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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-04-2014, 01:36 AM
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One user's plight trying to set OBDII secondary air system monitor

This thread is opened because ... I don't understand why I can't set the secondary air monitors.

After replacing some vacuum hoses and clearing P1083/P1085 codes & a pending P0171 lean condition DTC, I'm having trouble filling the secondary air system monitor.

Unfortunately, I have to go to a STAR-only station for my test this year, and, it was just my luck that the STAR station I went to won't test it because, even though a 2002 can pass with a single monitor unset (it can even pass with pending codes), the California system set up by BAR dings California STAR station point scores if they even try to test a car that doesn't have all monitors filled, from the start.

Personally, I think that's a silly system; but it is what it is.

So, I made an appointment with the BAR referee (who will test the vehicle whether or not it has a register unset); but I'd still like to know why I can't seem to fill my secondary air monitor!

In my case, the SES is working because it lights when the cluster is tested; yet there is definitely no SES when the car is running and the OBD scanner reads NO CODES; however, the OBD scanner also says the MIL=ON and the 2AIR=NOT RDY.

I've read the canonical thread on the FTC and BMW Drive Cycle:
- How to better understand the key EPA federal test procedure (FTP) concept of the BMW SES "drive cycle" (1)

Basically, I start the car cold, and let it idle for (BMW says 2 minutes & 10 seconds, Mitchell says approximately 3 minutes). That, alone, "should" set the monitor. But it doesn't. (Air temperature in the morning out here in Silicon Valley is about 60F.)



It's not that I've tried "everything", as I've only really tried (a) driving the car for many hundreds of miles since I last reset some misfire codes (P1083, P1085 and every once in a while, a P0171), and (b) starting the car cold, and letting it idle, as described in the Mitchell diagnostics below:


This thread is opened because ... I don't understand why I can't set the secondary air monitors.
Any advice?

NOTE: I also read the following threads, to see if there were any embedded hints as to why I can't seem to fill my secondary air system OBDII registers.
- Do we have a good description of how the BMW E39 Secondary Air System (SAS/SAP) works
- Secondary Air System Monitoring Test Incomplete
- How to maintain the secondary air system (1) (2) (3) & how to troubleshoot the SAS (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to do an SAS delete (1) & how to replace the (SAP) secondary air pump (1) & an SAP valve group buy (1)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Fundamentally, the SAP does two things:
1. It helps burn unburned hydrocarbons in the manifold.
2. It accelerates the process of bringing the cats up to standard operating temperature where they take over the process.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
1. At cold startup, the DME employs a richer fuel/air mixture as part of the cold start process.
2. Simultaneously, the DME activates the SAP at cold startup and calls on the electric valve (5) to draw a vacuum, which opens the check valve (1), allowing the SAP to inject air into the exhaust manifold.
3. At this early stage of a cold start, the combustion in the chambers cannot burn all the hydrocarbons of the richer fuel mixture. In addition, the catalytic converters cannot oxidize all hydrocarbons as they are not yet at their design operating temperature.
4. The addition of air into the exhaust manifold causes secondary combustion of the unburned fuel in the exhaust manifold.
5. The additional combustion of fuel in the exhaust stream is exothermic and increases the exhaust temperature, upstream of the catalytic converters.
6. This in turn causes the catalytic converters to reach their optimal operating temperature sooner, improving the oxidation of HC and CO by the catalytic converters.
7. As the engine begins to warm up (~60 sec), the DME readjusts the fuel air mixture to normal parameters.
8. Once the catalytic converters reach their operating temp (60-90 seconds), the DME commands the SAP to shut down and simultaneously shuts down the electric valve, which then allows the check valve to close, sealing the manifold.
9. At this point, the catalytic converters are now operating normally at their design temp and oxidizing the normal levels of CO and HC generated by the engine.
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-05-2014 at 02:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2014, 09:51 PM
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2014, 06:55 AM
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I was finally able to set the 2AIR readiness monitor!

It seems, at least in my situation, that the 2-minutes-and-10-seconds BMW recommendation for the cold-start idling portion of the BMW drive cycle is not sufficient for my 2002.

