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Desperately seeking advice on conclusion of garage on error codes


Wishplay
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Hello,

I'm in a bit of a jam. I'm not in the habit of rushing into a forum but for reasons I'll explain tomorrow I can use all the the advice I can get asap.

I bought a used BMW1 (E87) 116i (2.0) 2011. From day one the engine light came on. Sometimes it disappears and sometimes it doesn't show at all but if it appears (yellow) it's always the same coded which I read it out with my OBD2 scanner and on the photo I attached. 

I'm no expert by any means and it's my first BMW but to me it seems it's a faulty NOx sensor or probe. The mechanic of the garage (no BMW one) reducts everything to the crankshaft error and reasons all other follow out of it. He thinks it's a lose timingchain. Now the car has driven 93000 miles and had no replacement so I understand the timingchain could be ready for replacement. However I have none of the symptoms that are associated with it. Not one single misfire, no metal in the oil, no smoke. Only thing is irratic idling and the dial on 2000rpm when idle, which to me still points to a faulty NOx sensor.  I know only BMW has a specific tool or software to determine a timing chain getting too lose but this mechanic doesn't and purely reasons from that one error code and that the car feels 'off' when driving it. He also mentioned the rear differential makes a 'wheezing' sound. I feel or hear neither. 

Complication in a nutshell is (I will GP come back to it in detail later when requured) is that I need to take the car with me for a visit to my home in The Netherlands this Friday and will as such do 1000-1500 miles in two weeks. I have parts and labor warranty but limited and as the mechanic essentialy says both the chain and differential need replacement I need to strategically decide whether I will have the NOx sensor replaced. Tomorrow at the latest. 

Now I don't trust the mechanic as he clearly looks down on BMWs and his first question was whether my car had a chain or belt?!? As far as I know every BMW 1 E87 has a chain so why doesn't he know that? Also upon my question if he could with certainty rule out it is indeed not just a NOx sensor replacement he said 'I can't know for sure, could be but I think it's the timingchain because of the crankshaft error code. 

To keep it simple and clear for now. I have no time for a second opinion as I live quite remote and there's no other garage with a free slot, I want to ask any knowledgeable member here: looking at the 8 error codes, is it likely it is the timingchain or could it be more likely that it is a faulty NOx sensor. Replacement will cost £490 for the part plus £75 labour. I know it's too expensive but again, for now I only can use some advice on the (limited) information of the error codes.

Help would be unimaginably appreciated as I need to decide within 12-24 hours. 

Thanks, Martin

594DFB65-0CC1-4BF6-949C-0DD450922242.jpeg

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Morning Martin

Welcome to the Forum

First if I understand the situation, you are in the UK and purchased the car here. If that is the case then the Sale of Goods Act is on your side take advise fast as you may be able to either get a repair, replacement or your money back. 

Your first code indicates fuel pressure as does the second, the third can indicate a stretched chain but also an exhaust Vanos fault An O2 sensor code can be a symptom not the cause, it could be an Air or Vacuum leak 

I would get either a BMW specialist or Dealer (more expensive) to run a Diagnostic check and then talk to the Garage 

Hope this helps not hinders

Dave

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Morning Greydog,

Thank you for your answer. Sincerely. It most certainly helps and not hinders! 

I kept the information short because my situation is quite complicated and time sensitive. In short: yes, I live in the UK and yes, I have 6 months consumer rights on 'known' faults with the car. I even got 3 months parts & labour warranty plus the dealer signed an 'AA promise' (the UK equivalent of AAA) and I've already spoken with legal help. First, I bought the car unseen and did a part-exchange, then it turned out some features that were advertised were missing (cruise control, comfort packages & access, armrest and Harman Kardon Soundsystem). For this I got a £500 refund (on a buying price of £4500 plus £450 delivery costs.

A week after my purchase I got Covid and was bedridden for 4 weeks and then I had to find a garage with an open slot (6 weeks in my area which is quite remote) so technically my parts & labour warranty ends on the 15th of December. The dealer from whom I bought it had exclusive 60 x 5 star ratings on the autotrader platform, so while it seems they f***ed me over, communication with them so far has been open and good. I notified them immediately days after I read out the error codes so they are in the know I've taken it to the garage and are awaiting my reply with invoice. 

