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  1. #221
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    Re: 99 328i M52 - Vanos and oil level light

    Thanks that is great info... One more question, when can we buy a Vanos unit? are they only avalable through the dealer?


  2. #222
    Evan Webb
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    Re: 6-cyl double vanos problem assessment

    99 528i sport same problem. Any word yet what BMW plans to do about it? Evan Webb

  3. #223
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    Bad as it sounds, BMW never will fix this..

    unless we prove that emissions or the safety of the car are being affected. I will explain later why we never will do this. Another way would be to get a sticker campaign going ("ask me about the idle problem on my BMW"), but who wants to admit a problem with their 40K automobile by advertising this?

    Believe me, BMW knows all this too. They see 1999 & 2000 Beemers as a source of repair revenue only.... all the execs and other important mucky-mucks who push their image already drive E60s now (my apologies to the mucks who may still own the vastly more beautiful E39... you're not mucky-mucks in my eyes for that reason alone). This problem is a $1000 a pop revenue source too!

    Now for the emissions rationale:

    There's no Vanos related emmissions problems that tie to the cold-start stall issue. How do I know this? The sheer volume of complaints have alerted them to this. They've researched it, found the exact problem and also found that it doesn't affect emmissions or vehicle safety. IMO there are no emssions issues or BMW would've issued the recall already as required by law. Heck, we know they know all about this problem because they fixed it.

    So, what then? Develop a Vanos fix ourselves and distribute it obviously. Improved Vanos piston assemblies and possibly solenoid cutout devices are the way to do it. Make the fix available here and on other BMW enthusiast sites. We should devote our energies to this for the good of the community that loves the E39 in all its configurations.

    (3-series owners are free to help too of course) :D

  4. #224
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    BMW called

    To help understand this, I’ll call the rep we’d been working with #1, and the next two reps #2 and #3 respectively.

    #2 called me about 3 weeks ago. It was simply a pr call in response to the post. He said #1 was on extended vacation, but that he had received our last emails before he left. He said #1 is the best individual to deal with regarding our issue. #1 seems to hold a unique position and has the best contact and leverage with engineering. As was expected #1 had been pushing for this issue to be addressed. #2 said BMW is a behemoth and it was hard to get them to take on an issue. I told him I suspected there is a policy to address problems with new designs for new models and to not rework old designs. He was very understanding and said he would try to push for us, but it seemed evident there wasn’t much he could do.

    I called #2 two weeks ago (~1 week after call) and left a message requesting he provide info on the material composition of the O-rings.

    I received a call from #3 a few days ago. He said #2 was not available. He had a message for me from someone, I think from engineering. The message was simply a list:

    1. No further development will be done.
    2. Vanos had price reduced already.
    3. High mileage.
    4. Various factors: driving habits, quality of fuel, quality of oil.
    5. Seal ring cannot be taken apart and replaced and acquire same factory specification tightness.
    6. Ring might not be only reason for vanos unit to fail.

    I was upset. He said he was only a messenger. I responded to the points as follows:

    1. Regarding high mileage: The vast majority of repairs were done under the 50k mile warranty. The ones that weren’t were because the problem wasn’t understood and addressed while under warranty. I knew of no single case where a car owner didn’t having the problem. On the average vanoses were failing every two years. I asked if that was their definition of high mileage.
    2. Regarding oil change: Most of us were changing our oil every 5k miles with Mobile synthetic 5W30, instead of every 15k miles as per the onboard indicator.
    3. Regarding the seal ring: It was the only correct point. The seal rings can’t be removed and reinstalled. But that it wasn’t god who installed them in the first place. That new ones would be needed and could be installed just like in manufacturing.
    4. Regarding failure mode: If they didn’t think the seals were the only failure mode that they were welcome to share their diagnosis assessment. We had an expert look at the vanos and assess it was the inner O-rings.

