Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-19-2011, 01:37 AM
swchang's Avatar
swchang swchang is online now
Family Man User
Location: Baltimore/DC area
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,283
Mein Auto: BMW, M-B, Honda
Safe to ignore SES light?

I brought my car into a BMW dealer to get the oil change done. Not long after, I had to drive in a ginormous snow storm. The next day, my car was buried in snow. It was all over - muffler tailpipes, front air intakes... I noticed my SES light was on, so I called the SA. She told me to just reset the light and see if it comes back.

So, I bought a cheap code reader off Amazon. It said P0171 was thrown, with potential risks of P0174 and P0171. I reset it and have driven since for a few days, including in very snowy and cold (0 degrees F!) conditions without it coming back.

Am I safe? Good to assume no issues as long as it doesn't come back on?

TIA!
__________________


2004 BMW 330i • 6MT • Orient Blue Metallic • Sand Leather • Black Cube Trim • ZHP • ZCW
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 01-19-2011, 03:46 AM
bishop1977 bishop1977 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: dfw
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 165
Mein Auto: 330i zhp s/c
Well it's a lean condition check for vacuum leaks and also check your secoondary air pump. Your car is running more fuel to warm up because of the temp and the tries to lean it out but can't because of unmetered air.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-19-2011, 06:15 AM
P_T's Avatar
P_T P_T is offline
Supporting Member
Location: Micco, Florida
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,511
Mein Auto: 323 Ci
A lean condition results in increased internal combustion chamber temperature and can burn holes in pistons. I believe the management system compensates by increasing the fuel flow, and if that is the case there should be no immediate issue. However I am not sure of this. The fact remains that there is a lean condition that should be addressed.
__________________
PT
___________________________________

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-19-2011, 06:25 AM
CarlsonTheFlyer's Avatar
CarlsonTheFlyer CarlsonTheFlyer is offline
Paraglide! Walk on air!
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,259
Mein Auto: 2010 335i Coupe 6MT
Generally speaking, if your SES light comes on and is steady, it's *safe* to drive until you get an opportunity to fix it. You will probably not cause any permanent damage to the car, unless you ignore the problem for a long time.

But if the SES light comes on and begins blinking, you should not drive the car from that moment and should have it towed in for repairs. If you keep driving it under these conditions, you may cause severe permanent damage to the car which will end up costing you a lot of money in repairs.

When you have a lean condition, P0171 and/or P0174, it's safe to drive the car, but it will probably run rough, may cause random misfires, may stall on you, and you will not enjoy driving it.

When it's very cold, especially if you car is buried in snow, it is *possible* for rubber hose and intake boot connections to shrink and harden from the cold, creating an air leak and causing a temporary lean condition. Once things get warmer, the leak may disappear and everything may go back to normal. If your SES light doesn't come back on after a hundred miles or so after the reset, then probably that is exactly what happened.

Good luck!
__________________
Carlson The Flyer | BMW CCA # 423862
The problem with common sense is that it's not very common.

2010 335i, ZSP, ZPP, M-Sport, Le Mans Blue, 3 pedals of course!
Heated Seats | USB & iPod | Black Dakota Leather
Cobb AP Stage 1 Aggressive + | Cobb FMIC | BMW Performance Exhaust



Previous BMWs:
2001 330i ZSP ZPP 5-speed - sold, but not forgotten.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-19-2011, 06:47 AM
Coconutpete's Avatar
Coconutpete Coconutpete is online now
Coconut Pete's paella!
Location: Charlotte, NC / Denmark
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,463
Mein Auto: 08' 4Runner V8
I agree w/ Carlson. If it's on solid then fix it as soon as you have a chance. If it starts blinking - fix it NOW.
__________________
The word "there" can appear as a pronoun, as in “over there".

"Their" is a possessive pronoun. In a phrase like “Susan and Bill's car,” it could be used to to make a new phrase: “their car.”

”They're” is a contraction of “they are.”
“They are” should always be able to replace “they're.”

Extra credit: It's "I'm looking for an M3" not "I'm looking for a M3".
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-19-2011, 06:57 AM
mrblorry's Avatar
mrblorry mrblorry is offline
No User Serviceable Parts
Location: Terminator Line
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,464
Mein Auto: '04 545i, Schaltgetriebe
+1 And take a quick roadtrip to Florida and see if the Sunshine State's balmy weather doesn't fix it!
__________________
-Steve






Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-19-2011, 10:47 AM
swchang's Avatar
swchang swchang is online now
Family Man User
Location: Baltimore/DC area
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,283
Mein Auto: BMW, M-B, Honda
Thanks, all. Never was blinking, only solid. So far, so good. Will have it checked out pronto if it comes back.
__________________


2004 BMW 330i • 6MT • Orient Blue Metallic • Sand Leather • Black Cube Trim • ZHP • ZCW
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-20-2011, 06:49 PM
aleks's Avatar
aleks aleks is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Columbia, SC
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 366
Mein Auto: 2004 330xi
What if it comes on and off randomly every few days? I seem to have a non-committal SES light as of late. It came on a couple of weeks ago (I was driving on a highway, relatively cold night) and stayed on for a few days, then went off. Few days later, back on. Then gone again.
__________________
-------------
<(OO) ||| ||| (OO)> 2004 330xi ZPP Titanium Silver
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-20-2011, 07:06 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,336
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
I've seen random 0171 codes before. Nothing to worry about really. If it comes back you likely have a hole in your intake tract running from the MAF to the throttle body.
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-21-2011, 01:19 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
tappa tappa toit
Location: NY
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 4,687
Mein Auto: hoopty
Those codes are nothing to be worried about.

Btw I've never seen the ses blink on e46 and my car has been thru some major ****. My VW on the other hand blinks the cel if it misfires.
__________________
mujjuman
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-21-2011, 08:59 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,375
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by swchang View Post
so I called the SA. She told me to just reset the light and see if it comes back
Never in my entire experience with BMW has the dealership SA said something like that to me!

You must have one hellova' relationship with your SA.

Mine ALWAYS says "bring in it so we can hook it up to our diagnostic tester for existing and pending codes as we can't tell what it is on the phone and don't reset it 'cuz you'll lose all the data we need to look for".

Personally, I would agree with what folks say to reset ... BUT ... if you want DATA ... then you should at least get the pending codes (if any) and maybe even more diagnostics before you reset it and lose that information.

However, as people said, if' it's "real", it will return.

Good luck. Let us know what happens, over time.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-21-2011, 11:32 PM
swchang's Avatar
swchang swchang is online now
Family Man User
Location: Baltimore/DC area
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,283
Mein Auto: BMW, M-B, Honda
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Never in my entire experience with BMW has the dealership SA said something like that to me!

You must have one hellova' relationship with your SA.

Mine ALWAYS says "bring in it so we can hook it up to our diagnostic tester for existing and pending codes as we can't tell what it is on the phone and don't reset it 'cuz you'll lose all the data we need to look for".

Personally, I would agree with what folks say to reset ... BUT ... if you want DATA ... then you should at least get the pending codes (if any) and maybe even more diagnostics before you reset it and lose that information.

However, as people said, if' it's "real", it will return.

Good luck. Let us know what happens, over time.
Ha, I'm sure she would have told me that, but I first told her that I'm four hours away. No point in letting a different dealership make that money, I guess.
__________________


2004 BMW 330i • 6MT • Orient Blue Metallic • Sand Leather • Black Cube Trim • ZHP • ZCW
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms