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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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  #26  
Old 10-01-2008, 05:05 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Feeze Frame will show you data at the time the fault happened. It's nice to have because you can see how fast you were going, what rpm you were at, what the tps % was at, etc, at the time the fault occured. Oh, and by the way, if your LTFT's are 0%, then that's perfect. STFT switch too fast and are rarely ever used for diagnosis. When the STFT limits are reached, then the LTFT will move to compensate. So if your LTFT's are at 0, then the STFT are still within range to compensate.

When you read the STFT and saw +25, that was just for that moment in time. It switches many times per second. A half second later it could have read -10.
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Last edited by Ryan M; 10-01-2008 at 05:07 PM.
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  #27  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:20 AM
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Been a couple days now and no misfires since plugs changed, but still getting same codes. Last night I went under the car and swapped the connectors for b1 and b2 o2 sensors. This should screw up the ECU since its adjusting say b2 based on o2 read from b1 now. I wanted to see if it would throw codes other than p1073, p1189 and the ever-present p0154. But no, car doesn't seem to care and same codes being thrown. I'm thinking the car is completely ignoring the o2's now. Just thought I might see something different. I'll put it back the way it was. Again, car runs great, cold start idle is great.
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  #28  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:29 AM
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I noticed a hose coming into the input side of the intake manifold around cyl 5, dealing with the power brake. I removed the hose while idling just to feel with my finger the amount of vacuum during idle. Also let some air slip in and listened to the engine, gave me a sense of how much of an air leak changes the engine idle. Since it idles fine when on, I think there's no leak in that hose and also seems clear there's no vac leak. Also because earlier I did the trick to spray carb cleaner and listen for rpm. So the codes say lean b2 and it appears to be lean due to low fuel, not vac leak, also not due to misfire (that would raise the o2 in the exhaust). I'm wondering now if the ECU should just be reset? Not many other things to try now on the pesky cel. I don't think the injectors are bad or need to be cleaned, but I didn't want to spend the $ to try. If I did, I would buy 3 and just replace b2 first. Maybe at this point I need to take it to a indy or dealer.
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  #29  
Old 10-03-2008, 11:16 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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Not just yet.... Let me know when the scan tool arrives. We can do a bit more digging then.
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  #30  
Old 10-03-2008, 06:18 PM
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lild lild is offline
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did you get a new maf, i noticed that you got one from a salvage yard. i too had the same thing as you with the code. i replaced the o2's as i had a code for them along with the air pump so i replaced them but still had a rough cold start idle and the codes would still pop up every so often, and when the maf went bad, it messed up the 02's. i know this because after i replaced the maf i had the no activity code thrown, so i replace one of them and the code went away, i also replaced the other because of a little sluggishness. lucky for me they were under warranty. the 1189 as you may know is for the maf, and it's possible that the one's you got is bad. so i say replace with new maf, and replace the o2's. i also get a misfire code on #2 cylinder, i also thought i needed a new injector, but my indy told me he never had to replace one on a bmw, and he thought it was a coolant. he told me to put a clean rag over the spark plug hole and turn it over and see what color you get. so i took the rag and put it on the end of the coil pack and turn it over, but i forgot to put the bolts on to hold it in place. i had a nice launch. but i also had a brownish color come up, so i may have something leaking, ryanm help me out and i can't remember what it is now. but i have a feeling that the maf and 02's need to be replace. really the codes don't come up no more.
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  #31  
Old 10-04-2008, 05:51 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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It may be indeed you are right. I learned some things (maybe the hard way) since the last post:
1) The car appears to trip the cel only after all the following is met a) there's a pending for that code b) the car is driven once and shut off c) on the second start if the condition exists it will then set the light sometime during that trip.
2) If the light is set and I look at the freeze frame, my reader only gives stats on what happened when the pending code triggered.
3) If I do an 'erase', the freeze frame shows as cleared BUT actually it is not. The original pending code stays and the stats for it STAY in memory. I know this because when it trips again the freeze spits out the same old stuff.
4) The pending codes cannot be erased. This is probably so no one can cheat the emissions test. I have pending on p0173, p1189 and p0154.
5) Up til now I thought I have an issue of p0154 (no o2 activity b2s1) but given above, this pending o2 code is from before I changed the o2 sensor. The fact that I've not had a cel with freeze showing p0154 supports this. Also I pulled both o2 sensors out and did a flame test as I found on YouTube using a propane torch, and both respond fine. At present I put them back swapped, just to see if a o2 problem moves to bank 1, but again, I think the o2 sensor problem has long since been solved by the o2 sensor replacement. The p0154 will probably cancel on it's own after a number of starts.
6)The p0173 is probably from when I was fooling with the car. I've not had a cel on p0173 which supports that this pending will also go away in time.
7)So the central problem at this point is ONLY p1189. So I messed some more with the maf as follows:
8)I CRC cleaned my old maf and put it back in. The car behaved bad - starting off from stop the engine was weak in moving the car and at say 30 mph and cruising I could feel lurching in the drive train (maybe misfires?), and pumping the pedal at idle would hear puffs of backfire in the exhaust. So I think the old maf is indeed bad, but I won't be throwing it away (read on).
9)For the new (salvage) maf, I followed a thread and put drug store 91% isopropyl alcohol (about 16 oz) in a zip lock, took the air out, went outside and shook it to splash clean the maf, then took out to air dry somewhat and then put in the car. I started and drove the car two times now and no cel. I'm hopeful solved, but of course I'm skeptical.
10)On the old maf, I alcohol cleaned it but haven't yet put it in. I might put it in the car just out of curiosity to see if it improves. If it still isn't good, then I'm going to rub the sensor surface with a q tip while it's in the alcohol (I know this is a no no, but this would be the last straw before I toss it, and it would be a test just to confirm that it can be damaged by a q tip. Again, that one is already showing its toast and I wanted play with it one more time before toss.).

