Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

Catalytic Converter Hosed: 96 328is

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by jwalker, Jan 11, 2010.

    jwalker guest

    Post Count: 2
    Likes Received:0
    I have been resetting the "service engine" light after longer highway trips the diagnostic code says that my catalytic converter is failing. The light never activates when just driving around town. Replacing this with the OEM system will cost $2,500. I know there are less expensive options out there, but I need this to pass emissions tests and not activate the "service engine" light. If there was a good option that cost $1,000 or less, I would like to know about it. Any thoughts? -Jim
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    Get a used one. Used CC's are a lot less expensive, and shouldn't be too hard to find for a car as recent as an E36.

    Or, perhaps an aftermarket CC, which are cheaper.
    • Member

    shanneba

    Post Count: 76
    Likes Received:2
    • Member

    tiFreak

    Post Count: 523
    Likes Received:2
    wouldn't work, they all set the check engine light off on an OBDII BMW
    • Member

    Steven Otto

    Post Count: 52
    Likes Received:1
    I had this issue with my old 96 328 last year. CE kept coming on periodically, then it came on for good.

    Code reader said "Cat efficiency below threshold, Cyl bank 4-6"....or something close to that. I knew exactly what it meant.....the car had 180K on it. I took it to my local indy shop. Bottom line, we put a new factory cat(s...there are 2 but it all comes in a 1 pc assy). That took care of the issue for sure. $1800 and that was using a new BMW cat assy.

    My theory is....if your gonna keep the car for a while, might as well fix it properly. hey...$1800 is still way cheaper than a years worth of new car payments.

    gmufiji guest

    Post Count: 2
    Likes Received:0
    I would check Bavarian Auto. I think they have aftermarket CCs. BTW, how do you reset the check engine light? Mine came on the other day and I am hoping that it was just a fluke.

    jwalker guest

    Post Count: 2
    Likes Received:0
    Thanks all. I'll check around for a used one also.

    I have a Peake Research code reset tool for $150 that I use to reset and read codes. Works great just before emissions tests.

    The error code is : Table 11, E9

    BMWguy206 guest

    Post Count: 43
    Likes Received:0
    Your cheapest alternative is to go to a muffler shop and have them install aftermarket cats. This will depend on which state you live though. CA passed a law saying that auto shops can't install a used cat or aftermarket cat that's not CARB legal and must offer a warranty of x amount of years and mileage.
    • Member

    327350

    Post Count: 75
    Likes Received:1
    Here's a link to what some people do in your situation

    http://www.o2simulator.com/
    If you'll do a search on E46fanatics.com (look for DIY O2sim) there is a complete DIY on how to by pass this part of your emissions system. The guys that are going catless use it all the time.
    Basically, it is a device that lies to your computer by sending a signal to it that all is OK. The fact that BMW catalytic converters are so costly made me bookmark it in my phone. I figure that if mine goes bad, I may remove the manifold and try to get rid of catalyst inside it, then reinstall. Put the O2 simulator mod on and keep on driving.

    Just mentioning it as another option - seems to be working over on E46 fans .com!!

    Cheers!

    BMWguy206 guest

    Post Count: 43
    Likes Received:0
    But the O2 sims won't let a bad cat pass the sniff test. It'll only fool the computer.
    • Member

    327350

    Post Count: 75
    Likes Received:1
    I'm thinking Texas only, and OBDII (sorry)

    In Tx if the OBDII querry does not show any codes or events, there is no smog test. On all the OBDII cars I have, I have never had a sniffer test. But now I realize that your car is an OBDI and they may be subjected to a sniffer test because of that. Maybe a member from Houston with an OBD I car can chime in as to whether they have to do sniffers...

    BMWguy206 guest

    Post Count: 43
    Likes Received:0
    I don't know how it is for other states but in CA the smog tech will put a probe into the tail pipe to see the levels of certain exhaust gases are coming out of the tail pipe. They will also hook up their smog computer to the OBD2 port to ready any faults and see if the readiness codes are set(ready).
    • Member

    tiFreak

    Post Count: 523
    Likes Received:2
    you could get an aftermarket cat, they're much cheaper than OEM but they typically set off the check engine light, so the O2 sim would be necessary

Share This Page