BMW has always pushed the envelope in technology and innovation in the automobile industry. The VANOS system is unique to the BMW engine and was developed by BMW in 1992. As brilliant as this feature is, a faulty VANOS could cause a loss of horsepower, among other problems. It is important to know how to identify VANOS problems so that you can seek expert help and avoid a bigger issue.
What is the VANOS system?
The Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung (VANOS) is a variable valve timing technology developed by BMW. It has been included in BMWs since production in 1993. There are three major versions of the system: the Single VANOS, the Double VANOS, and the Double VANOS with Valvetronic.
The VANOS gives the car better power and range. It does this by being able to variably adjust valve timing. This system is an important component of the vehicle’s engine computer system. If the VANOS System is faulty, it will affect the overall functioning of the vehicle. The same can be said for when the solenoids are dirty, clogged, or faulty it will affect the overall horsepower, performance, and driveability of your vehicle.
The complexity of the VANOS system is best understood by a professional mechanic who is trained in BMWs. However, as a BMW owner, you should have some knowledge of this system, too. Below are several symptoms that your vehicle will display that should give you a heads up that something is amiss.
Symptoms of a Bad BMW VANOS System
If you notice that your BMW is not performing optimally, it is best to take your vehicle into a repair center. Some of the symptoms you can look out for are:
- loss of power and torque
- engine hesitation when pressing the gas pedal
- a rough idle, identified by shaking and bouncing sensation when the vehicle is in park, when you’re driving, or when you stop at a traffic light
- inconsistent idle
- the increased fuel consumption or poor fuel economy
- problems starting the car in cold weather
- check engine light illumination
- engine constantly falls into limp mode after acceleration
- problems with the computer after acceleration
- a decrease in the overall driveability
When to Replace a Bad VANOS System
Often, it is difficult to detect an issue with the VANOS until it is too late. Fortunately, there are a few mileage indicators that you can use as a guide. When reaching these mileages you should get your vehicle serviced and repaired.
- 50,000 Miles: At this mark, your VANOS seals will most likely be worn out. You might not notice any issues at this stage. However, it is still advisable to get your car serviced at this point.
- 70,000 Miles: If you did not get the VANOS repaired or replaced at 50,000 miles, then you must get it done at 70K. Your seals will now be worn out and you will notice that your car will have significantly less power in the lower ranges.
When you replace your Vanos you will have the following noticeable positive changes:
- increase in lower range power
- improved your fuel efficiency by a significant amount
- rough idling will no longer be an issue
Hagan’s Motor Pool Repairs VANOS
None of us want to spend money unnecessarily. So if you don’t notice any issue with your car, you surely don’t want to take it to a repair center. However, it is highly recommended that you get the seals replaced at 50,000 miles and the whole system checked around 70,000 miles if not sooner as symptoms progress.
The VANOS system is an integral part of your engine, and you need your BMW services by professionals who have an in-depth understanding of your BMW model’s inner workings. As the leading German vehicle repair specialist, your BMW will be safe in our hands.
We understand your VANOS system and know exactly how to detect when there is an issue. Call us today at (603) 332-6822 and our friendly staff and expert mechanics are here to help you no matter what you need!
* BMW Car image credit goes to: kurmyshov.