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This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-22-2010, 09:04 PM   #1
aphhpa
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Resetting SES code for inspection?

I know this is NOT the proper way to do things but my car is up for inspection and I cant get the freaking SES light off. Can i either 1) Disconnect battery and reconnect RIGHT before inspection, or 2) buy the tool for resetting the codes and do that right before inspection? Again i know this is not recommended but I need to get car inspected asap.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:12 PM   #2
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disconnecting wont do anything but yes you can reset the code. depending on what is triggering it it may come back within like 15 minutes. what code are you throwing? but yes get the peake reader and you can clear it. i woudlnt recommend going to a shop to get it cleared its just so much better to have your own tool. go to one of the sponsors on this site bimmertools.com etc. and grab a peak reader they are like $139. most useful tool you will ever own for your car and will save you a LOT of time and money.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:44 PM   #3
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One day it reads one code, the next day it reads 10, literally 10 diff codes, and other times its off for a complete day. So im having a hard time triggering what is wrong.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:46 PM   #4
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what exact peak reader am I looking for? I see several
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:46 PM   #5
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Buy a cheap code reader/reset off of Ebay for the OBDII. You will be out $30 max if you want to do it just for inspection or minor things. If you were here, I would let you borrow mine for free. Granted, the better units cost more, but sounds like you need a cheap one for this.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:19 PM   #6
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I got the one he was talking about, im sure i can use it plenty of times after the inspection, that way I can figure out why the light is even coming on and do my own diagnosing, thank you guys
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:26 PM   #7
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I got the one he was talking about, im sure i can use it plenty of times after the inspection, that way I can figure out why the light is even coming on and do my own diagnosing, thank you guys
good call. you will use it forever. what codes are you getting ? or the general vicinity? misfires/ lean codes?
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:27 PM   #8
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Even with the cheap ones.....there are BMW specific codes you can translate them to. The codes are actually found here on the forum. Granted a more expensive reader is nice, but for simple things like that, you are good to go. I love having a nice small one I can keep in the glove box. It told me my thermostat was bad and worked for me.

Most code readers will just give you a hint on what it might be. Regardless of how much you spend on one, a mechanic needs to once he or she looks at the code, research the possible cause and trial/error fix. For your normal guy, a cheap one is all you need to get a general idea of what is wrong, research the code and get a heads up.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:15 AM   #9
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I have a peake reader, works well.

Also, note that you can't inspect it immediately after clearing the codes. You'll have to drive it for around 50 miles or so, or else you won't pass inspection..Ask me how i know..I tried doing it with my friends car, and the guy said that it didn't pass because the codes have been cleared too recently and to drive around for 50 miles, then come back.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:54 AM   #10
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Damn but after 50 miles wont the codes come back on? GRRRR. the codes I have are Misfires in like 4 diff cylinders which doesnt sound right because the car has more power now than i ever recall it having. no loss of power at all. 02 Bank 1 AND 2 Deviation (dont even know what that means) and few other times.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:31 AM   #11
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Resetting the codes may not do you any good - inspection will indicate "computer not ready". Car has to travel at least 200 miles with no codes stored or pending.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:43 AM   #12
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You have more power because you are running rich. It's misfiring because you are drowning it with fuel. Your car will not pass emissions regardless of the SES. You are pumping out 50% of the world's green house gas emission.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:46 AM   #13
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+1 on System Readiness issues.

If the inspection process connected to the ODB connector, they will see the System Readiness Codes are not cleared and they will turn you away.

Misfires are usually vacuum leaks/lean conditions or secondary (high Voltage) ignition issues. Either of these are usually easy to fix if you can track down the issue. Intake boot is a very common issue, and check for other vacuum leaks with a cheap can of spray brake cleaner, make sure you cover your fenders and do not get it on your paint!

You may luck out and clear the codes, then drive the car super easy and see if you can get it to not through any codes, then get it inspected. If you get a chance to clear the codes, scan tools will also give you an idea if all of the System Readiness Codes are clear, so then you will know you can take if back for an inspection.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:06 AM   #14
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+1 on System Readiness issues.

If the inspection process connected to the ODB connector, they will see the System Readiness Codes are not cleared and they will turn you away.

Misfires are usually vacuum leaks/lean conditions or secondary (high Voltage) ignition issues. Either of these are usually easy to fix if you can track down the issue. Intake boot is a very common issue, and check for other vacuum leaks with a cheap can of spray brake cleaner, make sure you cover your fenders and do not get it on your paint!

You may luck out and clear the codes, then drive the car super easy and see if you can get it to not through any codes, then get it inspected. If you get a chance to clear the codes, scan tools will also give you an idea if all of the System Readiness Codes are clear, so then you will know you can take if back for an inspection.

