Things to Know About Vanos Repair in BMWs

by wp_germanmotorspb April 1, 2019


If you’re confused about what VANOS is—much less how to repair it—you’re not alone! The VANOS system is probably one of the least talked about aspects of your BMW, but it’s definitely still important. That’s why, in this article, we’ll explore what the VANOS system is, how it works, and what you need to know about its care and repair.

So, what is VANOS?

The German term for it is “Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung,” or, as we would put it, “variable lift and timing system.” It’s technology developed by BMW for BMWs. Your car needs it because it adjusts the timing of your valves by changing the position of the camshaft in relation to your drive gear. Basically, it works together with your camshaft and exhaust valves to make your car run more smoothly. That might not sound too important, but it’s something you’ll miss as soon as it stops working. That’s because a clogged or malfunctioning VANOS system can produce a significantly noticeable change in your BMW’s horsepower and overall performance.

What Causes VANOS to Stop Working?

Like many other integral parts of your vehicle, your VANOS system can malfunction due to the normal wear and tear of frequent driving. So, as long as you drive your BMW regularly, you’re likely to experience some type of malfunction with VANOS. However, the good news is that there are some things you can do to keep your VANOS healthy. Because It works closely with your exhaust valves and camshaft, VANOS is dependent on high levels of oil pressure. The higher the oil pressure, the better VANOS can run. By changing your oil every 5000 miles or so and using only clean, synthetic oil, you can keep your VANOS healthy for a long time to come.

What Happens if it Stops Working?

If your VANOS begins to malfunction, here are some symptoms you’ll notice:

  • Engine hesitation
  • Rough idling
  • Poor fuel economy (increased fuel consumption)
  • Noisy engine
  • Increased oil usage
  • Engine surging
  • Increased appearance of engine fault codes
  • Your engine consistently falls into limp mode after acceleration

In short, a malfunctioning VANOS system slows your entire car down, making it herky-jerky and dependent on guzzling gas. And while they may not be show-stopping issues, none of these are particularly fun for you or your BWM. Even worse, they all have the potential to create bigger problems down the line, problems that will require heavy maintenance. That’s why it’s important to understand the significance of a malfunctioning VANOS system and what to do when it happens.

How Do I Fix It?

Unfortunately, the simple answer is that you don’t—and neither should your average local mechanic. Because VANOS is unique to the BMW, it’s best not to attempt repairing it yourself (unless you already happen to be a trained BWM mechanic). Likewise, any other typical mechanic is unlikely to have sufficient experience in repairing them. Improper repair could lead to the creation of new problems, and then you’re in even more trouble! Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, trust your car to someone who has experience, who specializes in German-engineered automotives. Someone like German Motors and Imports.

With over 50 years of experience, our family-run business specializes in quality care for imported vehicles, providing you with BMW Vanos Repair the precision and accuracy you’ve come to love in your German car. We’re passionate about improvement, so our staff regularly attends training classes to learn more about becoming the best in diagnostics and repair. And in turn, we use that knowledge to work with you on identifying and solving any problem your vehicle may have.

We are convenient to those located in San Diego, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Clairemont. With experience in servicing Mercedes, Porsches, Audis, Volkswagens, BMWs, and Minis, we’re confident we can give your BMW the quality care it deserves. If you suspect your BMW may be having VANOS problems, call or stop by German Motors and Imports today to speak with a representative about setting up an appointment. Our expert service technicians are ready and waiting to get your car back to peak operating efficiency so it can get back out on the road where it belongs.

* BMW M2 image credit goes to: teddyleung.