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General E46 Forum
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:07 AM   #1
330iBlue
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SES light went on?

Any idea what would makes the service engine light go on?
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:10 AM   #2
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Everything. Go get the codes pulled then ask.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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LOL!!! I just started reading other threads and realized how dumb that question was. Some one wrote you can get the codes pulled at autozone or advance auto parts? Any idea about that?
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:34 AM   #4
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:10 AM   #5
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Read this thread - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...light=software
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:49 AM   #6
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LOL. I thought it was a troll till I read your second post....Still though, it's no different than ANY check engine light. You take it somewhere to have the codes read. Or in your case since you had to ask, it's best you take it to a reputable shop.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:11 AM   #7
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Well, the codes that a generic code reader can pull are limited to some OBDII emissions related stuff. That is why they sell BMW specific code readers. A generic reader can not read all of the BMW specific codes. Just because they are able to pull some codes at Autozone does not mean that they can read all of them. I have no idea why this myth still persists, but I see it posted every day. Part of the problem is the fact that the kid behind the counter was not told this in his 15 minutes of training in automotive diagnostics. But I don't know why anyone who reads this site for more than 30 minutes or so does not figure this out. There are blinking ads at the top of the forums page for BMW specific scanners, but I guess the people who continue to post this advice do not stop and wonder why there are BMW specific code readers. Even a minimum amount of research will make it clear that you can not get all of the codes with a generic reader. Also, getting the codes is only the start of the diagnosis. For example - you may get a code that says that the O2 sensors are reading signals out of normal range. Some people will replace their O2 sensors based on this, only to have the code come back. The reason is that the O2 sensor readings are indicating a vacuum leak, or some other issue. The out of range readings are just an indicator of a problem, not a defective sensor.
So, getting the codes read is just the start of the process, not a final diagnosis.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:13 AM   #8
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Can't help without codes...
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MJLavelle View Post
The reason is that the O2 sensor readings are indicating a vacuum leak, or some other issue. The out of range readings are just an indicator of a problem, not a defective sensor.
So, getting the codes read is just the start of the process, not a final diagnosis.
It would be really cool if there was a code reader that could tell you where a vacuum leak was
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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P0411 was the only code that came up. Granted I went to AutoZone???
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:38 PM   #11
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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Old 02-18-2013, 05:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MJLavelle View Post
Well, the codes that a generic code reader can pull are limited to some OBDII emissions related stuff. That is why they sell BMW specific code readers. A generic reader can not read all of the BMW specific codes. Just because they are able to pull some codes at Autozone does not mean that they can read all of them. I have no idea why this myth still persists, but I see it posted every day. Part of the problem is the fact that the kid behind the counter was not told this in his 15 minutes of training in automotive diagnostics. But I don't know why anyone who reads this site for more than 30 minutes or so does not figure this out. There are blinking ads at the top of the forums page for BMW specific scanners, but I guess the people who continue to post this advice do not stop and wonder why there are BMW specific code readers. Even a minimum amount of research will make it clear that you can not get all of the codes with a generic reader. Also, getting the codes is only the start of the diagnosis. For example - you may get a code that says that the O2 sensors are reading signals out of normal range. Some people will replace their O2 sensors based on this, only to have the code come back. The reason is that the O2 sensor readings are indicating a vacuum leak, or some other issue. The out of range readings are just an indicator of a problem, not a defective sensor.
So, getting the codes read is just the start of the process, not a final diagnosis.
You are miss informed.
Generic code readers will read all Generic OBDII codes (codes per SAE standard J/1979) and manufactures' specific codes. It may not have proper definitions for the manufactures' specific codes though.

SAE J/1979 defined codes:
P0001-P0099 - Fuel and Air Metering and Auxiliary Emission Controls
P0100-P0199 - Fuel and Air Metering
P0200-P0299 - Fuel and Air Metering (Injector Circuit)
P0300-P0399 - Ignition System or Misfire
P0400-P0499 - Auxiliary Emissions Controls
P0500-P0599 - Vehicle Speed Controls and Idle Control System
P0600-P0699 - Computer Output Circuit
P0700-P0899 - Transmission

Manufactures' specfic codes:
P1XXXX
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:49 AM   #13
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So of I go buy a code reader myself, which one do you guys recommend?
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dslboomer View Post
You are miss informed.
Generic code readers will read all Generic OBDII codes (codes per SAE standard J/1979) and manufactures' specific codes. It may not have proper definitions for the manufactures' specific codes though.

