Home2007-2013 3 Series (E9x)BMW N52 VANOS Solenoid Replacement - 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4 6cyl.

BMW N52 VANOS Solenoid Replacement – 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4 6cyl.

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Repair Summary
This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the VANOS solenoid valves in a BMW vehicle with the N52 6 cylinder engine. Even though we used a 2006 530xi to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any BMW vehicle with the N52 engine including most 2004-2013 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, X1, X3, X5, and Z4 models minor modifications to the repair steps.
E90 3 Series 323i
E90N 3 Series 325i
E90N 3 Series 325xi
E90N 3 Series 323i
E91 3 Series 325i
E91 3 Series 323i
E91N 3 Series 325xi
E91N 3 Series 325i
E91N 3 Series 323i
E92 3 Series 325xi
E92 3 Series 325i
E92 3 Series 323i
E92N 3 Series 323i
E92N 3 Series 325xi
E92N 3 Series 325i
E93 3 Series 325i
E93 3 Series 323i
E93N 3 Series 323i
E93N 3 Series 325i
E60 5 Series 523i
E60N 5 Series 525Li
E60N 5 Series 525i
E60N 5 Series 523Li
E60N 5 Series 523i
E61 5 Series 525i
E61 5 Series 525xi
E61 5 Series 523i
E61N 5 Series 523i
E61N 5 Series 525i
F10 5 Series 523i
F11 5 Series 523i
E83N X3 Series X3 2.5si
E85 Z4 Series Z4 2.5si
E89 Z4 Series Z4 23i
F18 5 Series 523Li
F18 5 Series 520Li
E60 5 Series 523Li
E60 5 Series 525Li
E81 1 Series 130i
E87 1 Series 130i
E88 1 Series 128i
E88 1 Series 125i
E82 1 Series 128i
E82 1 Series 125i
E87N 1 Series 130i
E90 3 Series 330xi
E90 3 Series 330i
E90 3 Series 328i
E90 3 Series 328xi
E90 3 Series 325xi
E90 3 Series 325i
E90N 3 Series 330i
E90N 3 Series 328xi
E90N 3 Series 328i
E91 3 Series 330xi
E91 3 Series 330i
E91 3 Series 328xi
E91 3 Series 328i
E91 3 Series 325xi
E91N 3 Series 330i
E91N 3 Series 328xi
E91N 3 Series 328i
E92 3 Series 330xi
E92 3 Series 330i
E92 3 Series 328xi
E92 3 Series 328i
E92N 3 Series 330i
E92N 3 Series 328xi
E92N 3 Series 328i
E93 3 Series 330i
E93 3 Series 328i
E93N 3 Series 330i
E93N 3 Series 328i
E60 5 Series 530xi
E60 5 Series 530i
E60 5 Series 525i
E60 5 Series 525xi
E60N 5 Series 530xi
E60N 5 Series 530Li
E60N 5 Series 530i
E60N 5 Series 528xi
E60N 5 Series 528i
E61 5 Series 530xi
E61 5 Series 530i
E61N 5 Series 530xi
E61N 5 Series 530i
F10 5 Series 530i
F10 5 Series 528i
F11 5 Series 530i
E63 6 Series 630i
E63N 6 Series 630i
E64 6 Series 630i
E64N 6 Series 630i
E65 7 Series 730i
E66 7 Series 730Li
F01 7 Series 730i
F01N 7 Series 730i
F02N 7 Series 730Li
E84 X1 Series X1 25iX
E83N X3 Series X3 3.0i
E83N X3 Series X3 3.0si
F25 X3 Series X3 28iX
E85 Z4 Series Z4 3.0si
E85 Z4 Series Z4 3.0i
E86 Z4 Series Z4 3.0si
E89 Z4 Series Z4 30i
F18 5 Series 530Li
F18 5 Series 528Li
F18N 5 Series 530Li
F02 7 Series 730Li
E70 X5 Series X5 3.0si
E60 5 Series 530Li

A BMW N52 VANOS solenoid replacement may be necessary if your six-cylinder engine is running sluggish or exhibiting a loss of power.