As said this Friday I'm going home for the first time in 2,5 years due to the pandemic and lack of opportunity from work and I need to take the car with me as all my arrangments are planned around the use of it plus my ferry tickets are non-refundable. As such I have no time for a second opinion before Friday although there is a BMW dealer one hour's drive from here and maybe they can run a Diagnosis check. This however would not be covered by my warranty and to level with you I'm low on cash because I missed a month's salary due to me having Covid plus a dentist bill which left my teeth grinding🙄

In this context one follow up question though: would a BMW dealer by running a diagnostic check with the appropriate software be able to tell me with a 100% certainty what the error codes mean or would they need to get 'under the car' as well for that?

So the jam is, I can't go to the parts & labour warranty insurer saying 'my garage thinks it is a faulty NOx sensor, have it replaced -they will probably only pay half as they'll argue there are cheaper NOX sensors to be found, which is true- and then when coming back from my two week trip (surpassing the 3 month warranty limit) go for a second proper overall check on the car by a certified BMW dealer (which I now want to do anyway based on the findings with the differential and possibly the timing chain) and then come back saying "oops, it wasn't the NOX sensor after all".

Similar I also can't say now 'my garage thinks it's a timing chain needing replacement plus the differential but I have no time to have it looked at before Friday and thus I will take the car, drive 2000 miles with it, and will have it looked at when I get back, as they then could argue I will worsen the problem and shouldn't use it until further inspection. 

I'm really stressing out because of this situation. Even though I think I could still be eligible for restitution under the 6 month consumer rights act, I'm not 100% sure. So should I ask the garage today to change the NOX sensor, pay for it and then in a few weeks after I've been to a proper BNW dealer find out the car is indeed not worth investing in? This really trips me up. 

In any case, thank you so much for offering some alternative explanations in regards to the error codes. I'll ruminate for half a day more on how to strategically  deal with this issue and meanwhile I am open for any more feedback you or another member can provide. 

Thanks, Martin

 

 

 

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Hi Martin

Under the Sale of Goods Act if the "Fault" was present at purchase (EML on) and the seller contacted then there is no limit until the problem is solved. I believe the Garage should be given 1 opportunity to repair if they can't then a replacement or refund is the way to go

I would explain the situation (if you haven't already) in writing and Email is legal, also include mention of the stress caused 

Could they not supply you with a loan car while yours is being assessed and repaired if you don't ask you don't get/

Good luck 

Dave

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Hey Dave, thank you for the information. I have indeed texted the person whom I've been in contact with from the start but will also write an email today. 

The problem I forsee is the folllowing: the dealer is 250 miles away from here and the delivery costs were £450. A lot but pretty much standard rate here. As such a replacement car would require them to forfeit the delivery costs and fit it in in the next two days before I leave for my visit to The Netherlands. I'm pretty sure they won't be able to time-wise as this was a problem when I bought it as well and more so I don't think they will agree to this. Another point is that the advertisement specifically mentioned a full service having been done with fresh oil, filters,  250 point check etc. so it does seem they f***ed me over a bit (as with the missing specs) and as such I don't trust them to fix everything correctly this time either. 

I've already contacted the garage that checked my car to not put in a new NOx sensor as I plan to take it to a proper BMW dealer for a diagnostic tests once I'm back in two weeks. I'll probably have to pay for this myself but it's worth it if it means I get an honest 100% trustworthy judgement. 

For now it's about strategically wording my email to them. As said I I really need the car and if I would inform them there might be a problem with the timing chain, differential and/or several sensors thepy might tell me to not use the car at all and indeed have it looked at/fixed properly before I make matters worse. I'm unsure what they would suggest as they will definitely not pay for a BMW dealer but any other garage here has a waiting time of about six weeks. In that context I'm annoyed my garage couldn't be more specific andjust gave me 'could bes, possiblys and don't knows' 

So I think it's best to tell them the garage was unable to determine all the error codes -not having the proper BMW diagnostic software-, but that they think it's a faulty NOx sensor which would only mean I'd use more petrol but shouldn't cause any more damage and as such I'll have it looked into when I get back. 

This way, if something were to happen during the two weeks, it would be covered by the three months parts & labour warranty or even the 6 month Consumer Rights. The risk is obviously that the timing chain could indeed break and then I'm left without a car in The Netherlands but that's then just a practical and not a financial issue as my AA or own car insurance would provide a courtesy car. 

