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3-Series Service Engine Light

dmdzlpwrdmdzlpwr Posts: 2
edited March 9 in BMW
2001 325i sedan 5 speed. Jst bought it last week. Future wife's car. I love it. Just don't know anything about it. I'm a hands on person. The "service engine soon" light came on and won't go off. The previous owner told us that it will come on if the gas cap is closed wrong. I think he's full of it. He probably disconnected the battery to hide the light til we bought it. Anyways, I would like to fix this. I called BMW to see if I can get service manuals like I have for my '01 Dodge 2500 truck. They don't have them, so I bought some service manual CD's off of ebay. Maybe those will help. Anyone know any ways to find a code without a scanner? Thanks, sorry for the long story.


  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The "service engine soon" light came on and won't go off. The previous owner told us that it will come on if the gas cap is closed wrong. I think he's full of it.

    Wrong. An OBDII engine management system will detect a loose or open fuel filler cap and trigger the CEL. That said, it may not be the reason your car's CEL is illuminated.

    I bought some service manual CD's off of ebay.

    Probably bootlegs. They may be up to date- but most likely aren't. Central Letter Shop sells the real thing. A good alternative is the Bentley E46 manual.

    Anyone know any ways to find a code without a scanner?

    No, but the Peake Research R5/FCXII-16 is dirt-cheap at $149.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Any Autozone will read the trouble codes free of charge, but note that a dedicated BMW scanner-such as the Peake unit-will be more thorough.
  • dmdzlpwrdmdzlpwr Posts: 2
    Went to autozone. Gave code P0365 Camshaft Position Sensor B, Bank 1 circuit malfunction. Which one is it. I think I'm going to just get both to be on the safe side.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I think I'm going to just get both to be on the safe side.

    Sensor B should be the exhaust cam position sensor. You might want to use the online ETK to ID the parts you need. I also strongly suggest joining the BMW Car Club of America, since many dealers and vendors offer up to a 25% discount to BMWCCA members.
  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    I purchased a 2002 330I new (now my son has it now with approx 65K miles). It had this intermittent service light problem after filling the gas tank. The first time it happened, I called the service manager and he was aware of the problem and told me what to do. He informed me it was a design glitch and replacing parts does not fix it according to two dealers. There is a pressure sensing system in the cars gas filler/tank that sets off the service light at times. You need to remove the cap for about 15 seconds and re-install it. This will relieve the pressure and the light will go off when the gas and tank cools, when it feels like. My light extinguished immediately or after setting in the garage overnight. This happened intermittently for the 1st year I owned the car. Than it went away for 3 years and than it happened once to my son. Go Figure. I insisted on having the sensor replaced, watched them do it, was told it would not help and it did not. That is my experience.
  • flbmwflbmw Posts: 6
    Another reason the "Service Engine Soon" light comes on is as a reaction to a lower grade of gasoline being used than what is recommended. I personally had this problem a few weeks ago with my 2001 325i. As soon as I brought it in and the Service Manager asked me "what kind of gas have you been putting in it?" I blushed a deep red because I had been due to the high price of gasoline I had been "cheaping out" for awhile and using mid-grade gasoline (89 octane) and decided to push the envelope a little more and use regular (87 octane). Apparently the car protested. They ran diagnostics and put in a gas additive and all was fine. For best results, use only premium gasoline (if you can afford it). BMW recommends a minimum of 91 octane, so I was lucky to even get away with the mid-grade!
  • The service engine light on my 2001 325xi is on and recently the car has started stalling randomly at low idle. It does restart, though with some difficulty. The codes are both p0344 and p0369, camshaft position sensor A and B circuits respectively. Is it possible that both the intake and exhaust sensors are bad or could it be a false read for something else? I don't want to throw expensive parts at it just to see if it fixes the problem. Yes, I've been cheaping out using 87 octane gas. Any suggestions?
  • Hi everybody! I'm experiencing a problem aparently with my 323ci(2000) computer. For some reason when I insert the key and turned it to accesories the computer reads the inspection (15000 miles) reading but it is missing the oil change reading at all. As a result after starting the engine the engine service light came on. The problem just started today. I've changed the oil like two weeks ago and my dealer reset the computer readings with my own aftermarket reset tool that I bought on eBay few months ago. Any ideas why my car is not having an oil service reading? Also the inspection reading is not updating the reading while the car is running and always reads 15000.
  • bmwgenebmwgene Posts: 1
    2002 325i, 54,000 miles. Service engine soon light has been off and on for several months. I finally had the cam sensors replaced and the mechanic told me that nothing else is wrong but the light will continue to illuminate until I have my scheduled 60,000-mi service. It's annoying.
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    given the age of the car (2001), my bet is that you either have a bad oxygen sensor, OR, a bad catalytic converter (pray that it is not this). Both of these are common reasons for the light staying on with older cars. The cats went out on my 528 at 80K and they replaced them under the emissions warranty (I just made it). Had the Oxygen sensor replaced around 100K. Both times the "check engine light" came on and stayed on. Have talked to others with the same story.
    If you do need to replace the converter, try some independent garages. The dealer will kill you on this one.
  • udmbmwudmbmw Posts: 4
    Same thing happened to our 00' BMW 323i. The Service Engine Soon light turned on when we changed from 87 octane to a 92 octane gas. It also stalled on low idle as well as hard to start. I tried to open the gas lid to release the pressure, but it didn't work. Any suggestions on how to fix it? aside from bringing it to the BMW dealer where they charge so much....... Thanx
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Don't see how it can be related to octane.

    is your gas cap good and tight?

    Maybe you got crappy gas? Is this from a new station?


  • udmbmwudmbmw Posts: 4
    the service engine turned off the next day, but after driving it again for about 100 miles it turned on again. The gas is from QT. Any suggestions on how to fix it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    You'll have to have the code read first off with a scanner or code reader. I believe Autozone will do this for you for free.


  • udmbmwudmbmw Posts: 4
    Hey thanks for the tip. Its a good thing you guys are here to help, specially for me who is a new BMW owner. Thanks a lot.
  • udmbmwudmbmw Posts: 4
    Anybody knows what PO101 means? Had my service engine light checked at autozone and a PO101 was detected. Thanks.
  • parddyparddy Posts: 3
    You guys have described my symptoms to a tee. I own a 2001 325i and the car recently started stalling randomly at low idle, hard to re-start but always does. I just replaced the Temperature sensor/Thermostat module however, it has not fixed the problem. I'm interested to see if anyone has had this problem and was able to "right the ship" without dealer intervention.???
  • rich63rich63 Posts: 3
    Have 2001 325i w/60,000 mi. Light is on, car idles very roughly. I read posts and no one says anything about plugs.
    Use top premium gas. Suggestions please.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,280
    Have you had the codes read yet? That's the first step. Anything else is just guessing. That said, if I HAD to guess, I'd suspect one or more coil packs.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • rich63rich63 Posts: 3
    Have 2001 325i/60,000 mi. Went to autozone and got "P1345 - Mftr. control ignition system misfire". Can anyone translate? Thanks!
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