M5 Vanos Kits for...

  • All US E39 M5
  • All Euro E39 M5
  • All Z8

E39 M5 Information

Core Return
All US domestic vanos orders come with a pre-paid UPS return shipping label. Get your core refund quicker and with less hassle!
M5 Solenoids
We are always buying used M5 solenoid packs and vanos units regardless of condition. Contact us for more info.
Please call to verify price and availability
E39 M5 Vanos


The 1999 - 2003 US and Euro E39 M5 and Z8 (S62) uses a dual vanos for each bank of cylinders making it a fairly complex system. While the vanos units themselves are quite reliable and should last the life of the car in most cases, the solenoids can cause various problems which can be mistaken for a vanos failure. While we do offer a rebuild service for the M5 vanos if needed, most vanos related issues can be addressed by simply repairing or replacing the solenoids. The next few tabs offer specific information for the most common M5 Vanos problems and how to address them. We highly recommend keeping a Peake code reader in the glove box to easily troubleshoot any fault codes generated without the need to take it to the dealer. We can help diagnose fault codes for you and determine the best method for resolving the issue to save you from needless or expensive repairs.


The most common problem on the M5 vanos is a solenoid failure. There are 4 solenoids on a circuit board inside each vanos unit. If one of these solenoids fails it will generate vanos related fault codes, mis-fires and rough idle. At your local BMW dealership this would normally be diagnosed as a complete vanos failure and replacing one or both vanos units would typically be recommended to fix the problem, along with an estimate in the $2k to $6k price range. We offer the option of testing and replacing the faulty solenoid(s) or replacing the solenoid board with a new one while leaving the vanos units intact. This is an easy and relatively inexpensive alternative to a complete vanos replacement, and can be done by the average DIY'er in a couple of hours.


Each vanos has a solenoid pack containing 4 individual solenoids. Each solenoid has 2 O-Rings which can harden and fail over time causing oil to leak from the front of the vanos. We offer a solenoid repair kit consisting of 16 'D' Shaped O-rings and 2 new gaskets for the cover plate. This is a great preventative maintenance upgrade and can be easily done in a couple of hours without any special tools. This is a highly recommended upgrade for '99-'01 models, as most newer models will already have the upgraded O-rings installed from the factory. Please note that if you are getting a check-engine light you probably have a solenoid failure, not an O-ring failure. Click the 'Removing Solenoids' tab for more info about removing the solenoids.

Removing Solenoids

Removing the solenoids is fairly straight forward, but we have some helpful tips to make things easier. The BMW TIS document at the left describes the procedure, but we have a few additional tips for you.
There is NO need to touch the 4 set screws on the solenoid cover (if you have the style with set screws). These are preset at the factory and should never need to be adjusted or removed!
Sometimes the solenoids will practically fall out of their sockets and sometimes they will not budge. We don't recommend using pliers to remove the solenoids in most cases. There is a lip on each solenoid just under the rubber grommet that it sits in. You should be able to use a small flat blade screwdriver and gently pry each solenoid up, starting with the 2 lower solenoids, then the 2 upper solenoids. If they do not easily move, gently rotate the solenoid back and forth with a pair of pliers or channel locks to loosen them up being VERY CAREFUL not to break the wiring or damage the circuit board,then try prying them again with the screw driver. If they still refuse to budge you can try gently pulling/rocking them with pliers until they start to move. If this still does not work, install the solenoid cover and all 5 bolts but leave them slightly loose, leaving a ~2mm gap between the solenoid cover and the vanos unit. Start the engine for 3-4 seconds and this should force the solenoids loose using oil pressure inside the vanos. You may get some oil leakage so be prepared!

Cam Sensors

The M5 has 4 Cam Position Sensors, one intake and one exhaust for each bank. These are another common failure point on the M5 and will usually start to fail around 80k miles, generating a check-engine light, rough idle and poor performance. If you have a Peake code reader you will most likely find a specific fault for a failed CPS, along with the bank and intake or exhaust details. Note that on LHD cars Bank 1 is the passenger side (where the oil fill cap is located) and Bank 2 is the driver side (where the remote battery post is located). Your fault code should specify which bank as well as intake or exhaust side. Note that the cam position sensors are located at the back of the engine next to the firewall, with the intake sensors closest to the center of the engine, and the exhaust sensors will be on the outer side of the engine, near the exhaust headers.
To access the cam sensors, remove the cabin filter assembly and connected air intake elbow from the firewall. You will need a 5mm allen key to remove the bolt holding the CPS in place. It is a very tight fit and a small ratcheting tool will make things much easier here.

