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BMW E90 E91 E92 E93 Vanos Solenoid Replacement 325i 335i 328i 330i N52K N54

A faulty Vanos solenoid valve is a fairly common occurrence on just about any modern BMW.  Faulty or a contaminated Vanos solenoid can cause rough engine running characteristics, a check engine light and/or low engine power.  Early E90 and E60 models had a problem with the Vanos solenoids due to oil sludge contamination.  To deal with the contamination issue BMW changed the software, new version of the ECU software has a special Vanos solenoid cleaning cycle.  Models that may have an issue due to the contaminated solenoids are E90 3-Series and E60 5-Series with N52 Engine.  On those models Vanos solenoids should be removed, blown out with compressed air and reinstalled.  ECU should be reprogrammed with the new software.  All other models with N52KP and N54 Engine as well as E83, E85 and E86 with N52 engine should have the solenoids replaced if a fault code is present in the ECU.  Another issue that can cause Vanos faults is a worn out camshaft bearing ledge.  If replacing the solenoids doesn't fix the issue, valve cover should be removed and camshaft bearing ledge should be inspected.  The bearing ledge is not a very expensive part but to replace it you will need a lot of special tools.  The job is also fairly labor intensive.  

Replacing or cleaning Vanos solenoids is a very simple job.  The thing that you should watch out for is mixing up the electrical connectors if you are replacing both solenoids.  I recommend replacing / cleaning one solenoid at a time.  This project was done on a 2007 BMW 328xi with N52K engine, on N54 the air box air scoop will have to be removed  as well as the ignition coil cover for easier access to the solenoids.  On N52K there is enough clearance to get the Vanos solenoids out without removing anything.

1.  Here is a picture of the solenoid valves.  The one at the top is for the intake camshaft the one at the bottom is for the exhaust.

BMW E90 Intake and Exhaust Vanos Solenoids

2.  Using a 10mm socket remove the bolt that holds the Vanos solenoid in the cylinder head and pull it out.  Have a rag ready to catch any oil that spills out.

BMW E90 Removing Vanos Solenoid Valve

3.  Blow the solenoid out with compressed air if have the N52 engine or replace it if you have N52K or N54.  

BMW E90 Vanos Solenoid Vanve Removed.

4.  Insert the solenoid valve back into the cylinder head and torque the bolt to 9Nm.  

5.  Reset the ECU error codes.

A failed BMW Vanos solenoid will typically set the following error codes:

2A9A Intake cam sensor signal invalid for synchronization.

2A82 Intake Vanos stiff or mechanically jammed.

2A98 Intake camshaft to crankshaft correlation outside of reference range. 

2A9B Exhaust cam sensor signal invalid for synchronization.

2A99 Exhaust camshaft to crankshaft correlation outside of reference range.

2A87 Exhaust Vanos stiff or mechanically jammed.


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