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The BMW M60 8 cylinder engine has received a lot of bad press over the years. It has been continually lambasted over problems with its Nikasil lined engine block. The Nikasil engine block has been often falsely accused for most of the rough idle issues with the M60 engine.
A dirty or malfunctioning BMW M60 idle control valve will cause a rough idling engine, especially when the motor is cold.
The facts are there are many other components that can cause a rough idle in the M60 engine other than Nikasil lined cylinders. One of the more common ones is a malfunctioning BMW M60 idle control valve.
The M60 idle control valve is a motorized part controlled by the vehicle's DME (the engine control module). As the DME monitors the vehicle's engine idle speed, it makes any needed adjustments through the idle control valve, which is attached to the intake manifold. Over time the valve can build up with carbon deposits, dirt, and oily grime. A dirty valve will lead to it malfunctioning, causing a rough idle and even engine stalling. Idle control valves that are not cleaned for extensive periods of time can even fail to require an expensive replacement.
The good news is an idle control valve can be easily cleaned in less than 30 minutes by even the most novice mechanic. We give you full step-by-step instructions below for your convenience.
View the detailed parts diagram for this repair.
Includes detailed part diagrams, part numbers and links to purchase all of the required components needed to complete this repair.
Before starting this repair, you must have the following required parts.
All BMW M60 and M62 engines
Rubber grommet that helps hold oil separator or Idle Control Valve.
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All BMW M60 and M62 engines
This valve is what controls the engine vacuum to keep from stalling.
Section 1 - Removing the Idle Control ValveRemoving the idle control valve is a simple procedure on the M60 V8 engine. It is conveniently located on the front of the engine and can be removed in less than 15 minutes.
- Use a socket wrench to disconnect the negative terminal from the battery before starting this repair. Always cover the terminal with a clean rag to avoid accidental contact during the repair. If working on a vehicle with 2 batteries (8 series), disconnect the negative terminal from both batteries. ALWAYS disconnect the battery(s) before performing any type of mechanical repair, especially in the engine compartment.
- Remove the four 10mm nuts anchoring the top engine cover. Remove cover from engine bay.
- Identify the idle control valve on the front of the engine.
- Remove the electrical connection from the back of the valve by squeezing the retaining clip and pulling the plug off.
- Use a flat blade screwdriver to loosen the hose clamp connecting the vacuum hose to idle control valve. Use a flat blade screwdriver to pry the hose off of the valve, being extremely careful NOT to puncture the hose. If you puncture the hose, it will have to be replaced.
- Remove the rubber mount from the valve.
- Grasp the idle control valve and pull out of the intake manifold.
- Remove the rubber grommet (use a flat blade screwdriver if necessary). To avoid any vacuum leaks, always replace the rubber grommet with a new one (see parts list) when cleaning or replacing the valve.
Section 2 - Cleaning the Idle Control ValveCleaning the BMW M60 idle control valve simply involves liberally spraying the inside of the valve with carburetor cleaner until the internal mechanism opens and shuts freely.
- Shake the valve softly in your hands. You should hear the internal mechanism opening and closing as you shake it. If you don’t, then the valve is stuck from carbon deposits.
- Take a can of high quality carburetor cleaner (we use CRC Clean-R-Carb) and thoroughly blast all of the carbon and gunk out of the valve. Repeat continuously letting it soak in between blasts. Use the whole can cleaning out the valve. When you softly shake the valve now you should hear the internal mechanism opening and closing.
- Use compressed air to thoroughly blow out all of the carburetor cleaner until inside of M60 idle control valve is dry.
- Your valve is now clean and can be reinstalled into the vehicle. Do not forget to use a new rubber grommet during installation of your cleaned M60 idle control valve.
- If you were unable to successfully clean your idle control valve, or if your valve is damaged, install a new one along with a new rubber grommet. See the "Parts" section above for the link to the correct replacement valve for the M60 engine.
BMW M60 Idle Control Valve Cleaning Finished