1998 Z3 - Check engine light

..... came on on the way to work this morning. What do I need to check the code?
I gather that this car does not use the standard OBD2 test port.

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- -
Rex Burkheimer
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Rex B wrote:

A code reader.

Yes it does. It was required by federal US law.
Try stopping at an AutoZone, Pepboyz, Advance Auto - most of these will read the codes for you for free in the hope you'll buy some parts from them. IIRC - on the Z3 the OBD-II port is on the right side of the console under a plastic cover.
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admin wrote:

OK, I have an OBD2 code reader. But I've read all this about a round plug in the engine compartment. The plug you jump across to reset service intervals. So it has a both. It did not occur to me to look in the passenger side.
Thanks
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OK, ran the code checker, and all I get is an 'E' which presumably means Error. That typically means the CPU is fried, but I don't believe that's the case here. Car runs fine. It just turned over 100K miles, so I bet an O2 sensor is throwing the code.
I'll try to find a better code reader and see if I get a different result. Anybody here local to DFW that has one?
- - Rex B Fort Worth TX
Rex B wrote:

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Why would it NOT use the standard OBD II port? The location and layout of the test port is an integral part of the OBD II spec.
The port is located along the left-bottom edge (USA destination vehicles) of the dash board, generally in the area above your left knee while driving. It can be exposed to view, or behind a cover that is CLEARLY marked as the location of the OBD II Test Port (I'm pretty sure that BMW does not hide the port behind a cover). When you find it, it will remind you of the LPT port on the back of an old printer, except the OBD II port contains only 16 pins whereas the printer port has 40, but the pin configuration is similar.
You can purchase an OBD II Scan Tool for something in the nieghborhood of $75 (USD) that will tell you all that you should ever need to know, and reset the codes after you extract them. You can spend less and get less information -- skims the high points of the same information, gives less detail -- or you can spend about double and get far more information than most of us can fix at home. Alternatively, AutoZone parts stores will let you use their scan tool free of charge. In Calif, they have to let you use it, but in other states I've heard that they will actually crawl around under the dash looking for the data port, and do all of the work for you. (In CA., the auto mechanics make money by extracting codes, and they claimed that AutoZone was taking food off the table. The court ruled that there is no reason car owners can not extract the codes themselves using AutoZones equipment, but AZ employees shall not pull codes on vehicles inside of CA.)
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

Not all OBD-II readers are capable of connecting to the BMW OBD-II on several models. It's a known problem with the E39/M5 and the E46/M3. One that does connect to both of these is the PC based AutoEnginuity reader... the owner (Jay Horak) owns an E46/M3.
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The OP has neither of these models.
One

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

OP (that would be me) has a code reader. Someone else posted the port location (thanks) but it only shows "E" meaning error.
I knew that (A) some BMWs (and other manufacturers) had non-standard diagnostics, despite federal laws specifying standardization. (B) This car did not have a port in the traditional location (c) There is an access port in the engine compartment for some functions, access by a round male plug.
And by the way, my 1996 Ford pickup does not have OBD2, so there are other exceptions.
Thanks for the input.
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Good luck. My Bentley Manual for my BMW says the port is where I told you to look.
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

As someone else pointed out, it was on the passenger side of the center console, above the left knee of a sitting passenger and on a level with the A/C control panel.
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The next question is, did your Scan Tool read the port correctly, or did you get another E?
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

did
I have yet to get anything but an 'E' from it. I'll try another scan tool this weekend.
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The Roundel that came yesterday had a letter from a reader regarding code reading. He specifically noted that the Peake reader generally doesn't work and that he uses an AutoEnguity. Don't know what you're using... Also note that the previous Roundel had an article on code reading/decoding that might be useful.
FloydR
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Floyd Rogers wrote:

The reader I'm using is the $40 unit sold by Harbor Freight. This is the first time it's failed. I have access to Equus scanners here, just need to find a demo unit. If that doesn't work, I'll swing by Zone or somewhere and see if theirs works. I'll see someone tomorrow that has promised me his Roundel back issues, thanks for the reminder.
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Also, be sure to try the tool on another car.
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