• BMW's N55 VANOS engine bolt recall stretches to half a million cars worldwide

      Owners of N55 powered vehicles have been aware of this issue for quite some time. BMW back in March launched an investigation into what may be a defective part of the VANOS (variable valve and cam timing) system. BMW's investigation was likely nothing more than trying to find the cheapest way to get out of the situation as only a naive person would believe that BMW only learned of any N55 bolt issues stemming from cars produced as far back as 2009 five months ago.

      BMW announced earlier this week it would recall 156,137 2010-2012 model year N55 powered vehicles in the USA. The bolts that hold the VANOS unit will be replaced. It is encouraged that anyone with an N55 vehicle in this date range contacts their dealer. If not, the possibility of the bolts coming loose or breaking exists leading to potential engine issues and accompanied by a bunch of CEL's (check engine lights).


      BMW press release below:

      BMW has informed NHTSA of its intention to voluntarily recall approximately 156,137 MY 2010-12 vehicles in the US, equipped with inline 6-cylinder engines. In very rare cases the bolts holding the variable camshaft timing (VANOS) unit housing may become loose or, in extreme cases, break. If that happens, a "Check Engine" or "Service Engine Soon" lamp will illuminate and a check control message will be displayed. If the operation of the VANOS unit is compromised, the engine will operate with reduced engine power in "safe mode". If ignored, the problem can become progressively worse, eventually leading to no start conditions, stalling and engine damage.

      Affected Series:
      2010-12 1 Series
      2010-12 3 Series
      2010-2012 5 Series
      2010-12 5 Series Gran Turismo
      2012 6 Series
      2010-2012 X3 SAV
      2010-12 X5 SAV
      2010-12 X6 SAV
      2010-12 Z4

      Drivers of potentially affected vehicles may continue to drive their vehicles, however, if they observe a "Check Engine" or "Service Engine Soon" lamp and Check Control message warning, drivers should immediately contact their nearest authorized BMW center to arrange service. In the event of stalling, drivers should carefully move away from traffic and stop the vehicle in a safe location as soon as possible. They should contact BMW Roadside Assistance at 1-800-332-4269 to have the vehicle brought to the nearest authorized BMW center. They should not continue to drive their vehicle.

      Owners of potentially affected vehicles will be contacted by BMW Customer Relations via first-class mail, to inform them of the recall and, when parts are available, will receive a second notification that will advise them to make an appointment with their authorized BMW center in order to have the repair made. Customers with questions should contact BMW Customer Relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email customer.relations@bmwna.com.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: BMW's N55 VANOS engine bolt recall stretches to half a million cars worldwide started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 12 Comments
      1. sahyoun's Avatar
        sahyoun -
        Wow you'd think they'd learn from having that issue on the s54.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sahyoun Click here to enlarge
        Wow you'd think they'd learn from having that issue on the s54.
        The S54 issue was bearing related as I recall not with the VANOS.
      1. sahyoun's Avatar
        sahyoun -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The S54 issue was bearing related as I recall not with the VANOS.
        Thats correct, there was also an issue on the vanos bolt but there was no recall issued. There were a few diys made for it and even a Dr Vanos repair kit:

        http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=321494

        http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...bolt-death-DIY

        As far as I can remember Vanos has usually had some sort of issue related to it
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sahyoun Click here to enlarge
        Thats correct, there was also an issue on the vanos bolt but there was no recall issued. There were a few diys made for it and even a Dr Vanos repair kit:

        http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=321494

        http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...bolt-death-DIY

        As far as I can remember Vanos has usually had some sort of issue related to it
        Yes S54 has a known Vanos problem. Just didn't get a recall.
      1. trinity_2200's Avatar
        trinity_2200 -
        Will this affect N54 as well? as N54 also have VANOS
      1. Flinchy's Avatar
        Flinchy -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by trinity_2200 Click here to enlarge
        Will this affect N54 as well? as N54 also have VANOS
        hopefully not

        seems like it's something to do with how the tools were calibrated in that time period?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sahyoun Click here to enlarge
        Thats correct, there was also an issue on the vanos bolt but there was no recall issued. There were a few diys made for it and even a Dr Vanos repair kit:

        http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=321494

        http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...bolt-death-DIY

        As far as I can remember Vanos has usually had some sort of issue related to it
        That makes sense. They never did a recall on the VANOS bolt or anything VANOS related from what I remember just the bearings.

        VANOS is great stuff but obviously can be a pain in the rear.
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        I'd rather have VANOS than not but it does suck that they still seemingly can't seem to quite nail it down. Of course, the newer engines seem to be fine so far.
      1. rawad1017's Avatar
        rawad1017 -
        you guys are thinkin of the S62 that had the VANOS issue. same issue on 2006 S85s too. you would think after 15 years of this $#@! they would gotten it right by now. at least for once they recalled it and not try to ignore it but they still went cheap ass about it.
      1. JET's Avatar
        JET -
        This recall sounds like it is one supplier was making bad bolts. They had another supplier and those cars are fine, maybe that is why the other guy is not listed on the recall.
      1. maxnix's Avatar
        maxnix -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by JET Click here to enlarge
        This recall sounds like it is one supplier was making bad bolts. They had another supplier and those cars are fine, maybe that is why the other guy is not listed on the recall.
        The problem is with the aluminum bolts, not the design.
      1. JET's Avatar
        JET -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by maxnix Click here to enlarge
        The problem is with the aluminum bolts, not the design.
        Right, it is incorrectly manufactured bolts. That is what I said.