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new to bmw ownership but some mechanical skills

i have a 2007 bmw x3 e83 with the n52 motor so i was told. current mileage 71154, about 2 weeks ago i noticed a loss of low end power and had 2 extremely random stalls when i was coming to a stop or slowing way down to turn. some days the car would run great other times it would act up or act like a cheap 4 cylinder car. the SES light came on a few times but would clear it self after a few starts. finally the SES light came on and stayed. i took it to a local parts store for reading P0015 i believe was the OBDII code. as that was not very useful i ordered a BMW code reader cheap from amazon. the next day the SES light turned off sometime during the day running errands. my reader showed up and displayed 2A87 exhaust solenoid. as the car runs good some times and not others i cleared the code and started checking it after every drive no matter how well the car ran the same code. so i searched the forums and decided to replace both solenoids instead of cleaning and swapping them. while waiting for them to show up in the mail the car took a nose dive. there was no more "good" days and the car was stalling constantly. so i parked it. after the parts arrived i followed the forum instructions and had them swapped out in 20 min. thanks for those who post those things.

happy to have the new parts in i started the car up and took it for a test run. it was worse than before. no low end power at all stalled everytime i came to a stop and now the tach needle started hunting real bad at idle.

the next morning i had no choice but to run the car over to the dealer. the car fired up and ran like a scalded dog. so i skipped the dealer and cleared the codes. the car has run realitivly well since but still getting the same 2a87 code every time i start the car. still dont have great low end power. and one other thing i noticed and it is hard to explain but the exhaust sounds different now. just something i notice is that hint of bmw throat to the ehasust sound is gone. it just sounds pedestrian. i have searched and searched the threads but cant seem to find someone else with the same problems.

the oil was changed at 69554 with castrol 5w40 full synthetic. and i run exxon fuel only from the same station every time.

I also noticed right before things got really bad running wise a drop of 1-2 mpg. that is a big drop for me as i drive the same every time and always at the same times of day in hte same traffic.

the cars behavior is erratic so i continue to think of something electrical vs mechanical. any suggestions that are specific to this engine and model year would be a great help. or if anyone in the st pete florida area knows a trust worthy indie mechanic they can refer me to thanks in advance for your time and advice
 

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thanks for the reply but i have done several google searches and did read that thread a week ago. i would have expected some type of camshaft postion sensor error if it was that. i keep getting the same 2a87 exhaust solenoid stuck. the solenoid is new and so is the intake side. my big concern before i get involved in a ton of hours on a vanos seal job is the fact that this is erratic. if the seals were going bad would this not be a constant problem? also i am a bit confused by something called VVT. it seems there is another sensor that acts like the old TPS. this retards the timing advance. but should i be getting some type of code or what type of action can i take to diagnose such a thing. it appears to be under the valve cover so going after it would mean a new valve cover gasket each time i looked at it.
 

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update to weirdness

i had to run to the store so i jumped in the car. started right up and that throat sound was back. ran perfect 20 blocks to store. idle back at around 650. whipped out the coder. no codes!!!
did some quick shopping maybe 10 min. back to the car. hard start. rough idle no power leaving parking lot. almost stalled at second stop sign. had to give it almost full throttle to get it going once it hit 3000 rpm car took off. still running bad. pulled in to gate idle hunting and no power going thtu gate to house. engine back to sounding like a 3 cylinder hyndai. checked the code thought for sure it would be somethign new. nope right back to 2a87 exhaust solenoid. this time i heard a loud click when i shut the engine off. it startled me so i started back up and a second after the engine fired i heard a loud almost double click. shut it down and again the loud click sound.

this is making me crazy. how can a car run good for 5 minutes shut off and then run so bad. with the same code over and over for a part that i already replaced. now i have a new loud click.
 

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Tried plugging old solenoid in. It vibrated so I assume that was good.
Car developed a new symptom today. During its bouts of running bad it now gives a stutter at speed. Taking the car into the indie dealer here locally Thursday morning. Hopefully I don't go bankrupt but I will post whatever they find for future reference to others
 

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Had the same problem with my 06 M54. I replaced the camshaft ps. (exhaust side)as well as the exhaust solenoid,and problem solved. Good luck.
 

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My thought was to replace the camshaft ps as my next step but someone else mentioned that the camshaft ps would have its own code. But I will give it a try
 

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When mine started it thru the code for the cps first.But when I replaced it the problem was still there.After cleaning the solenoid a couple of times it would improve for a couple of days.
I then replaced the solenoid and problem was solved.
 