What I did was start the car, at an ambient temperature of about 60F, after an overnight stay in the garage, and, without ever touching the gas pedal, I let it idle for roughly about five minutes. Then I drove the car a few miles, and checked, and finally, for the first time in a long while, the secondary air system (SAS) readiness monitor indicated a full register.

Ironically, when I went to the BAR referee later that day, they didn't even bother to check the readiness monitors.
So, this is yet another example of, what I think is, the idiotic system set up here in California.
a) They select you (randomly?) every few years for a STAR-only or TEST-only station, and then you can't go anywhere else but that type of station for your smog check
b) this year, I can only go to a STAR station (where the station is publicly scored based on a strange California rubric that I do not yet fathom)
c) I dutifully went to a STAR test-only station, who refused to run the test because I had a 2AIR monitor unset (even though a single unset monitor can not fail a 2002!)
d) The reason, the guy clearly told me, is that even if the car passed, he'd be dinged a point on the STAR rating system!
e) So, I left, and then I tried like the dickens to set my 2AIR monitor, but failed for more than a week of driving
f) Giving up on the 2AIR monitor, I made an appointment with the BAR referee to smog my car instead
g) That BAR referee, located in a San Jose community college, passed the bimmer with flying colors!
h) When I asked why he didn't worry about an unset register - he said he doesn't have to follow the same rules as the STAR stations do!

Classic government.
They don't have to follow their own rules that the rest of the state has to follow.

The only good thing about all this effort is that the test, at the government station, is free (you only pay the $8.25 bribe for the "certificate", which doesn't exist, so, it's just yet another government tax.)
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-23-2014 at 06:56 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-17-2014, 07:48 AM
528IParis 528IParis is offline
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Secondary Air Injection System HELP!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not real computer savvy but Ive had my car torn apart for about a month and cant figure it out. Been reading all posts I can and still to no avail. Bluebee ive read a lot by you but still can't figure this out

I'll explain exactly what I've done up to this point; any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

2001 530I, 170,000 miles
CEL came on;
Read codes P1421 and P1423
Unplugged hose at diverter valve from pump to valve and cold started; blew air like a banchee. Disconnected vacuum line from diverter valve and put vacuum gauge on vacuum line; cold started, no vacuum. Traced hard plastic line back to rear of engine( the one that runs under the valve cover cover) and found rubber line between hard plastic line and electric solenoid bad also the rubber line between the solenoid and the intake manifold bad. Replaced both lines. Cold started with vacuum gauge at the diverter valve and still no vacuum. Took electric solenoid out and manually pumped up 15 lbs of vacuum. Connected to an external 12 volt supply and dumped vacuum every time. Replaced with new electric solenoid. Cold started and still no vacuum. Put vacuum gauge on line coming out of intake manifold before it goes into solenoid. Cold started and pumped up 15 lbs of vacuum and held. Unplugged electric connector at solenoid and connected voltage meter between the two terminals in the connector that comes out of the ECM. Cold started and reads 12 to 13 volts. Reconnected electric connector to solenoid and all vacuum lines, and cold started; no vacuum! Now what? What do I do now?

In the mean time air has quit coming out of the sas pump. I have located salmon colored relay in the engine electrical box under the passenger cabin filter. Jumped wire between Terminal # 30 and 87; pump blows great.
Terminal # 87 shows 12 volts always
Terminal # 86 Shows 0 volts with key off and 12 volts with key in Acc position
Terminal # 85 shows no voltage with key off
Checked wires with ohm meter:
Ground wire at plug that connects to pump shows continuity when grounded.
Continuity between #30 terminal at relay, and hot wire in plug at pump
With relay in shows continuity between the two terminals in the plug at the pump
With relay out no continuity at pump plug

Anybody got any Ideas?

Last edited by 528IParis; 06-18-2014 at 09:37 AM. Reason: typo
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  #5  
Old 06-17-2014, 10:44 AM
Crutzy Crutzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 528IParis View Post
P1421 and P1423
Didn't this guy have the same P1421 and P1423 problem with the same engine?
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2014, 08:47 AM
528IParis 528IParis is offline
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No it wasn't me but thanks for the link to the complete vacuum line tracing, replacement section for e39's. That's great. With a car with as many miles as mine I need to trace the lines and replace most I'm sure. I guess what bothers me now is that my car has never idled or ran rough. It runs great. Makes me wonder if the electric solenoid has not opened for some time? If it had, I would have had a noticeable vacuum leak and rough idling and running on cold start, and I never did.

