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E46 General discussion and technical help for 1999-2004 3 series cars.

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Old 05-08-2007, 09:41 AM   #1
donniemac

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Service Engine Soon (OBD II) light

I am looking for some help. Since the new fuel formulations, I have heard of, and experienced myself on both a 2002 325 and a 2001 330, instances where the OBD II light comes on due to the higher alcohol (oxygentating agent) in premium grade gas. I have gone to the NHTSA site to check for TSBs but have not found any. The dealer who I have the most respect for is recommending alternating middle grade and premium to help with the issue. Does anyone know of a fix from BMW or if there is one in the works. I would think that a programing change would eliminate the failure code. Hopefully the new vehicles are not experiencing the same issues. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
Numark318i
 
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what state do you live in?

In Ca a maximum on 10% ethanol can be put in gas? According to BMW( i remeber reading this somewhere) thats the most you can safely put in the gas?

as far as i know all grades of gas have the same amount of ethanol.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:12 PM   #3
donniemac

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Right now I live in Virginia, but the fill up was in SC that I got the light on. Filled up with mid grade and light went out after 50 miles. This is what I was told to expect from local BMW dealer ( a good dealer at that) and is exactly the same behavior as our 2002 325. I do believe it is due to the new gas formulation. Could be that California gas was already oxygenated and maybe what I need to do is to reset my computer and have it learn the new formula, or maybe there is a California program that will solve this issue. I am noticing a drop in fuel efficiency with the mid grade. don't seem to see a lost in power, at least by the seat of the pants, however good that is. What I also do not know is: If alcohol is used as an octane boost, does that count in the 10% ethanol?
That is what my BMW dealer is saying is happening, the alcohol used to boost the octane pushed premium over the 10% figure.
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