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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago my SES light came on. I checked the gas cap and filled up a few times and this did not correct the problem so I took it to the shop (NOT a BMW dealer) and he said it was coding for an emissions pump. He said the pump sends air into the engine to clean it to reduce emissions and it is no big deal unless I need to go thru inspection or the car starts running badly. He re-set the computer and off I went. The light came back on and I read a few posts on this site and took it to Auto Zone to have the codes read. They said it is a PO491 & P0492, Secondary Air System, banks 1 & 2. I called the dealer to see if this is covered under emissions warranty and they said they use a different code reader and it will be $124 for diagnosis w/their computer...total BS. Does anyone know what this means??
 

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I think almost all dealers charge for a computer diagnosis, why not it takes time for the tech to do the diagnosis. Many times they will not charge for the diagnosis if they find a problem and make the repair.
 

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Service Engine Soon Light

I have a 2001 330CI with a similar problem. The light stays on for periods of time but goes out when I buy gas and open and close the gas cap. The dealer tells me it is not a major problem, but because it comes back on I scheduled an appointment. :tsk:

I had to buy gas before I took it in and the light went out. When I got to the dealer they said I probably didn't need service and should wait until the light stays on. The computer might not read anything if the light is off and I would have to pay for the diagonisis. If the light comes back on I will have to pay to have the diagonisis again.

I appreciate the dealer maybe trying to save me some $'s but now the car sometimes shuts down when I first start it and is sluggish trying to restart it and the light comes on again. To me something is wrong. Can the computer only diagonisis a problem when the car tells them there is a problem? :dunno:

I am the driver and I think there is a problem but I guess I will have to pay twice to check what I think if the computer dosen't agree with me the first time. :( I guess I will just drive it until it dosen't start the tow it to then and complain.

I am getting tired of going to the overpriced dealer for service. Anyone know a good BMW repair shop in Los Angeles or Valley area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am aware most dealers charge for diagnostic. I am out of warranty and find the dealer labor rates to be ridiculous. I have been fortunate enough to find a local shop that has been in business for 17 years that deals w/bimmers exclusively ahd charges 1/2 the labor rate of the dealer. I am just not sure if I trust his diagnosis,
 

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chel's bimmer said:
I am aware most dealers charge for diagnostic. I am out of warranty and find the dealer labor rates to be ridiculous. I have been fortunate enough to find a local shop that has been in business for 17 years that deals w/bimmers exclusively ahd charges 1/2 the labor rate of the dealer. I am just not sure if I trust his diagnosis,
If you have been "fortunate" to find a BMW repair shop that has been in bussiness for 17 years why would you not trust their diagnosis. Of course with all major repairs it never hurts to get a second opinion, but it will cost.

If I had to pick between the BMW dealer and a reputable Independent BMW shop I pick the independent every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just need to vent a little

Thanks for the advise Artslinger. I recently moved to Phoenix from the DC metro area and since this is my 2nd BMW I had both dealers and independents there I knew and trusted. Until the car was out of factory warranty it was not an issue to take it to the dealer. Now that the warranty is up it seems to be one repair after another. In the past 4 months I had the dealer replace the front & rear brakes, the sunroof cassette ($$ OUCH) and 2 control arms. Should have purchased the extended warranty....Then I found the independent shop and he did my 60k service. At that time he changed the plugs and replaced the belts too...all for alot less than the local dealer. Now a few weeks later, the SES light is on. I am sure it is just a coincidence but...makes you wonder. (63k mi presently) What is a secondary air pump anyway? Is it important to get it fixed right away?
 

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chel's bimmer said:
Now a few weeks later, the SES light is on. I am sure it is just a coincidence but...makes you wonder. (63k mi presently) What is a secondary air pump anyway? Is it important to get it fixed right away?
Artslinger is correct that secondary air pump faults are common on the E46 models.

I can't say whats the cause but when I use to be a tech at the dealer, there was a vacuum hose that was always breaking apart. The hose opens a non return valves that allows the air coming from the pump to flow through the exhaust manifolds. If the pump remains close during a cold start, the DME will know this and a fault will be set. That is one common problem I have seen.

You could also have a bad pump or some electrical problem related to the secondary air system.
 

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Artslinger is correct that secondary air pump faults are common on the E46 models.

I can't say whats the cause but when I use to be a tech at the dealer, there was a vacuum hose that was always breaking apart. The hose opens a non return valves that allows the air coming from the pump to flow through the exhaust manifolds. If the pump remains close during a cold start, the DME will know this and a fault will be set. That is one common problem I have seen.

You could also have a bad pump or some electrical problem related to the secondary air system.
Jon,

The exact same thing happened to me and I had a buddy of mine turn the light off. Now it's on again. Do you think I need to get the pump replaced?

Please advise.

Thanks!
 

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Thanks for the advise Artslinger. I recently moved to Phoenix from the DC metro area and since this is my 2nd BMW I had both dealers and independents there I knew and trusted. Until the car was out of factory warranty it was not an issue to take it to the dealer. Now that the warranty is up it seems to be one repair after another. In the past 4 months I had the dealer replace the front & rear brakes, the sunroof cassette ($$ OUCH) and 2 control arms. Should have purchased the extended warranty....Then I found the independent shop and he did my 60k service. At that time he changed the plugs and replaced the belts too...all for alot less than the local dealer. Now a few weeks later, the SES light is on. I am sure it is just a coincidence but...makes you wonder. (63k mi presently) What is a secondary air pump anyway? Is it important to get it fixed right away?
I am 5 weeks out of warranty. I elected to not go with the extended warranty. Wife has the car today and she tells me the SES light came on and the car was sluggish on the road (yeah, she continued to drive it). When she made a turn, the car made a brief screeching noise.

That's all I know. Trying to get it to an independent and will probably go for a tow. I am pretty disgusted right now. My other car broke down last night while on a job project. So I am down to the family car for all of us. I feel like I have three cars and I don't have sh*t. And yes, this has happened to me before and with the same two cars. Maybe it is time to unload these bastiges.
 
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