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7 Series - E65 / E66 (2002 - 2008)
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  #1  
Old 08-19-2011, 08:58 AM
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Unhappy PO491 and 492 = Get rid of the 7 - UPDATE

I've been given troubling news yesterday by a BMW indy shop. I mentioned my ongoing PO491 and 492 SES codes, which when erased, return approximately 2-3 weeks later. He said that they receive these issues all the time and it almost never ends well. It's usually not a simple secondary air flow or pump problem itself, but the issues which caused it - oil consumption. Bad valve seals, etc. I have less than 55k miles on mine and it puffs a small amount of blue smoke after idle (never at startup or on decel or heavy acceleration). He said that the oil consumption cokes up the hoses and more importantly, the very small ports in the heads. I asked "if it was you rcar, what would you do?" His response was, "get rid of it". He added that his wife and him own a 2004 745 and only keeps it because obviously, he can fix it. He said that the 7 is literally a disposable car now. I just got this car in April and have never driven a nicer car. I am gutted.

Last edited by roadfrog; 08-20-2011 at 05:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2011, 09:08 AM
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Damn, sorry to hear about your issues. I don't have any problems now, but for the last week or two I have been seriously contemplating putting mine up for sale. The used car market is CRAZY good right now and my 4 year loan with low interest has got me in a really good position to cash out and not loose too much on depreciation.

My CPO ended May 13 (a Friday) and I had a $2000+ oil leak fixed a week before! I really can't justify spending $4-5,000 on a warranty, while that money, coupled with the equity I currently have in my 7 and the $600/month payment I will save a month will put me in a huge upgrade by next summer.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2011, 10:58 AM
erikmk erikmk is offline
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Question Secondary airflow problem - No reason to care?

I'm not sure about your indie's assessment, but I would be curious to hear what others think.

I encountered the exact same problem -- with the same codes -- with my car shortly after purchasing it (a 2002 745i).

First I was told that there was a leak in the vacuum tubes, which I had replaced. The codes came back. Then I was told that it was something else (crank case leak?), and had that replaced. The codes came back. Finally, I was told that the problem was carbon build-up in the heads of the valves that services the secondary air flow system. I was given an insane quote for the cost to clean-out the carbon build-up, $14K if you can believe it!

Needless to say, I decided to "wait" on that particular repair offer.

Anyway, after more research, it seems that the issue is low airflow in the secondary airflow system, which is only used during the first 30-60 seconds of operation after a cold start. I have been told that the function of the secondary air system is 100% emissions related and has no effect whatsoever with respect to the car's performance. In fact, I was told that if the secondary air system were entirely removed, the car would continue to function perfectly.

I've come to the opinion that if the secondary airflow system isn't working, especially if the cause is "carbon buildup", there is no reason whatsoever to fix it, unless it is necessary to pass state emissions inspection.

In Mass. you are allowed to pass emissions with one sensor registering as "not ready". So, after resetting my codes, I drove about 150 miles so that the 1st 2 emissions sensors were ready (no problem with them) but before the secondary airflow sensor was ready. Passed inspection without issue.

So my question is, as long as you are able to pass state emissions inspection in your state, who cares if the secondary airflow system isn't working properly?

I love my car and normally spare no expense in repairs and maintenance. However, based on my above understanding of the secondary air flow system, there doesn't seem to be any good reason to pay for the enormous expense of this particular repair -- or even to worry about it at all.

Am I missing somerthing? Will leaving the secondary air flow system as it is (apparently clogged with carbon build up), actually cause other performcance problems with my 745i down the road? If so, which components of the car would be affected and why?

By the way, this exact same problem frequently occurs in the 5-Series and many members there have "solved" the problem, not by paying megabucks to have the system cleaned out by the dealership, but rather by purchasing a software upgrade from Powerchip "with emissions fix", which bascally changes the airflow tolerances such that the CEL light doesn't go on depsite the fact that the secondary airflow system has little or no airflow.