SAE J/1979 defined codes:
P0001-P0099 - Fuel and Air Metering and Auxiliary Emission Controls
P0100-P0199 - Fuel and Air Metering
P0200-P0299 - Fuel and Air Metering (Injector Circuit)
P0300-P0399 - Ignition System or Misfire
P0400-P0499 - Auxiliary Emissions Controls
P0500-P0599 - Vehicle Speed Controls and Idle Control System
P0600-P0699 - Computer Output Circuit
P0700-P0899 - Transmission

Manufactures' specfic codes:
P1XXXX
No, I believe I am correct. BMW specific readers will access codes that are not readable by an OBDII scanner. That is the whole reason why they exist. If an OBDII reader would give you the correct code, but an incorrect definition, then you would simply need a table to look up the correct definition. But that is not the case at all. These readers will show specific codes that are not available through an OBDII reader. there is a more thourough explanation here:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=596502
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by MJLavelle View Post
No, I believe I am correct. BMW specific readers will access codes that are not readable by an OBDII scanner. That is the whole reason why they exist. If an OBDII reader would give you the correct code, but an incorrect definition, then you would simply need a table to look up the correct definition. But that is not the case at all. These readers will show specific codes that are not available through an OBDII reader. there is a more thourough explanation here:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=596502
MJLavelle, This is my last response for this subject.

That's more marketing info.
Definitions may not available because they are manufacturer's specific, but reading the codes is not a problem for generic scanners as long as BMW output P codes through OBD interface.
How much BMW decided to output its specific codes to P codes? I don't know, but I see many manufacturer's specific codes like P1xxxx on the net, so they are being sent out as P codes.
That about 600 Generic OBD codes and 250 BMW specific codes.
Read the code with generic scanner and refer this for some BMW specific codes. It will be a good starting point for the most of the problem.

http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/bmw/

Even for what you call BMW specific code readers, they are generic in BMW's eye. How can they have BMW intellectual property stuffs unless they are approved by BMW? I have not seen any approved one. They probably bought the BMW repair manuals and assembled codes and descriptions. Same for the Bentley manual. I quote "BMW has not reviewed and does not vouch for the accuracy or completeness of ... in this manual."
And they don't have all important real time data log and display capability like the ones, I will recommend, under $30.

Last edited by dslboomer; 02-19-2013 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:35 AM   #16
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So of I go buy a code reader myself, which one do you guys recommend?
My recommendation:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...237&highlight=

jfoj's alternative:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...204&highlight=
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:58 AM   #17
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:22 PM   #18
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dslboomer! I just used the code search, it's really cool!

"How much BMW decided to output its specific codes to P codes? I don't know, but I see many manufacturer's specific codes like P1xxxx on the net, so they are being sent out as P codes."

This explains why I have a generic code reader and P1624 came up?
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:02 PM   #19
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Any idea what would makes the service engine light go on?
There are literally a thousand different things to turn that light on.

Pull codes to see which of the thousand reasons made your light come on.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:09 PM   #20
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dslboomer! I just used the code search, it's really cool!

"How much BMW decided to output its specific codes to P codes? I don't know, but I see many manufacturer's specific codes like P1xxxx on the net, so they are being sent out as P codes."

This explains why I have a generic code reader and P1624 came up?
The OBD II specification REQUIRES all engine management systems be readable by any code reader. BMW has some codes that are not engine management, and therefore not visible to the OBD II scanner.

If the SERVICE ENGINE SOON (Check Engine) light is on, the car must generate OBD II codes to give you a clue as to why.

BMW specific scan tools may provide expanded information, this is true. But if the check engine light is on, any OBD II scanner must have visiblity to the cause.
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