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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 09-01-2013, 12:01 PM
Montreal 007 Montreal 007 is offline
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Engine light on

My 2007 328i has 100,000 KM (62,500 miles) The other day the engine light went on on my dashboard. I took it to a local mechanic and the computer shows that it is a problem with Catalytic converter. Just to ensure it was not a sensor clitch, the mechanic reset the computer. We restated the engine and within 5 minutes the light came back on. My mechanic suggested that we replace the sensor (Component 1)
Does this seem right?
Is it dangerous if i just ignore the light and keep driving?
Appreciate your comments or advice.
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2013, 12:57 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal 007 View Post
My 2007 328i has 100,000 KM (62,500 miles) The other day the engine light went on on my dashboard. I took it to a local mechanic and the computer shows that it is a problem with Catalytic converter. Just to ensure it was not a sensor clitch, the mechanic reset the computer. We restated the engine and within 5 minutes the light came back on. My mechanic suggested that we replace the sensor (Component 1)
Does this seem right?
Is it dangerous if i just ignore the light and keep driving?
Appreciate your comments or advice.
I highly doubt there would be any danger to driving the car. It's also unlikely you would cause any additional damage to the car. What it does mean is the car is outside of specifications when it comes to emission. If you have an inspection / emissions test you'd likely fail. Otherwise you should be OK to drive the car despite the light.

Q: Why not replace the sensor?
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2013, 01:25 PM
Montreal 007 Montreal 007 is offline
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Thankyou Sunny 5280.
The question regarding replacing the sensor is the following:
Does the sensor actually regulate the emission mix?
or is its function only to advise that there is something wrong?
So if it regulates then YES replacing the sensor makes sense.
If its just to advise, well a new sensor would say the same thing.
Am i making sense?
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2013, 01:43 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal 007 View Post
Thankyou Sunny 5280.
The question regarding replacing the sensor is the following:
Does the sensor actually regulate the emission mix?
or is its function only to advise that there is something wrong?
So if it regulates then YES replacing the sensor makes sense.
If its just to advise, well a new sensor would say the same thing.
Am i making sense?
I am not an expert in this area so take this advice for what it's worth. With that said I would think the regulator is an integral part of regulating the emissions mix. The sensor provides feedback to the computer so it knows how to adjust various operating characteristics to meet emissions compliance.

Take the MAF, which I have much more familiarity, as an example. It measures the density of the air and feeds that information back to the computer. The computer then adjusts the quantity of fuel to optimize the combustion which results in reduced emissions, better performance, and better fuel economy. Without the MAF the system utilizes default parameters which are not optimal. One can drive the vehicle with the default parameters but they're not optimal. Thus increasing average emissions, decreasing performance, and decreasing fuel economy.

HTH
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2013, 02:37 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Mein Auto: 2009 E93 N54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal 007 View Post
My 2007 328i has 100,000 KM (62,500 miles) The other day the engine light went on on my dashboard. I took it to a local mechanic and the computer shows that it is a problem with Catalytic converter. Just to ensure it was not a sensor clitch, the mechanic reset the computer. We restated the engine and within 5 minutes the light came back on. My mechanic suggested that we replace the sensor (Component 1)
Does this seem right?
Is it dangerous if i just ignore the light and keep driving?
Appreciate your comments or advice.

An oxygen sensor? Yup, they go bad from time to time....
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2013, 05:21 AM
pchintan pchintan is offline
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I think the codes would be different for an O2 sensor failure and a Cat failure. So, if the code shows Cat failure, why would you change the sensor? And vice versa.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:43 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Originally Posted by pchintan View Post
I think the codes would be different for an O2 sensor failure and a Cat failure. So, if the code shows Cat failure, why would you change the sensor? And vice versa.
Aren't the O2 sensors the means to determine if the cat is functioning properly? It's my understanding there are two O2 sensors, one located prior to the cat and one located after the cat, and the difference between the two determines if the cat is functioning? Thus if one of the O2 sensors has failed the possibility exists the computer misinterprets the results as a failed cat.

That's my take on it but I am by no means an expert on this subject so take this for what it's worth. My question about replacing the sensor is based on the diagnosis of the mechanic and not my own diagnostics. Plus replacing a sensor is likely a lot less costly then replacing the cat. I've heard those can run over $1K.
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  #8  
Old 09-03-2013, 08:43 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
Aren't the O2 sensors the means to determine if the cat is functioning properly? It's my understanding there are two O2 sensors, one located prior to the cat and one located after the cat, and the difference between the two determines if the cat is functioning? Thus if one of the O2 sensors has failed the possibility exists the computer misinterprets the results as a failed cat.

That's my take on it but I am by no means an expert on this subject so take this for what it's worth. My question about replacing the sensor is based on the diagnosis of the mechanic and not my own diagnostics. Plus replacing a sensor is likely a lot less costly then replacing the cat. I've heard those can run over $1K.

Yeppur....
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2013, 10:49 AM
Pilgrim Pilgrim is offline
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Sensors are a better thing to try than converters.

And personally, I use generic O2 sensors rather than OEM ones. They're pretty simple devices.
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