I'm interested to know what you guys think?
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2011, 11:47 AM
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Well in my case I need for emission testing. Otherwise, like you, I could care less and would drive it into the ground.
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2011, 11:49 AM
erikmk erikmk is offline
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Just curious, what did your Indy quote you for the cost to repair?
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2011, 03:56 PM
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Im having same issue now and my mech has said all of the above about it just being for emissions but he did look at it and I have an appt with him in OCT which is when my inspection is due to replace the clogged hose and clean the intake of the carbon(cost around 500.00) and it should fix he says bc that the main area where the secondary air pump gets it air so will kill the SES light and pass inspection. I was quoted as well from BMW 10,000.00+ to fix....AHH YEAH RIGHT! I told them they could keep it for that. Needless to say if all else fails just have the light turned off drive the miles needed to ready the system and get it inspected then enjoy your ride!! Kind of tired of hearing people on this blog say they love their car but ready to tell you to dump it at the first service light you get!
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2011, 06:08 PM
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Just curious, what did your Indy quote you for the cost to repair?
They didn't. In fact, they didn't even look at it. They were just going by all the other similar symptoms and experience they've had. They mentioned a head job that enlarges where the valve guides go.....or something to that effect......and that there's a company in the US that makes the oversized valves/guides. STILL near ten grand. They've also replaced the engine on one customer's ride. They strongly encouraged me to get rid of my 7. They admitted that mine was the lowest mileage vehicle they've seen the issue with. They also said that they attributed the issues on the long oil change intervals. Someone once posted that they believed these issues with the valves related to the fact that they did not use Viton seals, but the shop said they've been using viton since 1986 and that previous valve issues before 86 were caused by the lack of Viton, but no more.

I just don't know what to do. If I could reset the SES before emission tests and be assured that the impending codes were cleared and that parameters were met, I'd take a chance. Does anyone know how long the SES has to be out for the test to pass?
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2011, 06:52 PM
erikmk erikmk is offline
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Well that's exactly what I did. I had the codes cleared, drove about 150 miles and then got the car inspected. Two days later the CEL came back on but by then I had my inspection sticker, so I could care less.

It's hard to say exactly how far you have to drive in order for the sensors to be ready for inspection. As a rule of thumb, I'd say about 150 miles. When you clear the error codes, the three emissions sensor start running a series of algorithims. Until you have driven enough to meet the conditions for each sensor, the sensors are not ready (ie, they have incomplete date to make a determination). Generally, the secondary air flow sensor is the one that takes the longest to reset and for me, that was the only sensor that showed a defect. Im my state, you can pass inspection if 2 of the 3 sensors are readable and without errors. So I had to drive enough that the 1st sensors were readable but then get the inspection done before the secondary airflow sensor had enough data to register a defect.

If you purchase a code scanner, you can clear your codes yourself. Then, once the codes are reset, you can check to see when you have driven enough for each of the sensors to register as "ready". It sounds more complicated than it is. Basically you have to drive enough for the 1st two sensors to be ready and then get your car inspected right away before the CEL comes on for the Secondary airflow system.

This will work as long as you can pass inspection if one of your sensors is "not ready". In most cases you can, but I don't know how it works in Canada. If they require that all of the sensors show as "ready" then you might have a problem.
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2011, 06:55 PM
erikmk erikmk is offline
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Wait, are you saying your indy will clean the carbon buildup from the secondary airflow system for $500? If so I might have to drive down to NC !
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2011, 08:32 PM
Busarider Busarider is offline
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I think you have a leak in the vacum/pressure hose, I had the same SEL, at the "y" joint in front of the engine, taped it and used a clamp to seal it, the code dissapeared in a day. See attached post for a diy http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...050&highlight=
fyi..the cost of the hose @ the dealer is $100, try it before you spend any more money.
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2011, 07:39 AM
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gatekeeper1971 gatekeeper1971 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikmk View Post
Wait, are you saying your indy will clean the carbon buildup from the secondary airflow system for $500? If so I might have to drive down to NC !
Yeah he says the prob on mine is at the opening of the intake manifold and the hoses that are going into it so he going to clean it out or replace rather the hoses and clean the intake..so the cost of the hoses and the labor will put me around 500 he said if no other issues. He's really good!! did my tranny service for 600(dealer wanted 800.00) but gave me 25.00 off bc just had my wifes '06 525i 100k service done with him few days b4. It was only 559.00 where dealer wanted close to a grand. He's a master tech from a indy shop here who just went out on his own bc he had more biz at the house then at the shop!! PM me if you want me to get you hooked up with him. May be worth the trip! Hers's my thread on the charges from his work n the receipts with what he did and prices: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...392&highlight=
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2011, 08:08 AM
jacekz jacekz is offline
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Usually that system throws error during first a minute, when you start a cold engine. Reset all errors when the engine is hot, drive at least 60 miles nonstop and make first stop in inspection station. Read codes before. Error is recorded after at least two readings, so will not came up during inspection. It will not fix the problem, but you will get the sticker. Also ask some gurus on this forum, whether really faulty valves gaskets are safe for valves and head.
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2011, 05:47 PM
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Hmmm....interesting