YUP!!!!! Peopl try this crap all the time clear codes then they get mad that it won't pass BOhoo fix the car right and then it passes pretty simple
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:34 AM   #15
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Once you fix the source of the codes and clear the old codes out you can go through a cycle of driving which will mimic the 200 miles. The inspection place should have a copy of the cycle which includes accellerating, decellerating, stop & go, etc all at specifically varying speeds. It is about a 20 step cycle but can be completed within about 10 or 20 minutes.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:38 AM   #16
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Resetting the codes may not do you any good - inspection will indicate "computer not ready". Car has to travel at least 200 miles with no codes stored or pending.
^thats true
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:00 AM   #17
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You said high voltage right. I just replaced my alternator because I was getting high voltage. My battery was spiking to 16-18 volts while revved. Sitting at 16.2 while idling. I drove it like that for roughly 3 days cause I needed the car. Since the replacement the car drove a lot better and the blinking dashboard lights stopped also the voltage is now correct. However, i drove the car a mere 20 miles since then. Maybe I need more miles for the misfire codes
To
Clear? The car is at a shop now cause as I was driving it home FRoM the shop the pulley belt snapped on me, what luck huh? Also days before the alternator issue began I had my codes read and it was just a single code something to do with fuel with is also probaly clear now because I had a bad fuel pump which completely stopped working. I then had the high voltage issue. Right after they replaced it is when they read the codes for me and it had pulled up the misfires.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:29 AM   #18
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I know this is NOT the proper way to do things but my car is up for inspection and I cant get the freaking SES light off. Can i either 1) Disconnect battery and reconnect RIGHT before inspection, or 2) buy the tool for resetting the codes and do that right before inspection? Again i know this is not recommended but I need to get car inspected asap.
You cannot reset the codes and then get an inspection.

The reason is that there are something like 8 or 10 monitors that have to complete monitoring whatever it is that they look at. If you get to the inspection station and have more than 2 monitors that have not completed, then they will not inspect because the car isn't ready. And if the car turns the SES on again, then it also will fail.

You MUST correct the condition(s) that is turning the light on, and then complete the drive cycles needed to close the monitors successfully before you can present the car for inspection.

Somebody said that the car has to go 200 miles, that's not entirely true. It has to complete a given number of Drive Cycles, not a given number of miles. The smog shop is allowed to let the car be inspected with (O think) two of the 8 or 10 monitors not completed.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:44 AM   #19
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Damn but after 50 miles wont the codes come back on? GRRRR. the codes I have are Misfires in like 4 diff cylinders which doesnt sound right because the car has more power now than i ever recall it having. no loss of power at all. 02 Bank 1 AND 2 Deviation (dont even know what that means) and few other times.
We need to know the codes you're getting. More correctly, YOU need to know them.

My guess is that you have at least a P0101 - MAF Sensor error. You also have assorted P03nn codes (where nn is replaced by 00 thru 06) to represent Random Misfires (00) or sepcific cylinder misfires (01 thru 06). You likely also have P0173 and P0175, which are Fuel Trim Errors, and P1188 and P1189, which are BMW specific reports that also translate out to mean Fuel Trim.

The bad news is, the MAF will cost you about $450. The good news is, the other codes are "downstream" errors that come about because the MAF is confused.

The Misfires do not mean the plugs or coils are not working. Maybe they are not working, but the report really means that the ECU is looking for work to be performed when a plug fires, and the work is not happening or is weak, and the ECU only knows "misfire." The actual cause of the misfire can be that the MAF reports air temp and density that calls for x-amount of fuel, but the actual need is y-amount of fuel, so the result is a low fuel charge in the cylinder and weak performance when the plug fires. The O2 Sensor see the lean condition and call for more gas on the next cycle, but by then the MAF is telling a different lie and the fuel load is rich. No misfire this time, but the O2 Sensor reports that the Fuel Trim is out of control.

Since you have misfires and Fuel Trim reports, my money is on a failed MAF. The MAF can sometimes be cleaned, but they contain a delicate circuit that has a component that is known to short. The BMW diagnostic port will actually tell you if the circuit inside the MAF is shorted, but the OBD II data port does not have the ability to give that information.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:46 AM   #20
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Ok well I just replaced fuel pump, and alternator from high voltage issue. I'm going to replace spark plugs and fuel filter this when I get car back. And then I'll see what it's giving me. Inspection is now past due cause car has been at shop donut makes this hard. I just got back from Iraq less than 2 weeks ago. Had no time to fix anything. Is it possiblethe high voltage from the alternator has sent wrong voltages to all these monitorsgoing off? Before the high voltage issue I had one code. Then all of a sudden 10?
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