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Service Engine Soon

Discussion in 'E83 X3 (2004-2010)' started by Zedfor, Dec 14, 2010.

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    Zedfor

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    The Service Engine Soon light came on several times intermittently during the past few weeks (2007 X3.0si), but then goes out. It has not come on at all during the past week. The car has also developed a slight oil leak.

    Any ideas about the light before I take it in?

    Are oil leaks a common occurrence with this car/engine?

    I have an appointment scheduled for Monday with the dealership.
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    floydarogers

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    Valve cover gasket leaks are not un-common.
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    nweigen

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    X-3 oil leaks.

    Zedfor,

    The check engine light may be as simple as a defective or loose gas cap.

    For the oil leak, I would try to put some newspaper or a carboard under the front of the car and check daily so you can pinpoint the source of the leak (left, right, front or rear).

    I just changed the valve cover gasket that started to leak at 55,000 miles and 7 years. It started with a slight burning smell from the engine bay when garaging the car, then the leak graduated to dripping onto the manifold creating light smoking from the hood area (at only seven years old I had to put my foot down as this was way to young to be smoking)

    I bit the bullet, called BMW of Chattanooga, spoke to Wayne the parts manager who, buy the way offered me a great club discount and the parts came two days later.

    The job took about 4 hours including a spark plug change the gaskets were all brittle and were ready for replacement, the car now runs like a charm.

    If you plan on doing the work yourself, feel free to ask, and I will be glad to give you my input. If you speak to Wayne, tell him Norm from Fla. sent you.
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    Zedfor

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    Thanks for the reply. It is going into the dealer tomorrow as it is a CPO and has the maintenance contract. I didn't notice any leaks around the head, but now maybe I'll take a closer look.
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    Zedfor

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    Bigger 'n Dallas, I just took a closer look (I've been so busy lately with work and ill elderly parent) and it is leaking from the left front of the head gasket.

    I find this amazing that a precision engineered piece of German machinery would have this sort of problem at only 49,000 miles. I have a 1999 Dodge Dakota with over 110,000 miles on it and not only has it never leaked oil, it is never even down on the dipstick when I change it (every 3,000 mi).

    Don't get me wrong, I love this car as much as anyone can love an SUV; the handling, the ride and the performance, but is this the price you have to pay for that? I'm non-plussed at the moment.
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    John in VA

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    Leaking from the head gasket, or valve cover gasket? One is much more dire than the other!
    And, it's an SAV, isn't it? ;)
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    Zedfor

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    It's the head gasket. Pretty obvious when you see it.
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    Pyewacket1

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    I'm sure someone can quote an exception, but I would say any modern car should NOT have a leaking head gasket on a 4 year old. 49K mile vehicle if its been treated decently.

    So, if that is indeed the case on your vehicle, I think its unusual.

    I've heard a lot of BMW complaints... HP fuel pumps, poor electronics, etc., but head gaskets leaking oil isn't one of them. Even the best/most detailed machining can't compensate for a faulty gasket.

    Still, as in any car, there are the "one-up" incidents.

    Let us know what the diagnosis is after your visit to the shop.

    Good luck!
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    Zedfor

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    Well, one hour drive to the dealer, four hours there and one hour drive home and the damn thing is still leaking. First I was told the Service Engine Soon light was due to a crank sensor and they were still checking on the oil leak (after 90 minutes). Then I was told, no it is a VANOS sensor and the valve cover is leaking and it would be 2 hours to fix. At the end of the day I was told that they did the trouble shooting procedure and everything checked out ok and that they cleaned the VANOS and the engine up and everything was fine, no leak. When I got home I thought I'd check just for grins and the oil that they said was all cleaned up and gone is now back (or never left) and/or there is still a leak.

    The way service departments are run today really torques my jaws. Service writers that don't know sheet from shinola and service techs that can only follow a procedure on a computer screen, but know nothing about troubleshooting or repair. A waste of six hours of my day for nothing. Now I have to do the whole thing all over again.
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    nweigen

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    service light and oil leaks

    Zedfor, sorry to hear about your misfortunes with your oil leak. Oil leaks can sometimes be troublesome. New gaskets can be defective and leak, other hidden forces can be involved forcing the leak etc., etc.,

    Remember that MOST service writers and tech staff are dedicated to delivering excellent customer service and I sincerely believe that they do not get any satisfaction in seeing a disapointed customer return to the dealership, at least that has been my experience.

