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I hear you but here's where they go wrong... Most likely there was an event that either caused the lean condition for which there may be a code. Or that there is a sensor malfunction that would cause it to happen. You said you were on a hard pull when it happened? Did the car go into limp mode and not want to rev past a certain RPM until you shut down and restart? I am pretty sure I know what it is but unless your reader can retrieve BMW codes it won't give you the entire picture, herein lies my issue with generic code readers.

A code is a code, it doesn't matter whether you use a Peake tool or any other, you're going to get the same code. All it is doing is retrieving a stored error from a computer. The problem is that there are BMW specific codes that they can't read - it'll probably report back that it is a proprietary code or worse not say anything at all.

What's so bad about seeing a good trustworthy (key word, trustworthy) independant? (I am one so I am biased) if they have the right tools and experience / training.
EDIT: We have over the years had people come in and request parts to be installed based on what they found online or what their handheld told them. We tell them that we'd like to perform some diag first, we get turned down. We replace the part, problem not fixed, customer gets upset at us. Not to say that there isn't good information to be had.. this board being one of the better sources, the group experience is deep here... I sound like Yoda

I'll take a bit of issue with this. Here is why:

You are saying you don't like any 'generic code reader' for reasons unrelated to reading codes!

A code reader is essential for DIYers. Period. Peake is the best BMW-code-specific reader on the market, given the resource base.

Is there a better tool for a DIY to diagnose? Love to hear of one!

Now, here is the essential part that gets at the core of your issue with a generic reader: people must understand their limitations.

(It'd be like saying "Adjustable wrenches are no good, when you put too much force on them you can strip a head, only use a 6 point box end"...the truth is an adjustable wrench is fine for it's intended use.)

Take me. I read codes, used a generic scan tool and exhausted my troubleshooting. I brought it to your shop for a smoke test, and to diagnose the lean condition. A vanos test later we had the culprit..

From YOUR seat- and there are a few guys on the board that are your doppelgangers, (they have shops and are indys)- it is really quick and easy for them to spot issues quickly and easily... BUT the real truth is that most Indys are no better than many DIY hacks here. The consumer has no clue how to FIND a 'trusted indy'... We see these stories all the time.

Indeed, shops will say "replace the Vanos" when simply a solenoid O ring change might do it. I can understand why- as a shop you don't want to waste hours on a job- even though you clearly told the customer 'it might not do it'- only to find that was not the whole problem and more work is needed. But shops will also say "cats are bad" when it may be something else, or insist the misfires must be plugs or coils...


In the end, the code reader is only part of the equation, and the DIYer must balance cost against 'perfect info'.... I usually advise certain items be replaced to chase codes, but ONLY if they are 'maintenance' or wear items, or low cost. Once you get to a point it is no longer cost effective and the profession computer is needed.

The trick, of course, is in that "trustworthy' part you cited....
 

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So does throwing parts at a car :)
Correct, by chipping the paint. Seriously though, as ard states, most here do not arbitrarily throw parts at their cars. Doing so would indeed get expensive and the point of DIY is to save a few bucks. Well, that and the satisfaction of having done the work yourself. I do barely any work myself. I don't have the time or the space for it. I live downtown with a small, dark parking spot and I work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week at the moment. When I have time off i don't want to be underneath the 5, I want to be driving it. So I pay my trusted indy to do almost everything. I do use the board as a resource to narrow down possible solutions to problems in order to have better dialogue when speaking to my indy. This I find invaluable.
 

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Re: the different code readers, for me it's simply about which set of codes the board has more experience diagnosing. With the Peake, the board has gotten good at telling which codes can be ignored, when a newbie is not using the tool correctly, and how to interpret the remainder.
That is excellent post. The hardest thing is understanding the poster. They have the car, easy for them. Having them use a tool that the responder understands the pitfalls and the information output, is the only chance they have of diagnosing the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Thanks guys, interesting reading!

I have another cable on order, a physical serial cable (as opposed to my bluetooth obd2). Should have it the next day or so. What software should I be looking to use to read the actual BMW codes?
 