Last edited by 528IParis; 06-18-2014 at 08:47 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:16 AM
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Just a technical point-you can't have a US model 528 that is a 2001. 2001 would be a 525 and a 2000 would be a 528. Nevertheless both 528 and 525 would have the same SAS operation.

On topic-there should be a check valve between the intake manifold vacuum nipple and the SAS vac solenoid. This means there should be two vac hoses between the solenoid and the nipple with the check valve between. I assume BMW put the check valve there for a reason. Is this valve facing the correct way? If it were not, vacuum would never reach the SAS control valve.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:06 AM
528IParis 528IParis is offline
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Thanks for answering me. Boy do I feel Sheepish! I have a 530I! I Knew this, have owned this car for 7 years. I was at my witts end when I posted my dilemma; had been reading multiple threads and suppose I just inadvertently put 528. I was pretty sure the secondary air check valve was in correctly. In Bluebee's vacuum section he said the black end of the check valve should face the source of the vacuum. I just went out and verified this. The black end faces the manifold side. I checked its operation also. I pulled the vacuum line off the electric solenoid which would put that check valve in front of the vacuum meter. Cold started and pumped up 17.5 lbs. of vacuum and held great. Replaced the line on the electric solenoid and nothing, no vacuum. Is it possible that starting, running the car for 1 or 2 seconds at a time multiple times has not allowed the car to reset or something? I don't know, just a thought. It seems so weird that the pump was running at first and then quit, and I did find the vacuum lines to the solenoid and the manifold in bad shape which would seem to fix the problem, but now everything doesn't work. Or am I just wishfully thinking.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:43 AM
Crutzy Crutzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 528IParis View Post
No it wasn't me but thanks for the link to the complete vacuum line tracing
I didn't mean to imply that was you, but that the guy had the same problem as you.
There is a really long thread on all the vacuum lines and how to find them, which you can probably find in the best of the links by typing vacuum or something like that. It has pictures of every single vacuum line in your car.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 528IParis View Post
Thanks for answering me. Boy do I feel Sheepish! I have a 530I! I Knew this, have owned this car for 7 years. I was at my witts end when I posted my dilemma; had been reading multiple threads and suppose I just inadvertently put 528. I was pretty sure the secondary air check valve was in correctly. In Bluebee's vacuum section he said the black end of the check valve should face the source of the vacuum. I just went out and verified this. The black end faces the manifold side. I checked its operation also. I pulled the vacuum line off the electric solenoid which would put that check valve in front of the vacuum meter. Cold started and pumped up 17.5 lbs. of vacuum and held great. Replaced the line on the electric solenoid and nothing, no vacuum. Is it possible that starting, running the car for 1 or 2 seconds at a time multiple times has not allowed the car to reset or something? I don't know, just a thought. It seems so weird that the pump was running at first and then quit, and I did find the vacuum lines to the solenoid and the manifold in bad shape which would seem to fix the problem, but now everything doesn't work. Or am I just wishfully thinking.
No reason to feel bad about your model car. Actually the SAS system on all the E39 I6s basically works the same. The early cars (96, 97, 98) have different and separate ducting from the later cars. The 99 and later cars have all the ducts built into the head.

My thought was that the hard plastic line after the vac solenoid is somehow blocked, melted, cracked or some how compromised. I'd think you'd have to pull all those wires and connectors up out of the way to check on the hard plastic line. Maybe you could remove it and blow through it to check it out. I'd guess that would be a PITA but necessary.

I believe the SAS system only switches on when the coolant temp is below 80F but I'd have to check that. That is probably why you can't get the system to work. Luckily I have a scan tool, Autoenginuity, that can activate components like the solenoid valve or the pump. Makes diagnosis soooo much easier.

Let us know what you find with the hard plastic vac line.

Your problem is certainly a mystery.

