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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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Old 10-14-2012, 10:21 AM
swatone swatone is offline
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Location: usa
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Mein Auto: 2001 740il
service engine soon light flashes then rough idle

I have a 2001 runs fine then the service engine soon light flashes a couple of times then the engine idles rough especially at stops.....anyone had this problem before?
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:59 AM
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beemer1804 beemer1804 is offline
Location: Pennsylvania
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Mein Auto: 95 740IL
Something is wrong, if it flashes then idle it could mean many things, you would have to run it through the computer, my guess is o2 sensor but thats just a guess, have it ran through the computer and let me know

War Machine
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:28 PM
01740iLTony 01740iLTony is offline
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Location: South Carolina
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 2001 740iL
I had this same issue a few weeks back. I took to a local BMW shop and ask them to do a compute scan. The found the the rear coil that is connected to the spark plug was bad. Check out Bavarian autosports ( for how to "do it yourself". I purchased everything on line from them also. It only took me about 1 hr to change the one coil and 8 plugs. Good luck.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:59 AM
JasonSC540ia JasonSC540ia is offline
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Location: Alamogetto NM
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Mein Auto: 1999 740i
Never heard of the "service eng" light flashing. When the CEL flashes yellow that indicates a mis-fire. Is your CEL on?
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:51 AM
First740i First740i is offline
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Location: michigan
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Mein Auto: 740i
Check all your plugs and coils. Same thing happened to my car. Plugs were loose on the passenger. Also one plug was wasted.

Sent from my DROID4 using Bimmer App
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:04 AM
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Dave 330i Dave 330i is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,807
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I don't own a 7, but a 2001 330i. Yes, my engine service light has been on and off before, sometimes for some minor things. The current issue is with a vacuum leak, and the dealer wants to do a smoke test for $150, but credit its cost to the repair. Currently, the car runs great, so my philosophy if it is not broken, don't fix it still applies. If the engine has symptoms, then take it in for a check up. I think the dealer charges around $125 for diagnostic. Oh, running rough, most likely an air sensor or intake or exhaust valve sensor.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Albert Einstein

Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction", Sam Walton.

Last edited by Dave 330i; 10-16-2012 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:08 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Why guess at what the problem is when you can easily find out by reading the OBD II codes.

If your CEL/SES light is illuminated/ means that one of the sensors for the electronic emissions system has registered a fault. Since 1996 (in the USA) OBD II mandates have been in place for ALL car mfg's that sell vehicles here. Go have your car scanned (free in most states)...and post back what "P" codes you have. Or you can google "OBD codes" and find the information just as simple.

This may be something very simple to fix instead of letting go until more issues arise. It's a simple as hooking up an OBD II scanner/reader to your OBD port to find out what the issue is. Your car is trying to communicate with you to check your emissions it and you won't have to "guess" what the problem is...your car will tell you were the issue is coming from.

The OP has no "location" if you live anywhere except California & Oregon (i believe) can take your car to any AutoZone/PepBoys etc and they will usually read your OBD II codes for free.

(Service Engine Soon (SES) & Check Engine Light (CEL)...are the same...BMW switched from CEL to SES mid production)

E38 OBD II port/connector

Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:44 PM
Cangelo629 Cangelo629 is offline
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Location: Columbia Station, OH
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: E38 2001 740iL
Get The Codes read..........Could Be Simple As Cleaning The Carbon Out Of Piedometer And Mass Chamber,,,,,,,,,,,,
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