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Signs of VANOS System Failure in BMWs

Signs of VANOS System Failure in BMWs

The reason why BMW is so well-regarded for the incredible driving and handling of their cars is largely thanks to their unique VANOS system. This high-tech part achieves what was thought impossible. It gives you the best of both worlds: smooth driving and increased power. The only true drawback to this part is when it fails, you notice it. A failed VANOS unit will contribute to a drastic decline in performance. Therefore, it is important you look after your BMW’s VANOS system and keep an eye out for the early signs of failure.

VANOS

VVT units exist in many modern cars, but the VANOS system is unique to BMW cars and is the manufacturer’s rendition of this common part. BMW was one of the pioneers of VVT, and their first VANOS system was released in 1992. This changed the high-performance driving game for ever. Engine performance was dramatically increased through the reflexive manipulation of the intake and exhaust valves. Added bonuses were smooth idling and increased torque, which led to an all-round improvement in power, performance, and handling.

Additionally, the VANOS system can also regulate the flow of engine oil that the cam gears receive. It does this using solenoids, and this ensures that timing adjustments are made with the maximum level of precision. There are currently three types of VANOS systems: Single VANOS (1992 to 2002), Double VANOS (1999 to 2010), and Double VANOS with Valvetronic (2004 to 2015). So the age of your BMW will directly impact which type of VANOS system your vehicle uses.

Signs of VANOS System Failure

As previously mentioned, an overall decline in your BMW’s performance will likely indicate an underperforming VANOS unit. However, this decline may be subtle and happen over time, making it hard to notice. So, keep an eye out for the following signs:

1. Loss of Torque/Power

As the VANOS system boosts the power and torque created by your engine, if it is under performing, the power and torque output that your engine can achieve will be reduced.

2. Engine Hesitation When at Low RPM

Low RPM commonly occurs when idling, such as when in traffic or waiting at an intersection. When the VANOS system is lacklustre, the engine’s timing won’t be precisely regulated, resulting in both power loss and engine hesitation at low RPM.

3. Rough Idle

One of the great things about the VANOS system is how smoothly it makes your VANOS drive. Therefore, it’s common sense to expect that when the VANOS system becomes sub par, your car will drive much less smoothly. Also, rough idling is likely to occur.

4. Reduced Gas Mileage

The VANOS system is responsible for getting the very best in efficiency out of every part it interacts with. When it isn’t working properly, your engine won’t function at peak levels, which can result in increased fuel consumption.

5. Cold Start Problems

Many cars can struggle with cold starts, but add in a faulty VANOS system, and it’s likely you’ll find it much harder to wake up your BMW.

6. Stalling in Cold Weather

On a similar note, when winter hits and your VANOS system isn’t working, you can expect an increase rate of stalling and an unhappy, uncooperative engine system.

7. Generation of Fault Codes

Your BMW’s onboard computer (ECU) is likely to pick up on the overall reduction in engine performance and may generate error codes pertaining to the VANOS unit. If the problem becomes severe, the ECU will likely trigger the Engine Management Light (EML or check engine light).

8. Engine Goes Limp After Accelerating

Your engine works hardest when it accelerates. As the VANOS system helps make this easier by making sure timing is perfect, when the VANOS system is not operational, the engine will not be able to correctly regulate its timing. This typically results in a sharp decline in power post-acceleration and a limp engine.

You Can Rely on Us

Here at Turning Wrenches of BMW VANOS System Repair Louisville, KY, we’re eager to help the BMW drivers with their VANOS problems. We want you to experience the very best that your BMW can offer, and we’ll make sure any problem we find is addressed and repaired to the highest standards. We look forward to speaking with you about your BMW and getting you back on the road safely and efficiently. Call us today to schedule an appointment or consultation.

* BMW 5-series Car image credit goes to: y_carfan.

Reasons Behind Crankshaft Position Sensor Failure in a Mercedes

Reasons Behind Crankshaft Position Sensor Failure in a Mercedes

The crankshaft position sensor is an important measurement tool that is essential in all modern combustion engines, including your Mercedes. It is needed to monitor the speed of rotation and the position of the crankshaft. It sends the information it collects to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) which is the main computer onboard your Mercedes.

The data given by the crankshaft position sensor allows the ECU to make alterations as needed to ensure your Mercedes achieves high-level performance. This means that accurate information regarding the crankshaft position and speed is essential for maintaining good engine management and timing. Ultimately, when the crankshaft position sensor fails, the engine is unable to run correctly if at all.

The crankshaft position sensor rarely fails without warning. There are usually some signs and symptoms that occur which can make you suspicious. Let’s learn more about this important sensor, why it fails, and how you can tell if failure has occurred.

How the Crankshaft Position Sensor Works

Located next to the flywheel ring gear, the crankshaft sensor can come in 2 different variants. Your Mercedes will either use an inductive sensor or a hall generator. These two forms work by altering magnetic fields using the ring gears rotational movement. The magnetic field which is created is used to form a range of voltage signals which are then picked up and used by the ECU.

Reasons Behind Crankshaft Position Sensor Failure

As the crankshaft position sensor is an electronic component, the reasons why it fails largely follows the same reasons as the other electronic systems of your Mercedes:

  • short circuits
  • faulty wiring
  • wiring short circuits
  • damaged or cut wiring
  • damaged encoder wheel
  • metal abrasion causing soiling and contamination

How to Tell if your Mercedes has a Faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor

There are 3 key signs which can indicate imminent failure of the crankshaft position sensor. Remember, without a working sensor, your Mercedes is unlikely to go anywhere at all, so watch for the early warning signs below.

Starting Troubles

As the crankshaft position sensor helps regulate the timing of your Mercedes’ engine, when it starts to fail, you will likely notice starting your car successfully first time around starts to become a rarity. Without the data provided by the crankshaft position sensor, your ECU is left guessing. This can create a chain reaction that has all your engine systems running out of sync with one another, which will cause a false start. As the problem progresses, your vehicle may reach a point where it is simply unable to start.

Intermittent Stalling

If your Mercedes stalls intermittently, then the crankshaft position sensor may be on the fritz. This is commonly caused by issues with the sensor’s external wiring and not with the sensor module itself. When the wiring is damaged, the connection between the sensor and the ECU becomes spotty, despite the sensor working perfectly. This will result in your Mercedes performing normally and then suddenly and intermittently stalling when the connection between the two parts is lost. This issue should be resolved as soon as possible because any rogue element that makes your vehicle unpredictable is an accident waiting to happen.

Engine Management Light

The check engine light, otherwise known as the Engine Management Light or EML, can be triggered by the ECU whenever an issue with the engine is detected. This can range from low-level issues such as a loose gas cap to more severe problems, such as catalytic converter failure. As a failing crankshaft position sensor throws the engine’s timing into dysregulation, it can cause the ECU to trigger the engine management light. This will then send out a relevant error code which can be diagnosed by a professional mechanic. This light is meant to safeguard the health of your engine and should never be ignored.

Turning Wrenches

At Turning Wrenches of Louisville, KY, we are Mercedes Crankshaft Check passionate about auto repairs and servicing. We have a hardworking team of mechanics who will work diligently to fix the problem with your Mercedes, be it the crankshaft position sensor failure, or other unrelated problems. So, for trustworthy repairs and great customer service, look no further than Turning Wrenches. Our dedicated customer service team is ready and waiting to take your call.

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