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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 10-28-2014, 08:26 PM
Sandrew Sandrew is offline
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Location: Beckley, WV
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3
Camshaft position sensor P0012

Hello Everyone, Once again I really need some help. Here's the history.

2007 BMW X3

Started with CEL and missing throughout acceleration.
Had 15 minute engine wash, new filter and oil
CEL again showing bad Vanos Solenoid
Replaced both and had another oil and filter change with BMW oil
Developed loud noise from crank case no code
Changed valve cover to replace oil seperator
All well for 500 miles.
Mild hiccup when I hit a small pot hole on interstate, went into limp mode.
Codes showed multiple misfires, misfire on 1, 2 and 4, thermostat code
Had shop relearn all and ran fine for 300 miles
Today started missing a little and got CEL, code showed P0012 for camshaft pos sensor.
Had code read at local parts store and CEL goes off.

Feel like I'm starting to throw good money after bad. In 2500.00 so far and don't mind to go farther but how far.

My question at this point. Do I replace the camshaft position sensor, clean the solenoids again and have another oil change or am I probably looking at a Vanos motor or complete bad Vanos. Which to do first? Hopefully not the complete Vanos because at that point it's a sell for what I can get out of it issue and the car is really nice with the exception of these curveballs it keeps throwing.

Please Help, thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2014, 05:41 AM
al_macaroni al_macaroni is offline
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Location: DE
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X3
The camshaft position sensor is around $95. They are an easy do it yourself repair. I would buy two camshaft position sensors and change them both. Then go from there.
I would not change the oil again.

On my 2008, around 100k miles the camshaft position sensors went, soon followed by the VANOS solenoids. Also within the same time period, I replaced the sparkplugs and coils and also the belt, belt tensioner and idler pulley.
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2013 535i - ED, Oct 2012 | Cashmere Silver | Oyster/Black Nappa Anthracite | ZCW | Sirius | Air Blue 80
2008 X3 | Monaco | Sand/Black Light Poplar | ZAP | ZPP | ZCW | Xenon | Rear Fog
1988 Grand Wagoneer | Burgundy | Ghost Flames | 360 ci | Holley carb

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  #3  
Old 10-29-2014, 09:27 AM
Sandrew Sandrew is offline
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Location: Beckley, WV
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2007 X3
Camshaft position sensor

Thanks for the reply, I will order the sensor's today and hopefully have them by the weekend.
Do you or anyone else happen to know a DIY link on how to replace. When my odometer hit 90,000 I started having to learn a whole lot real quick and would rather not pay the labor if I can do it.
Thanks Again.
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2014, 09:45 AM
al_macaroni al_macaroni is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3
Pelican Autoparts has a great DIY for changing the camshaft position sensors on the e90 N52 engine. You can find it using Google.

The engine cover and some of the brackets are different on the e90 N52 engine than those on the N52 in the X3. If you need to remove the engine cover to get to the camshaft position sensors, search in the DIY section of this forum for the X3 N52 sparkplug DIY. This will have the proper steps to get the engine cover off.

BTW, I don't remember if I needed to remove the engine cover, or not. But I'm sure I did need to remove the air ducting above the radiator to get to them. This is in the sparkplug DIY.

Good luck
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2013 535i - ED, Oct 2012 | Cashmere Silver | Oyster/Black Nappa Anthracite | ZCW | Sirius | Air Blue 80
2008 X3 | Monaco | Sand/Black Light Poplar | ZAP | ZPP | ZCW | Xenon | Rear Fog
1988 Grand Wagoneer | Burgundy | Ghost Flames | 360 ci | Holley carb

BMW CCA #422951

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  #5  
Old 10-29-2014, 09:17 PM
Sandrew Sandrew is offline
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Location: Beckley, WV
 
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Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 2007 X3
Camshaft position sensor

Thanks for the information Al. I will check out Pelican for a DIY. One of the problems I've ran into is figuring out exactly what engine I have. One link showed the N52 ending in 06 replaced by the N54 but if it mine is an 07 it probably was assembled in 06 and so on and on.

From replacing the Vanos Solenoids I do know that you do not have to remove the vanity cover for those just two plastic housings upfront that surround the fan. You do have to remove it to get to the coils and plugs however. From pics I've been able to see the cam sensors are located near the Vanos Solenoids and if that is the case I'm in luck. It took me longer to take the plastic farrings off than to replace the solenoids.

One I receive the new sensors I'm going to replace them and pray it's the last of the problems for a while. I love this car but needing to feel some love back for a change. I'll post again when I finish.

Thanks again.
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2014, 06:39 AM
al_macaroni al_macaroni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandrew View Post
Thanks for the information Al. I will check out Pelican for a DIY. One of the problems I've ran into is figuring out exactly what engine I have. One link showed the N52 ending in 06 replaced by the N54 but if it mine is an 07 it probably was assembled in 06 and so on and on.