    Most BMW techs take pride in their positions at a BMW shop and usually are the best in their field. I would try calling the service manager and let him or her know how you feel and mention the time you have already spent (not wasted) on resolving this problem. REMEMBER to SMILE and be POSITIVE (even on the phone) and I am willing to bet that the service departent will "make it right".

    Good luck Zedfor,

    Norm
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    Zedfor

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    We finally got the X3 back yesterday. There was a bit of a delay waiting for the part (oil filter mount & gasket) to come in and then the big snow storm that began on Christmas day delayed parts, service, etc., which is understandable. Once apprised of the situation last week the Service Manager arranged to have the car picked up and a nice 335i loaner delivered to our house, which was nice as I was out of town on a trip. My wife had the pleasure of driving the 335i for a few days, at least until the weather encroached. Richmond BMW delivered the X3 back home yesterday.

    Although I was initially displeased with the repair not being handled correctly the first time, I'm am very pleased with the Service Manager's (Alan) response and the subsequent efforts to make it right and minimize the inconvenience for my wife while I was away over the holiday.

    The only other thing that pains me about the whole situation is I didn't get home until late Monday evening and spent Tuesday morning running errands through the snow in the Dakota and shoveling the driveway, thus I never had a chance to drive the 335i. Bummer. Avril loved it BTW.
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    Zedfor

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    The saga continues...my wife reports the Service Engine Soon light came on yet again during one trip last week, but has not come back on since. The Owner's Manual, of course, is less than informative only saying that the "exhaust valves are deteriorating." I would hope that would not be the case in a BMW with only 50.000 miles on it. Oil change due in about 2,000 miles according to the Oil Service indicator.
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    Zedfor

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    OK, now we are getting somewhere. After further review, it seems that the light comes on after each refueling and then goes out after the car sits for awhile, post drive, after said refueling. Gas cap is always checked on tight. Good quality gas, etc., etc., etc. One thousand miles to go until whatever mystery service is indicated (AKA oil change). Fifty-two thousand miles on the bugger now. I love this car, but I hate the error prone electronics.
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    Zeichen311

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    You'll need to have the stored diagnostic codes checked to be sure, but with those symptoms it's quite likely a problem with the evaporative emissions control system--that is, the components designed to trap and reclaim fuel vapor and prevent it from escaping to the atmosphere.

    Try to get the codes read while the system is actively reporting a fault (i.e., the MIL is lit). The computer may clear the fault memory if a problem corrects itself and does not recur within a certain number of drive cycles.

    First thing to ask: Has the fuel tank ever been over-filled--even once? Not necessarily to overflowing, but for example by "topping off" to reach the next whole dollar after the pump clicks off? This can be remarkably bad for an OBD II-era BMW. There is an activated charcoal canister in the system, designed to trap fuel vapor, which can be contaminated/saturated by raw fuel if the tank is overfilled. Once that happens you can get false codes for components that haven't actually failed, because the excess fuel in the system screws up the self-diagnostics.
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    Zedfor

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    Thanks for the info. We don't "top off" the gas tank; however, the car is a CPO so who knows what transpired beforehand. That said, the light is a recent occurance, since November/December and the car (sorry, Sports Acitvity Vehicle) did go in for the oil leak problem in December where some codes were discovered and then disavowed. It's going in this month anyway for scheduled service and stste inspection, so I'll have it checked again then.
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    Zeichen311

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    Seems unlikely then, if the light is a recent development. Still, it can take a while for this problem to show up and years to go away on its own (if at all--the system is not designed to cope with liquid in the vapor recovery canister). Good luck either way.
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    Zedfor

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    So I took the X3 into Richmond BMW today for it's annual state inspection and oil change and oh, BTW the Service Engine Soon Light comes on intermittently, usually after refueling. Ninety minutes into the process the the service advisor comes out and tells me the thermostat and solenoid valve need to be replaced along with the (a) cam sensor. Fortunately, I purchased the extended warranty when I bought the car CPO. In this case I think it just paid for itself. So about three additional hours later I was on my way. The jury is still out as to whether the Service Engine Soon Light will remain out, but as I refueled on the way home and it did not come on, maybe we are home free.

    On another note, the service tech failed to reset the oil service minder when he changed the oil. I've looked on a couple of sites to see how this is done specifically on this car; however, I can't seem to find the the process specific to the (2007) X3. Maybe it's the same for all of them, but then that would be too easy and not very Germanic. Sooo...if anyone has the right method for for resetting the oil service minder for this specific car I would be forever indebted.
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    tiFreak

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    this is what AllData had to say, the procedure if you have the BMW tool is much shorter :rolleyes:

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