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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 03-04-2012, 10:21 AM
rderow rderow is offline
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Mein Auto: m3 convert smg e46 2002
Any ideas what I should pay for a valve adjustment? I have heard $500-$1k and there is a guy in socal that does it for $200 but havent heard back from him
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  #52  
Old 03-04-2012, 11:26 PM
nowack500 nowack500 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 E36 328i
Just add an "S" to the "NO" and tell them your buddy Vin Diesel said its cool
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  #53  
Old 03-05-2012, 09:32 AM
rderow rderow is offline
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Mein Auto: m3 convert smg e46 2002
Getting my 2 front O2 sensors changed and will take it from there.... wish me luck!
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  #54  
Old 03-05-2012, 03:08 PM
rderow rderow is offline
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Mein Auto: m3 convert smg e46 2002
Getting the two front O2 sensors changed and looking for a reasonable shop to do a valve adjustment in Southern California. Any ideas?
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  #55  
Old 11-08-2013, 05:06 PM
tj88 tj88 is offline
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Mein Auto: 94 bmw 318i e30
So I failed my CA smog test today. Hc ( max 85) meas186 failed flying colors. Co max.34 meas.47 failed that two. The hc means bad cat right? But here's the thing you gotta get hella close and you can barely see black smoke and I put my hand behind exhaust to smell it and it doesn't smell like gas or anything. So I'm thinking it really doesn't need a new cat. As for as co its barely bad in the test so that's a o2 sensor right. I'm really thinking if I get a new pre cat sensor I'll pass the test with flying colors. What do you guys think with experience as I'm not a mechanic so I don't know. But if I don't need a new cat i dont want to buy one .and he said my fuel cap bad I call bs on that one.
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  #56  
Old 11-08-2013, 05:28 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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first, you are running high on co and hc?? where were the other gasses?? co2, o2, and nox??

hc is a misfire indicator, hc is a rich running indicator, while co2 and o2 are efficiency indicators and assist with cat diagnosis.

and the gas cap probably is faulty. spend 20 bucks and get one and quite whinning


so if you going to throw parts at this thing, i suggest starting with the routine stuff first, like plugs. an o2 sensor would also be a good idea, as would running seafoam through the intake.
new filters (air, fuel, and oil) would be a good thing to do as well.

then, if you are feeling ambitious, you could clean the throttle plate and idle control motor (icv).

then retest.

black exhaust, no matter how 'faint' it is, indicates a rich running condition. the reason as to why needs to be figured out. it could be a faulty input from the o2, or the afm, or the coolant temp sensor.


how many miles?? any driveability issues??





df
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  #57  
Old 11-08-2013, 05:52 PM
tj88 tj88 is offline
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Mein Auto: 94 bmw 318i e30
It has 220,xxx miles on it. I no sensors go bad every what 50k or so. Just trying not buy new cat or anything cause imma straight pipe it. But there no bad smell or fuel smell from exhaust. Can a bad pre cat o2 sensor make the cat not work right and also be the culprit for really high hc in emission test. Buddy told me if I just replace pre cat that will fix everything and il pass smog.

Last edited by tj88; 11-09-2013 at 01:05 PM.
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  #58  
Old 11-10-2013, 05:32 PM
tj88 tj88 is offline
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Mein Auto: 94 bmw 318i e30
Anyone got a idea. No check engine light on has the inspection pop up during ignition than goes away. Hopeing I can just replace pre cat sensor and be good but with the hc so high I don't no. Really trying to avoid buying new cat as I'm just gunna straight pipe no cat anyway. Anywway Ican test to make sure what one really needs to be replaced. Don't have code reader but no cheack engine light anyways
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  #59  
Old 11-11-2013, 04:56 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by tj88 View Post
It has 220,xxx miles on it. I no sensors go bad every what 50k or so. Just trying not buy new cat or anything cause imma straight pipe it. But there no bad smell or fuel smell from exhaust. Can a bad pre cat o2 sensor make the cat not work right and also be the culprit for really high hc in emission test. Buddy told me if I just replace pre cat that will fix everything and il pass smog.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tj88 View Post
Anyone got a idea. No check engine light on has the inspection pop up during ignition than goes away. Hopeing I can just replace pre cat sensor and be good but with the hc so high I don't no. Really trying to avoid buying new cat as I'm just gunna straight pipe no cat anyway. Anywway Ican test to make sure what one really needs to be replaced. Don't have code reader but no cheack engine light anyways

please please *please* use english....using 'no' instead of 'know' is a huge issue for the grammar nazi's and conveys to use that if you do not c are enough to at least use proper grammar, how in the world are you ever to expect us to believe you wish to fix your car properly.