Foot notes:
11) On the torch test: the wires are black, yellow, red, white, and the black is opposite the yellow in the plug arrangement. These are the sensor leads and the red and white are for the heater.
12) I tried running the car with the b1s1 unplugged, just to observe. The fault thrown is p0141, heater sensor. I then put it back and unplugged the b2s2 and the code thrown was p0161, dealing with b2s2, so the behaviour is not symmetric.
13) I pulled off the maf connector and the code thrown is something like p0101.
14) Unplugging and unscrewing the o2s was no problem. Thread the cable through the 22mm spanner (closed end) then unscrew.

Last edited by ztom; 10-04-2008 at 06:06 PM.
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  #32  
Old 10-04-2008, 06:54 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Oooo. trip 3 and no cel, still hopeful..Already even if it trips again, it's clear that the isopropyl in the bag did something better than CRC maf cleaner.
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  #33  
Old 10-04-2008, 07:09 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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BTW here's a maf clean description:

" Rustyzipper Rustyzipper is offline
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cleaning your MAF
Hi Pit,

It is right in front, between the air cleaner and the carb. un snap the clips, and loosen up the hose clamp on the carb side, un-screw the wire connector, Un clamp the air filter too. takes about a whole 3 mins to take it off. ok, now, when you slide it off, clean the outside real good (so no outside dirt mixs with the cleaner), ok now get some 99% isopropyl alcohol, it cost a whole $1 at your store, its next to the rubbing alcohol.... next take a LARGE zip lock bag, or any other plastic bag the the MAF will fit in.... place it in the bag, put the bottle of 99% alc in and zip it... swish it around real good. turn it upside down, in and out and whatever for a few mins. take it out and let dry for 30 mins. and thats it. Worked like a charm for me.


Take care, let me know how it worked.

