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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 03-12-2006, 08:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Desperately Need Your Help: BMW325i "Service Engine Soon" light problem

Dear friends:

This is a long message, but I really want to describe the history of the problem clearly and get your comments and suggestions. Thank you very much in advance.

I bought a brand new 2001 BMW 325i in late 2000. I loved this car, and it ran greatly in the first three years.

However, since early 2004, I started having the following problem – “Service Engine Soon” light had come on. This problem has happened 6 times within about 2 years.

The details:

On February 6, 2004, my car's "Service Engine Soon" light was on. I took my car to the local BMW dealer, and got it fixed. The following was the description in the report (receipt):

"Customer States check engine light on. Performed dis test, and replaced mass air flow meter. W/T for testing function of air flow meter."

After the dealer fixed the car, I didn't drive this car too much because I had another car and had a long summer vacation. When I had this problem on Feb. 6, 2004, my car's mileage was 31,310.

On December 27, 2004, this "Service Engine Soon" light was on again. The mileage was 34,002. That means after driving 2692 miles, this problem happened again.

I took my car to the local BMW dealer, and the car was fixed again. The following was the description in the report:

"Customer states check engine light on. Perform dis test. Fault 227 & 228 fuel trim range exceeded. Test 02 sensors, check for vacuum leaks, replace defective mass air flow sensor. test drive and retest. no faults."

Unfortunately, on February 4, 2005, the same problem ("service engine soon" light) happened again. The mileage was 34,385. That means after 382 miles, the same problem happened again.

I took the car to the local BMW dealer again. The car was fixed again. The following was the description in the report:

"Customer states check engine light on. Perform dis test and read faults. Air mixture faults bank one and two. Replace air flow sensor and reset adaptation values. Clear faults and test drive. Recheck additive and multipicative. Both within specs (Spare Parts Warrant)"

On Feb. 10, 2005, after 340 miles, the same problem happened again. The mileage was 34,725. The same dealer kept my car for a few days and fixed my car. I was told that they tested my car and tried to make sure there was no problem anymore. The following was the description in the report:

"Customer states check engine light on. See history. Performed dis test, found fault code 227 and 228. Both are for fuel trim both banks. Puma case #4703492 checked adaptation values, multiplicative values were out of range, -8.0 both banks. Replaced purge valve and test drove car per puma directions, adaptation values are now within specs, -.94 on Bank 1 and -.86 on Bank 2."

I got my car back on Tuesday, February 15, 2005, but the exactly same problem happened again on Saturday, February 19, 2005. Just after 4 days! I drove the car for about 200 miles after the last repair.

I was so mad after this happened. I talked to BMW USA and also talked to the service manager of my dealer. I strongly requested them to fix my car, and also because my car’s warrantee would expire very soon, I asked them to provide some warrantee for me.

On Feb. 28, 2005, the dealer fixed my car. This is what they stated in the report: “Customer states check engine light on. See history. Reprogrammed DME.” According to their explanation, nothing was wrong with the car. The only problem was the program that gave wrong information. They re-downloaded the software.

Due to my strong request, the dealer offered the following: “Due to customer concerns with several check engine lights, SVC Manager – xxxxxx has offered to cover any normal warrantiable matters causing the check engine light to come on for 1 year from this date. Coverage will be at this dealership only.”

Now just ten days after one year, this problem occurred again. Because I went overseas for several months, I really didn’t drive this car that much (I really regret that). I only drove this car for about 3,400 miles. Now the car’s mileage is only 38,550. That is, after about 3,400 miles, this problem occurred again.

Dear friends, please give me some suggestion - What can I do? They fixed the problem last February, and they gave me one year warrantee. Because I went to overseas for several months, and I didn’t put too many miles on this car. If I did, probably this problem would occur within the one year warrantee. What can I do? Should I make a complaint? Who should I talk to? Actually I don’t mind paying money to fix the car, but it seems the dealer really didn’t find the true problem.

Please give me some advices. Thank you so much!!!!
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I would take this 1 step at a time. 3,400 miles while it is not a lot of miles for 1 year of driving is plenty of miles for a check engine lamp to return. The first thing I would do is get the faults read and see if they are related or not. It could be something as simple as a loose gas cap or something totally unrelated. I would think if you take it back to the same dealer and the faults are identical they would work with you given your history even though you have exceeded your "promised warranty" by 10 days.
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Old 03-14-2006, 08:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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"Dear friends, please give me some suggestion - What can I do?"

Sell it? It does seem odd that they replaced your MAS 3 times, reprogrammed the software and STILL you have errors (assuming this case is the same error). Sorry to hear. While driving with the SES light on, did you notice any decrease in performance, gas mileage or any unusual sounds? I've had my SES light on for nearly 12,000 miles now, all related to exhaust gases, and I've just ignored it since it hasn't effected my car one bit.
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for your replies. When the "check engine soon" light was on, it seems the car still ran well. I really didn't feel any difference about the car.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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just got my service engine soon light

Coincidentally, my car just turned 60, 000 miles. It is due for service in another few thousand miles, but i will take it in anyway. They say that this light is due to an emissions issue. Funny, I always put super gas in my car. perhaps its just programmed at 60 k to remind me of a 600 dollar service? at least i get a loaner to beat on for a day.
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