BMW engine warning light help please

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  • BMW engine warning light help please
  • andrewh
    Member

    Hello.

    The gunusmobile’s replacement is a BMW E91, a 2009 model 318i petrol with 40k miles on it.

    When we bought it, about three weeks ago, we knew it needed  a service, oil and filter, not got round to doing it yet. Warning lights for this was on. Last stamp was two years ago.

    Did it’s  first long journey yesterday, 300m down to my parents, faultless on that trip, 70(ahem) all the way down the A1. Did about 20m today, about 4m from home the engine warning light came on and a message saying reduced power mode, bit of a stutter when it did this.

    First thought was we’ve left it too long for the service and it’s panicked and shut something down. Reset the service lights, there were three on, oil, brake fluid, visual inspection, to make it think it’s  been done, but the engine fault light and message remain. There’s a check control thing on the computer and that says no faults.

    What should I do? I have a Ford diagnostic thingy 300 miles away, nothing helpful with me. Car seems to drive OK but i kept the revs down after it came on.

    .

    Thanks

    What should I do?

    Service it?

    andrewh
    Member

    Will do, but when we get home. Yet one more thing neglected since the wee one was born. I was thinking more short term than that…

    trail_rat
    Member

    Who did I loan my diagnostics crystal ball too ?

    Tbh a fair starting point is to give it a ruddy good service as it’s been neglected and highly likely had a life of artery clogging  short journeys. Being old and low milage.

    Service and an Italian tune up would go along way to establishing a base line.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    An air filter might help things along and will be a cheap fix from Euro Car Parts. Follow this with an “Italian” tune up.

    parkesie
    Member

    Service it or scrap it

    butcher
    Member

    Get an ODBII Bluetooth connector (will cost maybe a tenner). Then download an app onto your phone to read the error codes.

    Check the oil level

    There’s no point in doing anything until you service it. Oil could be manky, filters clogged, plugs crap etc etc.

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
    Subscriber

    did you accidentally use the indicators?

    get it home and service it

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Subscriber

    Need to scan it 1st.

    It may have a svc due mode but could be an 02 sensor….. or a Maf or…..

    parkesie
    Member

    Load the eBay parts canon

    Could be any one ofabout 10 different things Without OBD reader  you ( and us ) are all guessing basically

    If you are in the AA /RAC drive to a conveinient layby tomorow at 0800, ring them to say you have broken down . As it is  early on a sunday they will  be there really quick and will be able to tell you whats throwing a EWL.

    Otherwise , buy a code reader, go to garage to get codes read. Could be EGR , Cam position sensor, throttle position sensor , MAF sensor , Oils level sensor, water level sensor , map sensor , fuel rail pressure sensor, ignition coil pack failing , could be lambda sensoor going south, or multiple things

    no way anyone can say .- ” Its this, change that, and it will be fine ” , but do check all  the fluids anyways

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    Whereabouts are you?

    Hmm. I’m no mechanic but it sound very similar to when my 320i had a coil pack / injector failure. It threw up all sorts of intermittent warnings including limp mode.

    But yes, as others have said – ger it plugged in. I think the service requirement alone is unlikely to make it go into limp mode.

    Splash-man
    Member

    The doctor suggested Viagra when I went into limp mode…….

    johnners
    Member

    What colour are the warning lights? Yellow brake warning comes on 2 years after the fluid change indicator is reset so that can be ignored (at least in the short term). If it’s red it could be low fluid or pad wear which wants more urgent attention.

    Other than that, your car is of an age to have BMW’s CBS, and AFAIK it won’t go into limp mode just because a servicing interval has been overrun, it’s detected an actual fault other than a missed service. As above you need a code reader, and the more generic ebay specials won’t pick up a lot of BMW codes. Limping to a layby and calling a breakdown service is a good shout if you’ve cover, at least it should get you some advice about the wisdom of getting it home under its own power. And again as above, whereabouts are you in case someone’s in a position to offer any help?

    Don’t be trying any of that “Italian Tune Up” BS until you’ve made sure the more routine servicing requirements like oil and filters are up to snuff.

    andrewh
    Member

    Thanks all.

    Yes, as Mr Rat correctly surmised it has mainly had a life of short journeys  pootling around Edinburgh with the odd trip further afield, according the previous owners anyway.

    Just had a long run, 6hrs of A68/A1, not high revs but everything nice and hot, does that count as an Italian tune up?

    Warning light is orange.

    Full diagnosis was a bit optimistic, was really looking for suggestions to get it out of limp mode and useable for a few days until we get home and can get it sorted properly. However, managed to borrow a code reader, camshaft poistion sensor apparently ( second suggestion  on singletrackmind’s list, his crystal ball is good!), the overdue service is most probably a coincidence  rather than a cause of the limp mode as ropey and Johners said. Booked into garage on Monday morning, i have managed to borrow a car for Mon/Tue, hopefully fixed by then and we can drive it home. Might as well ask him to service it whilst he’s  at it, keep the stamps in the book and save me some time, although not money.  Garage man was asking about timing chain noises, not heard anything but he has heard of this fault code foreshadowing  a timing chain issue. Anything I can check for, other than keep my ears open for an ominous rattle? Seems fine at present…

    .

