Since 1992, BMWs have used the VANOS system for their engines. The VANOS is an acronym that means “Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung” which simply translates to variable camshaft timing or Variable valve timing. Just like humans exhale and inhale, the variable valve timing system does similar work for an automotive car but with the use of valves. It improves the timing of valve opening and shutting for a variety of engine speeds.

When a variable valve system breaks down, the entire system may be jeopardized, resulting in intake and exhaust valves opening and closing at inconvenient times.

How does the VANOS system work?

Almost every carmaker has developed a version of variable valve timing. As the speed of your BMW changes, the VANOS system shifts between the engine’s cam gear and cam, adjusting the pace at which gasoline enters the engine. The gear pulls back while the engine of your car is resting. The cup moves further into the gear as the RPM rises, adjusting the intake valve timing. As a result, the intake and exhaust systems overlap, allowing gas from the exhaust to recycle and minimize emission levels while the car is moving. The solenoid closes and the cup retracts as your car accelerates into faster RPM levels, reducing overlap and focusing on maximum power.

What causes the VANOS system to fail?

Even though the VANOS system isn’t extremely intricate, any unit with seals and mechanical components will eventually wear out. The VANOS system controls the amount of motor oil that reaches the cam gears. It accomplishes this by utilizing solenoids.

Since solenoids are used so frequently, they are prone to wear and strain. Because VANOS has such a significant effect on engine performance, any problems will almost always result in poor drivability.

Telltale Symptoms of a Failing VANOS System

The disadvantage of this system of your BMW is that if it fails, you will notice it. A malfunctioning VANOS system will result in a significant drop in performance. However, this deterioration may be modest and gradual, making it difficult to detect.

  • Power Loss: Because the VANOS system improves the power produced by your car engine, when it is underperforming, your engine’s power production will be lowered.
  • Rough Idling: If the VANOS system fails, your vehicle will travel significantly less smoothly. Rough Idling is also a possibility. You can detect this when your RPMs fall what is expected of your car.
  • Cold Start Issues: A cold start occurs when you power an engine, and the oil as well as the coolant are at room temperature. Although this is fairly common in cars, with a defective VANOS system, it will be much more difficult to get your BMW to start.
  • Gas Mileage is Reduced: The VANOS system is in charge of maximizing the efficiency of every component it interacts with. Your BMW engine will not run at optimum levels if it isn’t operating properly, and this might result in increased fuel consumption. After accelerating, the engine becomes sluggish. When you accelerate, your engine works the hardest. Because the VANOS system makes this easier by ensuring flawless timing, the engine would not be capable of regulating its timing accurately if the VANOS system isn’t operating. This usually results in a sudden drop in power and a sluggish engine after acceleration.
  • Fault Code Generation: The VANOS unit in the onboard computer of your BMW is likely to detect the overall decrease in engine performance and output error codes. The computer will most likely turn on the Engine Management Light (EML) if the situation grows severe.
  • Delay in Cold Weather: If your VANOS system fails over the winter, you might expect an increase in stalling and a disagreeable engine system.

Euroservice Automotive for Your BMW

Bring your BMW to our automotive specialist if your BMW Engine Management Light VANOS isn’t working properly in your BMW or if you suspect a solenoid needs to be replaced. Whether you are in Bristow, Gainesville, Haymarket, Manassas, or Warrenton, place a call to us to schedule an appointment! Our technicians at Euroservice Automotive are certified to repair your BMW and restore it to like-new condition. Call us today! We look forward to earning your business.

* BMW Car image credit goes to: vesilvio.

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