"
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  #34  
Old 10-04-2008, 10:13 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Trip 4 - cel light, darn. But since there was an improvement I think that some how (and I read similar on another thread but it still can be wrong) that if I'm having a maf problem that it's throwing codes on bank 2. It is also clear to me now that when codes are thrown it's when the car is under a load, the engine increases the stft b2 til it exceeds 25% and then I get a cel. When I cleaned the maf the cel went on only in higher demand cases.

So assume the maf is bad and I need to get a new one. Before I do, one last thing to try - q tip with isopropyl on maf elements. Well I did this and did not damage the maf, if anything it is as bad as it was already or it got better. On the old maf, I unscrewed the 3 torx screws and pulled out the maf element. The metal base is glued in so I needed to use a sharp wood chisel and small hammer to wedge an opening, then put a large flat head screwdriver in and with a twist, slowly went around the base and separated it. I could then clearly see two thin film elements on what looks like a thin glass strip, two of them. I dipped a q tip in 91% alcohol and lightly slid the swab along the strip, both sides, then used the dry swab to mop off the excess. Maybe for two strips, one is used for low air speed and other for higher.

Anyway I did this on the old maf and it was better but still starting off poorly from stop and changing into 2nd was not as smooth as with the other maf. So I did the swab of the new (salvage) maf but did not take the base out. On this new one I had cracked off the downstream side plastic grid by accident awhile ago so I could get in with a q tip. I couldn't easily get to one side of the far strip but then bent the q tip and I was ok.

So I drove around and restarted, no cel. Well that's enough for today. Maybe I'll get a new maf for Christmas.

Last edited by ztom; 10-04-2008 at 10:45 PM.
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  #35  
Old 10-04-2008, 10:31 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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There's something else that helped - I purposefully disconnected the maf to trigger a p0101 cel. The way I did it a) pull maf off when engine idling b) shut off, c) start up then shut off d) reconnect maf e) start up and cel comes on. Then I could go to the freeze and see the stft's and ltfts at the time of the p0101, so I could see if the o2's were working. I did this a couple times and saw that in normal idle the % trims were ok. So unless there's load on the engine, I think my air/fuel mix is ok. When the load is moderate I'm thinking the stft b2 goes up but it's not until high load it goes high enough to trigger a cel. I think all this is happening because the maf thin film was dirty or degraded.
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  #36  
Old 10-04-2008, 10:41 PM
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Also I think it is a BIG mistake to EVER spray carb spray on the maf. I think it coats and corrodes the thin film, my guess. A week ago my indy sprayed carb spray into the intake before the maf and those vapors travelled to the films, I think not good. From what I've seen I think those thin films need to be absolutely free of oils and dirt. Once covered the film doesn't 'see' the air going by so I think it adjusts the fuel thinking there's less air, unintentional lean condition. Then the o2's pick up high o2 and the stft's try to add fuel until they throw a cel. This is my guess for what's going on. If so, either the cleaning will fix the maf problem or I need a new maf.

Also BTW, since I changed the fuel pressure regulator, there's still the possibility of needing a new fuel pump, maybe rail pressure loss when under load. I think this is not the case but who knows. Also heard about the gas cap. I didn't buy a new one but reversed the rubber ring to a fresh side.
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  #37  
Old 10-05-2008, 02:22 AM
Jynger Jynger is offline
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Long and interesting thread, I might have missed it, but did you change fuel filter also?
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  #38  
Old 10-10-2008, 04:15 AM
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HOORAY I FOUND THE PROBLEM! It was the indy had replaced the post cat o2 sensor thinking it was the pre cat sensor! The post cats are, well, post cat, meaning mid way toward the back just before the exhaust tubes merge into one. The post cat's don't do anything but monitor (and don't trip cel). The pre cat are hidden, on the inside of the b1 and b2 manifolds; you can see them from under the car if you can get under there. So today I swapped the bad o2 b2s1 with one of the post cats, reset the lights, and everything's great!.