Edit-My statement about the SAS only operating below 80F is wrong. The Bentley Manual says the system operates at a start temp of between10C (50F) and 40C (104F) and runs for about 2 minutes max. However Bentley never says where the DME gets the temperature reading from. It would not take very long for the coolant to get over 40C at the ECT sensor if you were switching the engine on & off.

Last edited by johnstern; 06-19-2014 at 07:03 AM. Reason: correcting info
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  #11  
Old 06-19-2014, 11:03 AM
528IParis 528IParis is offline
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I got up early this morning and ran some tests. I own a restaurant and i'm covered up today. will give you the results of the testing as soon as I have time. I am interested in the autoenginuity tool you have. Looked at their website. The basic tool is about $250.00. There are all sorts of upgrades you can get. Is the basic tool enough or are there some upgrades you suggest. Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:43 PM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 528IParis View Post
I got up early this morning and ran some tests. I own a restaurant and i'm covered up today. will give you the results of the testing as soon as I have time. I am interested in the autoenginuity tool you have. Looked at their website. The basic tool is about $250.00. There are all sorts of upgrades you can get. Is the basic tool enough or are there some upgrades you suggest. Thanks for your help.
I have the Autoenginuity tool and they offer a BMW upgrade option that enables the computer to read all the proprietary BMW fault codes. The base tool and most lower cost readers on the market only read the generic OBD II codes mandated by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) spec for OBD II diagnostics for emission controls. The software upgrade will read all codes and it will also read all of the other electronic modules on your car that can set codes. Very useful if you DIY and understand how to interpret codes to help you troubleshoot.

It can't recode any modules at least the version I have can't. I bought it 5 years ago.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mda185 View Post
I have the Autoenginuity tool and they offer a BMW upgrade option that enables the computer to read all the proprietary BMW fault codes. The base tool and most lower cost readers on the market only read the generic OBD II codes mandated by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) spec for OBD II diagnostics for emission controls. The software upgrade will read all codes and it will also read all of the other electronic modules on your car that can set codes. Very useful if you DIY and understand how to interpret codes to help you troubleshoot.

It can't recode any modules at least the version I have can't. I bought it 5 years ago.
528IPARIS-That is a good description. You have to select the tools ability to read proprietary codes. I think I paid just short of $500 many years ago. As dma 185 said you cannot code modules (for instance I cannot change the ride height on my 2000 528iT). As BMW changed to optic fibre communication in their later cars (sometime around 2008), Autoenginuity also upgraded and their prices jumped up too. The tool is laptop based.

I also know there are other tools that are more intuitive and cheaper. INPA is one of them and there are others that were the BMW Factory tools back when our cars were built. These tools can code, etc. so you should do some serious research before buying.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:00 AM
528IParis 528IParis is offline
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Ok.....After hours and hours of testing, diagnosing and not being able to figure out why this #$%$#@! SAS system wouldn't function and also not being able to drive my Bimmer, I finally just put it back together and decided to drive it. Best decision I could have made. I hope this helps others in the same situation. I was using the Bavarian Autosport's Secondary Air System step by step fault code DIY for the SAS ( which is an excellent resource) to diagnose. I had traced the problem down to a couple of deteriorated vacuum lines leading from the hard plastic line that comes off the vacuum valve on the exhaust manifold and run either side of the electric vacuum solenoid. The DIY instructions said in testing, Don"t let the car run for more than a few seconds or the system will heat up to much and will require a few hours or overnight to let the car cool to enable more testing. I was checking lines and testing, and starting and letting the car run no more than 2 or3 seconds at a time. I would start and stop 2 or three times and then let the car set and then resume testing either later in the day or the next day. This went on for a couple of weeks. The Secondary air pump which had initially worked quit somewhere in the testing, and I could never get vacuum to the Air valve on the exhaust manifold. After putting it back together and driving it, I checked the system this morning and it all works perfect! I don't know if the ECM needs to reset after so many starts and stops, or if something else needs to reset but all I know is that it works now. If anybody has any insight into this It would be great for others in the same boat.