    I wasn’t happy, and he got the message. He said he’d have his team lead contact me. I told him several times I wanted to speak with the person who wrote the list. I told him that the O-rings were probably made of an inferior material and that switching to a better material would resolve the problem. That several material options were available and that a manufacturer could turn it around in no time. He said he understood. I told him that we’d been at this for sometime now. I told him that we’d been dealing with #1 He was impressed we’d been working with #1. He said #1 was on vacation, as we’d heard before. I told him we wanted to know the material the o-rings were made of so we can acquire better ones.

    To me the message from BMW is clear and is denoted as the number 1 item in their list, “No further development will be done”. That’s tech speak for “the problem will not be addressed”.
    Rajaie
    528i 5sp 06/00

  5. #225
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    Re: 99 328i M52 - Vanos and oil level light


    As far as I know the vanos is only available from the dealer.
    If you replace your vanos, please consider donating your old one to me. I and others are attempting to assess finding replacements for the seals and could utilize a used vanos.
    Thanks.
    Rajaie
    528i 5sp 06/00

  6. #226
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    Sounds great. Any volunteers?

    Rajaie
    528i 5sp 06/00

  7. #227
    Blaumax
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    BMW should be concerned with resale value...

    The resale value of affected BMW models will be affected negatively if this problem becomes widely known amongst the general public. BMW is very aware that high resale values help owners trade in for new models. It would be in BMW's best interest to proactively address the Vanos issue.

  8. #228
    THD
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    Why?

    BMW makes money selling NEW cars and PARTS for used ones. As long as buyers line up to buy new cars, what do they care about the used market? BMW's depreciate like a rock anyway. If you want resale value buy Japanese.

  9. #229
    klw
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    Anticipated response :(

    We need to find a way to produce improved Vanos Piston assemblies. somehow. I'd also look into the solenoid cutout idea. This one shows much promise and could be an easy owner installation fix. I'd also add ambient temp to the cutout logic. Not hard to do. with a bit of fabrication, a small, self-contained unit could be inexpensively produced that would be hard-wired to initiate the cutout solenoid if ambient temp was below a threshold.

  10. #230
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    Same here: 1999 528IT & disgusted

    I have the same problem described to the dot. I am amazed and dismayed over BMW's lack of action. BMW apparently thinks by telling us "they are thinking" will settle us down is badly mistaken. I've seen and read too much engineering neglect to let this blow over on my next auto shopping. I thought about adding another BMW to my hobby collection. Even the possibility of buying a new Mini "s". However at this point, having read everything on this thread there will be no other BMW purchased in my house. I will keep and maintain the one I have as long as it's economically feasible then move on to a less troublesome but more responsible manufacturer.

    It seems that the German Auto manufacturers are dropping the ball across their entire productions. Stuff like the nikasil blocks, massive radiator failures and the ever pervasive vanos issue.

    I don't expect an all prepaid shop recall from BMW. But the least they can do to salvage the little faith we barely hold on is to issue a cheap but improved vanos kit to show their pride and care.

    I say to you people, vote with your money. BMW has no reason to change if you keep buying even after all this.

    Peter Landy,
    Schenectady, NY

  11. #231
    BigGuy
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    Sad to say, most users don't care or understand

    Peter, you are right, we should vote with our feet and go to other manufacturers. Unfortunately, you and the the other readers of this board are a select minority - a tiny subset of the car-buying public that is interested in technology and in knowing how their car works. The typical dipsh*t who buys a car in the US cares about style, color, and the monthly payment. A technical issue like failing O-rings is pretty low on his interest level, and is most likely above his intellectual level. And, if he will be dumping the car within 5 years and moving on, why the crap should he care about whether the VANOS will fail? It's a sad commentary on the American buying public.

  12. #232
    BigGuy
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    Can we make the connection to emissions?

    In my opinion, we need to make the connection between the failing VANOS units and emissions being out of specification. This is the only big stick that we have. Otherwise, BMWNA doesn't care if a tiny minority of customers checked into the technology and found it lacking (especially if those buyers are troublesome tecnogeeks who ask embarrassing questions). So what is 2% of the customers get disgusted and don't come back?