Hats off to Max - you saved me with your recommendation to get the obd-2 scan tool that loads onto a laptop. It's is really awesome. See attached pic of the o2's pre and post and trim, all on top trace, same but for b2 on middle trace, and RPM and vehicle speed bottom trace. Here you can see I have a bad o2 sensor bank 1 post cat (b1s2) This is the one that was on b2s1. I'll replace it when I have time, it's the easiest one.

Tips on replacing o2 sensors e39 6 cyl (M52 engine)
>For post cats, I parked halfway onto my uphill driveway and that way I could get under the middle of the car from under driver's door. Follow wires to plastic box and disconnect plug, thread plug through 22mm spanner, move spanner onto o2 sensor. Hit the spanner end with a mallet to turn it.
>pre cat and post cat are identical part
>For pre cats, I couldn't get under the car so I was able to get to the b2s1 from the top. (see engine pic) Twist and pull off the injector wires cable to give more room. I took off the 2 bolts of the EGR valve can, was easy. o2 plugs sit on top of engine under plastic right side, covering the injectors (lift off the plastic circle covers covering the bolts). Unplug and follow wires down, slid off of the fixed clips as you go. Get the wrench down there to the right side (toward front of car) side and put the spanner circle closed end around the back of the manifold so you can thread the wire through, then slid the wrench onto the o2. Then from the front reach under the car and you can push the wrench toward the back to unscrew. Then go topside and unscrew with small turns the wrench will allow.

BTW tips:
>I messed with the maf earlier and if I had the scanner tool I could have easily seen the problem was well isolated to bank2. But I think my maf was bad from the explanation above.
>Running the car at 3K as suggested above is a good idea to rule out vacuum leaks which would affect performance more during idle.
>I also removed and cleaned the ICV. Turns out it didn't need it really but maybe good preventative maintenance. Remove in this order: unplug cable to throttle, remove maf, boot, air filter box (unscrew 1 bolt holding it to car), then unscrew two bolts under cyl 4 holding bracket holding the ICV (see pics icv and underside of intake manifold where it plugs in). I sprayed it with carb cleaner. Actually I also put in a zip lock bag with 91% iso alcohol, took out the air and swished it, then sprayed a little WD40.
>Buy a box of 100 disposable vinyl gloves and use them.
>My car now gets about 32mpg hwy and runs great. I may still have a problem of my car overheating (always only during idle), and I'm wondering if the o2 problem caused the b2 to run hot, wondering if that's fixed now.
>To listen for noises, hisses etc I used a 5 ft long 3/4" PVC sprinkler pipe I had, worked well.

FYI
>I didn't need to change the fuel pump. I changed the fuel filter and pressure regulator, maybe helped.
>Wouldn't buy a hand scanner again, should have just gotten the obd-2 software/cable.
>Generally, swapping parts on the car (left for right etc..) to see if a problem migrates is a wonderful strategy.
>I think o2 sensors really don't go bad very often and many are changed unnecessarily. Save your old parts for awhile just in case. Old parts later can be checked out to see if they were actually still good, and may be useful in future diagnostics.
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Last edited by ztom; 10-12-2008 at 08:06 AM.
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  #39  
Old 10-10-2008, 06:35 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Next day driving - all good, no cel, even with bad b1s2 (bank 1 post cat) o2 that I'll change out later.
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  #40  
Old 10-10-2008, 06:37 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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I like the 528 over the 540 - good power, fuel economy, simpler design, more room to fix stuff.
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  #41  
Old 10-10-2008, 06:49 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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So in retrospect the P0154 and P0173 codes were trying to tell me the problem was specific to bank 2 air/fuel mix. If I had run the real time scanner and known where the pre cat sensors are, I would have clearly known that bank 2 was either too much air or bad o2, since the car idle and performance was fine (no obvious loss of power, misfires etc). If I then ran the car at 3K rpm and seen the problem stayed, I could rule out intake leak. Also I would have sprayed carb around the intake parts during idle to try to hear rpm change, confirming intake leak. In my case there was no intake leak. So then I would have changed the b2s1 o2.

