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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Vanos Solenoid Cleaning



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      06-23-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
scrappyz323
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Vanos Solenoid Cleaning

There are a lot of helpful DIYs for removing and replacing the vanos solenoids but I'm having trouble finding out how to actually clean them, what products or procedures do you guys use. I have read that some people use brake fluid and let it soak but can anyone go into detail about this?
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      06-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappyz323
There are a lot of helpful DIYs for removing and replacing the vanos solenoids but I'm having trouble finding out how to actually clean them, what products or procedures do you guys use. I have read that some people use brake fluid and let it soak but can anyone go into detail about this?
I used throttle body cleaner and compressed air. didn't work for me though. one had to be replaced since it was still throwing codes.
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      06-23-2012, 06:59 PM   #3
redlinedbimmer
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I did the same, but also swapped the lower one into the upper spot and the upper one into the lower spot, have since put on probably 3000 miles and haven't had the issue again!
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      06-24-2012, 07:52 AM   #4
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I used CRC automotive electronic parts cleaner that is for alternators and electric motors and the like and 90 PSI shop air.
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      08-08-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
Greatdane84
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Reviving this cause I use the search feature!

What is the cheapest product
That I can safely use on these to clean out oil?
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      08-08-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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I cleaned mine with compressed air and brake cleaner and swapped spots n code still came back when running 17+ psi so I had to replace it
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      08-08-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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what kind of mileage are you guys doing this at?
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      08-08-2013, 11:45 AM   #8
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I just cleaned mine, two days ago. Well actually, I had to replace one as it threw codes multiple times. I replaced the exhaust solenoid, the lower one, and cleaned the intake one.

I used CRC mass air flow cleaner. My method was simple, start by removing the rubber o-rings on the base of the solenoid as you are likely to reduce their lifespan if you spray them with a cleaning solution. Next, a quick spray around the outside of the solenoid to wash off the surface oil, then I took the solenoid and stuck the small spray stick from the cleaner up into the end of the solenoid and flushed it out. Seemed to really push a lot of old oil and whatever else out from the solenoid body. I did this process until the fluid coming out was clean.

Car feels amazing again now that the CEL is turned off and the car is switching over at higher RPM.
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      08-08-2013, 11:46 AM   #9
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Oh, for the record my mileage was 52k.
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      08-08-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
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I cleaned my Vanos with MAF sensor cleaner last year. I cleaned them, swapped them and I also cleaned my MAF sensor. I used CRC for MAF sensor and Vanos. I did this as preventive maintenance. I never had any error codes or anything.
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      08-08-2013, 12:13 PM   #11
bhmax16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightcashhomie View Post
what kind of mileage are you guys doing this at?
No particular mileage, just when the fault code shows up most guys try cleaning first before replacing. I cleaned first and it bought me another 10,000 miles or so before the fault returned, in which case I replaced the faulty solenoid. My other one is still original and problem free
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      08-08-2013, 12:14 PM   #12
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I had to do mine at around 54k but it was also only happening once running the tune. I just straight up replaced mine so I wouldn't have to disassemble again. Cars been running fine besides misfires for the past 6k miles.

My buddy has 50k on his car and started getting vanos
Codes when he switched to the aggressive tune. He's short on cash so I'm going to be helping him clean his or use my old ones so that's why the cleaning questions came up.
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      08-08-2013, 12:28 PM   #13
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Yeah, people have had some good success with cleaning the solenoids, but rarely has it been a permanent fix. I would tell your friend to start saving $100 on the side so he can replace the solenoid when it fails again in 3-5k miles.

At least you all have some options with cleaning or replacing with one of your used units.
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