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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 12-03-2009, 11:46 AM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Smile Another OBD II code to deal with P0444

Well, I read almost every post about p0444 in this forum and e46 fanatics as well. Really there is not much information out there. It is either this is not an important code or not happening to many people.
But it happened to me First it happened last week and SES went away the next day. I cleared the code and after about a week later, it came back again. I really do not think it is my gas cap. I had replaced that a few years ago and I do not think they need to be replaced every few years.
So what would be the course of action here (other than the gas cap)?

I hate to replace the purge solenoid if it is not the reason.

Any idea?
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2009, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iskoos View Post
So what would be the course of action here (other than the gas cap)?
Nothing. A gas cap is cheap and easy, worth a shot when the odds say that is your problemo.

Other than that, I am of no help on this one. Sorry!
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2009, 08:02 PM
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Guess, I can get another gas cap. Will add it to my next order.

If this evap system totally fails, there is not much harm to the engine other than contaminating the atmosphere with fuel vapor. Am I correct?
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2010, 08:05 PM
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Update...

Well, Smoclk, I took your advise and ordered a new OE gas cap from autohausaz just before the new year because the code was coming up almost everyday. I put the new cap on and cleared the code. The same code appeared the next day It didn't even let me enjoy thinking that I might have solved this problem
Anyways, my gas tank was almost empty when I tried the new gas cap. So I filled up and cleared the code again. This time the code never came back. I drove the car 10+ days and emptied the tank. NO codes)) I said "Wow!.. Did the new cap fix the problem???" I was going to come here with a good news but I wanted to run another tank without the code just to make sure. So I filled up again and drove for about 10 more days with no code!!. Then the stinking code appeared again I was about to fill the tank for the 3rd time.
So with the new gas cap, I didn't get the code for over 3 weeks but that wasn't enough...
Smolck, I was about to send a 12-pack of your choice on your way But didn't happen...

It is so weird that there is almost no information about this code out there. Must not be a common problem...

Smolck, would the purge valve be the next thing you would look at, if this happened to you?
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2010, 08:56 PM
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3seriesbmw 3seriesbmw is offline
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Is there a sensor you can replace? I dont know that thats the problem but its about the only thing I could think of. Have you tried e46fanatics?
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2010, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 3seriesbmw View Post
Is there a sensor you can replace? I dont know that thats the problem but its about the only thing I could think of. Have you tried e46fanatics?
Lol... BMW is all about sensors) I don't know this specific problem is caused by any sensor though. I doubt!..
Yes, I searched E46 fanatics. Very very little info and DIY for this specific code unfortunately...
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2010, 06:38 AM
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here is a chart off of Mitchell 1, tell me if it doesnt come up. it says that the code is for an open in the purge control valve ciruit, with some simple electrical testing u should be able to find the problem. the evap control valve is on the front left side of the engine compartment.

Last edited by automechanic7; 01-29-2010 at 06:54 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2010, 06:57 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iskoos View Post
Lol... BMW is all about sensors) I don't know this specific problem is caused by any sensor though. I doubt!..
Yes, I searched E46 fanatics. Very very little info and DIY for this specific code unfortunately...
yeah lol... either sensors or brittle plastic parts and cheap bushings
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2010, 07:03 AM
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CarlsonTheFlyer CarlsonTheFlyer is offline
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Normally with a leaking, or loose, or missing gas cap you would get one of these codes:

P0442 Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (small leak) or

P0455 Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (gross leak)

I own an emissions testing station and perform thousands of tests a year. Gas cap leak down test is part of the inspection and those are the codes that come up.

P0444 code requires a visit to your local independent BMW shop, or (hopefully not) a dealership.

The Evaporative Emissions System (EVAP) allows fumes from the gas tank to enter the engine to be burned, rather than vented into the atmosphere as an emission. The purge valve solenoid is supplied switched battery voltage. The ECM controls the valve by operating the ground circuit, opening the purge valve at specific times allowing these gasses to enter the engine. The ECM monitors the ground circuit as well, watching for faults. When the purge solenoid isn't activated, the ECM should see a high voltage on the ground circuit. When the solenoid is activated, the ECM should see the ground voltage pulled low, close to zero. If the ECM doesn't see these expected voltages, or senses an open in the circuit, this code is set.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlsonTheFlyer View Post
Normally with a leaking, or loose, or missing gas cap you would get one of these codes:

P0442 Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (small leak) or

P0455 Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (gross leak)

I own an emissions testing station and perform thousands of tests a year. Gas cap leak down test is part of the inspection and those are the codes that come up.

P0444 code requires a visit to your local independent BMW shop, or (hopefully not) a dealership.

