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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

My 320i Coupe has failed it's MOT on a few very minor items, and a CO level at fast idle that is just over the acceptable level (0.5 to 0.8 where as it needs to be under 0.3 to pass). All other emmissions are OK.

The car has been stood for a couple of months, but as an attempt to help it I fitted new plugs and air filter today to no avail - re-check on the gas anyliser showed the same CO afterwards.

So, firstly I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to lower the CO level (even if only long enough to pass the test). Secondly, the current plan is to fit a replacement Cat (as I'm assuming the old one is not working to its best efficiency due to its age), but I REALLY need the car to pass its retest on Monday, and I'm struggling to find anyone who has a cat for this model in stock and available to buy tomorrow (as in Sunday 9th). If I could get a cat on Sunday I have time to fit it and hopefully it will cure the problem in time for Monday's deadline. The deadline is important, and I'm a bit bugg*r*d if I can't get it sorted in time. I can't get one on Monday and still meet the deadline as I'll be at the other end of the country on Monday & really need to have the vehicle ready for its re-test so I can leave it at the garage to be re-tested while I go elsewhere.

Any ideas? I'm half an hour away from Sheffield, half an hour from Stockport / Manchester, 1 hour away from Leeds, 2 hours away from Birmingham or Bradford and prepared to travel anywhere within this distance tomorrow am if it means I can take a good cat home to fit.

Hope someone can help with suggestions / possible suppliers.

All the best,

Mike.
 

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As above get the car nice and hot and wait for it at the MOT station so they don't just let it sit ther and go cold and test it when good and ready.


Is the lambda good?
 

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As the above 3 people have said, lol, give the car a damn good thrashing, and when it's HOT get it put on the machine, don't let it cool down !
 

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As the above 3 people have said, lol, give the car a damn good thrashing, and when it's HOT get it put on the machine, don't let it cool down !
Only problem is if it's out of ticket you can only go to and from a pre-arranged MOT. If that's the case makes a good run harder.

Is it also full of new fuel and not the stuff it's been sitting with?
 

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Only problem is if it's out of ticket you can only go to and from a pre-arranged MOT. If that's the case makes a good run harder.

Is it also full of new fuel and not the stuff it's been sitting with?
Thats a fair point, he did mention about a deadline, so it must be out of a ticket !
Plus, it has to be the closest MoT station too.

I dunno how you'd go about this issue then.
 

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yeh a good italian tune up, mine was the same even with a cat i had to rev it a few times to 4 5 6k and then it passed, kept failing cos the mot people wouldnt rev it.
 

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If the Cat is knackered then you are stuffed, as there's not any way you will get the car through unless you fit a new cat. :thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks - looking at the cataclean now - thrashing it isn't a problem - it is out of ticket, but things work differently out in the sticks...

I did give it a minor thrash after fitting the plugs & before the re-check on the gas anylizer so it was up to temperature and had done a hard 5 mins up steep hills flat out, but it was only 5 mins. The fuel in it is the old stuff, probably been in there since the end of November, but no older.
 

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So between 2 and 2 and a half months old, that's quite old... If you can, i'd stick some fresh stuff in too !
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
OK - Its now a week or so later...

Thanks to all for the advice, it sadly didn't work out, but here's the update.

The day after the last post I ragged the tits off it up the snake pass road to Glossop, where I'd just about used up the old fuel. I put a tenners worth of 97 octane in, added the cataclean and spent the next hour driving it to its limits, by which time I'd used up that tenners worth of fuel. I'd covered about 100 miles and most of it had been at high revs ( :) ) - it went in for its re-test (with more 97 octane in the tank)and there was no change :(

The garage managed to order and fit a new cat for me (and in time for my deadline) and it still didn't change the result (or rather it did marginally, but hardly enough to be worth mentioning). The garage have now suggested fitting a new lambda, even though their diagnostics show the lambda to be working?? I think they are just guessing now...

I'm not that bothered, as I've been told we need a new car, and have therefore just agreed a deal on a new 116D Sport from a dealership in Sheffield which will be replacing my beloved old heap in the very near future, but I thought you all might like an update on how the cataclean / old fuel / thrashing etc. worked out.

Cheers anyway, and if you have any suggestions on what else I can try I'll be happy to do bits before it goesto find its new home - as a recap so far its had new plugs, filter, fuel & cataclean and a new cat, and it was just the CO that was over (0.5 to 0.8 ish when it needed to be 0.2 to 0.3)

M.
 

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Even though the lambda passed the test it doesn't necesserily mean it was producing the right output for the gas it ws reading (I think)
 

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How much are you looking for for it?
 

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What is the engine coolant temperature sensor reading when viewed on a scanner?

Also is the thermostat good in the car? Where does the temp gauge sit when the car is being driven and how long does it take to warm up?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Even though the lambda passed the test it doesn't necesserily mean it was producing the right output for the gas it ws reading (I think)
Point taken - and I personally feel that the lambda sensor is the route cause of the problem, but there's only one way to find out. Its been an expensive week so far, and I'm possibly about to go away for three weeks, so I'm planning to replace it when I get back. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

How much are you looking for for it?
Ideally figures in the region of a grand would make me a happy man. Its got bits on the body that are rough, but its a good solid car and with a bit of tidying up it'd be sound - I just bought it as a cheap second car to run around in and don't have the time to spend making it look nice - if it works well (which it does), that's good enough for me (and it'd come with a full MOT).

What is the engine coolant temperature sensor reading when viewed on a scanner?

Also is the thermostat good in the car? Where does the temp gauge sit when the car is being driven and how long does it take to warm up?
Don't know about the temp sensor. Incidentally - a quick visit to a well known / respected bmw breakers locally to try and get a replacement temp sensor (just to try & seee if it changed things) saw me coming home with the sensor that sits in the header tank??? - now I'm not known for my intellect, but I'm fairly sure thats not the injection temp sensor - I assume the correct one is on the block / head somewhere, but the bloke at the breakers insisted this was the sensor - it looks like a level sensor?? Can anyone clarify.

Thermostat is good, temp gauge rises over the first 5-10 mins of driving to the mid position & stays there. Also top & bottom hoses both feel warm after 5 - 10 mins of driving (but are one hot / one cold before). All seems ok there.
 
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