I received an email asking for assistance on a 2006 BMW 325xi with a fault code P0017 stored.

Thank you for your time, I know I need it! This car may have
hesitation, although the customer may just not be used to
drive by wire yet. The code I get from this car is P0017, I
have seen it before on a 3 series but it was from massive
overheating causing a general damage to engine. This car
doesn’t seem to have any real issues other than the light
coming on intermittently. My electronic information system
is useless when it comes to info on this car so I thought to
ask my colleges. Thank you again,


My repsonse:

This fault can be set due to a sticking VANOS solenoid. The easiest way to check it is to remove the VANOS solenoids and gently clean them. Reinstall and recheck. There is a software update for the ECM to address this problem in the future. The update provides a routine for the engine / VANOS solenoids to flush out debris.

A side note: if you get a fault pertaining to one specific cam sensor, (exhaust or intake) remove and swap locations of the VANOS solenoids, (they are interchangeable). If the fault follows the solenoid replace it.

Possible fault codes you may have if this is your problem:

  • 2A9A Cam sensor, inlet signal – signal invalid for synchronization
  • 2A98 – p0016 Crankshaft-inlet camshaft, correlation – Value outside reference range
  • 2A82 VANOS intake – stiff, jammed mechanically
  • 2A9B Cam sensor, exhaust signal – signal invalid for synchronization
  • 2A99 – p0017 Crankshaft – exhaust camshaft, correlation – Value outside reference range
  • 2A87 VANOS exhaust – stiff, jammed mechanically

Roland’s final email:

Sorry, my office computer crashed and i’m just closing
now. I just took out the VANOS solenoids and blew them out and
put them back and the code hasn’t come back yet. Seems to be
fussy. Thank you for your help.

Ontario, Canada