The term VANOS is an acronym for the German word variable nockenwellensteuerung, which when translated literally means variable camshaft control. The VANOS units are located on the front of the cylinder head and have the unique function of making small adjustments to the intake and exhaust camshafts while they are rotating in a running engine. The BMW VANOS units make these "variable" adjustments to the spinning camshafts in a very clever way; they harness hydraulic oil pressure to move a splined plunger gear back and forth on the end of the camshaft. When the splined plunger gear is extended, the camshaft timing is advanced slightly creating "valve overlap" and a more efficient running motor. When the splined plunger is retracted, the timing is retarded creating more engine power.
bmw n52 vanos solenoid replacement - Locate the solenoid valves on the front of the engine
Dual VANOS system in a 2000 323i M52 6 cylinder engine.
This delicate balance of extending and retracting the VANOS gear is controlled by the engine control module (ECM) and the VANOS solenoids. When the ECM determines the engine requires greater efficiency it sends a signal to the VANOS solenoid which increases oil pressure and extends the plunger gear. If the ECM determines more power is needed, it instructs the VANOS solenoids to lower oil pressure so the plunger gear is retracted. The ECM makes these decisions based on factors such as engine speed, load, and coolant temperature. This fine-tuning of the camshafts and valves by the VANOS solenoids helps create a more fuel-efficient, smoother running, and powerful engine.
Like all mechanical parts in the engine compartment, the BMW N52 VANOS solenoids have a definitive lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced. The classic symptom of failing VANOS solenoids is a lack of power when the accelerator pedal is depressed. It is usually accompanied with a "service engine" light in the instrument cluster and fault codes 2A82 and/or 2A87 on the diagnostic scanner. Other symptoms include a rough idle or a "rattling" sound from the front of the engine.
The good news is a BMW N52 VANOS solenoid replacement is a very simple repair for the home mechanic. The solenoid valves are very easy to access on the front of the engine and can be replaced by even the most novice mechanic. The BMW Repair Guide strongly recommends replacing the camshaft sensors while replacing the VANOS solenoids. For more information on replacing the camshaft sensors in your N52 six-cylinder engine, please see our article BMW N52 Camshaft Sensor Replacement – 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X3,X5,Z4 6cyl..
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.
Fits all N52 and N54 six cylinder engines
The VANOS solenoid valves are in charge of supplying oil pressure to the VANOS units. When the valves start to wear out, your BMW will experience a noticeable loss of power when the accelerator pedal is depressed. Replacing the VANOS solenoid valves should be a regular maintenance item that should be performed every 50,000 miles to keep your BMW running smoothly.
Repair Steps
Section 1 - Replacing the BMW N52 VANOS solenoid valves
Replacing the VANOS solenoids is a simple procedure. The valves are conveniently located on the front of the cylinder head and do not require part removal to access them. ALWAYS make sure the new solenoids "click" into place before installing their mounting bolt.
  1. Locate and identify the VANOS solenoid valves on the front of the engine.bmw n52 vanos solenoid replacement - Locate the solenoid valves on the front of the enginebmw n52 vanos solenoid replacement - the solenoid valves
  2. Use a flat blade screwdriver to depress the metal retaining clip on the solenoid electrical plugs. Unplug the valves. It's always a good idea to mark one of them with tape so you don't get them reversed during reassembly.bmw n52 vanos solenoid replacement - Depress the metal retaining clipbmw n52 vanos solenoid replacement - Depress the metal retaining clip on the solenoid plugbmw n52 vanos solenoid replacement - Unplug the solenoid valvesMark one of the solenoid plugs with tape so you don't get them mixed up
  3. Starting with the upper solenoid, use a 10mm socket wrench to remove the solenoid valve mounting bolt. Use a 10mm socket wrench to remove the solenoid valve mounting bolt
  4. Grasp the solenoid and pull it free from the cylinder head. If it is stuck, pry it out gently with a metal pick.Pry the solenoid valve out of the cylinder head if it is stuck The VANOS solenoid valve
  5. Install new valves. Make sure to press them in firmly with the palm of your hand until you hear them click into place. Use a metal pick or steel punch to align the mounting hole on the valve with the threads in the cylinder head.bmw n52 vanos solenoid replacement - Use a stell punch to align the mounting hole Align the mounting hole before installing the bolt
  6. Install the mounting bolt and tighten it until snug. DO NOT overtighten. You can snap the bolt off requiring it to be drilled out of the engine.
N52 VANOS Solenoid Replacement Finished

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The Level of Difficulty displays graphically how challenging the repair is, from beginner to expert. Beginner repairs usually require very few tools, have short repair times and are simple to complete for even the most novice of mechanics. As the difficulty level rises expect the repair to demand more time, use more specialized tools, and require a better understanding of mechanics to complete the job.

The Level of Difficulty displays graphically how challenging the repair is, from beginner to expert. Beginner repairs usually require very few tools, have short repair times and are simple to complete for even the most novice of mechanics. As the difficulty level rises expect the repair to demand more time, use more specialized tools, and require a better understanding of mechanics to complete the job.