Saturday, October 11, 2014

VANOS service, with instructions, pictures and Video

Vanos Routine Maintenance
Code P0012
How and when to do Vanos Maintenance.  I typically perform this routine maintenance every 6 months.  Why? because sometimes little particles get stuck in the Vanos, and they prevent the Vanos from moving in or out freely.  This sometimes gives you a code of  P0012 or P1519. I have found that simply cleaning the Vanos will fix this code, and or prevents it.  Model year 2006 E90 BMW 330i, 

If you don't change the oil regularly on the car, little particles break off the oil filter, and they get stuck on the solenoid, thus giving you the "malfunctioning" Vanos, but really all you need is to clean it.  If you ever changed the oil filter on a BMW you know that sometimes the oil filter deteriorates under normal use and small particles separate from the oil filter, I believe it's the glue that holds the filter to the plastic housing... just my opinion, but I personally believe this is what makes the vanos fail, and of course "old" oil or a "foreign" particle will do the same.  

I was told by a BMW service guy, that some BMW owners, prefer to change the oil on their cars every 6,000 miles or 6 months instead of the 12-17,000 miles recommended by the in car computer, because they want to maintain their engine in top shape.  I personally prefer doing it every 6,000 miles to prevent the Vanos from sticking.  I am no expert, just my personal preference, I've changed the oil in my car before, after only 6,000 miles it looks pretty bad, so I speak from personal experience.  
Vanos:  BMW 330i 2006
 How to clean it:
Vanos Cleaning using Air gun


 How to remove the Vanos:

Note: There are 2 Vanos, side by side, one unplugged here. I removed the bolt, located in the top right of the picture. 

 I was told that both Vanos are exactly the same, I like to keep them in the same location when I remove them to do maintenance, just to be safe.


As you begin to pull the vanos out it will have some resistance, pull it straight out.  You may need a small flat screw driver to start it.



Don't forget the O-Ring it gets stuck inside sometimes


After Vanos removed, picture of inside the cylinder.







 Close up of Vanos







Note the Plastic O-Ring and the Hard Plastic Ring.


Bentley Publishers: 
Note: Caution: A Small amount of silicone introduced into VANOS actuator or solenoid can set faults.


 Intake (top) / Exhaust (Bottom) Vanos Solenoid
Intake (top) / Exhaust (Bottom) Vanos Solenoid


Not the exact one as my car, but you get the idea.  




 Special thanks to Bently Publishers, for the pictures.

 I hope this helps someone, good luck.

Side note: always change the oil filter with Original BMW oil filter, they do hold up better under normal use, and always use Synthetic oil.

BentleyPublishers.com :  BMW 3 Series Service Manual

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