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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 04-30-2010, 11:58 AM
IH8DMV IH8DMV is offline
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Loose gas cap has triggered Service Engine light

When will it go away? Is there anything I can do? Your expertise is appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2010, 12:46 PM
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yes. drive the car 40 or 50 miles(doesnt have to be at one time) then should cycle and turn off.
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  #3  
Old 04-30-2010, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by IH8DMV View Post
When will it go away? Is there anything I can do? Your expertise is appreciated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 528ibimmer View Post
yes. drive the car 40 or 50 miles(doesnt have to be at one time) then should cycle and turn off.
That happened to me last year. After replacing the gas cap, the light went off after about 3 days later.
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  #4  
Old 04-30-2010, 01:54 PM
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You'll have to go thru one of the four drive cycles below for whichever "Evaluated" part of the emissions system the fuel filler cap falls under. If after going thru the drive cycle, the issue no longer exists...then the light will go off. If the problem remains...then the light will stay illuminated:

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  #5  
Old 05-10-2010, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E39Freak View Post
That happened to me last year. After replacing the gas cap, the light went off after about 3 days later.
where did you get the replacement cap...?...and how much.....about 25.00 on eBay for OEM cap....

my Service Engine Light has come of for the second time now due to the filler cap...
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2010, 05:15 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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There is an 0 ring on the cap that seals up with the tank--I had my light coming on from time to time a few years back. I made the fix that still works for me by doing the following. Carefully remove the 0 ring from the cap. There is a cupped outer edge of the ring that I used black permatex gasket silicone--sensor safe by the way. I carfully filled that whole outer edge of the 0 ring with the permatex --then let it set up over night.
Put the 0 ring back on the cap the next day--cleared the code with my code scanner--and it's never been on again. Over 4 years now with that fix.
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  #7  
Old 05-10-2010, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by poolman View Post
I used black permatex gasket silicone--sensor safe by the way. I carfully filled that whole outer edge of the 0 ring with the permatex --then let it set up over night. .
just happen to have this on hand....gonna give it a shot...thx for the DIY.....
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2010, 08:17 AM
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I believe that you can buy a new O-ring.
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2010, 09:11 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Yep--you can buy a new 0 ring--I've even looked the part # up a time or tow--but with the permatex fix
the original 0 ring is strengthened and works well enough for me ---so far LOL---probably be the next thing to go
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2010, 09:27 AM
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.. Just wondering, what Code/s did you get with the bad cap???

Thanks
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  #11  
Old 05-11-2010, 09:30 AM
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I just picked up a new (16 11 1 184 731) Fuel Tank Cap.
This new one has done away w/ the oring. THere's now a large rubber donut gasket instead of the o-ring. & cap comes with a 4" tether line to keep it captive to the door lid.

Bought it local. Ordered it at 10am, p/up at noon. Paid $20.09, incl tax.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2011, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Rustyzipper View Post
.. Just wondering, what Code/s did you get with the bad cap???

Thanks
I'm curious myself. What code does come up for a loose gas cap?
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2011, 08:53 PM
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I'm curious myself. What code does come up for a loose gas cap?
Do a google search using these search words: P0455 (Evaporative System Leak Detected - Large Leak)
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2011, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustyzipper View Post
.. Just wondering, what Code/s did you get with the bad cap???

Thanks
The Peake BMW codes are as follows: Table 19 8F BM-TL Leak detected

Mine did this on Monday (first SES in over 14 months) so I just torqued the cap down (I too am due for a new one), reset the system and filled the tank. So far, no more codes.

This is yet another example of why you should have at least one decent code reader for these cars in your toolbox. Many go whole hog GT1 (as I may someday)
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Do a google search using these search words: P0455 (Evaporative System Leak Detected - Large Leak)
This thread intrigues me, especially as we have a "drive cycle" question still pending:
- When are E39 OBDII diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) & pending codes auto cleared?

For the team, I'm going to do an experiment with my 2002 E39.

I just pulled off my gas cap and put it on my garage shelf.

I haven't started the car yet, but I checked the codes and there were none before I did this so, starting from that point, l'll let you know how many miles it takes for whatever error to occur (I expect what QSilver7 said to be the case ... as he is infallible ... but let's see).

Stay tuned ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Many go whole hog GT1 (as I may someday)
I too, desire to "go whole hog" and get one of the "fancy schmancy" diagnostic scanners. Some day. Round tuit. Job. And all that.

Last edited by bluebee; 03-02-2011 at 12:35 PM.
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  #16  
Old 03-02-2011, 11:09 AM
fiat84 fiat84 is offline
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My gas cap would not stay in the normal locked position when the cap was tight and when you normally turn beyond tight it will make a ratcheting click sound. When my cap failed it would not stay locked in the tight position and literally reverse itself a bit not keeping the lock or seal.

