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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 12-08-2005, 03:31 AM
louiz louiz is offline
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"Service Engine Soon"

A few days ago I sat in the car only to notice the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. Apart from that, the moment I turned the car on, a small shake coming from the engine accured. I called service and i have an appointment for this Saturday, but this is in 2 days, and if something IS wrong, i wouldn't want to risk it.. Any advice?. Is this normal coming from a BMW?
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2005, 03:35 AM
louiz louiz is offline
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up.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2005, 05:30 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
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It is your call, if the car is shaking it could die and strand you, then you might need to tow the car in for service.

If it was my car I'd let it sit until Saturday and then drive directly in for service.
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2005, 05:33 PM
NYCBMW NYCBMW is offline
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Can you post what the dealer said?

My "service engine soon" light came on today as well, with no noticeable problems. The
manual was extremely vague as to what the problem might be. I'm dreading the service
appointment, as the car just came off warranty.
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2005, 05:39 PM
DarkRyan323 DarkRyan323 is offline
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the same happened to mine when it was in storage for a while but it eventually went out and is no longer on. when i called the dealer, they said as long as the light wasn't blinking then it should be ok to drive, probably like an oxygen sensor or something stupid like that. but if you heard a knock then i would just wait till the appt. nothing unusual happened with my car so i just kept on driving it.
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2005, 01:09 PM
NYCBMW NYCBMW is offline
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I took the car to the dealer today and wanted to report back. The problem was a failed camshaft sensor which triggered two fault codes. The repair cost $400.

The dealer indicated that the when the "service engine soon" indicator lights up, it's often a problem with one of the sensors. Interestingly enough, it doesn't necessarily mean that the part has failed - just that it didn't respond correctly when the computer "tested" it - and therefore will likely fail soon.

Apparently, I could have waited for the part to fail entirely, but considering it costs $125 to do the diagnosis, I just had it replaced. With literally dozens of these sensors throughout the car, BMW's can be quite expensive to maintain.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2005, 08:41 PM
bimmere46 bimmere46 is offline
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That sucks considering you can buy your own code reader for under $125. and the camshaft sensor is less than $100. Glad I do my own repairs!!
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2005, 05:44 AM
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guitarman guitarman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmere46
That sucks considering you can buy your own code reader for under $125. and the camshaft sensor is less than $100. Glad I do my own repairs!!
What code reader do you use and where can I get one for under $125?
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2005, 08:44 AM
bimmere46 bimmere46 is offline
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Just go online and look for an obdII reader...
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2006, 01:59 PM
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fitch fitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmere46
Just go online and look for an obdII reader...
Only found one site that lists an obdII reader - Bavarian Autosport. Strange website - requires you to select the year and model of BMW before it will show info. Bizarrely the 325 doesn't exist as a listed model. Can you or anyone direct me to a source for this device for a 325 xi wagon? Are there other types or brands of bimmer code/fault readers?
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2006, 02:31 PM
max366 max366 is offline
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Bimmerzone

Check out this site- I'm just about to buy one for my 2001 325xi wagon.

http://www.bimmerzone.com/resettool.htm#2
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  #12  
Old 01-02-2006, 03:12 PM
bimmere46 bimmere46 is offline
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I think this is the one I have.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/New-I...01400578QQrdZ1
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  #13  
Old 01-02-2006, 03:28 PM
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fitch fitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max366
Check out this site- I'm just about to buy one for my 2001 325xi wagon.

http://www.bimmerzone.com/resettool.htm#2

Originally posted by bimmere46
I think this is the one I have.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/New-...14 00578QQrdZ1
Thanks guys!
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  #14  
Old 01-16-2006, 05:04 PM
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gordo325xiwagon gordo325xiwagon is offline
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Did you buy one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by max366
Check out this site- I'm just about to buy one for my 2001 325xi wagon.

http://www.bimmerzone.com/resettool.htm#2
I have a 2001 325xi and just got the "Service Engine Soon" Light. Car runs OK, just drove 150 miles and 70+ mph. No problems. I am wondering if you bought one of these OBD II readers? Gordo
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2006, 05:08 PM
Parrothead Parrothead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louiz
A few days ago I sat in the car only to notice the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. Apart from that, the moment I turned the car on, a small shake coming from the engine accured. I called service and i have an appointment for this Saturday, but this is in 2 days, and if something IS wrong, i wouldn't want to risk it.. Any advice?. Is this normal coming from a BMW?
In other cars, the Service Engine Soon light can result from failing properly to tighten the gas cap. Take a look.
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  #16  
Old 01-16-2006, 05:34 PM
bimmere46 bimmere46 is offline
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That reset tool doesn't even work w/ the 2001 3 series!!
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  #17  
Old 01-17-2006, 01:12 PM
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gordo325xiwagon gordo325xiwagon is offline
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I have been doing some OBD II research. It looks like any 16 pin scanner with ISO 9141-2 will pull the codes and reset SES light. Without getting into the PC programable and upgraded handheld units, what is wrong with one of those simple $30 units from China I see on EBay?