If they trust they've done their work right and the car is not on the verge of breaking down due to a timing chain this should 't worry them right?

On another forum someone looked into the error codes more deeply for me and this were his findings:

1. 2AF2, 2AF4, 2AF6 & 2AF9 – NOx sensor has failed and needs replacing

2. 29F3 – Fuel low pressure sensor has failed and needs replacing

3. 2D29 & 2D06 – Both your MAF sensor and intake pressure sensor are reporting reduced airflow/pressure. As a starting point, I would check for leaks in the intake – parts not seated properly, torn intake boot, that kind of thing.

4. 2A99 – Either a) exhaust camshaft sensor has failed and needs replacing (unlikely), b), your timing chain tensioner needs replacing (very likely), or c), your timing chain itself has stretched (possible). Could also be both b and c together.

So, I will pick up my car tomorrow and will write the original seller/dealer an email as described above. Do you think this is a fair and (contextually) honest or at least moral way to deal with it?

Thanks. 

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Hi Martin

Two things first make sure that all communication is by Email a Text is not a legal recognised form. Second Google BMW Specialists there will be one not far away from you and normally about half BMW Dealer costs due to their hourly rates being lower.

Lastly sensors are simple to test with a multi meter and often over looked is the heating side of an O2 sensor has a fuse that needs checking. Vanos sensors do die, as do the solenoids 

Good Luck

Dave

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Hey Dave, 
 

Thanks for the advice on the email. I most certainly will. 
Also thanks for the suggestion of a BMW specialist. I will definitely take this advice to heart.
 

I just picked up my car from the garage and the mechanic told me there is still a callback option open for one of the issues with my car. In all haste zo forgot for what but I rememeber having read about it and thought I wasn't eligible. I think it had to do with a circuit that could cause a fire in the dashboard or so but will need to look it up or call the BMW dealer. I assume the recall is free of charge and  as the car will be there anyway I might ask them if they could run a diagnostic scan for free or a reduced rate and then take it to an independent dealer for repairs.
 

One last question, the mechanic mentioned the rear differential also makes a wheezing sound and should be looked at. The flaws seems to be stapeling up quite fast now. My question is 'is it reasonable to expect a garage to have picked up problems with the timing chain or tensioner and differential when prepping it for sale?'. The advertisement stated they did 'extensive servicing, oil change, new filters and rebalancing plus a 250 point overall check'. As such would they in your opinion be liable to not have picked up problems with the timing chain and differential or does this fall out of that scope?

I'm pretty confident they f***ed me over with the error codes as it seems highly unlikely it coincidentally just popped up one day after the sale but I'm unsure to what extent I could blame them for not picking up the other (bigger) issues. They could argue a timingchain for a BMW1 can never be manually checked for losening as only BMW dealers can do this with a special tool or diagnostic software and 93000 miles with replacement of the chain ris simply a risk one takes buying this car..

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Morning Martin

As I said in earlier posts if the "Fault" can be agued as already there when purchased, which you certainly can "light on next day" then you will be covered by the Sale of Goods Act talk to Citizens Advice. There are also Distance Selling laws to cover your situation

Yes you can check the condition of the timing chain, engine warmed up engine off remove the oil filler and the chain should be visible with a hook see if it is tight, if slack there is an issue. The BMW equipment can measure precise movement allowing life to be assessed. and work scheduled.

As for the Seller ask for a list of exactly what was included in their 250 point check and service, my guess would be oil and air filter change new oil (was it correct for the car 5 30 grade Fully Synthetic) stick on the Diagnostic machine clear any codes start up if no lights on job done!!!

Dave

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Morning Dave,

Thanks again for your help and your answers. I will report back in a few weeks time after I'm back from my visit to The Netherlands and have made arrangements with a garage and the dealer. You really have provided me with a clear understanding of the situation and as such a relative ease of mind in this stressful situation. Much appreciated! !

Martin

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  • 1 month later...

So.. I managed to drive back and forth to The Netherlands so 1500 miles without a problem. I've now taken the car to a proper BMW garage for a diagnosis on the engine light coming on and I'm a bit baffled. 
 

