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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 Your BMW’s Check Engine Light Activating

Reasons Behind Your BMW’s Check Engine Light Activating

All vehicles are incredibly complex machines, especially those which have been intelligently engineered and thoughtfully designed, such as BMW. Because of this, your car has a variety of systems in place to protect you and your car from the effects of severe part failure. One such system is the check engine warning light. Below, you can find out how the light works as well as the types of part failure which can cause it to illuminate.

What is the check engine light?

The Engine Management Light (EML) or check engine light is a warning indicator which is found on your BMW’s dashboard. It will illuminate when more severe issues are detected in your vehicle’s systems or parts which work with the engine and the connecting exhaust systems.

The engine management light connects directly to your BMW’s main computer, which is known as the ECU or Engine Control Unit. If the ECU detects an issue in one of the aforementioned systems, it will trigger the check engine light and send out an error code. This can be used to correctly diagnose and repair the problem.

How a driver should immediately respond to the EML depends on the severity of the issue. If the car still feels like its running fine, then lower your speed and drive it directly to a professional repair shop. However, if the EML lights up red or your car no longer feels safe, then pull over and call for a recovery vehicle to tow you to a repair shop.

Common Reasons Why the Check Engine Light may Illuminate

There are many reasons why this essential warning light may illuminate. Below, we have listed some of the most common reasons, how risky they are for your car, and how you should respond.

Vacuum Hose Leaks

Damage Level: Low
Response: Lower your speed and locate the nearest auto shop.

Vacuum hoses are needed to channel both fresh air as well as emissions around the engine to allow it to run correctly. They’re made of rubber and can be exposed to high temperatures inside the engine which can lead to them cracking or deteriorating over time. When this happens, the precise balance of gases can be thrown off-kilter, leading to the engine’s sensors reporting issues to the ECU.

Loose Filler Cap

Damage Level: Low
Response: Check the cap and replace as needed.

This issue is most commonly caused by drivers being distracted at the pumps and not correctly tightening their fuel cap. A loose cap allows extra air into the tank which distripts the pressure. This will cause one of the many sensors to detect an issue and inform the ECU. This is the most simple and most common cause for check engine light illumination and should always be ruled out first.

Fuel Pump Blockage

Damage Level: Medium
Response: Lower your speed and locate the nearest auto shop.

The fuel pump is what provides pressurized fuel to the fuel injectors. If the pump isn’t working correctly, then the fuel will not be able to be properly delivered to the engine, causing rough running. The engine light will be illuminated by the ECU and your BMW will likely be at an increased risk of misfires.

Soot on the Particulate Filter

Damage Level: High
What to do: Lower your speed and locate the nearest auto shop, or call for a tow.

The particulate filter is most commonly found in diesel models, but it is being introduced into gasoline cars too. The particulate filter is responsible for capturing the soot which is produced by the combustion process. If this filter becomes clogged, then this soot will settle inside the engine and start to contaminate the delicate parts inside. This issue needs to be resolved quickly as if the filter becomes damaged beyond repair, you are likely to be footing an expensive bill.

Turning Wrenches

Turning Wrenches of Louisville, KY are experts in BMW Particulate Filter Issue repairing, servicing, and maintaining European vehicles. We are open Monday through Friday to serve you. Our dedicated team will be able to diagnose and respond to your BMW’s issue quickly, efficiently, and affordably. Our friendly team is dedicated to making sure you drive away happy and safely. We are so confident in what we do that we offer a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty as a guarantee on our work. Call us today or stop by to speak to our technicians.

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Dear Valued Customers,

After conferring with State and local officials and based on the relatively small number of personal interactions involved in our daily operation we have decided to continue to function and will be open regular hours. We have taken aggressive measures to sanitize surfaces that are prone to human touch and will do so on a continuing basis. In addition we will make certain that as we interface with you at the counter, handle your keys, answer questions and clean your car and take payment we will maintain proper distance and sanitize the touch points in your car. We are committed to your safety and well being and will comply with any restrictions imposed by authorities.

We are here to support all of our clients as best we can for as long as we can. Don't hesitate to call the shop with questions.

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