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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-05-2005, 11:33 AM
sk330i sk330i is offline
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Engine oil cap missing - Service engine soon light

I forgot to put the engine oil cap back after topping off the oil due to the stupid "yellow engine light" that came on for the 200000 times (my dealer told me it was fixed last time I brought my car in, obviously they didn't know what they were doing in the service department). Without knowing that the cap was missing, I drove about 30 miles or so and the "sevice engine soon" light came on. I then drove another 300 miles until I finally realized the cap was missing. Today my car is getting the first oil change service at a different dealer and the service advisor told me I may have to pay $112 to get the SES light reset. He said the mechanics will have to run some kind of diagnostics just to find out what's wrong. If the SES light came up because I was driving it without the cap, is it as simple as just resetting the light? Have I done any real damage to the car? Please help.
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2005, 12:03 PM
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Desertnate Desertnate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk330i
I forgot to put the engine oil cap back after topping off the oil due to the stupid "yellow engine light" that came on for the 200000 times (my dealer told me it was fixed last time I brought my car in, obviously they didn't know what they were doing in the service department). Without knowing that the cap was missing, I drove about 30 miles or so and the "sevice engine soon" light came on. I then drove another 300 miles until I finally realized the cap was missing. Today my car is getting the first oil change service at a different dealer and the service advisor told me I may have to pay $112 to get the SES light reset. He said the mechanics will have to run some kind of diagnostics just to find out what's wrong. If the SES light came up because I was driving it without the cap, is it as simple as just resetting the light? Have I done any real damage to the car? Please help.
Didn't driving 300 miles with the oil cap off make a terrible mess under the hood? I would have thought some of that oil that sprays all over the place would have dripped on the ground where you would notice.
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2005, 12:34 PM
sk330i sk330i is offline
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No. My engine compartment is as clean as it was since day 1.

I was actually heading to a driver ed. event. So I opened the hood and was trying to check the engine oil level just before the event started. It was then when I realized the cap was missing. I replaced the cap immediately and checked the oil level every so often. I don't really understand why the oil did not spill all over the place under the hood. A guy from that event told me he left the cap out on his E46 M3 after adding oil and started the engine, within 30 seconds the whole engine compartment was covered with engine oil...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertnate
Didn't driving 300 miles with the oil cap off make a terrible mess under the hood? I would have thought some of that oil that sprays all over the place would have dripped on the ground where you would notice.
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2005, 12:56 PM
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Desertnate Desertnate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk330i
No. My engine compartment is as clean as it was since day 1.

A guy from that event told me he left the cap out on his E46 M3 after adding oil and started the engine, within 30 seconds the whole engine compartment was covered with engine oil...
That is what I would have expected. I have not done this in my car, but have seen other cars where either the Jiffy Lube place lost the cap or the owner didn't replace the cap and it blew oil all over the place...a terrible mess.
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2005, 04:22 PM
ibaj ibaj is offline
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Mind Blowing! Sear Automotive!

I donít think you have done too much damage to your car.

I can tell you that I took my 2001 Acura CL Type S into Sears Automotive to have new tires and an oil change before I was driving to Las Vegas. I found out 2 weeks later, after I drove my car 100+ mph in the dessert, that my oil cap had not been installed by the mechanic. I noticed little dents in my hood and when I opened the hood, the cap was sitting right on top of the motor. I WAS PISSED!! What was interesting is I never smelled or seen oil anywhere in the engine compartment and when I checked the oil level it was fine. Sears paid for the body work and I don't go there anymore.
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2005, 09:18 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertnate
Didn't driving 300 miles with the oil cap off make a terrible mess under the hood? I would have thought some of that oil that sprays all over the place would have dripped on the ground where you would notice.
Not to mention the engine running like crap due to the huge vacuum leak created by the missing cap....very strange....

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Bob
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2005, 12:27 AM
Solid Solid is offline
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$112 for a diagnostic? They usually charge about $60 for that. Just go to Autozone get them to use an OBDII scanner (they do it for free) and if it's a fault code having to do with the oil cap bieng off, then just have them clear the SES light...

I'm pretty sure if you drive for another 300 miles or so with it in place and didn't damage anything prior, it will turn off eventually.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sk330i
I forgot to put the engine oil cap back after topping off the oil due to the stupid "yellow engine light" that came on for the 200000 times (my dealer told me it was fixed last time I brought my car in, obviously they didn't know what they were doing in the service department). Without knowing that the cap was missing, I drove about 30 miles or so and the "sevice engine soon" light came on. I then drove another 300 miles until I finally realized the cap was missing. Today my car is getting the first oil change service at a different dealer and the service advisor told me I may have to pay $112 to get the SES light reset. He said the mechanics will have to run some kind of diagnostics just to find out what's wrong. If the SES light came up because I was driving it without the cap, is it as simple as just resetting the light? Have I done any real damage to the car? Please help.
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2005, 03:14 AM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibaj
I donít think you have done too much damage to your car.

