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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:42 PM
Eric2684 Eric2684 is offline
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Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Mein Auto: 2006 325i
"EVAP Small leak" code

I took my car into a shop for a check engine light, and the code came back "EVAP very small leak" The mechanic confidently told me it was the gas cap. I replaced the cap over a month ago, and the code came back within days. Has anyone had a similar situation? I like to do my own auto repairs, but I dont want to spend all day searching for a "small" pressure leak in the evap system.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:33 AM
DSXMachina's Avatar
DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Location: New Hampshire
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Mein Auto: 335i E92 TiAg 6MT ED
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric2684 View Post
I took my car into a shop for a check engine light, and the code came back "EVAP very small leak" The mechanic confidently told me it was the gas cap. I replaced the cap over a month ago, and the code came back within days. Has anyone had a similar situation? I like to do my own auto repairs, but I dont want to spend all day searching for a "small" pressure leak in the evap system.
FYI, a "very small leak" per EPA standards is one caused by a hole with less than a .020" diameter! That means the hole (or crack or permeability) is small indeed. Think you can find that on your own?
We use a 'cold smoke' machine (cost $1200 and up) which fills the evap system with a special smoke. We then use an extremely bright light (it would almost instantly blind you if you looked into it) to watch for smoke leaking out. Expect to pay between $100 and $250 depending on whether it's an indy or the dealer doing the testing. The repair will be quoted once the leak is found.
The code took a couple drive cycles to reset because a "small leak" code usually is a two drive cycle fault which only sets if the problem is seen on consecutive cold start test sequences.

Last edited by DSXMachina; 11-28-2012 at 06:37 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2012, 08:35 PM
Eric2684 Eric2684 is offline
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Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Mein Auto: 2006 325i
I just went to a indy shop, and they found the leak. It was the fuel tank breather line, which is made of hard plastic and runs from the engine to the fuel tank. It was rubbing against an air-conditioning hose under the hood, under the airbox. If your car has not had this issue yet, find the location where the hoses meet and put something between them. It seems to be a common bmw e90 problem.
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2012, 10:07 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Location: New Hampshire
 
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Mein Auto: 335i E92 TiAg 6MT ED
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric2684 View Post
I just went to a indy shop, and they found the leak. It was the fuel tank breather line, which is made of hard plastic and runs from the engine to the fuel tank. It was rubbing against an air-conditioning hose under the hood, under the airbox. If your car has not had this issue yet, find the location where the hoses meet and put something between them. It seems to be a common bmw e90 problem.
Great! No way you were going to find that on your own. What do they get out your way for a smoke test?

BTW, as strange as it may seem, when plastic lines rub against aluminum lines, especially in AC systems, it's the aluminum line which fails first! Your perp must have been the rubber portion of the line.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2012, 10:26 PM
Eric2684 Eric2684 is offline
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Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Mein Auto: 2006 325i
They just did a visual inspection. The out the door total
Was only $250. The aluminum part of the a/c line was showing
Some wear, but it was mostly the rubber part that was in
Contact.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2012, 10:38 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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A visual exam found it? Wow, they got lucky! Good to know you're a happy camper.
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2012, 01:53 PM
strentky strentky is offline
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Location: Stuart, FLA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Mein Auto: 328i 530i Zcoupe Suburban
After having this diagnosed at the dealership, i ask for the part numbers and figured it out. Getting to the firewall side of the pipe/hose was a pain. For those considering the job, it is pretty straightforward. Remove the undercladding beneath the oilpan and tranny (to access the firewall side of the pipe), remove air filter box and hoses going to the manifold and look for the matching part. For reference, my 2007 328i needed part number 13 90 7 530 976. Purchased from tisher bmw (getbmwparts.com) for $27 delivered. I also bought a cuff made of rubber to keep this from happening again and put it around the a/c hose. When i removed the hose there was a pinhole worn through. Enough to cause the light to come on. My gratitude to the entire bmw community for sharing their fixes. With this shared knowledge and a little determination nearly any problem can be solved.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2012, 05:16 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Location: San Francisco
 
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Mein Auto: 2009 E93 N54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
FYI, a "very small leak" per EPA standards is one caused by a hole with less than a .020" diameter! That means the hole (or crack or permeability) is small indeed. Think you can find that on your own?
We use a 'cold smoke' machine (cost $1200 and up) which fills the evap system with a special smoke. We then use an extremely bright light (it would almost instantly blind you if you looked into it) to watch for smoke leaking out. Expect to pay between $100 and $250 depending on whether it's an indy or the dealer doing the testing. The repair will be quoted once the leak is found.
The code took a couple drive cycles to reset because a "small leak" code usually is a two drive cycle fault which only sets if the problem is seen on consecutive cold start test sequences.

Happy Holidays DSX - pleasure t'see you back....



Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 12-30-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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