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Old 12-15-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
I2est
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Exclamation Check engine light will not come on for smog.

So I went to have the smog done on my 2003 325i. The shop said they can't do it cause the check engine light doesn't turn on during the bulb check when you first turn the key. And they need to see that light come on as part of the smog.

But if I do a cluster test the check engine light will light up.

Any thoughts before I think about having to get another cluster?
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:12 PM   #2
jasonbimmer
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but not turning on when you turn the key on?
thats very weird.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:17 PM   #3
I2est
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Nope. So I know there is power going to the light from the cluster test.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
SweTurbo
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Show them the cluster test ?

My light wont come on at all , all wiring is good and only thing left is the ECU. Im standalone now so i cant care about it though
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:41 PM   #5
I2est
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I showed them the cluster test. They said that it still needs to come on when the key is turned cause that checks the connection between the light and when check engine codes are thrown.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
jdstrickland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pir4t View Post
Show them the cluster test ?

My light wont come on at all , all wiring is good and only thing left is the ECU. Im standalone now so i cant care about it though
They will not take the cluster test. The light is required to come on when the key is set to ON before the key gets to START, and must remain off when the key returns to ON after remaining at START long enough to make the engine actually start. The Check Engine Light must be on when the key is at ON, but the engine is not running. This is a requirement. A different smog tech that does not pay attention might let the car pass, but it is still a requirement.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
jdstrickland
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Originally Posted by I2est View Post
I showed them the cluster test. They said that it still needs to come on when the key is turned cause that checks the connection between the light and when check engine codes are thrown.
I'd bet that if you plugged a scan tool into the OBD II data port, you would get some useful information. The fact that the check engine light does not come on during the self-test period, key on engine off, indicates a malfunction of the ECU. Sorry dude.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:35 PM   #8
I2est
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Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
I'd bet that if you plugged a scan tool into the OBD II data port, you would get some useful information. The fact that the check engine light does not come on during the self-test period, key on engine off, indicates a malfunction of the ECU. Sorry dude.
The tech at the shop said the car wasn't showing up with any faults/codes or anything unusual. The engine light is the only thing that's holding it back.

I got the wiring diagram and did a continuity test for the diagnostic wires between the cluster, OBDII Port and DME. All wires are good but light still doesn't come on when the key is turned.

Last edited by I2est; 12-15-2011 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:47 AM   #9
maksezzy
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How was this issue ever resolved? I'm assuming it had to have been to get the car smogged so what happened? I have the same issue, smog is due in two weeks.... Need to get this fixed ASAP
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:18 AM   #10
eneka
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Originally Posted by maksezzy View Post
How was this issue ever resolved? I'm assuming it had to have been to get the car smogged so what happened? I have the same issue, smog is due in two weeks.... Need to get this fixed ASAP
fyi you can always pay your registration first and then you'll get three months to smog your car.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:34 AM   #11
maksezzy
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fyi you can always pay your registration first and then you'll get three months to smog your car.
FYI you only get two months and then you have to go back and get back in line at dmv and waste two more hours if your life to get another month. That being said, Two weeks away from the end of my first month and you may be surprised to know that I would rather fix this issue as soon as possible and get this smog done and over with and stop worrying about it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:35 AM   #12
maksezzy
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Originally Posted by I2est View Post
The tech at the shop said the car wasn't showing up with any faults/codes or anything unusual. The engine light is the only thing that's holding it back.

I got the wiring diagram and did a continuity test for the diagnostic wires between the cluster, OBDII Port and DME. All wires are good but light still doesn't come on when the key is turned.
This is exactly what's going on with me, hopefully the fix was simple.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:02 AM   #13
jfoj
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Run a cluster test and see what happens.

I also recall that some of the early cars in Europe may not turn the SES/CEL/MIL light with the key on/engine off.

So you may have a disabled/covered up SES/CEL/MIL light, someone may have hacked the instrument cluster/SES/CEL/MIL light or someone may have put a different tune/flash in the DME?

I believe some of the Euro tunes may not have the SES/CEL/MIL light come on when the key is on/engine is off, however, not 100% sure what the years/models/conditions may be for this to happen?