especially since ur gunna st8 pipe it....



go back and re read the replies already there. if you are not able to do the basic diagnostic proceedure(s) required, then you will need to go to a shop and pay the piper to get the car fixed.

if you do decide to invest in a basic set of tools and equipment, then you will be able to more than make that money back in savings on repairs and diagnostics.

however, in your case, i believe the best thing for you to do is to sell your bmw and go buy a honda.


yo.





df
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  #60  
Old 11-11-2013, 05:24 PM
tj88 tj88 is offline
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Ok I will go back and re read and i will try to use correct grammer. I deffinetly need to invest in more tools, so far I have been going back and forth buying tools. Yeah I wanted to have fun fixing car up and making it really nice and fun to drive. But this car killing me something always up with it and its expensive. I don't know though because I like the car
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  #61  
Old 11-11-2013, 05:45 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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newsflash,....cars are expenses. period. some are more prone to chronic failures than others, but my experience has been that owning an e36 has been no more expensive than my hyundai. (minus the car payment for the hyundai)

the basic process of internal combustion is pretty much the same regardless of make, as well.

lack of fuel will cause similar driveability issues with a honda as they would with a mercedes, and voltage is voltage. all cars are designed to run on enough voltage to keep the battery charged and run the system requirements. (dry cell technology on the newer bmw's make registering the battery necessary, though....)

if you are on limited funds, i would suggest that you do a research of the top 10 diagnostic tools (based upon interwebz polls) and see what they are and learn how they work before you buy them, as well as learn what they do before you buy them. no sense in purchasing a line pressure tool for automatic transmissions unless you wish to be a trans specialist, for instance.

i would also suggest some evening classes for automotive technology. you get the benefits of some education without the necessity of having to spend a lot of money. it'll also give you a better idea as to what to expect when working (or attempting to do so) on your own car.


and please, no straight pipes. too raspy and boy-racer wannabe. the only thing you'll do is get the attention of the police and other clapped out racer wannabe's....





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  #62  
Old 11-11-2013, 10:45 PM
tj88 tj88 is offline
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Haha that last paragraph priceless. And ya I really want to because I'm all about cars but have had to learn on my own. I mean I can fix a lot of basic and some minor stuff and do maintnance but as far as playing guess what's wrong with the car i suck. But deffinetly could learn more. Yeah I need to get that code reader and a few more tools. But thinking Friday buy pre cat 02 sensor and try to pass smog. If it doesn't work than going to have to get new cat. Which my luck I will because with 205,xxx miles I really doubt previous owner bought any o2 sensors. This guy before totally abused this car. Which sensors go bad aftef 50k so if he hasn't bought any that cat destroyed.
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  #63  
Old 05-13-2014, 05:19 PM
CadillacMIBMW CadillacMIBMW is offline
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Mein Auto: 93 325i and 98 740i
E36 Failed, then Passed SMOG

1993 BMW 325i 182k mi

Test 1 3/13/2014 FAILED
HC CO NO
15mph 88% 31% 23%
25mph 162% 35% 6%

Changed platinum plugs with copper plugs, previously changed at 131k
Changed Oxygen Sensor, previously changed at 134k
Cleaned MAF Sensor, CRC MAF Sensor Cleaner per directions
Corrected potential exhaust leak upstream of catalytic converter
CRC Guarantee to Pass per directions

Test 2 5/13/2014 PASSED
HC CO NO
15mph 64% 17% 28%
25mph 87% 29% 30%


All results are in percent of allowable range. I failed the first test for High HC
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  #64  
Old 09-18-2014, 11:34 AM
Brian 328is Brian 328is is offline
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Location: San Diego, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1996 328is
Recently failed smog for high NOx

This is for member "drivinfaster", but I thought others may benefit.

drivinfaster, it is obvious you've worked or have experience in emission diagnostics. I respect your opinion, so maybe you can help.

I have a 1996 328i, with 223,000 miles currently. I've owned another, different E36 for 14 years.


I originally bought this car in May, 2012, so I have detailed maintenance records since then.

I have recently failed smog 3 times, although I only have results for the 3rd test, as my friend owned the car for the first 2 tests, and did not keep the results. His mechanic was certain that it needed a new catalytic converter.

A little more background history:
I bought it in May, 2012, then sold it to a friend in September, 2012, as he really needed a car. While he owned it, the head gasket blew, and white smoke was coming from the tail pipe. He paid $2,000 to get it fixed in April, 2014. He drove the car for a while with a blown head gasket, and white smoke, prior to the $2,000 repair.
Two weeks ago, the upper radiator hose blew out. He had enough at the point, and sold the car to me for $500. I simply replaced the hose ($15), and the car runs perfect. He had very quickly turned the engine off when the hose blew, based on his previous costly experience.