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i took it to the mechanic on thursday. what a collosal waste of time. they were unable to diagnose the problem. despite the fact that it had a 2a87 code. knowing that i replaced the solenoids they didnt bother with that idea. i was told to continue driving the car and wait for the SES light to come back on and then return with the car. they also said they cleared all the adaptation settings - what ever that means. the car ran reasonably well for about a day and then on friday afternoon it began its series of horrible power loss and frequent stalling when coming to a stop. it also stalled during a slow turn around a curvy road to get to my shop (less than 25mph) nothing like losing power steering in the middle of an s curve at 20 mph. the SES light came on and now i would have something to take to the shop on tuesday. except later that evening the car began running fine again and the SES magically disappeared. still showing a 2A87. code. saturday morning the car ran on and off great and good but around 11 am when the heat of the day really starts kicking up the car began its horrible run. i had to go replace a flat tire at a shop. it cooled down for 2 hours waiting for a new tire and ran good back to home. my mileage is getting worse as i drive it. the indie shop that i use is european performance in st pete and they come highly reccomended. it is a very large shop with a fleet of high end exotics all the way down to lowly MB andBMW in each bay. they have been in business for around 30 years so i have a hard time thinking they are idiots but they seemed no help, they did have the car for about 6 hours and during that time once per hour they would call me and ask questions ranging from who did my last oil change to what gas station i am using for fuel and a few questions about my driving habits.

my next thought was to look at VANOS seals that i see people mention but for some reason i cannot find anyone who sells a seal kit for a 2007 x3 83 with the N52 motor. do i not have vanos seals but something different?

the mechanic said the next time i bring it in with the SES light on that they would need it for some time and that they wanted to remove the valve cover and look at some seal. what seal are they talking about that would be under the valve cover? and if it is these VANOS seals is that something that can actually be inspected simply by removing the valve cover?

they did run a diagnostic and feel strongly that this is not a DME problem or an electrical problem so it must be some type of mechanical issue that shows it self when the air temp hits the 90's i seem to notice my most extreme problems from noon to four pm driving the car. during the mornings and evenings for the most part the car at least runs with out getting jerky or stalling.

does anyone have any idea why i cant find vanos seals for this motor or what seal i should be inspecting under the valve cover?
 

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FESTCHIVE 2a87 florida success

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=547442

#8 Report Post
Old 06-14-2011, 03:29 PM
niceguymr niceguymr is offline
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Location: Florida

Join Date: Oct 2010
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Mein Auto: 2008 X3
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Final Update:

I've got the work order / invoice. It says SIB 110208 was performed.

More specifically, this is exactly what it says:

"Vehicle was checked and found fault code 2A87 for DME exhaust VANOS Mechanism. Performed SIB 110208 and performed Test Plan B1214 NG6NWA-Exhaust camshaft sensor and result gave diag code for VANOS solenoid valve (Diag code D1130 B0000000 03 001). Performed steps in SIB and checked oil filter cap and was found to be OK. THen replaced both VANOS solenoids and changed oil and filter. All codes were cleared and operation OK. Defect code 1113937600, Labor Operation 0000006, 1136655 and 0099000."

Just thought I'd provide a more thorough explanation as to what was done. If anyone has any feedback or input on this I'd appreciate it.

Thanks.
 

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cost of lip seal fix

if you let 'em into the lip seal job .....get ready for possibly way north of 1100 bucks......cause ....valve cover/cams etc gotta be inspected fixed....therefore .....vanos solenoids/sensors could be a less expensive lower cost option try ....also ....remember these codes are often 3rd or more orders away from the correct cause and sometimes can be very very unrelated to your issue
 

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i took it to the mechanic on thursday. what a collosal waste of time. they were unable to diagnose the problem. despite the fact that it had a 2a87 code. knowing that i replaced the solenoids they didnt bother with that idea. i was told to continue driving the car and wait for the SES light to come back on and then return with the car. they also said they cleared all the adaptation settings - what ever that means. the car ran reasonably well for about a day and then on friday afternoon it began its series of horrible power loss and frequent stalling when coming to a stop. it also stalled during a slow turn around a curvy road to get to my shop (less than 25mph) nothing like losing power steering in the middle of an s curve at 20 mph. the SES light came on and now i would have something to take to the shop on tuesday. except later that evening the car began running fine again and the SES magically disappeared. still showing a 2A87. code. saturday morning the car ran on and off great and good but around 11 am when the heat of the day really starts kicking up the car began its horrible run. i had to go replace a flat tire at a shop. it cooled down for 2 hours waiting for a new tire and ran good back to home. my mileage is getting worse as i drive it. the indie shop that i use is european performance in st pete and they come highly reccomended. it is a very large shop with a fleet of high end exotics all the way down to lowly MB andBMW in each bay. they have been in business for around 30 years so i have a hard time thinking they are idiots but they seemed no help, they did have the car for about 6 hours and during that time once per hour they would call me and ask questions ranging from who did my last oil change to what gas station i am using for fuel and a few questions about my driving habits.

my next thought was to look at VANOS seals that i see people mention but for some reason i cannot find anyone who sells a seal kit for a 2007 x3 83 with the N52 motor. do i not have vanos seals but something different?

the mechanic said the next time i bring it in with the SES light on that they would need it for some time and that they wanted to remove the valve cover and look at some seal. what seal are they talking about that would be under the valve cover? and if it is these VANOS seals is that something that can actually be inspected simply by removing the valve cover?

they did run a diagnostic and feel strongly that this is not a DME problem or an electrical problem so it must be some type of mechanical issue that shows it self when the air temp hits the 90's i seem to notice my most extreme problems from noon to four pm driving the car. during the mornings and evenings for the most part the car at least runs with out getting jerky or stalling.