It turns out through this I fixed other stuff not essential but helped the car performance: plugs, fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, ccv, maf, and cleaned icv. It was a nice learning experience, I feel I know my car much better.
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  #42  
Old 10-10-2008, 07:13 PM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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Ztom,

Good work and thanks for updating the post.
I'm glad you like the obd tool.
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  #43  
Old 10-13-2008, 10:02 AM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Post cat sensor b1s2 - I mentioned above that I would change this out when I had time. I did that now. Turns out the cel went on for that code, took maybe 5-10 drive cycles but it came on. Since I've got it down now, took 15 min. So even though b1s2 doesn't participate in fuel loop, it will throw a cel.
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  #44  
Old 10-13-2008, 10:21 AM
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I've always been told that post-cat sensors don't do much and wouldn't throw a cel. I've even been told replacing them is a waste of money. Like anything though I take it with a grain of salt.
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  #45  
Old 10-13-2008, 10:40 PM
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Well that's what I heard too but I can tell you for the e39, it threw a specific code for post cat.
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  #46  
Old 10-13-2008, 10:49 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
I've always been told that post-cat sensors don't do much and wouldn't throw a cel. I've even been told replacing them is a waste of money. Like anything though I take it with a grain of salt.
The post cat sensors can and will throw a CEL. The CEL is tripped in a vehicle when the emissions levels rise to 1.5 times the amount that are certified on that particular vehicle's emmissions label OR there is a fault within the emissions system.

In some cars the post o2 sensors are used in conjunction with the precat sensors to tell the DME what the oxygen content is in the exhaust so it can adjust fuel delivery. However in some cars, like ours, they don't do squat for air fuels. But they do still detect oxygen content in the exhaust. But the post cat sensors should produce a relatively steady voltage if they (and your cats) are working properly, whereas the pre o2 sensors should constantly fluctuate from about .1 to 1v. A steady voltage from the post cat 02 sensors lets the DME know that a constant amount of o2 is being found in the exhaust stream, which indicates that the cat's are doing there job. Remember, the job of the 02 sensor is strictly to detect the amount of oxygen in the exhaust, and nothing more. It's up to the DME to access its lookup tables and make any adjustments to the powertrain. Sorry for going off on a tangent, I'm going to hit the sack now. I'm beat. Peace.
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  #47  
Old 10-15-2008, 12:12 PM
solera solera is offline
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ok well i was hoping the the last post would say all the codes are gone and the real issue was ______, so what happen are your codes gone because i have the same problem just dont have the income right now to change and order all the stuff you did.
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  #48  
Old 10-16-2008, 10:23 AM
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ztom ztom is offline
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yes all codes gone. Turns out the root cause was simple - the indy replaced the post cat when the bad sensor was pre cat (on the exhaust manifold). All the other stuff helped the car but was not essential. In general IMO the simplest and cheapest first step is to replace the plugs AND INSPECT the plugs, indicates how the cylinders are doing.

What are the symptoms on your car? Maybe I can help..
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  #49  
Old 10-26-2008, 02:14 AM
Tufast Tufast is offline
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Awesome thread, I think I will also invest in upgrading to a OBDII scanner, so when a problem arrises I'll be better prepared.
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  #50  
Old 12-18-2008, 02:52 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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My car's been running fine but then got a cel and found by obd tool the bank 2 pre-cat o2 went bad, now changed out and cel gone. I'm still losing coolant, maybe 1 qt in 1-2K miles, and I think maybe it's through the head gasket, causing the o2 sensor to go bad, but not sure. I'll update this post later, we'll see how it pans out. It could have been the previous o2 sensor wore out but we'll see. One thing of interest is the code for the cel was 1189 and 1073, suggesting maf, but the scan tool clearly showed bank 2 o2 sensor bad, yet there was no code thrown for bad o2.
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