I just came of the phone with them and they said 'it's the fuel pressure sensor and every other fault codes follows from here'. Personally I don't see how a crankshaft error could be related to this but I okayed the repair for £240 UK pounds incl. the diagnostic costs. After pushing them (or the lady receptionist in question) she said "in error finding we need to eliminate causes in a certain sequence first". I replied that my question was simple from my perspective, the engine light comes on and I want a diagnosis from proper BMW software as to why but now they're telling me they need to tackle the fuel pressure sensor first before they can further diagnose?!?!?
 

The screenshot of the error codes is in the first post. Can anyone share some thoughts on this diagnosis and the course of action? Is this 'correct' for a proper BMW dealer or are they taking the !Removed!? I was in the understanding that their software was more sophisticated than my 80 quid OBDII scanner and that they would be able to identify all errors, even be able to look in the history logs in case the codes now wouldn't show up.

I am scared this is an endless money trap or am I exaggerating? Should my one question as to why my engine light comes on not simply be answered by one diagnostic with the appropiate software?

 

 

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Hi Wishplay,

I can't answer your questions or even make you feel better but I will tell you that I am about to put myself in the same position.

I have a post on here about my heating issues in my 225Xe and after asking a non-german specialist garage what could be wrong and being told "we don't touch them mate" and then having booked the car into a german car specialist and having them do diagnostics (that I had already done on Bimmerlink), they told me that it would have to go to BMW because it could be the auxiliary heater and that has to be coded into the car and they could not do that.  They said it needed BMW's coding computer to do it.  They also said my car needs a software update.

So now I have the car booked in on 25th and I have taken out the second mortgage.

Good luck,

Julian

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Hi, the thing is I took my BMW to an actual BMW dealer... I mean, I can't take it further up the chain really. 

I never owned a BMW before and I'm anything but a car specialist but from a consumer's perspective I'm really lost. For me the main question remains "isn't a BMW dealer/specialist with all the dedicated proper software supposed to be able to give me a full and comprehensive diagnosis as to why my engine light comes on?". This is the question with which I left my car at the dealer. 

And now I understand they will change the fuel pressure sensor and if that doesn't solve the engine light coming on I will have to pay for another diagnosis, one for every code I already read out with Bimmerlink. It seems like insanity to me but I really don't have any frame of reference so someone please correct me if I'm wrong. 

I suppose in that case I will have to go with their first response which was "its the fuel pressure sensor that causes the engine light". The only reason why we talked about the other error codes was because I brought it up. In hindsight maybe I shouldn't have but looking at the estimate I got it does read "investigate the engine light coming on" and then solution "change fuel pressure sensor" so would it be fair to say that if the engine light stays on my initial question still stands and their investigation and diagnosis was inconclusive? Or do BMW dealers don't work like this?

 

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Hi Martin

Glad you made it back safe and sound

Go back to my original post Fuel pressure sensor and the explanation that the other codes are symptoms  caused by a failing fuel pressure sensor. 

Have you talked to the Seller and asked for at least a contribution?

Kep us up to speed please

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Hi @Greydogit is thanks to the help here and on another forum I am able to worry really, realising this is a bit of weird thank you😉

I am currently waiting on approval from the original seller to have this covered under the parts and labour warranty but I'd be happy to pay for this myself if I trusted this would solve the issues. Things is I don't. 

I have no mechanical knowledge to back up this feeling but what I've come to understand from here and the other forum is that all 8 error codes in itself could set off the engine light. And that they aren't necessarily connected or following from the fuel pressure sensor fault. Again if they are I'd be happy...

Maybe I misunderstood the "full diagnostic" service I ordered at the BMW dealer. In my understanding my question to the BMW dealer was "I bought a car, the engine light comes on, I have several fault codes, could you run a full diagnostic to see what's wrong with it?". and they would plug in a laptop and see ALL that's wrong with it. In hindsight maybe that was naïeve.

Now the answer I've gotten is "the repair of the fuel sensor will make the engine light not come on again". I doubt this conclusion and it makes me wonder how thoroughly they diagnosed this. Did they just look at the first error code or is it an informed deduction?

I also asked them to look at the timing chain with a camshaft drive train indicator which they didn't as it was not related to the error code and told me I need to pay extra for that so I really feel I overestimated the "full diagnostic". My own fault and inexperience...

