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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2013, 04:39 PM
Concort Concort is offline
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Service Engine Soon light

I've been driving with the Service Engine Soon light on now for about two months. Car's running fine. I've had it in the shop (not BMW dealer) and they said their little computer thing said it was a vacuum error...?? They ran died smoked through the lines and couldn't find any leaks... they did replace one larger vacuum hose though. Still the stupid light is on. Now I did just change the oil after about 10k miles of driving. Could it be telling me that I need to take in for service for oil change? If so, Can I reset this stupid light somehow now that I changed the oil?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks
Brian
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2013, 04:54 PM
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iskoos iskoos is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concort View Post
I've been driving with the Service Engine Soon light on now for about two months. Car's running fine. I've had it in the shop (not BMW dealer) and they said their little computer thing said it was a vacuum error...?? They ran died smoked through the lines and couldn't find any leaks... they did replace one larger vacuum hose though. Still the stupid light is on. Now I did just change the oil after about 10k miles of driving. Could it be telling me that I need to take in for service for oil change? If so, Can I reset this stupid light somehow now that I changed the oil?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks
Brian
I didn't understand what you are asking.
What does SES light have to do with oil change?
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2013, 04:56 PM
Concort Concort is offline
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Well I guess I was asking if the SES light DOES have anything to do with changing the oil. No one else can figure out why this stupid light is still on. I figured that's the only thing left.
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2013, 05:00 PM
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iskoos iskoos is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concort View Post
Well I guess I was asking if the SES light DOES have anything to do with changing the oil. No one else can figure out why this stupid light is still on. I figured that's the only thing left.
Well the light is on because most likely something is wrong with the engine's emission control system. I can guarantee you changing engine oil will not cure it...

Have someone read the codes and post them here so we can look at them...
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2013, 05:05 PM
Concort Concort is offline
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I remember them saying it was a vacuum error...meaning some loss in vacuum pressure I presuming. I don't have the exact code though. I guess I can go to Advanced Auto and have them scan it.

BTW: Is there a trick to resetting the light? I heard if you hold in the left odometer knob that will do it. Is that true?
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2013, 05:31 PM
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iskoos iskoos is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concort View Post
I remember them saying it was a vacuum error...meaning some loss in vacuum pressure I presuming. I don't have the exact code though. I guess I can go to Advanced Auto and have them scan it.

BTW: Is there a trick to resetting the light? I heard if you hold in the left odometer knob that will do it. Is that true?
If it is a vacuum leak, many things could be causing it. You will have a long check list; some items will be quick and easy some will be hard...

There is no trick to resetting the SES light. Even if you reset it, it will come back on because you didn't fix the issue.

You are confusing yourself with the Service indicator resetting. Yes, you can reset the oil service indicator. Search the forum for "Resetting Oil Service Indicator".

It is easy...
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2013, 05:53 PM
Concort Concort is offline
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Yea you're right I am confusing myself I guess I was just wishing that stupid Service Engine light would go off if I did the steps for resetting that oil change light. Wishful thinking.

OK back to the drawing board with the vacuum error. I'll try to get an error and post here so hopefully someone might be able to diagnose.

Is it harmful to run the car for long period while this light is on?
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2013, 05:59 PM
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iskoos iskoos is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concort View Post
Is it harmful to run the car for long period while this light is on?
I have been running my car with those codes (P0171 & P0174) for several years. Nothing happened so far
If you do not feel something is wrong with the engine (other than the SES light), you should be fine. But sometimes it is a major vacuum leak and it causes severe engine hesitation.
In my case, I didn't feel anything other than the annoying SES light...
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  #9  
Old 02-15-2013, 11:04 PM
BmoreBimmer BmoreBimmer is offline
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I have been running with p0171 and p0174 codes for a couple months as well. It doesnt seem to have any negative effects as i assume it might only be a small vacuum leak. I suspect it to be a lower intake boot which is a common wear point for e46's. This is one of the easier solutions for fixing these error codes. its a $20 part. However a little reading and searching will give you tons of info on the many factors that trigger these codes. most include ccv and tubing, icv, lower intake boot, DISA valve seal, o2 sensors (pricey), or a fuel filter. All are inexpensive fixes if you are willing to DIY the jobs, but some are more intense then others. Mostly for me the biggest pain is resetting the codes periodically to get ride of the SES light starring me in the face. I just use a inexpensive OBII scanner i got off ebay for $20-30, it does the trick and no problems with it so far.
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2013, 12:24 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concort View Post
I was asking if the SES light DOES have anything to do with changing the oil.
Nope. The SES light is for emissions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Concort View Post
No one else can figure out why this stupid light is still on. I figured that's the only thing left.
Please: Nobody can take you seriously when you say styupid things like that.

