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Gonna need some help. DTC codes galore, need advice.

1298 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  335i Driver
First thing first, Hello. This is my first post on the forums but I've watched it for a while. I'm actually pretty glad to have finally signed up, even if it was because I need help.

Now, to the help I need. I have a 2006 325i that I believe is a E90. I suppose I should double check that but not sure how.

Anyway, it started throwing codes a few weeks ago and I finally got around to checking on it. Here is a list:

P0597 : Thermostat Heater control circuit open (Not too scary, but it gets worse)
P0015 : Exhaust (B) Camshaft Position Timing - Over Retarded - Bank 1 :)yikes:Now i'm worried)
P1554 : Had to do research for this one. Has to do with something called the VANOS solenoid. Apparently it has something to with the oil quality.
P0012: Intake (A) Camshaft Position Timing - Over Retarded - Bank 1
P0597: Thermostat again.

I have no idea what all of this together means. My head is telling me to treat them each as seperate reports, but my gut is telling me that this indicates something bigger. Worst part is that it drives fine for the most part.

Two things I have noticed in my time driving this car (Since December). It leaks oil. Just a few spots on the driveway. Never had a BMW that didn't so I ignored it.

The other thing is that it throws a light up that looks like the coolant light every time I drive it, so I'm not surprised by the thermostat codes. I was expecting that to be the only thing wrong though. :dunno:

Now, I know this is getting a little long, so I'll try to wrap it up with only a few last notes. I found on this forum another thread that goes into the P1554 code. He said that his research showed that it happens when the oil quality falls below the threshold BMW set for it. So he's taken to frequent oil changes and full synthetic oil. Next confusion here, I jsut changed the oil 2k miles ago and used Castrol GTX 5w30, the very oil BMW recommends. So unless the oil level is low (just remembered, I have no idea, as embarrassing as this is, where the dipstick is. Can't find it, actually searched, not seeing it.) I have no clue why this thing went off.

So if any techs out there have seen this combo before or knows enough to give me a better picture what I'm in for, please let me know. I do most of my work diy, as I live hours away from the nearest dealer. And the price. So if you think you might know what it is, please tell me.


After writing that all out I noticed a few things.

First, the oil was low and I can't tell how low (Dipstick problems)
It's over heating.
Timing of the camshaft's went bad.

So I'm thinking that the low oil level combined with the added heat from overheating caused the oil to degrade too quickly, especially at the top of the engine where there would be less oil, like around the camshafts. The prematurely degraded not to mention low level oil wasn't sufficient to lubricate the camshafts and caused havoc there. So now I have overheating (1), degraded/low oil (2), and slow timing (3). It accounts for everything, I just need to know if it sounds right. I also need to know what to do about the timing, the thermostat and oil are easy but I've never done a timing job before.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
My guess is your tstat is stuck open. Replace it.

Vanos solenoids are either sticking or mechanically jambed. If you use a BMW specific scan tool, the DME will tell what is happening. You can try cleaning the solenoids with compressed air.

You might have a bad camshaft sensor.

Both the solenoids and camshaft sensor are pretty easy to service. Both are located at the front of the engine and only require 1 bolt to remove to replace the sensor.
I don't know about all of the codes, but one thing is for sure, GTX 5-30 is not an LL01 oil and is not recommended nor cerified by BMW and using the wrong oil can definately cause sludge and make the vanos solenoid improperly function.
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