SOOO.....What I THOUGHT and assumed would be more PO491 and PO492 codes, turns out to be a single code - PO128. I believe that relates to a thermostat or coolant issue. I also had my Scangauge (which I just got back today from a firmware upgrade), read any impending codes - NONE.

I'm hesitant to get too excited, but I'm definately feeling a whole lot better.

Now, any first hand info on this code for the e65? I searched but there's no posts from our group of Bimmer owners....just the 3 and 5 series crowd.
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2011, 07:04 AM
Busarider Busarider is offline
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It is a thermostat code, it's probably in an open position. Replacing it is really easy, three bolts, disconnect hose and connectors and but make sure you purchase extra coolant (BMW blue).
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  #15  
Old 08-22-2011, 07:29 AM
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Yeah, I knew it would likely be the thermostat. Already priced them out and will tackle the job this week. Looks easier than replacing the ones on some of my oprevious vehicles (albeut, 10 times more expensive!) LOL

I won't be using Bimmer blue coolant. I'm a big fan of Zerex G05 and fully exceeds BMW requirements. FWIW, I've done a ton of driving over the last few days, and the SES has not returned.
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  #16  
Old 08-28-2011, 10:23 AM
CLOWNIN745LI CLOWNIN745LI is offline
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i have the same problem...first i was only getting the thermostat code.....over changed out the thermostat it seems fine.......month later i get this different code it was p0491........bad air pump?
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  #17  
Old 08-28-2011, 12:14 PM
zeekq zeekq is offline
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Im in michigan and i have both codes i took to a well known BMW indy shop and he said i have carbon bulit up and it cost $5k to fix. since we dont have state emissions inspection and i really dont care if i have the check engine light on.

my question is, if i keep driving the car like that what would happen to the engine? and will it hurt the engine in any way?
i appreciate your answers.

thank you
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2011, 08:04 AM
Busarider Busarider is offline
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You may have a leak in the pressure assy hose, look for leaks as these hoses tend to crack especially in the front at the "Y" due to engine heat. Also check the connecton on the air pump, it's below the passenger air box.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:46 AM
Kizmo Kizmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikmk View Post
I'm not sure about your indie's assessment, but I would be curious to hear what others think.

I encountered the exact same problem -- with the same codes -- with my car shortly after purchasing it (a 2002 745i).

First I was told that there was a leak in the vacuum tubes, which I had replaced. The codes came back. Then I was told that it was something else (crank case leak?), and had that replaced. The codes came back. Finally, I was told that the problem was carbon build-up in the heads of the valves that services the secondary air flow system. I was given an insane quote for the cost to clean-out the carbon build-up, $14K if you can believe it!

Needless to say, I decided to "wait" on that particular repair offer.

Anyway, after more research, it seems that the issue is low airflow in the secondary airflow system, which is only used during the first 30-60 seconds of operation after a cold start. I have been told that the function of the secondary air system is 100% emissions related and has no effect whatsoever with respect to the car's performance. In fact, I was told that if the secondary air system were entirely removed, the car would continue to function perfectly.

I've come to the opinion that if the secondary airflow system isn't working, especially if the cause is "carbon buildup", there is no reason whatsoever to fix it, unless it is necessary to pass state emissions inspection.

In Mass. you are allowed to pass emissions with one sensor registering as "not ready". So, after resetting my codes, I drove about 150 miles so that the 1st 2 emissions sensors were ready (no problem with them) but before the secondary airflow sensor was ready. Passed inspection without issue.