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Just my 2 cents, you mention that the last quarter tank goes pretty quickly, I can't help thinking there was something related to this in another fuel pump related thread, and something fuel pump related may lead to the symptom experienced, and the lean codes stored.

My last quarter tank seems to last 5 minutes too, indeed I can park up with 1/4 of a tank and come out next morning to have it report absolutely zero in the tank.

Shall link to said thread if I can find it...

Edit - Post #27, Page 3 : http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e3...throttle-response-solved-new-fuel-pump-3.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Ok, I've got inpa running and read off the codes, there were 3, unfortunately I cleared the codes (my German isn't too good!) before copying them off.
I've only started and let the car tick over, but one of the errors has returned.

170 Minimum flow of secondary air

I'll take the car out for a run and see what errors show when I get back.
 

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Ok, I've got inpa running and read off the codes, there were 3, unfortunately I cleared the codes (my German isn't too good!) before copying them off.
I've only started and let the car tick over, but one of the errors has returned.

170 Minimum flow of secondary air

I'll take the car out for a run and see what errors show when I get back.
The secondary air fault is probably due to the ports in the head beginning to block up. On the bright side it won't cause the car to run bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thanks Walter, at least that fault doesn't seem too much of an issue. I don't get any cel warning lights on.

I've just got back after a 30mile run and no more errors are showing.
I'll check another week or so and see what happens.

What if anything can be done about this carbon buildup (bar a stripdown a manual clean)? Do additives have much effect? Surely over time this will reduce the efficiency of the engine?
 

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What, wait a minute.... there is some kind of carbon blockage issue with these cars?!?!?!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Apparently so! :dunno:

Much like any issue we come across on these cars, they've been done to death and there's always at least one epic thread that never comes to any definitive conclusion :biggrin:
 

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Apparently so! :dunno:

Much like any issue we come across on these cars, they've been done to death and there's always at least one epic thread that never comes to any definitive conclusion :biggrin:
Well, either pull the motor to clean the clogged ports ($$$$$) or get software that turns off the code ($). Or you can try O2 simulators for the rear O2's, similar to software turning off the code. Or cover the CEL light!!

Definitive conclusion?:D
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
You've spoilt the ending now! I had only got to page 8.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
After a few hundred more miles, the codes have reappeared.

INPA codes:
144 Lamda Regulator 1
145 Lamda Regulator 2

The codes showing on the OBDII android app are the same as the originals ones
P0171 - Powertrain
System too Lean (Bank 1)

P0174 - Powertrain
System too Lean (Bank 2)


Looks like a couple of new sensors required, I presume bmminiparts or main dealer for these in the UK?
 

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Don't think those are O2 dead codes. I read them as saying the O2s are reading the car is lean and has talked to the DME, but the DME has turned up the injectors to full fuel and can't go anymore. In other words trim is maxed out and not enough.

Likely cause would be unmetered air (read vac leak) getting in. How is your idle? Any surging or hunting? Can you read your fuel trim? Long term and short term?

Try unplugging your MAF,s you will get codes but you can clear them. With the MAFs unplugged how does the car behave? Idle and driving?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Idle seems fine. Only other unusual symptom was another occurrence of the issue I explained on page1 of the thread, with the car suddenly not accelerating as it should.
I'll take another look at the intake and check for obvious leaks.
 

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If you unplug the MAFs the behavior of the car will change if you have leaks. How many miles/starts does it take for the codes to come back?
 

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Here's another source of possible intake leaks: The four studs/nuts on the top center of the intake plenum lid - there are o-rings around the studs to seal the holes in the lid where the studs go through. I found mine to be cracked, dried and generally not looking too good. You have to take the lid off the intake plenum to replace them, easy job.

I've recently experienced a number of o-ring failures on my car in the cooling, power steering and intake systems (and my X5, which is about the same age, and my snowmachine, which is two years newer), which are probably due to age. I am going to do a post about these o-rings, which ones I found to be failing, and part numbers and DIY info, once I finish taking pictures.
 

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Can't wait for that post. I have the same things going on. Unless you know where to look....very hard. Good thing BMW does not make condoms. I will say thanks before I even see it.
 
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