Vanos solenoid socket alternative!!
I've been getting the infamous p0011 fault code as well as a rattling sound comming from the engine. Took it to the dealer and they told me the code was from a failing vanos solenoid in bank 1 (passenger side). They wanted $700.00 to replace so I decided to handle it myself. Ordered the solenoid and once it arrived, set out to find the 32mm deep thin wall socket needed for the job. Checked all of the usual places that sell tools and no one had this socket. I even chased down a guy driving a Snap On tool truck to see if he could help. I had the new solenoid with me to try them in the socket before I purchased, but it became apparent that many places sell 32mm deep sockets but they all seem to have a stop somewhere in the middle that prevents the socket from going over the entire solenoid to reach the nut that you have to grasp to unscrew it. As the day progressed it seemed as though I would have to spend the $80.00 or so that it costs to order the special Bmw socket that I would only use once. As I proceeded home to get on the internet to find the best price, I noticed a store that sold only tools and figured what the hell because the day had been full of disappointment and frustration so one more wouldn't hurt. I enter the store and an old man (aren't stories always more interesting when they involve an old man?) was sitting at the counter and I explained my problem to him. He tried several of his sockets and still the same problem, not enough clearence. I thanked him for his time and as I was about to leave he said he wanted to try one more thing. He came back with something called a shower valve socket. These are sold at just about any hardware store for about $20 dollars. They are long metal tubes that usualy come in sets and each end is a different size. Each end also has two holes in it that you stick a metal rod through to turn it. The size he used was 1 11/32. It wasn't a tight fit but it covered the entire solenoid and grasped the nut tight enough that it seemed like it would turn it. He said if it didn't work I could bring it back so I took it home and tried it and I'll be damned, it turned the solenoid right out of the block. I used an extender over the metal rod to give myself more leverage but it still worked like a charm. Unfortunately, the new solenoid did not clear the p0011 code or stop the tapping noise. Hope this helps someone. If anyone has solved either of these problems I'd love to hear from you. Till then, happy motoring to all and death to the dealer!!!