Good luck, first run a cluster test and see what happens. 4th link below in my signature for Hidden OBC Menu for cluster testing.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

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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 01-31-2014, 11:38 AM   #14
jdstrickland
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The light is required to come on with Key On, Engine Off (KOEO). No other time matters, except that any other time it is required to be off.

If the light is not on during KOEO, this is an instant fail.

Since the light works during the cluster test, then all you know is that the bulb is good. But, since the light is not on during KOEO, then you can have an emissions related malfunction where the light should come on, but it doesn't -- which is why you fail if the light does not come on during KOEO. You can have the Check Engine (SERVICE ENGINE SOON) light on right now, and not know, this is why you fail smog.

Ironically, the smog shop has the equipment that will tell you why the light does not come on, and they want you to pay them for the diagnostic. You may be able to figure out why the light does not come on but you need a scan tool, and maybe you need more than that.

I am not aware that the light can be coded off, but if jfoj is correct on this then this is what you should check next.

Last edited by jdstrickland; 01-31-2014 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:44 PM   #15
jfoj
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Suggest you force a code, like unplug the MAF and drive for a bit and see if the SES/CEL/MIL actually comes on, then reset the code or reconnect the MAF and let the code(s) clear on their own.

At least this way you will know if the the SES/CEL/MIL light will actually come on if there is a DTC triggered for some reason.

There are a lot of lights on the dash, you may want to take some pictures and post here for comments.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

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 01-31-2014, 06:58 PM   #16
lszlszx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneka View Post
fyi you can always pay your registration first and then you'll get three months to smog your car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by maksezzy View Post
FYI you only get two months and then you have to go back and get back in line at dmv and waste two more hours if your life to get another month. That being said, Two weeks away from the end of my first month
I don't know what you guys are talking about.
I'm in the same situation with my Volvo, AAA gave me a temporary registration for a little over 4 weeks to get the smog.
It'll expire soon, I called AAA today and they said that I just couldn't drive the car once the temporary tag expires, but there are no penalties.

I wish I could just find "someone" for now and then I could take my time to figure out the issues.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:52 PM   #17
maksezzy
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Go to dmv and ask them for temporary tags. They give you a big square paper lol.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:20 PM   #18
lszlszx
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I have that, but it's only for a month.
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Old 02-01-2014, 01:58 PM   #19
jdstrickland
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The Check Engine light on your car really says, SERVICE ENGINE SOON. This light is _required_ to come on when the key is in Position II (RUN), before Engine start (Key On, Engine Off, or KOEO).

As was suggested, unplug the MAF sensor and force the SES light to come on, and see if it does. Unplug the MAF, then start the car. Or, start the car then unplug the MAF. The SES should come on in this condition. It should come on in KOEO, but doesn't and this is why you fail.

The question has become one of whether the engine control unit (the computer) is even working or not.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:41 PM   #20
wapner
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Not a fix, but just meant as a way to buy some time.... HAIL O MARY/LAST DITCH EFFORT ONLY
If car is paid for, just sell it to a spouse or child in your family over 16. You'll have to shell out title transfer and plates etc. again, and make sure insurance has all in family as possible drivers of the vehicle(got expensive when my 16 yr old sons # was up to be the elected owner) but at least you'll buy another year to sort it out. Had a 5 series that I bounced around family for 3 years in a row, that had some phantom CEL (never figured it out myself, nor could dealer), in my case would just come on at random, no code thrown, then getting drive cycle to be "inspection ready" was just impossible in between light occurence. Car was tip top shape, but they would always refused to test, and in IL, we really don't have any recourse. My understanding is in CA you have a "referee" you can at least talk to, that may be able to understand your problem(doubt it though) and give ya a break?
This of course would be a last ditch effort obviously. Not sure what CA system is like, but here in IL it works, and emission notice comes 1 year after new transfer.

Good luck straightening it out. Emmisionsis such a pain in the arz! Especially when you know you are fine, and a truck next to you is puking black clouds of smoke in the air, and perfectly legal.
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