Diesel Rattle

These units are also well known for the annoying rattling or diesel sound heard at idle and low RPM's. It needs mentioning that the rattling noise is not related to the failing seals or solenoids, and is a separate issue of it's own. It will not harm the engine and is not an indication of the health of the vanos, but is simply an engineering oversight that can be easily fixed with some minor internal modifications.
 The common M5 'diesel rattle' can be attributed to the splined gears that fit at the back of the vanos, connecting the vanos to the cam gears. Each splined gear has a bearing assembly inside which allows it to spin freely with the camshaft. These bearing assemblies are designed with a very loose tolerance from the manufacturer, causing them to rattle or resonate at certain RPM's. At DrVanos we slightly modify these bearings to bring the tolerances much closer together for a tighter fit. By reducing the tolerances in the bearing assembly, the gears no longer resonate and the diesel rattling is reduced considerably. This is a permanent modification that will last the life of the car.
The removal and installation of the splined gears is a fairly complex procedure and not practical for the average DIY owner, but a qualified BMW technician should be able to replace the gears in a few hours. If you are interested in more information about reducing the rattle on your M5 please contact us for more information. We can supply rebuilt gears on a core exchange basis at a very reasonable price.

Oil Blow-back

Another common problem with the M5 is oil being pushed back through the intake plenum and into the air boxes. This seems to be related to oil pressure build-up in the vanos oil system due to either debris in the oil passages inside the vanos (or solenoids) or in the oil pressure reducing valves located behind the vanos units. Typically this can be resolved by removing and cleaning the solenoids. In some cases the pressure reducing valves located behind the vanos units will need to be replaced.
M5 Vanos Rebuild Service

M5 VANOSWe can rebuild your Vanos with all new seals, gaskets and O-rings for $350 each. We can also test and replace any faulty solenoids if needed. Call for more details.

Price: Starting at $350 each

Solenoid Testing and Repair

M5 Solenoids Having solenoid issues? Send us your solenoid board and we can test and replace individual solenoids with a quality replacement saving you the cost of a full replacement pack. Call or email for more information. When sending your solenoids in for repair, please include your contact information in the box.

Price: $400.00 per individual solenoid

Rebuilt M5 Vanos

M5 VANOS DrVanos rebuilt BMW Vanos units complete with new seals, gaskets and O-rings. Includes solenoids, ready to install.
Receive a $300 credit for each core vanos returned to us!

Rebuilt Vanos: $1100.00 each (plus $300 core charge)


Solenoid Covers

M5 Solenoid Cover

Replace your 1999-2000 solenoid covers with the updated version. The newer covers use a set screw to firmly hold each solenoid in it's piston bore, reducing vibration issues and prolonging the life of the solenoid. A great upgrade when doing the O-ring kit!. Sold individually, price includes new cover gasket.

Price: $195 each

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O-Ring Upgrade Kit

M5 Solenoid Kit These O-Rings will last the life of the car and are a great preventative maintenance upgrade. The kit includes 16 O-Rings and 2 gaskets. Highly recommended for all model years.

Price: $185.00

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Modified Gears

M5 Modified Gears For those looking for a ready-to-install solution for the M5 'diesel rattling' noise we offer a rebuild service for the 4 splined gears. The gears are modified to reduce the diesel noise significantly.

Price: $300.00

Send us your gears for the rebuild service
Spindle Replacement

M5 Spindle Splined gear repair service available! Unfortunately it's very easy to break the spindles off the splined gears when removing the vanos unit from the engine, and BMW does not sell these gears separately so you are forced to purchase a $900 gear set just to get one replacement gear! DrVanos offers a replacement spindle service to get you back on the road for a fraction of the cost of a new gear set. Just send your broken gears to us and we can replace the spindle for $75 each. Please note that we do not sell the splined M5 gears outright, but you can buy the spindle for $50.

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Parts and Accessories...

Peake Code Reader

Peake Research Engine Scan/Reset tool. Able to read fault codes, reset Check-Engine light, Service-Engine-Soon light, SRS, Oilservice and Inspection Lights.

  • Displays BMW engine fault codes; Helps diagnose exactly what's wrong.
  • Resets the "Check Engine/Service Engine Soon" Light.
  • Resets the Oil Service and Inspection lights.
  • Includes complete instructions, code booklet and storage case.
  • Adaptor not needed in most cases. See application diagram below.

Price: $145.00 - $189.00

Click on the image below for application diagram.

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