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Old 07-11-2004, 04:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm hoping that someone can give me and my friend a little insight as to what may be wrong with his car. He's a got a '95 BMW M3 (OBD I) with NO MODS. It runs great, drives great, and gets great mileage BUT it keeps failing it's smog checks (and consequently is now considered a gross polluter).
He's replaced the catalytic converter twice, and the o2 sensors in the process. Both times it's then passed smog, but 2 years later it fails smog again. This shit is getting expensive. It's only reading really high emissions at idle speeds.

We're kind of at a loss as to what it could be causing this problem. Could it be something silly like a sticking (open) fuel injector?

Any help would be appreciated, this is his only car with A/C and he can't drive the damn thing because its not registered.
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Old 07-12-2004, 11:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It could be anything and I mean anything. It could be a mass air meter, injector, vacuum leak, mechanical engine problem, DME problem.. the list goes on. You guys need to find a good reputable shop and have it properly diagnosed. If possible find a good dealer who has the really good diagnostic tools to look at it and determine what's going on. The possibilities are just endless and as of this moment anything would be pure speculation. Speaking of a/c... does the car run better/cleaner with the a/c off? you might take a look at that... remember, anything is possible.. I've seen stranger things.
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Old 07-12-2004, 11:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, he tried that already that's why I'm here asking stupid questions. :P

He took it to the local BMW dealership to have them diagnose it. They put it on the smog machine to see what it showed. It failed miserably, they labelled it a gross polluter in the computer system (again - even though it wasn't registration time) and said the Cat was bad and needed to be replaced. hmmph! ghead

When there is a new cat on it, it'll pass no problem.. but SOMETHING is killing the cat. We're kind of at a loss as to what we should do. Would a real "SunPro" engine diagnostic machine help with this?
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Old 07-14-2004, 12:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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no. have you checked the condition of the muffler? If that muffler is junk and not flowing then you're putting massive stress on the cat. which will then kill it.
Well I don't know what the dealer did, if anything, but there are the basic fundamentals that should be checked first. Things like the air/fuel ratio, fuel maps and on and on.
Have them disconnect that muffler and test it again. How many miles are on the car?
A sunpro machine isn't going to do didly sh*t. That's for simple autos and those not electronically controlled. The dealership's tools are by far superior but unfortunately the majority of the guys there are morons when it comes to truely knowing how to diagnose a car. Add to that the fact that they don't get paid for twittling their thumbs and scratching their heads. Nevertheless, it needs a real professional to handle it. If all the dealer could do was label it and push it aside then they suck. And you should have raised 10 kinds of hell with them for being worthless. You see, with the dealer's tools they can watch every sensor and operation real time that goes on with that car. Everything they need is right there.. they just have to know how to read it. Can you give some details.. like what the readings were for the smog test? Can you tell me what all they have checked and what the outcome or result was? You're asking me to find a needle in a haystack without telling me what the needle looks like.
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