From replacing the Vanos Solenoids I do know that you do not have to remove the vanity cover for those just two plastic housings upfront that surround the fan. You do have to remove it to get to the coils and plugs however. From pics I've been able to see the cam sensors are located near the Vanos Solenoids and if that is the case I'm in luck. It took me longer to take the plastic farrings off than to replace the solenoids.

One I receive the new sensors I'm going to replace them and pray it's the last of the problems for a while. I love this car but needing to feel some love back for a change. I'll post again when I finish.

Thanks again.
The 2007 model year LCI X3's have the N52 engine. The N54 is the twin turbo inline 6. I would have been nice if that was available in the X3. The pre-2007 US X3's had the M54 engine.

Yes, the cam sensors are right by the VANOS solenoids. So, you should be able to get to them rather easily.

I hope the new sensors solve your problems and you have many miles of happy motoring.
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2013 535i - ED, Oct 2012 | Cashmere Silver | Oyster/Black Nappa Anthracite | ZCW | Sirius | Air Blue 80
2008 X3 | Monaco | Sand/Black Light Poplar | ZAP | ZPP | ZCW | Xenon | Rear Fog
1988 Grand Wagoneer | Burgundy | Ghost Flames | 360 ci | Holley carb

BMW CCA #422951

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  #7  
Old 10-30-2014, 08:14 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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Location: New Orleans
 
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Posts: 847
Mein Auto: X3 and 330
find your details ....engine etc

put last seven of vin in this and find your details

http://bmwarchiv.de/

or use real oem.com and do same with last seven of vin
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2014, 04:59 PM
SanaP SanaP is offline
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Location: Germany
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 118i
Interesting issue Sandrew. Mine sounds a little similar save for the loud noise.

About 6 months ago I got a P0012 error as well. So, I got an oil change, cleaned the VANOS solenoids with air and brake cleaner, and replaced the valve cover gasket shortly after the error. Since then, I have been driving around issue and error-code free until now (Nov 2014). Last week, I got the P0012 - "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)" code again. When I looked at the solenoids, I saw two groove marks on the bottom solenoids (near the chain), suggesting that somehow the chain is hitting this housing. It is probably less than 1 mm in depth, if that, so whatever is grinding the solenoid housing is not doing so such that the housing is wearing away at great speed. This seems really bad, but then again the engine runs perfectly.

I tried the same protocol as before (except for the oil change): cleaning both solenoids out and reinserting, but this time the error came back almost instantly. So, I took each solenoid and hooked it up to a 12V power supply to check that they actually actuated. They actuated just fine - even the one with the worn housing. So, to me it seems like both solenoids work, but I get a P0012 fault anyway.

I put the solenoids back, cleared the code, and went for a 30 min drive to test it out. No code upon my return. 2.5 hours later my wife comes to take the car home and within 2 minutes of starting the car, the P0012 code reappears. So what is going on here? The engine runs nearly perfectly with a very slight roughness when initially moving, but this could be a heightened perception because of the current problems with the car. A friend, who knows something about cars and incidentally dislikes BMWs, drove the car after the recent solenoid cleaning and was impressed with the power and smooth ride, so at least I am not the only one saying it runs okay. I am pretty confused here.

Here is a list of possibilities I can think of:

1. The timing is simply off for whatever reason and only gives an error when the engine is semi-cold?? This sounds like total nonsense to me , but what do I know.

2. The connector to the solenoid is not well connected so the connection is poor when semi-cold? Again, sounds a little far-fetched.

3. The solenoids somehow don't actuate when in the car but are fine when outside? Again, seems not plausible.

4. Something connecting the camshaft to the VANOS solenoids are not functioning properly.

5. Camshaft sensor is just not working, so the P0012 - "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)" comes because the camshaft sensor doesn't actually sense the camshaft position. This also seems unlikely since the camshaft sensor has its own code from what I have read.

I'm going to another dealer for a diagnosis - costs 65 to get that done, but then I have to decide how to proceed. If anyone knows how to solve this riddle, I'd be very interested.

Car details: 2005 118i, 125k kms on the odomoeter
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2014, 05:54 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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Location: New Orleans
 
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Mein Auto: X3 and 330
change solenoids/sensors

there always comes a time when solenoids and sensors just cannot be cleaned up/connections cleaned etc etc ....they simply break down under heat or cold dynamically and you'll never see it unless you have industrial strength test apparatus like we do....even then we often can't get it right.....best maybe to cut your losses and swap stuff out for new
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2014, 01:19 AM
SanaP SanaP is offline
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Location: Germany
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: BMW 118i
So, do you suggest that I just replace the solenoids? If so, I think that I can buy a somewhat new one for 70-100 on eBay.

Since I don't see a camshaft-specific sensor, then I don't really want to replace it at this time.

Thanks very much for your help!
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2014, 06:21 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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Oui

Oui ....yes ....replace them if you think they are the code suspects
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2014, 10:25 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 567
Mein Auto: 2003 bmw 525i
There seem to be a lot of posts on the boards expressing regret for purchasing non-OEM sensors. You may want to spend the extra money and get OEM.
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