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Vanos Failure on 01 330Ci?

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by sleonard, Apr 24, 2008.

    sleonard guest

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    Hi All,

    I have a 2001 330Ci manual with 97,000 miles on it that I ordered new. Build date was 7/00. The car is in impeccable shape as I have maintained it per Mike's reccomended intervals (or the old BMW maint intervals). My question has to do with the Vanos unit.

    I have not experienced the power degradation below 3K or the rough idleing that can accompany a Vanos failure, however I have read about the Beysian (may be mispelling this) Vanos rebuild kit. Based on my research it appears that the Vanos units are failing due to poor quality seals. I think the seal materials degrade and reduce the Vanos unit's ability to do its thing. Additionally, the replacement units from BMW have the same questionable seals. I do a lot of commuting in this wonderful little car and I am wondering should I have my Vanos unit re-fitted with updated seals from teh Beysian guys?

    If so, it appears from research that I need to find an indy to do the work becuase the dealer will only replace the Vanos unit not re-fit it with 3rd party vendor updated seals. Is my understanding correct? Sorry for long post.

    -Sean
    San Clemente CA:confused:
    • Member

    EuroWerkz1

    Post Count: 160
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    Vanos

    Sean,

    Hold on baby, and stay off that $%^&*( internet!

    Yes, there have been some Vanos units failing because of internal leakage. Not a high percentage by any means and not enough for the supplier of BMW units to have been called into to redesign seals or units. Which is why there is no updated unit yet, for either the single or dual units. Yes, there appears to be some solutions from Beisan and several others to high mileage worn vanos units available. But like you said, your vanos unit is working fine.

    My opinion of this problem again seems to be related to high temperatures and overheating, not good for anything in the engine. There is also speculation that high mileage very worn engines are having top end oil pressure issues that could cause the same problems.

    You answered your own question though. If it isn't broken why fix it? when and if, and in my opinion that is a very big if, especially if you have maintained your car to the high level you discussed, if your vanos unit fails, worry about it then.

    Relax, take a drive and enjoy! :cool:
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    330indy1

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    How often do you change your oil??

    I think it is oil-change-interval related, with all that I have read at e46fanatics and Roadfly.

    It is a long tired topic. One notable BMW tech always brings it back to the OCI.
    D-Vanos runs off of oil pressure from the main oil pump in the M54 in particular and anything that compromises it (sludge, dirt, buildup) will negatively impact d-vanos performance and reliability.

    (in contrast the S54 for example has a dedicated high pressure pump for the d-vanos, but clean oil is still a must here also)

    sleonard guest

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    Thanks

    Thanks for replies.

    I have the oil changed at the dealer every 7500 miles with the 5-30 synthetic.

    Car runs well. Gotta love those inline sixes. i just had the complete BWM brake job done at dealer (new rotors and pads, and flush). Car feels like brand new. 5 speed manual was flushed every 30k.

    I can't belive this car is almost 8 years old. I like the new 135 and 335 but am a bit concerned about the oil temp. However I reallly like these and may take the plunge with 335 coupe + Dinan cooler. My dealer is a Dinan center.

    sleonard guest

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    VaNOS pressure line

    Had the car in for service at 111,000 SA said VANOS oil line leaking. They replaced line. I noticed slight improvement in low end performance.

    I am surprised they did not mention VANOS replacement. With this many miles I wonder how much longer till I need to refurb or replace VANOS unit?:confused:
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    330indy1

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    Fresh oil + lots of revs

    Just keep changing that oil & do the Italian tuneups. Sometimes babying these cars is not good in respect to not revving the gunk out of them. Have fun
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    sunnyandrich

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    Well, I'm of the opinion that if you don't have any symptoms, you probably ought to "turn up the radio" as my father (RIP) used to say. :)

    No, seriously, the kit for double VANOS at $65 seems reasonable, since they appear to use a better material (Viton vs. BUNA) for the seals. The DIY does not appear too bad, just a little more involved than replacing the valve cover gasket.

    In my case, at 69K miles, I have some slight hesitation through 4K but not enough to worry about yet.

    I also use an OCI of about 5K miles, and have always used BMW OEM 5W-30 synthetic.

    Which I buy at my local dealer with my BMW CCA discount, of course.:D
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    330indy1

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    isn't that a particular zhp issue? "the zhp 4k flat spot"
    ?
    have you had software updates?
    • Member

    udokoehler

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    have any of you ever check your DSO valves - three bolts, and i think 1 electrical connection. it goes in the intake - its not called out in any manual to inspect. google it and check out the location - pull it out - check for play in the valve - if you have play repace it - part cost is about $200 - idle fixed, low end power replaced.

    agabriel guest

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    The VANOS in my '00 328Ci needed to be replaced and I wasn't losing alot of power at the time either, but my idle during warm up was extremely rough and I had 20% hit on fuel mileage. A word of advice if you live in a cold environment, and decide to replace or update your VANOS, you should also replace the oil circulating valve with the cold version of the part. The week mine froze (6 months after replacing the VANOS) there were around 13 other e46s at the shop also getting repaired.

    Anthony
    • Member

    327350

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    It's not the oil circulating valve you're talking about

    I could be wrong but I believe you are referring to the oil separator that BMW engines are equipped with. BMW has a cold climate version of it and it's a good idea to get one if one lives above the Mason-Dixon line.

    I live in Houston so there's no worries about freezing oil separators but we do have failures due to sludge plugging them up. I actually ran some Seafoam through my separator and it probably helped melt some of that goo and flush it into the crankcase. I Seafoam the the separator right before I change the oil. It's a do it at your own risk sort of thing. However,for me,at 120k, all is well.

    Do a google image search of bmw oil separator and you'll see the little trouble maker naked as a jay bird, ie not buried on your engine. Cheers!
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    MrMaico

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    Is there any sort of consensus on how low of a temp you can go with the warm climate version of the separator before you might have problems? I recently bought a 330Ci ZHP in Vegas but live in North Dakota. I don't plan to drive it much in winter but you never know......nice day.....dry roads.:D

    Barry

    agabriel guest

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    My understanding is that its a combination of age aka sludge in the part, and temperature. Mine failed around 110k and the mech said that was in the middle of the failures he had seen.
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    MrMaico

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    Thanks, from the limited reading I've done about the issue I had assumed it was more temp related than age related. I'm at 73,000 now. I suppose I should just change it out for the cold weather version but it sounded like a pain in the butt to get at. Is it as hard to change as I've been lead to believe?

    Thanks again....Barry

    agabriel guest

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    The gentlemen that changed mine typically likes to do them at the same time the VANOs fails; My VANOs failed 10k miles before the valve and its only a few extra minutes of work to swap them both over at the same time.

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