The Evaporative Emissions System (EVAP) allows fumes from the gas tank to enter the engine to be burned, rather than vented into the atmosphere as an emission. The purge valve solenoid is supplied switched battery voltage. The ECM controls the valve by operating the ground circuit, opening the purge valve at specific times allowing these gasses to enter the engine. The ECM monitors the ground circuit as well, watching for faults. When the purge solenoid isn't activated, the ECM should see a high voltage on the ground circuit. When the solenoid is activated, the ECM should see the ground voltage pulled low, close to zero. If the ECM doesn't see these expected voltages, or senses an open in the circuit, this code is set.
I pretty much know how the EVAP system operates but don't know much about how ECM detects a fault in the system. I was focusing on the purge valve being stuck but couldn't understand how ECM was able to detect this. If the valve is closed (I believe it is normally closed valve), the fuel vapor gets trapped and doesn't get directed into intake to be burned. ECm shouldn't be able to know this unless there is some pressure switch that monitors the fuel vaopr pressure in the system. Now you explained something (about ground voltage) I don't know much about but even then it makes some sense.

Do you have any recommendation to test the system?
All I can do at this moment is to try to reach the purge valve and test the solenoid by directly applying 12v(I believe it is on 12v circuit). But if solenoid doesn't open, bingo!. It is the culprit. But if it operates as expected when I apply the voltage, I don't know where to from there...

Last edited by iskoos; 01-29-2010 at 09:07 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2010, 10:06 AM
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To check for a problem on the control circuit (if the solenoid tests okay and you have voltage to the solenoid) plug the solenoid back in and remove the control circuit (ground) wire from the ECM connector . With the ground wire removed from the ECM, turn the key on and then manually ground the Purge valve control wire. The solenoid should click. If it does, then you know there is no problem with the control wire to the solenoid and there is a problem with the ECM purge solenoid driver circuit in the ECM. You'll need a new ECM. However if it doesn't click, then there must be an open in the wiring between the ECM and and the solenoid. You must find it and repair it.

Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2010, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlsonTheFlyer View Post
To check for a problem on the control circuit (if the solenoid tests okay and you have voltage to the solenoid) plug the solenoid back in and remove the control circuit (ground) wire from the ECM connector . With the ground wire removed from the ECM, turn the key on and then manually ground the Purge valve control wire. The solenoid should click. If it does, then you know there is no problem with the control wire to the solenoid and there is a problem with the ECM purge solenoid driver circuit in the ECM. You'll need a new ECM. However if it doesn't click, then there must be an open in the wiring between the ECM and and the solenoid. You must find it and repair it.

Good luck!
Thank you. I will test the purge valve first (hoping that it would not click when I apply the voltage) then I will do the ground wiring test as you suggested. If there is a problem in the wiring, it could still be difficult to track down but I guess it is better than the next step. If the wiring checks ok, then I am into lot bigger problem and will require professional help...
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2010, 10:48 AM
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More often than not, it is a wiring or the actual purge valve problem, and not the ECM hopefully. Of course tracking down a broken wire could be like looking for a a needle in a stack of needles.

Let us know the result.
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2010, 11:19 AM
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Update...

Hey guys, Here is an update for those who were following this thread...

I said I would test the purge valve in past January but I never got a chance to do that. I had other more important maintenances for my car. Plus the code P0444 didn't repeat quite a while. Then I started waiting and waiting. It's been almost 3 months since then and I am still waiting..
I fill about 3 to 4 times a month. So you can say I went thru at least 9 full tanks and I never got the code again... Since I never got the code again, I never went back to mess with the purge valve even though it was very easy to test.

So I am still not 100% on this or at least I cannot explain the inconsistent behavior but let's say gas cap fixed it and the code won't be coming back again...

If you are reading this because you got this code, my suggestion is that just go ahead and get a new gas cap(OEM it is cheap 13 bucks) and drive around to see what happens.
And be patient!.. Certainly better than going to a dealership
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2010, 07:22 AM
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Yesterday, the code appeared again after 3 months. I won't make any more comments on this nor do I take any action untill the code appears everyday...
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  #16  
Old 05-05-2010, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iskoos View Post
Yesterday, the code appeared again after 3 months. I won't make any more comments on this nor do I take any action untill the code appears everyday...
Dude, that just sounds FRUSTRATING.

Best of luck.
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  #17  
Old 06-19-2010, 04:33 PM
carlissimo64 carlissimo64 is offline
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It is a very common code

I drive a 2006 330 CI, and the SES light (with the said error code) is now coming on much more frequently. I went to Autozone and the feller there told me to first try changing the gas cap. For peace of mind, I stopped by a, somewhat, trusted mechanic and asked him to verify the error. After connecting a, much fancier, diagnostic machine he said my car was showing it was running lean and with low fuel pressure. He claims he has seen this before and swore it was due to a faulty gas cap. So I went to the stealership and bought a new one. After replacing the cap, I went back to Autozone and had them clear the code. Well, a week later the darn light came on again!
I went back to Autozone and the employee told me the same error was back. Recently, another Bimmer fan told me he had the same issue but it ended for him after he replaced the Purge valve. I'm prepared to try this also, but no one has been able to tell me where this darn valve is located. Another thread had reference to this, but no one was exactly sure which one the purge valve was on the diagram that was posted.

