What is BMW’s VANOS?

What is VANOS?

VANOS is a German abbreviation for an engine technology which was designed to enhance the efficiency of BMW intake performance via variable camshaft timing. This bit of technology is responsible for streamlining engine timing by opening intake valves more efficiently, altering camshaft and drive gear position. Essentially it is a form of variable-valve timing technology very similar to what you would find in the famous V-TEC system Honda had developed.

VANOS was first introduced in 1992 on the BMW M50 engine used in 3 and 5 Series. Since then the VANOS technology has been present in every modern BMW to this day. If you own a BMW, chances are that your vehicle’s engine also was equipped with a form of the VANOS system.

While the VANOS unit was a monumental achievement technologically for BMW, it isn’t without its fair share of known and documented issues. Knowing when to have a VANOS issue inspected by a certified BMW technician is critical to your BMW’s reliability.

What are some signs that my BMW’s VANOS needs to be serviced or repaired?

It is critical to remain aware of your BMW’s daily performance so that you can pick up on possible VANOS issues sooner rather than later. These are just a few of the signs to look out for that indicate a failing VANOS system:

  • Rough engine idle
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Low engine response and performance
  • Check-engine light
  • Engine misfiring
  • Check Engine Light present on dash

What are some ways I can keep my BMW from having VANOS problems?

While VANOS problems are the most common among modern BMW’s, there are ways in which you can extend the life of your VANOS system and its VANOS solenoids. Saving you both time and money down the road.

The oil seals within the Vanos system are a known point of failure; they will often become dry and no longer maintain a proper seal. When oil changes are kept to a strict routine, no more than 5,000 miles between oil services,  it maintains the proper amount of fresh new oil within the system to keep those seals properly lubricated.

Furthermore when oil changes are kept on a frequent basis that also allows a BMW technician to perform a multi-point inspection of the whole vehicle, including the VANOS unit. At Eurofed Automotive we offer courtesy multi-point inspections on every vehicle we service. If your BMW is showing signs of failure within its VANOS system, It’s recommended to have your BMW diagnosed by one of our certified mechanics.

If you would like a quote on a VANOS problem diagnostic or repair, Contact your local Eurofed automotive to learn more about our services.  

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