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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 02-13-2006, 10:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help!... My check engine light just came on!

I have a '97 328i, the check engine light just came on. the car seems to run fine. idle is good, no odd noises, oil level is fine, no power loss (at least noticible), I just got back from a 180 mile round trip before it came on and still got 28.0 mpg. It runs to well for me to believe it is something major. It came on after I let warm for about ten minutes in cold weather. Any help is much appreciated.
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Most auto parts places will read the code for free. If you have an Autozone nearby, I know for a fact that they will. First I would find out what the error is, then I would erase it and see if it comes back. My truck threw a code about 3 weeks ago. I erased it and it hasn't come back yet. I wouldn't worry unless it shows up again.
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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^^ Do what he said. Make sure to come back and tell us what it was, that way if the code comes back we can help you with the troubleshooting. MY CEL came on last summer. It then went away on its own and stayed that way.
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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could be O2 sensor
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I was going to say... it could be the second O2 sensor...
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll vote for the O2 sensor.
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok... ^^^^ Seriously guys... It could be about 100 different things... with no noticeable changes in the cars feel.

First and for most... make sure you put the gas cap back on correctly...

Secondly... get the code read...

I dont know why you'd assume the O2 sensor right off the bat.. those things take years to die. And if you have been keeping up with the maintenance... you should replace them every two or so years any ways.

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Old 02-14-2006, 11:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You really think it's the gas cap? I thought the CEL only does that with the screw on caps... not the weird locking caps bmw's have... Goes to show how much I know...
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes before you get laughed at the auto-store check your gas cap.
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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BMW's have screw on caps....

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Old 02-14-2006, 11:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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BMW's have screw on caps....

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They do? Mine turns a quarter of a turn and it snaps in.
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Mine too. Well, a half turn. It's got this metal thing with "wings" that lock into place.
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Mine too. Well, a half turn. It's got this metal thing with "wings" that lock into place.
yes that thing
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Screw on, twist on, hammer on, either way a loose gas cap will throw a light. I'm afraid I know from experience. The error on my truck was an 02 sensor code. I erased it, and it hasn't come back. I guess I need to check it again to be sure.
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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By a code reader at Walmart...

You can pickup a 3100 code reader at Walmart for about $100 and it'll read your codes for you. It won't reset the service or SRS lights of course, but its a nice thing to have in your toolbox.

But yes, the lose gas cap is probably the most common code thrown. I think its referred to as a gross evap leak or something like that.




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