First off, the light isn't stupid, and secondly, nobody on the planet would say what you said if they understood that the vehicle's computer ALWAYS tells you why the light is on, via a diagnostic trouble code.

I'll repeat: There isn't a mechanic on the planet, nor an auto parts store counterperson in the world who can't tell you what the DTCs are that triggered the SES light. So stop saying that no one can figure it out as the only one who can't figure it out is you.

For a list of DTCs, go here:
- All OBDII codes, including BMW-specific P1xxx DTCs specific to the engine computer of each BMW (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Concort View Post
Yea you're right I am confusing myself I guess I was just wishing that stupid Service Engine light would go off
Why don't you just clear the codes, which will turn the SES light off instantly?
PS: The light isn't stupid ... so please stop saying that because it makes you sound, well, it makes you sound styupid. (And you are what you write.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Concort View Post
OK back to the drawing board with the vacuum error. I'll try to get an error and post here so hopefully someone might be able to diagnose.
Look. There isn't a BMW owner on the planet, who has a 5 or more year old bimmer, who has not had a vacuum leak. So don't go making it the end of the world. It's one of the most common maladies of the BMW - so suck it up and just find the vacuum leak.

There must be a zillion threads here on how to find them, but, since we're not sure of the code, I'll refer you to this one set of threads:
- How to diagnose a BMW engine misfire (1) & how to battle vacuum leaks (1) (2) (3) & how to solve specific vacuum leak diagnostic trouble codes such as P0171, P0174, P0313 (1) & P0170, P0173 (1) & where to find all the vacuum hoses in the M54 engine bay (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by iskoos View Post
Is it harmful to run the car for long period while this light is on?
I had a half-dozen misfire codes for more than a year:
- Does the order of the misfire OBDII DTCs diagnostic trouble codes actually matter (1)

And, once I fixed the problem, it passed California smog with aplomb:
- What you can expect for smog emissions test results (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BmoreBimmer View Post
the biggest pain is resetting the codes periodically to get ride of the SES light starring me in the face. I just use a inexpensive OBII scanner i got off ebay for $20-30, it does the trick and no problems with it so far.
Here's what I suggest for the OP:
- Where to get the cheapest reasonable OBDII scanner in the world (1) (2)

I give these away as gifts all the time ... I must have bought a dozen by now:
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #11  
Old 02-16-2013, 05:40 AM
iskoos's Avatar
iskoos iskoos is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BmoreBimmer View Post
I have been running with p0171 and p0174 codes for a couple months as well. It doesnt seem to have any negative effects as i assume it might only be a small vacuum leak. I suspect it to be a lower intake boot which is a common wear point for e46's. This is one of the easier solutions for fixing these error codes. its a $20 part. However a little reading and searching will give you tons of info on the many factors that trigger these codes. most include ccv and tubing, icv, lower intake boot, DISA valve seal, o2 sensors (pricey), or a fuel filter. All are inexpensive fixes if you are willing to DIY the jobs, but some are more intense then others. Mostly for me the biggest pain is resetting the codes periodically to get ride of the SES light starring me in the face. I just use a inexpensive OBII scanner i got off ebay for $20-30, it does the trick and no problems with it so far.
Yesh man, there are a lot of parts that can cause these codes. The problem is to pinpoint which one it is and to replace it. Most of the time people randomly change parts. I cannot do that. I have checked and replace many of the items you mentioned above. I still have the codes
I am thinking mine will be either O2 sensors or the MAF sensor. BTW you didn't mention the MAF sensor. It DOES cause these codes and it is pretty much the most expensive single part in the vacuum leak fix...
I will do more tests on mine soon. I promised myself that I will fix this issue before I sell my car
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  #12  
Old 02-16-2013, 05:42 AM
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iskoos iskoos is online now
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bluebee, I admire you when you rely to posts with tons of useful info and included links.
Great job for people looking for quick info...
I try to include as many info as I can but I can't be like you
BTW, you misquoted me in your post. I didn't ask that question
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