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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 02-14-2012, 12:49 AM   #1
Dathaeus

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Your Ride: 1997 328i w/sports package
Check Engine Light - ARGH

Yes, I hear Sheldon chastising me, for the last month... my local indy wants to charge $100 to diagnose it... before I HAVE to do that, any ideas, or a test I can do myself? There is absolutely NO sign of any symptoms that worry me, it is operating perfectly except for that annoying light. Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:03 AM   #2
Manolito

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Rate My Car: 338 / 340
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You sure would not want to pay a shop $100 to read a code and reset the light when you can buy a Peake tool for $150 and be able to read and reset this code and all future codes as well.

If the problem is a cross-threaded gas cap, the light should clear itself after a few cycles with the cap back on straight.

If you have never replaced your oxygen sensors, they are 20k miles overdue. That would set a "catalyst efficiency low" code.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:28 AM   #3
Dathaeus

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manolito View Post
You sure would not want to pay a shop $100 to read a code and reset the light when you can buy a Peake tool for $150 and be able to read and reset this code and all future codes as well.

If the problem is a cross-threaded gas cap, the light should clear itself after a few cycles with the cap back on straight.

If you have never replaced your oxygen sensors, they are 20k miles overdue. That would set a "catalyst efficiency low" code.

Its been on for past 3-4 gas refills so its probably not the gas cap right? Its been about 1-2 months.

I do not remember anyone replacing the oxygen sensors... is that a necessary feature on this car?

Someone suggested I get the scanner on ebay and do it myself.....
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Rear: 255/40ZR



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Old 02-14-2012, 02:59 AM   #4
DEATH2000
 
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Rate My Car: 111 / 340
Your Ride: 1998 E36 328i sedan
A Check Engine light is usually related to the vehicles emmission control system. A sensor may have failed, usually O2 sensors.

Their is a Peake tool that allows you to scan the vehicles OBD system for Codes which would give you a better idea of what is wrong. I agree with Manolito that paying up to $100 for someone just to tell you what is wrong isnt cool. The cost of a Peake tool is about the same, but it will allow you to do future diagnostics and repairs for cheaper. Also the resale value on them is pretty good. If you ever sell the car you can include it with the car, or if your friend have BMWs you can "rent" it to them if they need!
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
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The Peake code reader is just about the best $150 I have ever spent. I have to keep up with a 1996 328is and a 2002 325ci and it has saved me hundreds of dollars in diagnosis costs and labor as well as reduced costs in parts. Just knowing what is causing the CEL to go on takes you a long way towards being able to fix it yourself. I highly recommend getting one if you are serious about being a DIY BMW owner.
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