does anyone have any idea why i cant find vanos seals for this motor or what seal i should be inspecting under the valve cover?
Florida.. the stalling sounds like a beginnings of HPFP failure. Sometimes, it starts with the low pressure fuel pump. Your power loss at low rpm, stalling at idle, feeling like a 4-Cyl rather than a bimmer (god analogy) all sounds exactly like low pressure pump failure. Sometimes people fix the low pressure pump first but end up changing the HPFP ultimately anyway. You may save a buck by checking the hpfp first. How are your injectors? What index do you have? Your comments about it driving its worse from 12-4 (hottest part of the day) and on the hottest day sounds like it may actually be a wire issue. I know this would be a lucky thing but Ive had 2 bimmers doin the same thing... one turned out to be a post-cat 02 wire and the other was a exhaust side Vanos wire. My card thru freakin cat codes and all sorts of shzz scared the hell outta me. Fortunately I've got BMW dealer mech on speed dial. He fixed in the time it took me to chain smoke 8 cigs (nervous that day). Does your car drive poorly in the rain ... or from 12-4pm during days that its raining? Or, is this just in the sun? Our cars favor high pressure weather over the low pressure rain/fog/humidity, etc. The higher the mileage the more dramatic this seems to get... for my cars at least. Finally, do you have any known oil pressure issues? ... have you changed the oil pump? .. do you have any oil leaks .. was ur engine cleaned off after valve gskt? ... Oil filter housing leak.. if so leaking onto ur Vanos? 20 questions lol. If anyone in 2018 has similar issues, hit me up.. might be able to help. Good luck homey!!

Bryan
2008 e92 335xi Sport
2004 e60 525i
2003 e39 540i Touring M Sport ;)
 

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i took it to the mechanic on thursday. what a collosal waste of time. they were unable to diagnose the problem. despite the fact that it had a 2a87 code. knowing that i replaced the solenoids they didnt bother with that idea. i was told to continue driving the car and wait for the SES light to come back on and then return with the car. they also said they cleared all the adaptation settings - what ever that means. the car ran reasonably well for about a day and then on friday afternoon it began its series of horrible power loss and frequent stalling when coming to a stop. it also stalled during a slow turn around a curvy road to get to my shop (less than 25mph) nothing like losing power steering in the middle of an s curve at 20 mph. the SES light came on and now i would have something to take to the shop on tuesday. except later that evening the car began running fine again and the SES magically disappeared. still showing a 2A87. code. saturday morning the car ran on and off great and good but around 11 am when the heat of the day really starts kicking up the car began its horrible run. i had to go replace a flat tire at a shop. it cooled down for 2 hours waiting for a new tire and ran good back to home. my mileage is getting worse as i drive it. the indie shop that i use is european performance in st pete and they come highly reccomended. it is a very large shop with a fleet of high end exotics all the way down to lowly MB andBMW in each bay. they have been in business for around 30 years so i have a hard time thinking they are idiots but they seemed no help, they did have the car for about 6 hours and during that time once per hour they would call me and ask questions ranging from who did my last oil change to what gas station i am using for fuel and a few questions about my driving habits.

my next thought was to look at VANOS seals that i see people mention but for some reason i cannot find anyone who sells a seal kit for a 2007 x3 83 with the N52 motor. do i not have vanos seals but something different?

the mechanic said the next time i bring it in with the SES light on that they would need it for some time and that they wanted to remove the valve cover and look at some seal. what seal are they talking about that would be under the valve cover? and if it is these VANOS seals is that something that can actually be inspected simply by removing the valve cover?

they did run a diagnostic and feel strongly that this is not a DME problem or an electrical problem so it must be some type of mechanical issue that shows it self when the air temp hits the 90's i seem to notice my most extreme problems from noon to four pm driving the car. during the mornings and evenings for the most part the car at least runs with out getting jerky or stalling.

does anyone have any idea why i cant find vanos seals for this motor or what seal i should be inspecting under the valve cover?
Valve cover gasket is the seal. Surely you know this by now. When this leaks.. leaks oil on the exhaust side of your engine. Do you see anything? You should most certainly get this repaired in the long-term. It doesn't sound like its causing ur issue to me. It takes a long ass time to change the valve cover gasket ..prob why ur mech dude wanted to hold on to it. Also, he was prob asking about your driving habits, bad gas and oil changes because he's not quite sure what the hell is going on. Those things matter..driving habits re: AFR, ur pedal pressure sensor and throttle position... sometimes people run ow40 oil in summer ..and bad gas can cause some dumb shzz like pre-cat o2 sensor fc, knock sensor fc which can knock enough to cause a CEL and subsequent limp mode.

Again I'd check ur fuel system .. Hpfp but maybe you can stave off hpfp failure by replacing low pressure fuel pump.

The VANOS seals are actually on each Vanos like 3/4s the way down. Diameter off a quarter +-. Very important to watch for the seal when you pull the Vanos out.. sometimes it can get stuck in the hole. So, you will expect to see the seal on the Vanos when you pull each one out. ..don't freak out if its not there it more than likely is in the lip/edge of the hole. Good luck

B
 
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