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      09-16-2016, 03:59 AM   #1
aymen_a22
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Solved - N52 330i Engine Hesitation - Vanos Solenoid

SOLVED IN POST #9

I need some help to try and find what is wrong with my car please.

I recently bought the car and before buying it I scanned it with an android based OBD scanner which identified the VANOS solenoid as sticking, and also a camshaft timing issue (linked to the vanos problem I think).

Since buying the car I had an orange/yellow engine warning light come up. Scanned it with my phone again and it was the same two issues, VANOS and timing. To try and fix it, I removed the two vanos solenoids and cleaned them with shop air (as described in many online posts) and swapped their locations in the engine. I then cleared the codes with my android scanner and the engine light went away and has not come back.

Fast forward two weeks and my BMW diagnostics cable (with software) arrived. The first job was to remove the warm and cold bulb tests for the rear number plate as the previous owner fitted LCI units in a pre-LCI car. Job done.

Second job was to scan the car for codes. I used NCS Expert, and found the same two engine codes (presumably shadow codes). I saved them, and then cleared them.

I then took the car for a drive and have the same problem. If I use full throttle in a high gear when the revs are below 1500rpm, as the car accelerates through 1500rpm, there is a lot of engine hesitation, once upto around 1800rpm the car pulls cleanly upto the redline.

Any ideas on what to do next?




Secondly, I used ISTA/D ISID to scan the car and used the "start vehicle test" feature which found an array of problems.
Two errors with the DSC (sensor plausibility)

Multiple errors with the FRM however many of these faults are logged at over 325772 miles (the car only has 129000 miles on it).

I used the "calculate test plan" and followed all steps. This removed all but 2 faults.

Any ideas on why there are so many faults at the wrong mileage?

Last edited by aymen_a22; 10-31-2016 at 06:08 AM. Reason: SOLVED
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      09-16-2016, 06:44 AM   #2
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Replace your VANOS solenoids. They're not that expensive and an easy DIY fix...
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      09-16-2016, 08:34 AM   #3
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Ok, I think that will have to be done soon then. Is it safe to drive until I get them changed? Also should I expect a power increase when I replace them?

Strangely, I have driven the car after clearing the VANOS codes and the engine is still hesitating, however the codes have not returned. Maybe it needs a few instances before it is logged. I have no idea.



On the second issue of ISTA and all my fault codes, I had another play with it and used the "Delete Fault Memory" feature and then re-scanned the car. This then removed all faults and flagged up only one remaining fault, the Rear Ride Height Sensor. I am guessing that because that fault is remaining, it must be a current and real fault.
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      10-15-2016, 03:17 AM   #4
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So an update on the situation.

Removed engine cover and checked for oil in the connector of the Eccentric Shaft Sensor - Clean and no oil.

Removed the vanos valves and cleaned with shop air - no change.

Removed and cleaned the two one way check valves for the vanos solenoids - very clean when pulled. No change in engine running problem.

Cleaned the vanos solenoid connectors - no change.

Cleaned the MAF (only seems to be a temperature sensor on my euro n52) - no change


Next step is to replace the exhaust vanos solenoid valve and see if that stops the fault code and sorts out the engine hesitation at low engine speed/high load.

Any other ideas would be welcome.
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      10-15-2016, 05:06 AM   #5
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Check your big DISA for broken shaft,replace solenoids and if errors remain your are good for engine timing job most probably both camshaft adjustment units
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      10-15-2016, 08:00 AM   #6
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OP, I think you need to replace the VANOS solenoids. As part of my maintenance routine I've cleaned and swapped mine about every 50,000 miles. I replaced the check valves at 300,000 miles just for shits and grins. Starting at 304,000 miles I kept getting a VANOS error and I had cleaned/swapped the solenoids at my 300,000 mile tune up. It was the exhaust side solenoid throwing the code. I finally just decided to install new solenoids and call it a day. It's been over 5,000 miles since I installed the new units and I've been code free since.
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      10-17-2016, 06:36 AM   #7
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I did have an error code for DISA so that is something I need to look at, however every time I get an engine warning light I plug in my Bluetooth OBD (connected to my phone) which gives me the VANOS codes only.

I think I will get a VANOS solenoid first (as suggested) and see how that goes, then get a repair kit for the DISA and get that sorted out.

I want the car sorted as it is really frustrating when the engine light appears.
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      10-25-2016, 11:25 AM   #8
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Also have a look at the vanos check valves. They regulate the flow of oil to the solenoid valves. They do get clogged up over time or the spring release inside them gets tired due to age. However, ideally, you should do the following:

replace or clean solenoid valves
replace of clean vanos check valves

Then do a throttle adaptation reset procedure.

From looking at your signature, you drive a 2006 330i ? If so, you need to feed these engines high octane fuel ( ie. Shell VPower ) , or regularly use a fuel additive to help remove gunk , etc...

Last edited by anees; 10-25-2016 at 11:40 AM.
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      10-27-2016, 06:06 AM   #9
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SOLVED:
Solution – Replace Vanos Solenoid (I only changed one, you can do them both if you wish).



Background:
I thought that it might be helpful to share my experiences with everyone on the forum to help anyone else in the future who has the same problem as I had with my MY06 E90 330i (N52).



Problem:

Engine stumbling/juddering at low engine speed (~1500rpm) when accelerating moderately, and a lack of low end power.

Engine Fault Codes thrown:
P1554 – Intake Camshaft Outside of Reference Range
P0012 – Intake Vanos Hard, Binds mechanically
P1553 (2A99) – Exhaust Camshaft Outside of Reference Range
P0015 (2A87) – Exhaust Vanos Hard, Binds mechanically



What has been done:

1: Vanos solenoids were removed and cleaned with a high pressure (~10 bar) air compressor and then I swapped their positions (Intake solenoid (upper valve in engine) into the Exhaust solenoid (lower valve in engine)).

RESULT: This did not change the engine running characteristics and I was still getting engine fault codes however the fault code moved from the Intake Vanos Solenoid to the Exhaust Vanos Solenoid.


2: I then removed the plastic engine cover and removed the connector from the Eccentric Shaft Sensor. A common failure mode is for these sensors to leak oil into the connector which then causes it to fail.

RESULT: This was clean with no signs of oil ingress or leaking.


3: There are two one-way check valves located on the left side of the cylinder head (as you look at the engine). The purpose of these valves is to stop oil from draining from the two Vanos solenoid valves. At higher mileage it is common for these valves to get dirty and the springs can get weak.
I removed both check valves (one at a time), inspected them and cleaned them with brake cleaner.

RESULT: Both valves were very clean. This did not improve the situation at all.


4: Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new solenoid valve (PN: 11367585425) from BMW. The engine light was already on before I changed the solenoid so thought that I would have to clear the codes first.

RESULT: I drove the car (with the engine light on) and the throttle was slightly better but I couldn’t really notice the difference and it stumbled a few times at low engine speed. A few hours later I went for another drive and on start-up the check engine light turned off (without me clearing any codes). The first thing I noticed was that the engine was idling a lot smoother. When driving the car, all symptoms have been resolved. When accelerating, the stumbling/juddering has completely disappeared and low end torque is significantly improved. I am now able to accelerate from roughly 1000rpm in any gear with plenty of power and with no jolting.
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