Please help!!! I have stopped enjoying this car because of the constant error code chasing. As I mentioned once, I now call BMWs "the ultimate enigma machines" instead of "driving machines" because I seem to always be trying to figure out why the Service Engine Light is on again. Maybe, just maybe, BMW went overboard with all the "bells and whistles" (sensors)...

Help!!!!
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  #18  
Old 06-20-2010, 07:03 AM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Relax man)) I have been driving my BMW with SES for over 2 years and I still enjoy the driving...
My SES is not coming on every other day though. Like twice or even once a month. And it is not exhibiting any drivibility problem. And I refuse to pay a fortune to a stealership. So I drive it but I constantly monitor it.
I have 2 codes. One is the famous P0174 and other is the one you got P0444. You already read my P0444 adventure above I guess so I will not say much about it except that I changed the fuel cap but it didn't do it.
I will change the purge valve only if the code starts coming on more often. Currently it (P0444) only appears like once or every other month. The purge valve is not expensive. I think it is around $60-70 and it is very easy to get to. It is directly behind the power steering reservoir. You cant's see it but if you stick your fingers, you may feel it. It is a small plastic part that looks like a small electric pump. It has one electrical connector and 2 inlets for the vacuum hoses to plug in. I haven't replaced mine but like I said it is a simple DIY. You will need to remove the airbox assembly and it should give you all the clearance you need.
Try it, and if you cannot find where it is, I will post a picture for you...

Last edited by iskoos; 06-20-2010 at 07:08 AM.
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  #19  
Old 06-20-2010, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlissimo64 View Post
Maybe, just maybe, BMW went overboard with all the "bells and whistles" (sensors)...

Help!!!!
Actually, the fact that they have so many sensors makes problem solving so much easier. They give you the codes for everything, so you don't have to have any real diagnosing skill to tackle a given problem.

A quick search for "E46 Purge valve replacement DIY" on google will give you all you need to know. Good luck.
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  #20  
Old 06-20-2010, 08:24 AM
carlissimo64 carlissimo64 is offline
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Thanks

Thank you fellas. I know i'm probably overreacting (due to my frustration) but it's also because my previous vehicle ( a 2002 Dodge Dakota... and I know they don't compare) had the SES light come on twice (once for a foul plug the other for a vacuum leak due to a cracked hose) in the 7 years I owned it. This car is non stop.
Anyway, I know that if, and when, I get all these issues resolved I will be 100% happier with my bimmer than driving the gas guzzling dodge (it had a V8).
I suppose i'm also feeling some remorse because this car is something I really wanted and, so far, it's proving to be a nightmare.
I will find and replace this rogue valve!

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  #21  
Old 08-01-2013, 05:22 PM
mrlee mrlee is offline
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Re: Another OBD II code to deal with P0444

You are so right. There seems to always be some wrong. I have a 02 745i. The dealership must have a 30 car service bay and it'always full. Really considering getting rid of it.

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  #22  
Old 08-31-2013, 03:24 PM
Phreeto Phreeto is offline
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Another OBD II code to deal with P0444

I just got p0444. I really would doubt it's my gas cap- so I'm going to skip that part for now (even if there is an off chance of me regretting it). Will the e46 guide for replacing the purge control valve work for 2005 645ci? I will follow up with results.


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  #23  
Old 09-01-2013, 05:23 AM
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ahull ahull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreeto View Post
I just got p0444. I really would doubt it's my gas cap- so I'm going to skip that part for now (even if there is an off chance of me regretting it). Will the e46 guide for replacing the purge control valve work for 2005 645ci? I will follow up with results.


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Possibly. You can go to realoem.com and plug in your car (last 7 of vin is fastest) and look for the schematics in the drillable catalog. I plugged in a 1/05 e64 and I think it's here:

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...34&hg=13&fg=15

There's a photo link there for the valve and it's hose assembly. E46 is the straight 6, and 645 is a v8. Probably similar process once you get to the purge valve though. If I had to guess where it is I'd say somewhere on the drivers side of the engine
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Last edited by ahull; 09-01-2013 at 05:28 AM.
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  #24  
Old 09-01-2013, 07:47 AM
Phreeto Phreeto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahull View Post
Possibly. You can go to realoem.com and plug in your car (last 7 of vin is fastest) and look for the schematics in the drillable catalog. I plugged in a 1/05 e64 and I think it's here:

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...34&hg=13&fg=15

There's a photo link there for the valve and it's hose assembly. E46 is the straight 6, and 645 is a v8. Probably similar process once you get to the purge valve though. If I had to guess where it is I'd say somewhere on the drivers side of the engine
This is a very helpful tool! Thanks! I purchased the valve yesterday and will post results when complete.

Thanks again!
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  #25  
Old 09-01-2013, 12:46 PM
mrlee mrlee is offline
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Thank you for your reply. I've decided to get rid of this car. I've spent way to much money on it and it always seems to be something wrong with it. To supposed to be a world class automobile, the workmanship is very shoddy. I won't be buying anymore BMWs.
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