Most important question I have now is "if the fuel sensor is repaired and my engine light still comes on, would I be in my consumers right to argue the garage  did not properly investigate and diagnose the engine  light or would they be in their right to say "we can onky tackle one error at a time and see if that solves the problem" -bearing in mind I asked for a diagnosis for the 'umbrella reason' for my engine light coming on'. 

 

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When the BMW DEALER (it was a dealer wasn't it?) plugs in their Diagnostic program ISTA/INPA the operator can't choose what to look at. The program first confirms the cars details then it will check each main control module in order starting with the DME/DDE depending on car spec you could have 15+ modules so the program will run for about 15 mins +. It will present the Faults they are displayed not as numbers but in English with confirmation codes. The program doesn't just show the fault the operator can check the TIS section for repair sequence and part numbers and sensor values. It will show related faults as well 

Let us know how it goes

Dave

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@GreydogOnce again thank you for your answer. It's indeed a proper BMW dealer and now I have a clear image of how the diagnostic process works. This will help in tackling any further discussion, should it arise. 

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So this has now turned into a nightmare for me. The original dealer, having seen the screenshot of the error codes which I had sent, questioned the diagnostic of the BMW dealer -as in that changing the fuel pressure sensor would solve the problem- and in this instance proved to be right. 
 

I double checked by asking the BMW dealer if this would really solve the problem and they responded that this would be the first step in finding the other error codes. I even called another official BMW dealer and they said exactly the same. That a 'full diagnostic' is anything but that and even with the ISTA/INPA software it would be impossible to give me a complete picture as to why the error codes pop up and all they can do is tackle it one by one. In effect this means I would have to pay for each replacement / step without knowing if they can solve it and how much this is going to cost me. 

I'm really at a loss here. I've never owned a modern car with so much software before and in my experience a garage was always able to give me an estimate on the costs but here they can't say a single thing. Is this really the case with all modern cars or just BMW?

I don't have the money to give an empty cheque nor would I want to. I think it's bizar a problem or problems can't be diagnosed other than by spending hundreds of pounds first and then maybe reach the conclusion it's not worth it. 

What is one supposed to do in this situation? I am really stuck. Normally by this point you'd give it back to the original seller to either solve it or ask for a refund but that's a 500 mile trip and since I've driven +1000 miles with the car since the engine light came on he'll argue (even more than already) I should have had it checked immediately -which is fair enough, even if there would be no correlation with the eventual cause or causes. 

I'm open to all ideas and/or reflections. 

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Has the work been carried out? If not tell the Original Supplier to fix it it is up to them how they do it but the Fault was a pre existing fault so they should be given a chance. If the work has been carried out, did it fix the problem? 

As I tried to explain right at the start of this SAGA having a list of codes doesn't fix anything but what they do is point to the likely suspects.

So a failing fuel pressure sensor can cause an imbalance in emission's  that will trigger an O2 sensor fault which in turn can trigger other faults which are symptoms NOT actual faults

I am at a loss as to what you expect from the Forum ? Under consumer protection the responsibility is the Original suppliers and they should be given an opportunity to resolve it. There isn't a magic wand that can be waved that will fix your car outside your house it takes effort by both parties and yes some times cost.

For what it is worth ALL modern cars (mid 1990's onwards) are full of computers talking to each other so the upshot is they all need diagnostics. So whether the car is a Kia or a BMW the same issues could arise 

Dave

 

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As you can tell I know little to nothing about cars. I've owned and driven them and so far (maybe pure luck) had all singular problems to which a garage was able to give me an estimate which turned out correct. I mistakenly thought BMW with the software was even more simpler to diagnose and the first response of the BMW dealer was indeed 'a fuel pressur sensor will make the engine light go off'. This was false communication from their side as turns out and it is thanks to the help on this forum I could argue that. 

I've decided to start a legal route as the original seller also can't guarantee they can fix the problem plus wants me to pay 50/50 for the investigation and repairs. On top of that I would need to travel 2 x 500 miles and when the conclusion is the car can't be fixed they'd be willing to negate the deal but only give a partial refund as I have driven the car so wear and tear and thus the problem having gotten bigger is their argumentation. 

I will contact the Trading Authority and Citizens Advice Counsil and give it out of my hands. I don't think I'll buy a BMW again. I absolutely love it but I did read somewhere 'you might be able to buy a BMW but not afford it' which seems to be right. 

In any case I really thank all for your help. Much appreciated. 

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