BMW Check Engine Light Repair
BMW makes some of the most well engineered vehicles on the road today. From having ample amounts of power right through to the finely tuned suspension, these vehicles truly are a pleasure to drive no matter what type of driving you’re used to. This week we had a customer concerned about their BMW Check Engine Light coming on and when he would slow down the car would begin to “chug” and sometimes even stall. Naturally he thought the worst but this was actually a very simple repair that only took a few hours.
BMW Check Engine Light Diagnosis
This customer used to take his vehicle to a local BMW dealer but after exploring his options and talking with a few other BMW owners that trust us he decided to give us a shot. We’re happy that he did and from what he tells us, he’s happy that he made the switch as well. He’s actually been using our service for about 6 years now.
When he brought his car in this week he was really in a tough spot. His main vehicle was having issues and was actually in our shop being repaired when he called with a concern about his BMW Check Engine Light. Since his other vehicle was here for only a minor repair and some needed maintenance and his BMW was having trouble running he felt that he was in a tough spot because he would end up with no transportation. Going from 2 cars to 0 cars can make for a stressful day.
We got him right in and began diagnosing his BMW Check Engine Light. The first step in this process is always to drive the car. Our Technicians are trying to do a few things.
- They want to verify the customer’s immediate concern. In this case the Check Engine Light is on and the car is stalling when coming to a stop. Simple enough…
- The Technician then gets a feel for anything else that may be wrong with the vehicle that the customer may not be noticing. The point here is to get a better idea of the overall health of the vehicle so that when we inspect the vehicle on the lift in the shop, we can get a better idea of areas in the vehicle that may require more attention. We do this because our customer’s trust us to tell them 100% of what’s wrong (or right) with their vehicle 100% of the time. We want them to be able to make an informed decision when deciding to repair their car. It wouldn’t be ethical to sell them an immediate repair without telling them that there is another issue with the vehicle that they didn’t know about. We want them to make an informed decision and give them options every single time.
- Then the vehicle comes into the shop to continue the diagnostic process so we can find out what’s causing this BMW Check Engine Light to come on
Once the vehicle is on the lift the Technician scans for “codes”. The easiest way to explain this is that a “code” is a sequence of numbers stored in the vehicle’s computer. This sequence of numbers leads us to a troubled area in that vehicle so we can start testing that area. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such tool that can be plugged into your vehicle and tell the Technician exactly what went wrong and what is wrong without some form of testing. A tool like that is literally a Unicorn.
This vehicle had a BMW P0171 (Bank 1 is running lean, too much air). If you’re a Technician yourself you know that this can be one of the hardest codes to diagnose on a vehicle. Fortunately we got lucky with this one. A vehicle needs 3 things to run. Air, fuel, and spark. Since this engine was running lean and pulling in too much air the first place we wanted to look was for large air or vacuum leaks. This one was very obvious.
The air comes into the engine through the air filter, passes through the air intake tubes, and into the engine. One of these intake tubes had a huge hole in it! What was happening was this engine was pulling air through the air filter while also pulling air through the hole in the side of the boot. Too much air, causing it to run lean. On this particular car we actually see this specific part fail quite regularly. The boot is rubber and over time it develops a small crack that eventually splits. The Technician also performed a Free 55 Point Inspection (done on all vehicles that enter our shop unless the customer specifically says not to) and gave the vehicle a clean bill of health other than the BMW Check Engine Light repair.
BMW Check Engine Light Fix
From here the repair process was pretty simple. Since this is a part that fails somewhat frequently, we already had it in stock. It was as simple as removing the old one and installing the new one. After the failed part(s) is replaced we need to then clear the fault code and drive the vehicle. We want to make sure that the repair fixed the customers concerns. We also want to set readiness. Readiness is a code that generates behind the scenes when you drive. You’ll never get any indicator that it’s set unless you were able to access the computer with a factory scan tool. This readiness is in place to monitor all systems in the engine, once all of the tests pass then readiness is set. This is a semi-fool-proof way to verify that our repair took care of this BMW Check Engine Light. After a little bit of a road test we had Readiness, no stalling, and no more BMW Check Engine Light. Success!!
A lot of people fear that when their BMW Check Engine Light comes on that it’s going to cost them an arm and a leg. While that is the reality in some cases, it’s VERY rare if you have your BMW Service performed regularly. These services are designed to spot failures before they become major ones. Since this customer always follows our e mail and text reminders, he really didn’t have much to worry about. His Check Engine Light Repair was only a few bucks and it didn’t take much time at all. We also backed out repair with our 2 year 24,000 mile Nationwide Warranty and 12 months of roadside assistance and since this customer was having both of his vehicle’s repaired he chose to use one of our Auto Repair Payment Plans to pay for the work.
I’ve been using these guys for a while. Back when it was just James and Tai. You have always taken care of me. I generally have no worries about my cars and I can’t thank you enough for helping me through this random issue. I recommend you to everyone and anyone looking for the best BMW repair shop around. Thanks again