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Old 01-20-2013, 08:08 AM
mfelsoci mfelsoci is offline
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Service Engine Soon/Increased Emissions

I had my 04 645ci service engine soon light checked this morning and was told at the auto parts store that the code was P0492 which was secondary air injection system insufficient flow to bank 2. Probable cause is either a faulty air solenoid valve or faulty air system relay. I have a couple questions: First does this sound correct and how do I reset or investigate this system failure without taking it into the dealership? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:09 PM
Skarv Skarv is offline
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As a veteran of the increased emissions warning, I'll share some of my experience.

The code reader really doesn't lie. The only issue is that it sometimes gives you groups of possible problems. In my case, temperature deviations led me to the thermostat, but then I found a tiny coolant hose that had cracked. It told me the system to look at, but sometimes the fix isn't the first thing it blames. Your situation sounds like this... You PROBABLY have an air flow issue, but you can't be sure.

Why? According to my buddy who owns a garage, that P at the beginning of the code they showed you means that it is a manufacturer specific code. And it may or may not be what it usually is in most ODB II devices... which is what they told you was the diagnosis. The BMW reader showed a code 2A17 while the ODB II showed P1434. In this case, the ODB code means that there is a leak in the vapor system, in the BMW code, there is the additional information that there is a voltage issue with the pump... suggesting excess draw and impending failure. The ODB Code alone led me to fixing the gas cap, but not to solve the problem.

So what to do? You have a couple of options to get the more precise BMW info:

> go to the dealer and get the car diagnosed with the BMW computer.

> go to an independent that has a BMW reader. My buddy had a device that had a switch between BMW and Mercedes. In other words, I would guess most shops that work european would likely have a reader that would work.

> Buy a BMW compatible reader. I haven't researched this much, but I'm tempted. I hear they cost around $250, not the $50 of a basic ODB II.

Depending on which of the above approaches you choose, you will be able to not only read the more precise code, but also clear it if the error is not persistent. If there is a short or some component failure, you won't be able to clear the light, but if the issue is intermittent, you will clear it, but likely have it return. But sometimes you get lucky as the car passes a bad tank of gas or something.

Of course, this 'clearing the light' option doesn't exist at the dealer, but most indies will be happy to oblige though they might charge a diagnosis fee.

Good luck!

Ps. If you can't get the BMW code read, I might gamble on the CCV valves being bad and just replace them (assuming you haven't already). These are a known maintenance part at around 70,000mi and a frequent culprit for our "increased emissions" warning , and not hard to swap at all. Cost all of $75 and then the parts store could clear the light if you were right. But beware that this is only an educated guess... or perhaps not that educated.

Last edited by Skarv; 01-20-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:47 AM
mfelsoci mfelsoci is offline
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Thanks so much for the info. I actually have the car stored at my dads for the winter and just happened to stumble upon a nice day and decided to take it out for a ride and stop at the Autozone store to have the code read. I asked the service person if they could try to reset the light but was told that they were not allowed to perform this function. The car is running very good and there is no indication that any REAL component has failed. I believe that I will take it in for a spring service once I pull it out of the garage and have the dealership deal with it. The only problem with this is that in the past the dealership always seems to have a laundry list of things that need to be addressed and sense its not a daily driver I tend to investigate things myself first. I think you are right on the money with your comments and believe that it may have been a gas situation or something dirty that caused the air flow to be disturbed. Thanks again for the info.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:06 PM
bmwoem1 bmwoem1 is offline
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This fault is usually caused by clogged secondary air ports in the cylinder heads. The ports clog because of leaking valve stem seals. You may get lucky and have just a bad air diverter valve for that bank (MUCH less expensive). The pump and relay should be fine because the fault only set for one bank, if they were bad... than you would have faults for both banks.
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