I have had some good luck lately with tools and equipment from China. Not that I like buying from them, but I can't see spending $150 to simply ID the codes. Once I know why the SES light is ON, then I can decide what to do next.

Yes I tightened the gas cap. And there is no miss; so coils are probably not the source of the problem. However, after seeing the hundreds of codes that can light up the SES indicator, I think the first thing to do is get a code reader.

PS. The light came on last weekend when the amibent air temp was below zero. I suspect that might have something to do with the problem.
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Last edited by gordo325xiwagon; 01-17-2006 at 01:15 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-17-2006, 03:09 PM
bimmere46 bimmere46 is offline
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You would probably be fine w/ any obdII reader. I chose to get a half decent one that would work w/ the Imports also. I'd verify that whichever one you choose, works w/ your car. Great investment that can pay for itself the first time you need it.
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  #19  
Old 01-17-2006, 03:56 PM
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gordo325xiwagon gordo325xiwagon is offline
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Have you had a chance to pull some codes with the Innova 3100 ? I am a tool magnet and don't mind spending money on a good tool that will see use and will last. gordo
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  #20  
Old 01-17-2006, 04:34 PM
bimmere46 bimmere46 is offline
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Same here. I have more tools than i know what to do with. I get disappointed when shopping and I can't find something that I don't already have.
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  #21  
Old 01-17-2006, 05:35 PM
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milobloom242 milobloom242 is offline
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I had Service Engine Soon warning and the parking brake lit orange and it turned out to be the electronic throttle and engine wiring harness The freaking thing started running very rough then died right on the road. But outside of that incident and ever since, it's been smooth as butter. Haven't had to replace the O2 or camshaft sensors yet.
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  #22  
Old 01-17-2006, 06:51 PM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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You should all be aware that BMW only passes as much info over to the ODBII port as required to be compliant.

I believe the BMW has both CEL (check engine light) and SES (service engine soon). The CEL is what is triggered by an ODBII fault code, the SES is what is triggered by BMW's own DME fault readings.

When my coil pack went out, the car was obviously only running on 5 cylinders.. and the SES light came on. I plugged in my AutoEnginuity ODBII reader and it said everything was working just fine.
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  #23  
Old 01-18-2006, 10:47 AM
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gordo325xiwagon gordo325xiwagon is offline
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Is there an inexpensive (less than $150) reader scanner that will read BOTH the BMW proprietary codes AND the OBDII generic codes?

Also, Do you think the added expense of Controller Area Network (CAN) protocol worth it?
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  #24  
Old 01-18-2006, 11:21 AM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordo325xiwagon
Is there an inexpensive (less than $150) reader scanner that will read BOTH the BMW proprietary codes AND the OBDII generic codes?
No. Not until the BiM-COM is released (and it'll probably cost around $300).
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  #25  
Old 01-19-2006, 12:50 PM
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Blinky330XI Blinky330XI is offline
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Not to Hi-Jack... But I'm experiencing some of the same problems.

When starting the car has to "crank" many more times than it had to before... SES/CEL light does appear... (can't remeber which exactly)

When driving (5spd.) the car seems very very sluggish... even revving up to 4-5k, and switching into 2nd, and riding up through 4-5k again... she doesn't have the pickup that she once had. She has also been stalling when, either when coming to a stop, or even just chuggin down the road.....
AHHHHHHH! NO POWER STEERING! Woo Hoo!
It almost feels as though she's sleeping... funny though, because she goes through this for a couple of days, and then acts fine for a couple...

Autozone offers free diagnostics... although this is what I pulled from their site...

"Don't buy a part you don't need. AutoZone will test your car's parts for free. We can test your car's battery, alternator, starter and voltage regulator while they're still on your car. We can also give your car a complete starting and charging systems test.

You can also take your alternator, starter or battery into our store and we'll test it. In most stores, we can also test voltage regulators, control modules, coils, throttle position sensors (TPSs) and other engine management components.

Might just have to take a riiiiide....

Last edited by Blinky330XI; 01-19-2006 at 01:35 PM.
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