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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

sorry if this is dealt with in another post, but having tried various different search criteria I'm trying a post!

My 728i has developed an intermittent fault, an amber light (hopefully see attached photo) is coming on at various times and for various durations. When I look the code up in the manual it says something like "Emission Control Values out of range, contact your dealer" I'm paraphrasing, but that's the jist.

I live in Derry, NI and it first came on on after about 1&1/2 hours on a weekend trip to Cork. As it was Amber and the description didn't sound to ominous I ploughed on and the car didn't miss a beat the whole way. I just used cruise control and kept a steady 75mph odd. Over the weekend (mostly short trips) the light came on and off every now and again, sometimes at start up and other times not. On the road home it stayed off until I got up around Dublin (2 & 1/2 hours) where I stopped for a coffee and upon setting off again it came on.

That was a week ago and the light is still coming on and off with no particular pattern with regard to drive duration, speed or driving style. I had to travel (at considerable speed!) to a wedding on Friday and the light never came on, nor did it later in the day. However, when returning from the wedding on Sunday it came on and has been on since.

Can anyone give me a steer on this before I send it off the my mechanic? A few posts suggested cracked or split hoses which might be allowing too much air in to the exhaust system at times and upsetting the sensor?

Thanks in advance, C

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To cut a long story short - you need to get the fault codes read. It's probably a sensor going intermittent but without reading the codes it's pointless guess work.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi again purpleblob, I've been coming to that conclusion myself after further searching and am considering investing in a diagnostic tool like this (suggested under another posting on bimmerforums) Why should I purchase from BM Technic? « BM Technic | BMW Diagnostic Cable | BMW Diagnostic Software

my mechanic is very good mechanically and very trustworthy, but he works better with a bit of direction on electronics/diagnostics etc so I think it would be worthwhile as his code reader is a generic/multi-platform one and gives less info on the fault codes (plus my nearest BM garage is an hour away)

Again, your feedback (and patience) is much appreciated, cheers
 

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That link is broken for me. Anyway, search for INPA on eBay and keep going down until you see the cables with the big round plug (adaptor). The least bother is if you have an old laptop with a serial port but the USB variety should work too. It's easy enough to setup but you probably don't want to be completely computer illiterate.

You can get dedicated BMW code readers (e.g. the Peake tool). As it happens you could probably get away with a cheap, generic OBD tool (late models like yours have the plug under the dash) but it won't get the BMW specific codes at all so seems like false economy to me.

Don't bother with the DIS software unless you're curious. INPA is easy to use and does everything you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great, thanks for the advice, I'd agree on the generic code readers, my garage has a generic reader and when I previously had an ABS/Traction control light problem (DSC Pre-charge pump in the end) it generated fault codes that were helpful, but if I'd had proper BMW ones I'd have saved myself over £200 off the bill and a couple of days off the road :mad, so definitely a dedicated BMW one is what I want, thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Problem Solved?!?

That link is broken for me. Anyway, search for INPA on eBay and keep going down until you see the cables with the big round plug (adaptor). The least bother is if you have an old laptop with a serial port but the USB variety should work too. It's easy enough to setup but you probably don't want to be completely computer illiterate.

You can get dedicated BMW code readers (e.g. the Peake tool). As it happens you could probably get away with a cheap, generic OBD tool (late models like yours have the plug under the dash) but it won't get the BMW specific codes at all so seems like false economy to me.

Don't bother with the DIS software unless you're curious. INPA is easy to use and does everything you need.
Hi folks,

went for the kit off bmtehnic.co.uk, it came with an installation support guarantee and whilst I'm not computer illiterate, I can get out of my depth quite quickly! Works great and come withs INPA, DIS and a whole range of other stuff...Good buy for £60 bucks to the door (came with under dash serial cable and 20pin under bonnet adapter for reading all modules on my 728i e38.

I've attached a couple of photos, one from the INPA and one from DIS. Long story short, the code that appeared to be causing the amber, "Emmission Control Values out of range" light to come on seems to relate to the lamda sensors on the two banks of cylinders. The DIS read told me the "Mixture too lean" . I rightly or wrongly took this to be relating to oil (I knew I was down about a litre since I serviced 18months ago, and am due a change now son) and decided to just top up my oil and see if that improved things.

To sum up, the light went off immediately after I topped up the oil and has not come on since. I cleared the codes and scanned again. I now appear to have a clean bill of health and have driven a range of journeys (the longest around 40mins) with no further problems

Can anyone tell me if this is just a sticking plaster for a BIGGER PROBLEM, or could an oil top-up really be the solution?

Otherwise the car is running perfectly, fires well, runs smoothly etc (although I could be paranoid and be noticing a tiny bit of lumpiness when idling after a cold start up, but probably not....) Sweetness Food Buffet Dessert Cuisine
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