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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-17-2004, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ok, I get ready to take an hour and a half drive to my father's farm so I can work in the steel shop, I stop by my friend's house to pick something up and hang out for a while. Car was driving COMPLETELY fine. No noises, vibrations, nothing except the oil service lights. (I change my oil+filter every 3,000 regardless what instruments or dealers tell me) So I naturally ignore them since they are idiot lights and procrastinate resetting them myself. When I get back in my car and turn it on, the check engine light comes on and my acceleration is like my car was reduced from 6 cylinders to a 4 cylinder. It has about 3/5 the power it use to have. Naturally understanding how serious this could be, I only tested that once and took it REAL easy coming back home.
No new vibrations, No new odd sounds, (except MABY a moderate clicking noise at idle that seems to be at engine speed) No smoke or any other visible problems.

The only thing different is it does not have as much acceleration as before and the engine light is on.
I checked fuses, none were blown and I wiggled them all a bit to make sure the contacts were solid. Water temperature seems fine. There's enough oil in it and it's relatively clean. Radiator could use about an ounce or two of fluid, but water temp is normal. Brake fluid seems to be ok.

Normally I would simply go to a garage and have it checked out after I fiddle with it for a while. Problem is, it's the weekend and all of the shops JUST closed.

I'm going to take the little plastic cover off the engine that covers the spark plugs and double check those after I post this. I'd appreciate it if anyone could offer suggestions as I need to drive around a lot.

Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the reason the car feels that it's low on power is because it's in limp-home mode due to the check engine light. the light can be triggered by any number of things, you should take it to your mechanic. have him scan for codes and check the car, this is the only way to make a proper diagnosis.
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had a very strong feeling it was intentionally keeping back on the throttle because of that. After I reset my oil service indicator lights, the check engine light went out after I started it the 2nd time, I drove it down the street and it was stil feeling sluggish when the light was out, that was what dispelled that theory.
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Does it still run smooth, just low on power? If could be any number of things. I doubt it's in a limp mode. Possibly the cat is clogging up. Pull the precat oxygen sensor out and see if it gets it's power back. Of course, this will set a new code, just keep that in mind.
Your best bet is to have the codes pulled, unless you are in a bind.
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Old 01-18-2004, 07:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can also turn the ignition to run and tap the pedal 5 times and then count the blinks. That will give you a code that you can then take and determine the problem.
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Count the blinks? What blinks?

I took it to the mechanic today and he took a look at it, he called me and said his tool to communicate with the computer wouldn't work on my car for some reason, like my car's computer was b0rked or something.

BMW service says it may be a spark plug loose or somthing in the emmissions.
I can't undo the striped pastic panel covering the spark plugs, otherwise I would have investigated that problem.
I think I'll just cave and take it in, my CPO JUST ran out so I have to pay for everything
I want to do a large overhaul on the engine sometime anyways. 200 hp isn't enough
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Old 01-20-2004, 04:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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As it turns out, I went and waited an hour and a half at the service center and it was the cam sensor. Full price was 200$ and for an unemplyed 18 year old looser, that really hurts.
Well, Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old 01-20-2004, 05:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by El Presidente@Jan 18 2004, 08:04 PM
You can also turn the ignition to run and tap the pedal 5 times and then count the blinks. That will give you a code that you can then take and determine the problem.
isnt the blinking light trick only for obd1?
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