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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 07-21-2004, 09:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Well i think the vanos unit IS bad. Is this a common problem ? or is this
a freak thing to go wrong? I tried bavarian auto they would have to order it and its 299 dollars! is there anywhere else to get this part?
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What makes you think your VANOS unit has failed? Need more info to help...

While it's not common, it does happen. As with any part, it can and does fail. Some at 80K and some at 200K.
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well i used the screwdriver as a stethoscope and put it on the vanos unit
cover and when you rev up the motor you hear a grinding noise, like two gears that arent inter- mingling
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, that sucks. I'm headed to the stealership in the morning, I will inquire as to the typical recomendations (i.e. repair vs. replacement) based on the info given.

Doesn't sound good, those little suckers aren't cheap. ghead ghead
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Old 07-22-2004, 10:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAP...sspagename=WDVW

heres a used one on ebay not sure if thats what you want
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Old 07-22-2004, 05:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As promised, I spoke with the service department at BMW, and this is what they told me.

A VANOS unit typically doesn't fail (didn't know that). It may stick in either the advanced or retarded position (did know that). A grinding noise is most likely a timing chain tensioner.

He went on to say that it is very likely that you could hear/feel this noise/vibration from using the "stethescope" method on the VANOS unit. He also mentioned that if your VANOS unit was giving problems you would certainly have a check engine light on, but you may not if a tensioner was going. Let's just hope that's the case.
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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okay thanks, so should i be driving my car or not?
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Old 07-22-2004, 08:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I wouldn't ignore the problem, that's for sure. I would take it to your mechanic as soon as possible, and let him diagnose the situation. I'm sure it will be fine to drive to the shop, as you haven't mentioned any check engine lights.

It could be a number of things, but based on what you described, the aforementioned is most likely the culprit. The only way to KNOW, is to have it looked at.

It may be expensive to fix, but ignoring the problem will ultimately be much more costly.
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