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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-08-2011, 04:41 PM
racyards racyards is offline
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Ca smog. :s

Cant get my 96 328i to pass smog. Changed out both cats and now the NO reading is high. Cats cost me 5 bills. Now the O2 sensors are gonna run $325. 125 each for 2 bosch sensors. :s. If this doesn't remedy the prob. I am stumped... and broke. :s

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  #2  
Old 08-08-2011, 05:05 PM
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Gooby Gooby is offline
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Did you make sure the cats were blazing hot before the test?
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2011, 05:41 PM
racyards racyards is offline
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I tried taking it in today and the test only guy told me that it wouldn't matter too much because my NO reading was so high, he let me retest once already, but I don't think the ats were blazing hot. The plan was to take the car in blazing hot on the way in, then got pulled over by chp for out of date registration, when the chp got me I was puled into the test only center and the drone still gave me a fix it ticket.

Just how hot do they have to be?
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  #4  
Old 08-08-2011, 05:45 PM
racyards racyards is offline
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Now the smog repair guy says that he can't communicate with the OBD II computer and that since he can't do that , he doesn't want to change the sensors since he does not know which ones are malfunctioning, as he was to replace 2 but the car has 4. :S No one else has ever had this problem. Frustrated to say the least. How difficult would it be to register out of state is my next question? I am thinking Nevada since I will be moving there soon. Please advise.
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  #5  
Old 08-08-2011, 06:40 PM
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Pretty sure you can't reg in a other state until you actually have a residence there.

NOx shouldn't be an O2 problem unless you have very high O2 readings. If the O2 is close to 0, the sensors should be fine. I wouldn't have a smog shop do any repairs.

Edit, where are you in CA?

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  #6  
Old 08-08-2011, 06:52 PM
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TRaV MaNN TRaV MaNN is offline
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He says he cant read the computer??

Get someone else to see if your're car is throwing any codes(with an OBDII reader). That's the first place I would of started.

What I do is the fillup before smog run premium(if you already don"t) and some octane booster and cleaner and some of that stuff. Run it about 20 miles down the free way. Turn around. Pull into smog station and you'll have the best odds.
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  #7  
Old 08-08-2011, 07:30 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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NOx is at its highest point when co & hc are at its lowest. this is also affected by high combustion temps. the buildup of carbon can contribute to this as well. i would do a seafoam service to clean out the combustion chambers.

as for the o2's, replace the primary units at a minimum. these are there to protect the cat. the secondary units are there to verify the cat is functioning.

are the cats oe or aftermarket?? if aftermarket, are they a direct fit, or universal?? if universal, make sure they were installed correctly. cats are directional as they are of a dual bed 3 way design. the nox is reduced first, then hc/co. if installed backwards you get no nox reduction at all.

not sure if the 96 has an egr system or not, but if so, then make sure that is functioning. that has a huge affect on the NOx.

readings would help, too.



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  #8  
Old 08-09-2011, 03:18 AM
racyards racyards is offline
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Wow thank you all for the help. I wasn't expecting such great responses, I am glad to be a part of this community.
The cats installed were aftermarket, I cannot say with confidence whether they were direct fit or universal. My guess is that they were universal since the NOx reading went up after the new cats were installed. I think my next step is to inquire about this.

The shop that installed my cats was not a smog shop and their tests showed the O2 sensors to be functional. It is these other clowns I went to today that told me the obd II connection under the dash was not giving a connection signal; crookdar went off and I bounced, but this was after the circus took me for a $65 diagnostic fee. I am in the Los Angeles area, San Gabriel valley. I will post readings here soon. They are in my glove compartment, I am inside, and it is 3am.
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2011, 07:08 PM
racyards racyards is offline
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Alright, so here are the readings I have from the 2 failed tests:
Before cats, 15mph 25 mph, respectively: After new cats:

% CO2- 12.8, 12.8 9.1, 9.1
%O2- 2.48, 2.50 8.36, 8.29
HC (ppm) - 47, 39* 12, 10
CO (%)- 0.22, 0.17 .02, .02
NO (ppm)- 0543*, 0483 0869*, 0607

*Failed test
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  #10  
Old 08-09-2011, 07:11 PM
racyards racyards is offline
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Sorry, the format changed after I submitted the post. The 3rd and 4th readings are from the test after I changed the cats, and are at 15mph and 25mph, respectively.
Thank you.
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2011, 10:26 PM
racyards racyards is offline
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So I took the car to another test only.center. Took it in real hot and it passed. smh.

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  #12  
Old 08-22-2011, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racyards View Post
So I took the car to another test only.center. Took it in real hot and it passed. smh.

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So what you do??? Besides taking in hot...
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