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Q: Changed VANOS Solinoid-Mechanic Wants to Replace Entire Engine

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My car was not properly accelerating and was stopping in the middle of the road. I got two diagnostics done and they both said it was the solenoids. The mechanics changed both and are now saying there is actual damage in the engine and it would be best to replace the whole engine. What could the issue be?
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: It's entirely possible that there is an...

It's entirely possible that there is an engine problem. The VANOS system is BMW's take on variable valve timing, and if your car is a regular Mini Cooper, not the Cooper S model, then it has double VANOS and uses Valvetronic to control the throttle input. If the solenoids have been replaced, it's possible that one of the VANOS gears has failed, which could be causing the problem. Unless there is physical damage to the motor, I see no reason to replace the entire engine, though replacing the VANOS gears is a very big job. I would suggest getting a third opinion on your acceleration issue from a qualified independent technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

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