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1972ford 11-26-2012 12:25 PM

SES light and codes
So yesterday my wife's 2007 X3 started running funny while I was parking it, and sure enough the SES light came on. I was able to drive it home but it would die if the clutch was in unless I kept hitting the throttle.

P0015 (camshaft pos. sensor B), {P0302, P0303, P0304, P0305} (misfires)

Through the wonders of Google I decided to try out the VANOS solenoid cleaning / swap detailed here: Basically one of the solenoids acts up due to being clogged with oil/debris and causes the run issue and out-of-spec reading at the camshaft sensor, on the side of the bad solenoid. So by cleaning the solenoids with brake cleaner and compressed air, you either a) clear up the issue entirely or b) by switching the positions of the solenoids, you will find out whether it's a solenoid or sensor, or something else entirely.

After cleaning and reinstalling the solenoids in opposite locations, the car ran great, for a short trip, BUT the SES light came on with a new code P0012 - camshaft sensor A - intake side. So it looks like the problem followed the bad solenoid. The car also returned to its inability to idle, making it a PITA to drive, not to mention probably not doing it any favors. I swapped them back one more time and ran the car after clearing the codes and the P0015 code came back right away.

So I ordered 2 new solenoids figuring that if one failed, how long for the other one? I'll keep the one "good" one as a spare I guess. But my wife drives this car 50 miles each way to work and I really don't need her on the road side in winter with a dead car.

I'll be sure to post back tomorrow when I get the parts and install them. Good news is that it's extremely easy to r&r those solenoids! Once a couple plastic bits are out of the way (8 bolts/screws) it's only one 10mm bolt and a wire harness each. Piece of cake!

1972ford 11-27-2012 10:41 AM

Initial test: everything is back to normal. I replaced both VANOS solenoids with new, OEM parts and cleared the codes. Started the car and it idled normally, I drove it about 3 miles and it's fine so far, runs normally and no SES light. If anything changes I'll post again but hopefully this is helpful for someone having a similar problem.

usaret 11-27-2012 10:46 AM

Adding this to my "things to watch out for" file. Thank you very much for posting!

x3brian 11-27-2012 11:37 AM


Originally Posted by usaret (Post 7217038)
Adding this to my "things to watch out for" file. Thank you very much for posting!

+1. Excellent write up on the e90 forum

1972ford 11-30-2012 01:37 PM

Just a quick follow-up, my wife drove the car to work and back 2 days this week, ~100mi. each day and no problems. I do still have the one functioning solenoid, though I can't honestly say why I'm keeping it.

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