Prior to the "upper hose" issue, his registration was coming due, so smog was required. He failed twice. Again, his mechanic was certain that he needed a new cat. He had an appointment to get it replaced, then the upper hose blew out.

I bought the car, took it to get smogged, with the following results:

/////////// 15mph // 25mph
RPM ////// 1657 // 2695
CO (mea) 13.9 // 13.9
O2 (mea) 0.1 // 0.0
HC (max) 54 // 37
HC (mea) 28 // 12
CO (max) 0.50 // 0.47
CO (mea) 0.10 // 0.09
NO (max) 430 // 717
NO (mea) 544 // 655

So, I only failed in "15 mpg NOx" category.

I have read the other posts in this thread, including post #3

Quote:
"first things first. run a can of seafoam through the intake and clean out the carbon deposits."
This car, while owned by my friend, had a "fuel system cleaning" performed at Firestone, at 203,000 miles, 20,000 miles ago.

Quote:
"check the operation of the O2 sensor, if you don't have a decent dvom (like a fluke88) then don't go out and get one (or worse, a cheapy version), just get a new one and replace it. "
I do own a Fluke meter, and I have lots of experience in troubleshooting E36 problems with it. How do I test an O2 sensor with a Fluke?


Quote:
if you have a fan clutch, make sure it is operating properly, and that the cooling system is up to snuff.
This car had a new thermostat, Radiator, and Fan clutch installed in Sept. 2011, at 181,000 miles (3 years, 40,000 miles ago). The coolant was just flushed, due to the upper hose blowout. I properly bled the system. It was vey hot here in Southern CA lately, and in traffic, with the A/C on, the cooling system was stable.

A lot of the other info seems to be "tune up" related...have your car properly tuned. All filters & fluids have been changed, with the exception of motor oil (doing that today). Spark plugs were changed in June, 2013, 18,000 miles ago.

I cleaned the ICV in June, 2012, 30,000 miles ago. Strong, stable idle.

No, I don't want to throw parts & money at it.
Based on my experience, I would like to be able to test the O2 sensors using a Fluke meter (procedure, please). It may be possible that while my friend continued to run the car with a blown head gasket....did the coolant, being sent down the exhaust, coat the cat, causing failure? Is there a way to test the cat?


I have driving this car 300 miles since the smog failure. Runs great, idles smooth, with strong pull from engine.

drivinfaster, thanks for any help.

Brian
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  #65  
Old 09-18-2014, 07:32 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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I do not believe the fluke88 dvom will be fast enough on the sampling rate to be able to check the proper operation of the o2 sensor....this would be in power graphing meter territory, or an oscilloscope.

with that mileage and the recent hg repair, I would have hoped the vanos system would have been rebuilt as well. a worn vanos can affect emissions, particularly nox iirc, and @ lower rpm.

while I am not able to absolutely confirm this, it is a possibility. I am certain that there are others with more input on this directly.

your co2 is down a little, too, which could also be related to this as well. I do not like to see this # below 14% on fuel injected vehicles.



df
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  #66  
Old 10-03-2014, 07:48 AM
Brian 328is Brian 328is is offline
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Mein Auto: 1996 328is
Passed smog!

My previous fail numbers, reposted below

/////////// 15mph // 25mph
RPM ////// 1657 // 2695
CO (mea) 13.9 // 13.9
O2 (mea) 0.1 // 0.0
HC (max) 54 // 37
HC (mea) 28 // 12
CO (max) 0.50 // 0.47
CO (mea) 0.10 // 0.09
NO (max) 430 // 717
NO (mea) 544 // 655

------------------------------

Prior to any fixing of the car, I also got a CEL, with these two codes
p0160 - bad O2 sensor
p0116 - bad cooling system circuit

I changed out the entire "mid pipe" section of the exhaust. I was able to get one, including the two O2 sensors, for $200, off of a '97 M3, with 160,000 miles on it.

That is all I changed. After the mid pipe swap, I cleared the CEL, with no recurrence.

Here's my smog numbers, after the mid pipe swap

/////////// 15mph // 25mph
RPM ////// 1689 // 2631
CO2 (mea) 14.5 // 14.4
O2 (mea) 0.0 // 0.0
HC (max) 54 // 37
HC (mea) 54 // 37
CO (max) 0.50 // 0.47
CO (mea) 0.08 // 0.05
NO (max) 430 // 717
NO (mea) 35 // 43


As you see, on HC, no room to spare!

So, $500 to buy, $15 rad hose, $200 mid pipe, and $100 mid pipe installation labor cost
$815 total

I am good for at least two years, till the next smog.

Brian
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