    A similar situation just occurred with Volvo. The ETM (throttle module) in 1999-2001 S70 and V70 cars failed regularly, but Volvo NA refused to make repairs. The replacement cost owners about $800. Finally NHSTA started receiving complaints of the ETM failing in dangerous places, like the freeway. Volvo NA just announced that they will repair the ETMs for free up to 200,000 miles. The similarity is that someone had to whack them over the head with a big stick to make them take responsibility for an engineering or materials flaw. Volvo NA is really arrogant and stingy - never again.

  13. #233
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    Re: Sad to say, most users don't care or understan

    Agreed. But we can contribute to a lower resale value by not buying their trade-ins. This will make 2-3 year traders think twice about buying on a lower resale values.

  14. #234
    chivas (SHUANG)
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    Anyone feel like stopping off at Park Ridge, NJ?


  15. #235
    Karmikan
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    Lost sale

    BMW's apparent dismissal of this (and other issues) has caused my wife and I to re-think our choice of her next car (about 2 months away). We'll be going for an Acura TSX rather than the previously-selected E90.

    Our rationale is that when buying a "premium" brand we have every right to expect premium service and support from the manufacturer. It appears to us that BMW is only minimally concerned with ensuring that their post-sale support is in line with their product pricing.

    When the time comes for me to replace my beloved E39, I will not consider a BMW at all.

    I sure wish that BMW expended as much effort in supporting their products as they do in bombarding me with expensive glossies, brochures and magazines. Pity.

  16. #236
    Tonger
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    Lucky Result?

    All,

    Not knowing anything about this Vanos discussion and having experienced the idle dip problem this winter, I dumped a large bottle of Techron in 3 straight tankfuls of gas thinking it might be dirty injectors or something. I can't explain why but my problem went away after that and I had no more problems with idle dip in cold weather. This might just be lucky or coincidence, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

    Tonger
    '99 528iT

  17. #237
    bimmerphile
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    Same here, Chevron Pro Gard cures funny idles

    Whenever my I6 starts to breathe strangely at idle, I use a bottle of Technron Pro Gard, maybe once very 6000 miles. Smooth driving all along.:-)

  18. #238
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    i wonder.......

    if someone prints this out and stands in front of BMW dealerships and hands them out with notes stating how BMWNA really doesn't care about any issues after the warrenty (or even while in warrenty for that matter), would BMWNA take a different stance. I know Suck Ave... i mean Park Ave. BMW is ranked second to last in NJ as far as BMW dealers go but if i was to stand on the street before people enter that dealer and hand out the flyers (perfectly legal), would their sale drop at all.

    i think BMW's future is to pray on uneducated owners out there and eventhough there is a heafty amount of members here and on other forums, there are more non-members on the road then there are here. with that being said, MB isn't any better however there are certain "status" symbols that certain people look for and they think BMW is one of them. how wrong they are.

    If we actually took at stand and handed out flyers to new buyers in front of the dealers (and it's not really their fault however they are, unforuntately, guilty by association since there are a few outstanding dealers) with websites to read up on how BMWNA has turned their backs to owners, do you think anything would change? anyone here in the media business can put a news clip to the national level about this?

    if one day (and god forbid this happens) a Vanos owner needs to rush to the hospital on a cold winter day. they hop in and start the car only to have it stall. every second they wait for the car to warm up or not to have it stall is every second a person is closer to death. will it take a certain situation like this to happen for BMWNA to say "yeah, we eff'ed up here".?

  19. #239
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    Any 01 530i with same problem?

    After reviewing this post, it seems to affect primarily 99-00 328i and 528i. Is there anyone out there that has experienced the same vanos problem in a 2001 530i?Ken
    85 524td
    95 325is

  20. #240
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    Not yet. Mine is also 01 530i, fingers crossed:-)


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