Thanks JohnStern and others for your help!
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:27 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 528IParis View Post
I had traced the problem down to a couple of deteriorated vacuum lines leading from the hard plastic line that comes off the vacuum valve on the exhaust manifold and run either side of the electric vacuum solenoid.
For the record, by now, all the E39s should probably have this line replaced.
Here are some pictures of mine, which deteriorated long ago:

Notice that the hard plastic tube broke inside the flexible rubber tube:

Notice that REALOEM is wrong on this diagram (which is corrected, in color, below):

Quote:
Engine => Vacuum control => AIR PUMP F VACUUM CONTROL
  • 04 VACUUM HOSE BLACK 3.3X1.8 11657803732 $16.43 (two pieces)
  • 03 VACUUM PIPE 1 11727574490 $27.94 (one piece)
  • 07 VACUUM HOSE BLACK 3.3X1.8 11657803732 $16.43 (two pieces)
  • 09 VACUUM CAP (no part number shown)
See also:
- How to locate all problematic (between 1/8" & 9/32" ID) 3.5x1.8mm, 3.3x1.8mm & (between 17/64" & 9/32" ID) 7mm ID vacuum tubing (single material), vacuum hoses (multiple material), 3.3mm OD curved vacuum pipes (rigid tubes), 3.5mm & 7mm ID vacuum endcaps (closed end) & 7x3mm manifold o-rings (1) & 7.52X3.52mm and 9.2X2.8mm fuel injection o-rings (1) & gaskets (1) on the M54 engine & where in the USA to get new vacuum tubing & vacuum caps (1) & what SAE sizes to get for all the metric M54 engine vacuum tubes, hoses, pipes, and caps (1) & correcting the F-connector errors in the realoem diagrams (1) & finding the ends of hard-to-locate vacuum tubes (1) & sorely needed clarification on how the M54 CCV vacuum port works on the M52 CCV valve connection to the fuel pressure regulator connection (1) & how to make, borrow, or buy lean-condition misfire test tools to test for vacuum leaks & lean conditions (1) (2)
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-23-2014 at 10:28 AM.
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  #16  
Old 06-23-2014, 05:42 PM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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This is exactly what was wrong with my Secondary Air System. I replaced my hose with silicone vacuum hose that is typically used by the turbo import enthusiasts for their Subarus, Mistubishi Evos, and in my case, Toyota All Trac Turbo. If you buy decent quality silicone hose, it has a high temperature rating and is suitable for our application. Turbosmart is the brand hose I used. You can find it on Amazon, at Summit Racing and many other outlets. It is also commonly found on Ebay. I replaced all the plastic pieces and just ran a continuous line from the valve to the switch under the intake manifold. I also replaced the short hose pieces from the switch to the one way valve and to the intake manifold. This should be a permanent fix.
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Last edited by mda185; 06-23-2014 at 05:43 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-23-2014, 06:49 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mda185 View Post
I replaced my hose with silicone vacuum hose... Turbosmart is the brand hose I used.
This is good material information for this thread:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > M54 vacuum tubing ... what diameter ... what brand ... what material ... what length?
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-23-2014 at 06:52 PM.
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  #18  
Old 06-24-2014, 08:05 PM
AllesklarBMW AllesklarBMW is offline
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blubee oh wise one...need yr help (sorry to put it here but didn't find AC info in search).
My 2002 530i will not put out heat or AC. Can't even get fans to turn on. The lights light up but zero activity happens.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllesklarBMW View Post
blubee oh wise one...need yr help (sorry to put it here but didn't find AC info in search).
My 2002 530i will not put out heat or AC. Can't even get fans to turn on. The lights light up but zero activity happens.
This isn't the place for that, so, you probably should just open up a new thread. HINT: Type /ac or /air conditioning in the bestlinks for starters (because that's the first thing I would do).
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  #20  
Old 07-16-2014, 08:30 PM
AllesklarBMW AllesklarBMW is offline
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Location: Seattle
 
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Mein Auto: 530i
It was heater fan resistor. $80 later all good.
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  #21  
Old 08-12-2014, 01:49 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,859
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Here's a case today where a user has trouble setting the monitors for smog...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Won't pass smog monitors not ready
Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadbmw View Post
2001 bmw 530i won't pass smog because 3 monitors are not ready this has been a ongoing problem monitors have not been ready after 2 years of driving. I have no check engine lights where do I start?
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california smog, check engine light, obdii, secondary air system, ses light, smog test


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