So my question is, as long as you are able to pass state emissions inspection in your state, who cares if the secondary airflow system isn't working properly?

I love my car and normally spare no expense in repairs and maintenance. However, based on my above understanding of the secondary air flow system, there doesn't seem to be any good reason to pay for the enormous expense of this particular repair -- or even to worry about it at all.

Am I missing somerthing? Will leaving the secondary air flow system as it is (apparently clogged with carbon build up), actually cause other performcance problems with my 745i down the road? If so, which components of the car would be affected and why?

By the way, this exact same problem frequently occurs in the 5-Series and many members there have "solved" the problem, not by paying megabucks to have the system cleaned out by the dealership, but rather by purchasing a software upgrade from Powerchip "with emissions fix", which bascally changes the airflow tolerances such that the CEL light doesn't go on depsite the fact that the secondary airflow system has little or no airflow.

I'm interested to know what you guys think?

Has anyone tried sending seafoam into the throttle body??
I have the issue with the clogged ports and might try that. I heard it works wonders.
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  #20  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:52 PM
vernon3rdw vernon3rdw is offline
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ive heard of something like that....

I heard that models from 02-04 had an issue like that with the coolant and carbon build up
and that it was really expensive to correct like 7-9k.

But this one place had a 1600 fix
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  #21  
Old 06-22-2012, 04:24 PM
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alpinaman24 alpinaman24 is offline
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secondary air injection is for the initial startup to direct air to the catalytic converter so it can reach to 1500degrees and start cleaning your emissions

thats all it does it "warms" the cat up faster

you do NOT need that unless you live in california and the smog rules change every year

im a smog technician so im aware of all this BS we call it

now new law for CA

if all your monitors are ready its a much cheaper smog check

meaning all they do is plug the computer in make sure monitors are ready and your done

but if not then it has to run on the dyno
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  #22  
Old 06-22-2012, 06:01 PM
DriftGirl DriftGirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vernon3rdw View Post
I heard that models from 02-04 had an issue like that with the coolant and carbon build up
and that it was really expensive to correct like 7-9k.

But this one place had a 1600 fix
Good to know! thanks for posting that!


would be cheaper to ship my car there and back vs an indy or dealer here
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  #23  
Old 07-28-2013, 09:21 AM
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gatekeeper1971 gatekeeper1971 is offline
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PO491 and 492 = Get rid of the 7 - UPDATE

Well guys I hung on as long as I could with my '05 but just over last year put in so much money for lil things going wrong plus still had the weep hole n P0491&92 issue to deal with@ 10,000 to fix. Sometimes you just gotta let it go before it consumes you to the point of insanity. Don't get me wrong, I loved my 7 but couldn't deal with shelling out cash for nothing seemed like every 2-3 mos. I think I'm disgusted with BMW now bc they knew the issues on these cars with the oil changes being too for apart which has ruined these motors. I see them on the road all the time with the same issues I had smoking at stop lights and for the money paid for these cars it's ridiculous that you have to deal with such crap. I was in the market for a new M3 but shopped around to see what I could get more bang for my buck and not have the after warranty horror stories from before. I went back domestic... Got more HP and gadgets than the M3 or M5 for that matter. Track tuned suspension, brembo brakes all around, touch screen navi n infotainment system like the iDrive but sooooo much better with more app options!! Plus all for 30,000k less!! 5yr/100,000 power train n bumper to bumper plus free oil changes for the 5yrs.(@ every 5,000mi like it should be) Very happy with it I know a lot on here will talk down bc it's not BMW, but hey eventually u will come around or go broke.... It up to u and ur wallet! Mine had enough!! Lol!

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  #24  
Old 07-29-2013, 07:33 AM
Kizmo Kizmo is offline
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WOW. I just sold also. SELL!!!
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  #25  
Old 07-29-2013, 08:15 AM
Thesatman Thesatman is offline
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Proper vehicle maintenance is a HUGE factor in owning any vehicle. If you don't take care of it with preventative maint. then it will have issues and in the case of BMW those issues can be costly. For all you people that sold because of carbon build-up issues, how often did you use any cleaning agents or additives to help minimize or reduce the carbon buildup? My guess is never.
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