The Repair Difficulty Level displays graphically how challenging the repair is, from easy to advanced. Easy repairs usually require very few tools, have short repair times and do not require jacking and supporting the vehicle. As the difficulty level rises, expect the repair to demand more time, specialized tools, and better understanding of mechanics to complete the job.
|Make||Body & Trim||Engine & Transmission|
|1995 BMW 530i||Base||3.0L V8 – Gas|
|1994 BMW 530i||Base||3.0L V8 – Gas|
|1995 BMW 540i||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
|1994 BMW 540i||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
|1995 BMW 740i||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
|1994 BMW 740i||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
|1993 BMW 740i||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
|1995 BMW 740iL||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
|1994 BMW 740iL||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
|1993 BMW 740iL||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
|1996 BMW 840Ci||Base||4.4L V8 – Gas|
|1995 BMW 840Ci||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
|1994 BMW 840Ci||Base||4.0L V8 – Gas|
A dirty or malfunctioning BMW M60 idle control valve will cause a rough idling engine, especially when the motor is cold.
The BMW M60 8 cylinder engine has received a lot of bad press over the years. It has been continually lambasted over problems with its Nikasil lined engine block. The Nikasil engine block has been often falsely accused for most of the rough idle issues with the M60 engine.
The facts are there are many other components that can cause a rough idle in the M60 engine other than Nikasil lined cylinders. One of the more common ones is a malfunctioning BMW M60 idle control valve.
The M60 idle control valve is a motorized part controlled by the vehicle’s DME (the engine control module). As the DME monitors the vehicles engine idle speed, it makes any needed adjustments through the idle control valve, which is attached to the intake manifold. Over time the valve can build up with carbon deposits, dirt and oily grime. A dirty valve will lead to it malfunctioning, causing a rough idle and even engine stalling. Idle control valves that are not cleaned for extensive periods of time can even fail requiring and expensive replacement.
The good news is an idle control valve can be easily cleaned in less than 30 minutes by even the most novice mechanic. We give you full step by step instructions below for your convenience.
1. Control valve grommet (required) – Even if you are just cleaning the valve, you must replace its rubber grommet. The grommet seals the valve in the intake manifold and is a common cause of vacuum leaks as it ages.
2. Idle control valve (optional) – If you find that your idle control valve is still not operating correctly even after being cleaned, then you will need to replace it.
- Use a socket wrench to disconnect the negative terminal from the battery before starting this repair. Always cover the terminal with a clean rag to avoid accidental contact during the repair. If working on a vehicle with 2 batteries (8 series), disconnect the negative terminal from both batteries. ALWAYS disconnect the battery(s) before performing any type of mechanical repair, especially in the engine compartment.
- Remove the four 10mm nuts anchoring the top engine cover. Remove cover from engine bay.
- Identify the idle control valve on the front of the engine.
- Remove the electrical connection from the back of the valve by squeezing the retaining clip and pulling the plug off.
- Use a flat blade screwdriver to loosen the hose clamp connecting the vacuum hose to idle control valve. Use a flat blade screwdriver to pry the hose off of the valve, being extremely careful NOT to puncture the hose. If you puncture the hose, it will have to be replaced.
- Remove the rubber mount from the valve.
- Grasp the idle control valve and pull out of the intake manifold.
- Remove the rubber grommet (use a flat blade screwdriver if necessary). To avoid any vacuum leaks, always replace the rubber grommet with a new one (see parts list) when cleaning or replacing the valve.
Cleaning the BMW M60 idle control valve simply involves liberally spraying the inside of the valve with carburetor cleaner until the internal mechanism opens and shuts freely.
- Shake the valve softly in your hands. You should hear the internal mechanism opening and closing as you shake it. If you don’t, then the valve is stuck from carbon deposits.
- Take a can of high quality carburetor cleaner (we use CRC Clean-R-Carb) and thoroughly blast all of the carbon and gunk out of the valve. Repeat continuously letting it soak in between blasts. Use the whole can cleaning out the valve. When you softly shake the valve now you should hear the internal mechanism opening and closing.
- Use compressed air to thoroughly blow out all of the carburetor cleaner until inside of M60 idle control valve is dry.
- Your valve is now clean and can be reinstalled into the vehicle. Do not forget to use a new rubber grommet during installation of your cleaned M60 idle control valve.
- If you were unable to successfully clean your idle control valve, or if your valve is damaged, install a new one along with a new rubber grommet. See the “Parts” section above for the link to the correct replacement valve for the M60 engine.