reset the values of the computer. Giving it a bit of a caneing will do it some good as well helps clear out amy cobwebs stay in 3rd & 4th gear keep the revs over 4500 rpm or more . This motor loves to rev
Thanks, will see how it goes. Never thought about doing the throttle pedal reset again or battery disconnecting - can give that a go and see. As for letting rip with running the engine at higher revs, I have definitely given the engine some high revs so one would think that any cobwebs have long since been blown out and don't have chance to settle. But then again, this thing has so much reserve power overall that it tends to sit mostly at lower revs under moderate throttle conditions, otherwise you would be breaking the rules of the road all the time!

Please keep us updated with the DISA flap replacement and how it goes. I am seriously considering pulling the DISA 1 motor out to inspect, but not really sure what all to look out for and how to "test" it since it is motorised to begin with.

Something else I should maybe do is take the car to a tuning place with a dyno and see if they will allow me to run the car under the conditions to replicate the noise and try to pinpoint where it is coming from - surely if it is the DISA flaps you would be able to narrow down to the general location...
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      11-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #16
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A friend of mine lent me his diagnostics cable so I ran INPA just to look around a bit - have tons to learn with regards to diagnostics and coding, but managed to find a section that had to do with various engine components and along with Vanos there was a section for DISA flaps.

I gather this allows you to test each of the DISA flaps one at a time. Took a vid with my old point and shoot Nikon (VGA quality) of the noises that DISA Motor 1 made during this test - DISA Motor 2 was less prone to make this noise, but did a few times.

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      11-08-2012, 03:05 AM   #17
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Did it throw disa codes ?
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      11-08-2012, 04:41 AM   #18
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Did it throw disa codes ?
Nope, that's the thing, agents had the car a few times for this problem and insist no error codes. But the specialist tuner that I took the car to ran their diagnostics and claimed that the DISA flaps where causing the noise - so maybe they are simply noisy but still functioning to the most part which is why no errors are coming up.

With all of this aside, what do you make out of this noise on the vid? Engine of course is not running, so the noise is not all that loud, but maybe does get louder and more noticeable while driving.

At this stage I have no experience with running diagnostics - eventually got my notebook set up so that INPA was able to access the car, and just by chance that I found this subsection while just looking around.

I am going to speak to the tuner again and press him to explain exactly what led him to the DISA flaps - I simply asked them to find out the cause for the noise which I thought was pinging, so no mention of DISA flaps...
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      11-15-2012, 03:56 AM   #19
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Any update from your side? Have you fitted the new DISA motor yet?
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      11-15-2012, 04:25 AM   #20
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No still waiting for the part I have orderedfor the second time from fhis supplier. Probably sitting in customs. I hope it turns up soon will let you know.
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      11-15-2012, 08:08 AM   #21
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No still waiting for the part I have orderedfor the second time from fhis supplier. Probably sitting in customs. I hope it turns up soon will let you know.
I finally managed to speak to the tuner and he is adamant that the noise I am hearing is from the DISA flaps (1 or both). He has been giving it more thought with regards to the thermostat and seems to think that it is more likely the temperature sensor on the radiator side that is giving incorrect readings since they were getting conflicting readings when running their tests. So I am going to order both DISA flaps and replace starting with the easier of the two and in my case most logical since it is the one suspected. Then once this is done will need to investigate the temperature sensor issue - maybe simply replace and see what happens...

So I reckon I am going to be in the same boat as you waiting for parts!
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      11-16-2012, 04:53 AM   #22
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I just changed my disa 1 unit. Upon removal of the original one there was zero resistance on the old one & I couldnt move the new one. I realise now that BMW must have known this when I was complaining about the hesitation from 30,000 kms but were just covering it up as per usual,is like a new car now. I only really had some noise on ocassion when cold. Buying that cable was the best $50 I have spent for a long time. Quite a simple job four screws on the disa itself 2 screws on ythe bracket ( I just removed the top one & loosened the bottom one so I could swing it out of the way)Was a bit of a fidley job but worth it. I think perhaps the flaps on thirty thirty ones motor may be loose but not zero resistancen perhaps just chattering and moving maybe 20-30 % and creating the noise but thats just a theory best replace disa 1 first & see how you go.
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