For my gas cap replacement the two codes generated by the check engine light were:
143 Tank Leak Detect. Major Leak
00250 undetermined code

new gas cap from BMW dealer $32.62 CDN

Pulled into our regular more than friendly Toyota dealer who scanned my BMW for free then within a minute diagnosed the leak problem described above for free. Amazing how great service can attract customers for life.
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  #17  
Old 03-02-2011, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
This thread intrigues me, especially as we have a "drive cycle" question still pending:
- When are E39 OBDII diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) & pending codes auto cleared?

For the team, I'm going to do an experiment with my 2002 E39.

I just pulled off my gas cap and put it on my garage shelf.

I haven't started the car yet, but I checked the codes and there were none before I did this so, starting from that point, l'll let you know how many miles it takes for whatever error to occur (I expect what QSilver7 to be the case ... but let's see).

Stay tuned ...


"ABS
I too, desire to "go whole hog" and get one of the "fancy schmancy" diagnostic scanners. Some day. Round tuit. Job. And all that.
Bluebee, one of reasons I signed up for this forum is your dogged determination to divine some kind of logic from what can seem a bewildering array of causes and effects, as exemplified in this thread and the "ABS-Traction Control" conundrum. Every time I read one of these threads, I think, "Thank God someone has the energy to pursue this."

Last edited by bobdmac; 03-02-2011 at 11:37 AM.
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  #18  
Old 03-02-2011, 12:53 PM
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'atta girl...you're like our own Amelia Earhart (that survives, though) :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
...
I just pulled off my gas cap and put it on my garage shelf.

I haven't started the car yet, but I checked the codes and there were none before I did this so, starting from that point, l'll let you know how many miles it takes for whatever error to occur (I expect what QSilver7 said to be the case ... as he is infallible ... but let's see).

Stay tuned ...
Blue...before the SES/CEL will illuminate...the system will need to set TWO fault codes. The first one can be pulled up as a pending code (if you hook up your scanner & you're drive cycle has been one that tests the EVAP emissions). Refer to the chart below...look at the first section on the left...it describes when the EVAP system is checked (cold engine start & idle for 2 min & 10 sec).



Again, after the second fault has been recorded...the light should illuminate. See the 2nd paragraph in the 3rd bullet in info below.


Your test results will be interesting...I await to see the outcome.
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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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  #19  
Old 03-02-2011, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
before the SES/CEL will illuminate...the system will need to set TWO fault codes
Hi QSilver7,

Well, so far today, after zeroing the odometer, I drove the bimmer five miles to get meet a friend at Starbucks; turned off the car; and then, after my meeting, I drove the five miles back home.

No codes yet.



But, after re-reading your post, I realize (belatedly) I need to bone up on those complex "drive cycle" details since I didn't understand the two-minute warning period!


BTW, what does "idle cold" mean (as opposed to "just idle")?
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
BTW, what does "idle cold" mean (as opposed to "just idle")?
I just found out what they mean by "cold idle" using this reference from the X70 crowd:

Quote:
An OBD II drive cycle is not just turning the ignition key on and off or starting the engine. A drive cycle requires starting a cold engine and driving the vehicle until the engine reaches normal operating temperature. The next drive cycle doesn't begin until the engine has been shut off, allowed to cool back down and is restarted again.
Given that, I'll need to wait until some cold temperature is reached before resuming the test for the team.

Also note that this gas-cap test may require an 8 hour interlude!
Quote:
on some vehicles, the EVAP monitor won't run unless the vehicle has not been run for eight hours
Katie O'Malley! They sure do make it hard to test what code occurs when your gas cap is off the vehicle!

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  #21  
Old 03-02-2011, 05:57 PM
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Bee said interlude.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:00 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Bee said interlude.
Good thing she didn't say "interregnum"
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
Good thing she didn't say "interregnum"
I had to look 'that' one up!

The gas cap, days later, is still off the car (in fact, I thought I put it on the shelf and now I can't find it).

Only this morning, on an errand, did 'any' warning show, and even then, it was 'only' the cluster alphanumeric display flashing "CHECK FILLER CAP" ever so surreptitiously.

What amazed me is that I then checked the OBDII DTCs and there were "NO CODES".

Unfortunately, I couldn't get to the camera in time (it was in the trunk), so, I'll have to keep the camera around my neck and report back when I do the next drive cycle.

The bad news is that if you forget your gas filler cap, it might be days before 'any' warning is displayed ... and even then, it's flashed only momentarily at best.
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  #24  
Old 03-04-2011, 05:52 PM
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Bee, I can also add that I got my SES light at 7 degrees Fahrenheit after my car sat for 4 days.

That variable might be tough to replicate.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:10 PM
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That variable might be tough to replicate.
Oh my! Indeed. It was 52F when I took the picture of a few posts prior. I went for a 12 mile hike today, and it felt like it was in the 60's and higher.

So, no, I will not take 7F for the team to attempt EVAP replication!

I had my fill of cold weather during my upbringing ... that's why I moved to California ... to get away from it all!
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