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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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Old 01-29-2013, 10:04 PM
rufus2004 rufus2004 is offline
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Location: Henderson,Nevada
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 57
Mein Auto: 2000 740IL
740il Service Engine Soon Light

Hello Everyone
This is not regarding a problem, but it might save somebody some needless expense and aggrivation as well. I recently purchased a 2000 740il and more recently a 97 328ic. In both instances, the cars had not been driven for awhile. On both cars the SES light showed after a few miles. With the 740, I immediately replaced the O2 sensor and gas cap per a diagnostic readout. On the 328, the seller, a Russian who know these cars told me to ignore the light and run out the old gas. Guess what, fresh gas, no light! Who knows if the 740 needed those repairs. Hope this helps someone. Fortunately, not an expensive lesson. I will say that sometimes the light comes on on the 740 for about 5 days and then mysteriously goes away for a month or so and then comes back on. Can't figure it out, part of the car's personality I guess.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:19 PM
7sofar 7sofar is offline
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Location: Northern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 1999 740i
Interesting... I recently acquired a 99 740i that has the same intermittent SES light. On for a day or two, then off for a week or more. What is the best way to get the codes off this car? I live in a fairly rural area of Northern Wisconsin and the nearest BMW dealer is three hours away.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:01 PM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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Location: Hemet, Ca
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 513
Mein Auto: 1995 325i Convertible
I have a friend who seems to know what to short to ground to clear codes that don't go away after the problem is solved(?). I don't like doing things tha way, and since I have 3 BMW's from 1995, I went ahead and ordered the Peak R5/FCX 3 from e-bay. I have been told they can be found cheaper...and you can get he codes by the "stomp" test, but since I put 16" wheels and rims on my 325i vert, I sold the original equipment ones for $150...and now have spent it.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:54 AM
First740i First740i is offline
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Location: michigan
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 291
Mein Auto: 740i
Same thing with mine. Would go on and off when it felt! I got a new mass air flow and no lights any more! Its been a year!

Sent from my DROID4 using Bimmer App
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:40 PM
rufus2004 rufus2004 is offline
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Location: Henderson,Nevada
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 57
Mein Auto: 2000 740IL
2000 740il Service Engine Soon Light

Thanks to all who responded to my post. The SES light has not illuminated for some time now, so I won't worry about it yet. It came on when our temperature dropped to a "bitter cold" 28 degrees. Remember, this is Las Vegas!. There must be a bunch of people on this site who wish it would warm up to 28. Enjoy the snow.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:03 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Location: Northeast Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 9,165
Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Originally Posted by jitsjaf2009 View Post
...and you can get he codes by the "stomp" test.
The "stomp test" is OBD I...and all BMWs went to OBD II starting with the 1996 model year...so stomping the accelerator on anything from 1996-up will be futile.

OBD II has made reading/scanning codes simple. Any code reader/scanner can retrieve the universal (and federally mandated) OBD II codes. These scanners can be found from anywhere from approx $20-up in price. And in many states...you can get the codes read for free from auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto, O'Reilly's, Pep Boys, etc.

Figuring out what the codes mean just takes simple deduction, don't just start replacing sensors and other parts without thinking what may be causing the fault code. It could be something upstream from the sensor that set the fault code...so just ask yourself questions that could bring you to a conclusion instead of jumping in all willy nilly.

I purchased a simple scanner off eBay or amazon.com a few years ago for $25...there are more expensive ones that do more things...but this scanner allows for quick reading of codes and resetting if need be...and I can go online and type the OBD II code into a google search box to find out solutions and causes. Again, since OBD II is mandated for all car manufactures since 1996...there is tons of information about the hundreds of DTC/P codes (diagnostic trouble codes "P_ _ _ _") that can easily be found searching the internet:

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)


Last edited by QSilver7; 02-09-2013 at 06:04 AM.
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