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  1. #1
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    Odd electrical issues, and SES nightmare.

    (Warning long)My good old 98 e38 740il was totaled and i got a good settlement from insurance so after a litte mourning, I just got a loaded 2001 E38 740il (MFG02-01). I bought it at an auction in Louisille, KY In December 2010.
    When i got the car it had no issues at first on the way home i noticed the check coolant level warning, and then loss of heat. Pulled over allowed the car to cool of, and then topped up the coolant and started driving, the SES light came on, begun flashing,my check coolant also came on, and now the check brake light came on. I still had a 100 miles to go and stopped to check car seemed fine.
    Got home , and had no heat, decided to take the car to my trusted Indie for a tune up. He let his intern work on the car for me and they told me it was a misfire and they replaced the spark plugs. But also replaced my oil with regular not synthetic. it was only driven for a day, then they replaced the oil. The car then proceeded to burn thru 2 starters, blew a radiator, broke my bowden cable, and grills and is now overheating. Luckily the shop assumed the cost of the radiator, oil change,spark plugs etc. They also installed the OSV valve cover free, and i towed my car away from them pissed since i didn't want to drive it.
    I have since replaced the spark plugs again, did the valve cover gaskets, uninstalled and checked the OSV (replaced the torx with hex). Which fixed the sucking noise at the dipstick. (But my car now seems to be blowing air from the oil cap), Also if i rev the car above 1000 it has a whining noise.
    It idles very rough, and is drivable around the block but starts to overheat, and has no heat. Plus now the DSC, Airbag, Brake lights are all on.
    I bit the bullet and drove it 3 miles to Autozone but they could not read the OBD either, the guy told me to replace the cigarette lighter fuse and come back. Didn't believe him because my rear lighter worked, but when i got home turns out he was right.
    As of now my 2001 silver e38 car just looks really nice in my garage but i cannot drive it. I cannot pull codes from it, all scanners say "cannot link/connect" even after replacing said fuse. Sometimes i start the car and the temp gauge immediately jumps to red? and of course doesn't allow me to see the real OBD temp.
    I'm really pissed, and don't know what to do. My wife doesn't think i should spend anymore money on it, i know BMW will charge an arm and a leg to diagnose the car.
    I did my due diligence, got a carfax before buying the car. Tested it when i got it. can it be a lemon with 145k on it? My 95 got to 300k and still sold for 2k,my 98 had 165k before it was rear ended during thanksgiving but was a solid car. hell even the brief misguided moment where i had a Lexus LS400 last year was a better time than this. Help or advise me if you can.

    I also want to try to pursue legal compensation from my indie via small claims court. he has not replaced my grille, i fixed the bowden cable myself, and he hasn't compensated me for the starters he burned through. I work at a starter alternator company so i got them free, but i think he should compensate me for them.


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    Re: Odd electrical issues, and SES nightmare.

    haha...no legal action should be taken at the idie shop. This is something our dealership sees many times and simply because there are many shops that don't know how to perform simple diagnosis. Please send me an email and I will tell you what exactly is wrong with you car. Simple fix.

  3. #3
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    Re: Odd electrical issues, and SES nightmare.

    Sorry its a long updated.

    I got some advice from 94583 and this encouraged me to start tinkering with the silver beast again. I discovered that the DSC/Module was not plugged in....duuh that was my fault. That fixed the Christmas tree light action on my dash. (abs,brake and traction lights.) Phew.

    As of now i replaced (based on the old eyeball test)

    Replaced Coolant reservoir :- My expansion tank seemed to have a very obvious fast leak and was rapidly loosing coolant. (i deduced this by having a bucket underneath it for a few days and it was 1/4 full after 3 days)

    Result the car check coolant level warning is now intermittent but i suspect air in the system.

    Replaced Thermostat :- My car would rapidly shoot from cool to hot when i started the car and indicate it was overheating. Sometimes even with the key in the ignition )

    Result:- It now crawls towards the red overheating when i come to a stop after driving, but goes back to half when i am driving i just use the actual temp from Test 7.

    (I already ordered the clutch fan, figured might as well, the fan can be spun backwards by hand even when the car is hot.) my Aux fan never seems to kick on though, not sure why??

    Rechecked OSV valve install. And Valve covers. Driver side is bone dry.
    Passenger side has oil. I redid the passenger yesterday. (its amazing how fast i can do it now that i know what to do.) Checked for a good seal and all seems well.
    Did the due dilligence with the silicone beads as recommended by TIS

    Cleaned everything started the car and there is a lot of smoke in the rear part of the car but i cannot see where its coming from.

    Car is drive able now, but has a misfire. Drove the 3 miles to Autozones , but their scanners cannot read the OBD?

    However i am waiting to replace the clutch fan before i take it to BMW.

    My current issues that i can repair without a scanner are the
    1.) Clutch Fan
    2.) Valve cover leak on passenger side, not sure where that oil is coming from. (any ideas appreciated). i may jut get a new gasket. But something tells me that's not the problem.

    3.)Smoke in the rear part of the engine towards the middle, i cannot see what is happening or where its coming from. Its white smoke (not steam), smells like oil. Plus its billowing out of the exhaust too when i start the car.

    Also when i remove the oil cap after driving, there is some smoke. Plus looks like its spitting out droplets of oil.

    This smoke goes away after a while though. If i let the car idle the smoke disappears. Classic symptoms of a bad OSV.
    But did both the dipstick and oil cap test and neither of them have any suction.

    Why can't i read the OBD, i feel blind and at the mercy of BMW, the nearest one is 18 miles from my house.

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