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  #1  
Old 02-01-2006, 03:09 PM
emmsys emmsys is offline
ALWAYS drive a Bimmer.
Location: Montreal, Canada
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 740i
SES light comes on after cold start and hard acceleration (2001 740i)

Hi,

The Service engine soon light (engine light here in Canada) has come on 3 times in the last 2 months all after the same sequence of events:

1) Cold engine start (no light yet)
2) Disable the DSC
3) Back out of parking spot
4) Accelerate just enough to get the back end to fish tail for fun

I'm most definitely NOT flooring it or even hitting the gas hard. I'm in Montreal and the ground is covered in snow or ice. The SES light comes in within minutes of this. There's nothing else I can think of that would cause the light to go on. I brought it to the dealer and all they probably do is clear the code. A few days later I would do the same and presto...SES light.

I know the SES light goes on for anything (rainy day, full moon etc) but it's getting pretty frustrating and a little scary. I've never seen the engine light go on on any of my past cars...yet it's popped up 3 times on this car already (note: none of my past cars were BMW's). Does anyone have any ideas about this?

EC
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2006, 07:26 AM
emmsys emmsys is offline
ALWAYS drive a Bimmer.
Location: Montreal, Canada
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 740i
Hi,

The engine light is still on but I will have the dealer check it soon. Once a dummy light is on, will it ever turn off if the problem goes away? Or does the code need to be reset manually? If a mechanic deletes the code without fixing the problem, would the dummy light go on again right away (i.e. do I have to worry about the mechanic not actually fixing the problem?)? Maybe I've been really lucky with my past cars...but it's obvious I'm new to BMW's. It sounds like all the issues I'd find unacceptable on say...even my old Ford Focus (like door handles sticking out in cold weather on BMW 3-series, the infamous rotting subframe, infamous dead pixels) are things I should suck-up and just accept on a BMW. Don't get me wrong, my 740i drives like a dream and I definitely don't FEEL anything wrong with the car...but still. When this car came out it was close to $90000 CDN...could it be that since sooo many people accept these issues that BMW doesn't care to fix them? I don't mean to sound aggressive...I'm just curious to see what seasoned BMW owner's think. Even I know nothing drives like a BMW (and it's only 3 months I have my car ) but there's gotta be someone out there that thinks these reliability issues should be unacceptable on a $20000 car let alone a $90000.



ec
  #3  
Old 02-04-2006, 08:27 AM
M.Wong's Avatar
M.Wong M.Wong is offline
E38 E91 (R56 E30 E39)
Location: Seattle WA
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,323
Mein Auto: The E38
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmsys
The engine light is still on but I will have the dealer check it soon. Once a dummy light is on, will it ever turn off if the problem goes away? Or does the code need to be reset manually? If a mechanic deletes the code without fixing the problem, would the dummy light go on again right away (i.e. do I have to worry about the mechanic not actually fixing the problem?)?
If the cause of the error is fixed/resolved, the light should turn off eventually if not reset with a reset tool.

If the light is reset and the cause of the error is not fixed, it should come back on.

You really need to get the error code(s) checked from a dealer, an independent BMW mechanic, someone with a code reader, or down here many auto parts chain stores offer the service for free. AutoZone, Checkers/Schucks/Kragen, etc. There are so many things that can trigger the light. It could be as simple as a bad gas cap or dipstick seal. It could be much worse. Without the error code, you just won't know.

Also, the car has a memory. If the light turns off itself, eventually it forgets the code. Fortunately, it does have some memory. In my E30, you had to pull the code when the light was on. If it turned off (which seemed to happen just as you pulled into the dealer) there was no memory or code to check!

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmsys
there's gotta be someone out there that thinks these reliability issues should be unacceptable on a $20000 car let alone a $90000.
I understand what you are saying, but I don't really have an answer to that one. Even though my car has had many of the common E38 problems, I can't imagine driving anything else. I did consider an E55 AMG but my wife hates the looks of Mercedes and won't buy me one! I guess I can't explain why I don't drive a Focus, Civic, or even an Acura... but I don't.
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M.Wong
E38 2000 740iL Orient Blue
E91 2012 328xiT Alpine White

Passed on to new families:
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E39 2003 540i/6 Sterling Gray
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Last edited by M.Wong; 02-04-2006 at 09:00 AM.
  #4  
Old 02-04-2006, 12:26 PM
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BmW745On19's BmW745On19's is offline
Go Gators
Location: Tampa, Florida
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 10,337
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Mein Auto: 745i
It's bad for a high performance engine and transmission to rev up right after a cold start. You should drive around for atleast 15 minutes before you decide to do something like that. That might be the problem.
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2006, 11:49 AM
emmsys emmsys is offline
ALWAYS drive a Bimmer.
Location: Montreal, Canada
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 740i
Hi,

Thanks for the information! I'll try to get it checked this weekend. It's funny that you mentioned the bad gas cap...my brother took the car for a spin and put gas in the car. He told me my gas cap "felt funny" in that it didn't feel like it was tightly closed! If it's just that then I owe you a beer the next time you're in Montreal! I'll post a follow-up the second I get the errors code checked.

EC
  #6  
Old 03-10-2006, 05:34 AM
emmsys emmsys is offline
ALWAYS drive a Bimmer.
Location: Montreal, Canada
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 44
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 740i
Hi,

Ok the engine light finally went off for the last few days and I've been driving slowly on cold starts. My father drove it this morning (I was in the back seat) and when he accelerated a bit faster than normal the SES light went on within seconds. Unfortunately I'm off for Italy for the next 2 weeks so I won't be able to get it checked soon but it looks like this car doesn't like being driven until it's fully warmed up.

e
  #7  
Old 03-14-2006, 06:08 PM
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crewdog843 crewdog843 is offline
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 672
Mein Auto: '08 Z4 3.0si Roadie
Camshaft position sensor.

If your gas cap is tight, and the codes were cleared, the light will not come on again for that reason. All SES lights are emissions connected. Just had a big discussion about this over on the Bimmerforum site.

Check your owner's manual if you have one. If not, I will check mine and copy it for you, or if you are registered on the Bimmerforums, you can look it up yourself.

jk
  #8  
Old 03-14-2006, 06:25 PM
crewdog843's Avatar
crewdog843 crewdog843 is offline
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 672
Mein Auto: '08 Z4 3.0si Roadie
Incidentally, BMWs are not finiky about beding driven cold. You should start the car, and let the idle settle down...which should only take a few seconds. Drive off conservatively until the car comes to full warm up, then you can do all the tricks you want and she will respond like a spotted-assed ape.

BMW specifically warns about idling too long on these cars. Just don't jump her bones until she gets a bit warm. You wouldn't do that with the two-legged love of your life, would you?

jk
 

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