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VANOS Pressure Valve and Filter Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

VANOS Pressure Valve and Filter Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$260

Talent:

***

Tools:

22mm wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Coupe/Conv (2006)

Parts Required:

VANOS pressure valve, filter, O-rings

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Remedy fault codes and restore engine performance

Complementary Modification:

Replace in pairs

To improve engine breathing at a variety of rpms, thus improving fuel efficiency, emissions and power, BMW engines are designed with VANOS, an acronym based on the German words VAriable NOckenwellenSteuerung or variable camshaft timing. Though a number of VANOS systems have been designed and implemented, the basic principle behind all of them is the need to change the relative timing between intake and exhaust valve opening. The VANOS actuator on each camshaft is supplied with engine oil under pressure; a solenoid controlled by the engine control module (ECM) retards or advances camshaft timing by modifying the supply of pressurized oil to the VANOS actuator.

Intake valves:

  • Retarded during idle, improves smoothness of idle.
  • Advanced during part-throttle acceleration, improves torque and emissions.
  • Retarded at full-throttle, improves high power production.

Exhaust valves:

  • Retarded during deceleration so that more exhaust can stay and mix with the cylinder charge, thus diluting the mixture, lowering combustion temperature and reducing NOx in the exhaust. This is similar to the effect of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).
  • Advanced during warm-up phase in order to allow rapid warm-up and more efficient operation of catalytic converters.

BMW S54 engines utilize one main VANOS (variable camshaft timing) solenoid, mounted to the front of cylinder head. They are responsible for direct oil flow to the VANOS actuator and can become restricted over time on high mileage engines. The pressure relief valve filter can become restricted with debris, causing issues with the VANOS system. Pressure may vary causing rough idling, hard start and maybe VANOS noise.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

BMW S54 engines utilize one main VANOS (variable camshaft timing) solenoid, mounted to the front of cylinder head.
Figure 1

BMW S54 engines utilize one main VANOS (variable camshaft timing) solenoid, mounted to the front of cylinder head. They are responsible for direct oil flow to the VANOS actuator and can become restricted over time on high mileage engines. The pressure relief valve (red arrow) filter can be come restricted with debris, causing issues with the VANOS system. Pressure may vary causing rough idling, hard start and maybe VANOS noise.

Using a 22mm wrench, loosen the VANOS pressure relief valve (red arrow).
Figure 2

Using a 22mm wrench, loosen the VANOS pressure relief valve (red arrow).

Unscrew and remove the pressure relief valve (red arrow) from the VANOS unit.
Figure 3

Unscrew and remove the pressure relief valve (red arrow) from the VANOS unit.

Once removed, you can replace the sealing O-rings (blue arrows) and the filer (red arrow).
Figure 4

Once removed, you can replace the sealing O-rings (blue arrows) and the filer (red arrow). Be careful not to damage the spacer (purple arrow) when removing the O-rings.

Using a dull pick, remove the sealing O-rings (blue arrow).
Figure 5

Using a dull pick, remove the sealing O-rings (blue arrow). The external O-ring (red arrow) has already been removed. Note orientation of the spacer (purple arrow) when removing the O-rings.

Using pliers, pop the filter off the end of the pressure relief valve.
Figure 6

Using pliers, pop the filter off the end of the pressure relief valve.

Install the new filter onto the pressure relief valve.
Figure 7

Install the new filter onto the pressure relief valve. The filter should snap onto the end. If it doesn't fit tight, flip it over, you may have the wrong end. The end that connects to the valve has the smaller opening (blue arrow). Install the new O-rings and reverse steps to install. When done, check and top up the engine oil level.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 03:04:55 AM