I can tell you that I took my 2001 Acura CL Type S into Sears Automotive to have new tires and an oil change before I was driving to Las Vegas. I found out 2 weeks later, after I drove my car 100+ mph in the dessert, that my oil cap had not been installed by the mechanic. I noticed little dents in my hood and when I opened the hood, the cap was sitting right on top of the motor. I WAS PISSED!! What was interesting is I never smelled or seen oil anywhere in the engine compartment and when I checked the oil level it was fine. Sears paid for the body work and I don't go there anymore.
That's what you get for taking your car to Sears!!!
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2005, 06:17 AM
sk330i sk330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solid
$112 for a diagnostic? They usually charge about $60 for that. Just go to Autozone get them to use an OBDII scanner (they do it for free) and if it's a fault code having to do with the oil cap bieng off, then just have them clear the SES light...

I'm pretty sure if you drive for another 300 miles or so with it in place and didn't damage anything prior, it will turn off eventually.
Thanks for the advice. However, I have driven over 400 miles since the missing cap was replaced and the light is still staying on the whole time. Can I just go to any Autozone and have them look at the fault code? Will they reset the light for free if it's something related to the oil cap being off?
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2005, 06:41 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk330i
Thanks for the advice. However, I have driven over 400 miles since the missing cap was replaced and the light is still staying on the whole time. Can I just go to any Autozone and have them look at the fault code? Will they reset the light for free if it's something related to the oil cap being off?

Hell I wouldn't put up with that shat. I don't care if you did leave the cap off make the dealer diagnose the car it is still under a full BMW warranty. If he gives you any crap just act dumb about the oil cap.
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2005, 08:57 AM
sk330i sk330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artslinger
Hell I wouldn't put up with that shat. I don't care if you did leave the cap off make the dealer diagnose the car it is still under a full BMW warranty. If he gives you any crap just act dumb about the oil cap.
I actually told him to skip the diagnostic since I didn't want to pay $112. So I guess they will not do anything to reset the light. I really can't play dumb about the oil cap since the replacement cap is a crappy looking metal one (in gold color) from Autozone. Maybe I should try the dealer where I originally purchased the car from, maybe they will be more forgiving and wouldn't charge me for resetting the SES light.
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2005, 09:20 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk330i
I actually told him to skip the diagnostic since I didn't want to pay $112. So I guess they will not do anything to reset the light. I really can't play dumb about the oil cap since the replacement cap is a crappy looking metal one (in gold color) from Autozone. Maybe I should try the dealer where I originally purchased the car from, maybe they will be more forgiving and wouldn't charge me for resetting the SES light.

Oh I didn't realize you lost the BMW oil cap. Yeh it sounds like you're outaluck on this one.
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2005, 01:28 PM
NewBmwGuy NewBmwGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk330i
I actually told him to skip the diagnostic since I didn't want to pay $112. So I guess they will not do anything to reset the light. I really can't play dumb about the oil cap since the replacement cap is a crappy looking metal one (in gold color) from Autozone. Maybe I should try the dealer where I originally purchased the car from, maybe they will be more forgiving and wouldn't charge me for resetting the SES light.
Someone who pumped gas in my car forgot to tighten the gas cap. The SES indicator went off. Dealer told me it should turn off after about 500 miles. It didn't. Dealer told me to bring it in. They ran a diagnostic. No charge. Nothing wrong, so indicator was reset. Car was still under warranty. You failed to put your oil cap back on. Someone failed to put my gas cap back on. I don't get charged. You are getting charged. Can't say I understand that and simply have to attribute it to the fact that your dealer is screwing you. Or, to be nice about it, they aren't helping you out. Good luck.
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2005, 05:05 PM
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operknockity operknockity is offline
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I accidentally left my oil filler cap off once. Car ran like shiite for a while and then the SES light came on. Once I found the cap and put it back on, the SES light went out on it's own after the 5th or 6th restart. But I only put about 10 miles on mine before the light came on and I fix the problem.
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2005, 06:20 PM
sk330i sk330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBmwGuy
Someone who pumped gas in my car forgot to tighten the gas cap. The SES indicator went off. Dealer told me it should turn off after about 500 miles. It didn't. Dealer told me to bring it in. They ran a diagnostic. No charge. Nothing wrong, so indicator was reset. Car was still under warranty. You failed to put your oil cap back on. Someone failed to put my gas cap back on. I don't get charged. You are getting charged. Can't say I understand that and simply have to attribute it to the fact that your dealer is screwing you. Or, to be nice about it, they aren't helping you out. Good luck.
That's what I am saying. In my opinion, they should run whatever diagnostic that is needed for FREE and find out what's wrong, then tell me if it's something that I have to pay for. Or fix it if it's something that is covered under the warranty.

Anyway, I got my car back on Friday night and the SES light is OFF.

BMW of Manhattan sucks...

Last edited by sk330i; 05-07-2005 at 06:22 PM.
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