    Thanks all

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Subscriber

    Get some branded or premium fuel in it, if it runs the tank down without any issues, go back to supermarket fuel and see if there is a pattern.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    Did the car mis-fire or judder or similar?

    My experience of camshaft position sensor = knackered timing chain. On my other half’s Micra that’s an engine-out job basically . Was a grand.

    Lack of maintenance is curtains for chain-cam engines IME.

    How were oil levels when you got the car/now?  Low oil = often lack of pick ups/bath for the chain depending on how it’s lubed. The Micra just dips the bottom of the chain in the sump as far as I know – so when it’s low on oil the chain doesn’t get lubed.

    Depends on the car and how sensitive the cam shaft sensor is set to be as to whether there are chain issues. The Micra only put the engine warning light on when you felt a misfire by which point the chain was too far damaged.

    When the chain wears too much the tensioner runs out of stroke to maintain tension and the chain flaps about – obviously causing a slight sync issue between crank and cam shafts.  The most obvious initial symptom of this is a rattle from the engine when cold. It only lasts a few seconds IME, and is best heard with the bonnet open depending how well sound-insulated the engine/bonnet is.

    It’d be worth checking oil level and topping up if needed. Definitely don’t do an ‘italian tune up’ in this state.

    Hope you get it sorted and it’s not a biggie…

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    * it could, of course, just be a camshaft position sensor fail

    Premier Icon TheGingerOne
    Subscriber

    Limp mode is to protect the car from lunching itself, it’s there for a reason so I wouldn’t advise ignoring it for any length of time.

    fossy
    Member

    ODBII Bluetooth – amazon, £10-£20 – check reviews.  This will reset the light and let you know what caused it.  Mind did it starting rough one morning – sensor said 3rd cyclinder rough.  Reset light and not done it since – sometimes crap in the fuel, or damp can throw the light.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    My e46 had a similar warning light, engine stutter and a camshaft position sensor code.  The sensor was replaced.  The car has been fine since.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Get yourself one of these

    trackem123
    Member

    Have you also checked the fuel pump and the sensor? I’ve changed the stock pump to Fass fuel. My truck had the same problem so I needed to install a new one.

    andrewh
    Member

    All sorted but not cheap.

    Sensor done, and go them to do a service and check everything over while they were at it, tracking and wheel alignment needed sorted too. Surprisingly large bill considering the sensor for my Transit was £60, this was considerably bigger!

    Lesson learnt, service it when it needs servicing. Quite how to do this when small baby leaves no time to do anything I don’t know.

    It seems fine now, drives well enough but twice on the 300m journey home it had a stutter, not a proper one like the van did when the alternator was shot but just missed a beat, fraction of a second and barely noticable. almost like when you aquaplane but shorter, Is this normal? Anyone else’s do this?

    I can also report that, in my opinion, a 2004 2L diesel Rover 75 is much nicer to drive than a 2009 2L petrol 318i.  Surprised me, but I preferred the Rover

    johnners
    Member

    twice on the 300m journey home it had a stutter, not a proper one like the van did when the alternator was shot but just missed a beat, fraction of a second and barely noticable

    Coil pack or leads possibly, or just the normal paranoia you get when a car’s let you down recently! If it hasn’t had the 2 recent safety recalls done get it booked in. It’s very rare but the battery +ve cable one can potentially cause momentary or total loss of power so you might want to rule that out for your peace of mind!

    andrewh
    Member

    Cheers John. Just checked, it’s had one done but not the other (although it doesn’t say what it’s for) Will give BMW a call.

    johndoh
    Member

    It seems fine now, drives well enough but twice on the 300m journey home it had a stutter, not a proper one like the van did when the alternator was shot but just missed a beat, fraction of a second and barely noticable. almost like when you aquaplane but shorter, Is this normal? Anyone else’s do this?

    No idea if petrol cars have a similar thing to a DPF but my diesel Volvo XC60 does similar when it changes the fuel mix to make it run hotter when the DPF cycle starts. It was more noticeable when it had been over-filled with oil (by the main dealer).

    Premier Icon TheGingerOne
    Subscriber

    Unfortunately, the 4 cyclinder petrol engines from BMW of that era are somewhat problematic according to many websites and forums. The 6 cyclinders are always recommended strongly instead.

    – I appreciate that does not help you, but there is a lot of info out there consequently about their known issues and fixes etc

Viewing 31 posts - 1 through 31 (of 31 total)

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