dreaded Service Engine Soon message

ok, so I just got my 2003 325ci, and the Service Engine Soon light comes on....browsing back through old threads, I see a commom culprit is a loose gas cap. Someone had mentioned that you must hear 2 clicks
before the gas cap is completely sealed and tight and wait a few days for the light to go away...
when I turn my gas cap to tighten it, I hear one click, however the cap rotates back a little and I hear the click again, as if it undid itself.....worn out gas cap or am I not tightening the thing the right way? I think the gas cap is not worn out considering after I open it up, i can hear the pressure release inside the gas tank...it doesnt seem to lock in place after clicking...
thanks.
-phil
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The loose gas cap is merely one of a whole laundry list of causes. It is just the cheapest and easiest to fix. Another reason is a bad O2 sensor. Those things get hot. But you need to get the codes downloaded and interpreted. Just because those two are the most common causes does not make either of them the reason for your problem.
Also, these codes are really emission control issues. Many a time the car will run fine (but don't let that fact keep you from fixing the problem).
Jim
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Go to AutoZone, they will give you a readout and give you a few remedies. I was getting a code for a faulty O2 sensor. One of their remedies was check connector, Bingo!!! Reconnected front sensor lead and within a couple of startups the light went out. Good luck, Joe

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took it to a mechanic who did a computer readout of the code....computer says its a thermostat problem. Thermostat seems to level off at the halfway mark on the dash console.
however after doing to computer scan, the light is not on anymore...the mechanic says he didnt clear the codes (?) and that it will come back on after a few starts..
I have a 30 day warranty on the vechicle so I plan to have the dealership check out the problem as well and if their readout is the same, for them to replace the thermostat. The car only has 53,500 miles on it so am surprised the thermostat would be the problem with so low miles.
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I had my thermostat replaced on my 2002 325CI at around 30,000 miles!
Joe
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Thermostats don't wear with mileage - they either work or they don't work.
30 day warranty? 12 months at least if insurance backed or 3 months if dealer backed.
What type of dealer did you buy this from? Shady back street Joe?
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On Apr 1, 4:52 pm, snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.com wrote:

it was a used car lot from a Ford dealership.....they only gave a 30 day or 1000 mile warranty....it has 53,500 miles so hence why they didnt want to give a longer warranty....the engine and drivetrain are in excellent condition so Im assuming the thermostat is just a quirky part that needs to get replaced ...
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Thermostats on E46 are prone to failure because of the weak plastic housing that hold the thermostat in place. It'll fail when the plastic breaks. I just got mine replaced recently, the two plastic hooks broke and the thermostat kept open, keeping the engine overcooled.
Ask the dealer to have a look at the suspension parts as well.
On 4/1/07 11:26 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@o5g2000hsb.googlegroups.com,

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On 1 Apr 2007 15:26:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

You must be joking! You have been ripped off but then again you are in the USA. 53K miles - it isn't even run-in yet? Most BMW engines go on for 200K miles and the chassis only start to need real attention after about 10 years.
This must be a real heap of rubbish or the FORD dealer is frightened about the urban myth the BMW cost a lot to fix.
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snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.com wrote:

Or perhaps you just don't have a clue about how used cars are sold in the US?
The only place that is likely to provide a warranty (any longer than 30, 60 or 90 days required by local laws) on a used BMW would be a BMW new car dealership, and then only on those cars that it "certifies" for the Certified Pre-Owned program. The dealership then collects an additional amount during the sale to cover the expenses of what in reality is an extended warranty insurance program.
Executive summary: You don't get any real warranty on used cars in the US unless it is still covered by the original factory one or you buy one.
--
-Fred W

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I think the Ford dealer does not want to warrant a car that it might have to actually do repairs on. I suspect the OP can go to a BMW dealer for warranty service. Having said that, BMW might resist taking warranty service on a used car that it did not sell. Warranty work is, after all, a function of (at least in part) sales profits.
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Personally, I'd not come within a mile of the Ford dealership except to drive past on the way to somewhere else.
Open your Yellow Pages and find an independent BMW service center, and form a new relationship over there. Second, get an OBD II scan tool for about $80, and pull codes yourself. The scan tool will give you the codes and reset them.
I'd suggest you keep a log of the first code(s) you get, then reset the codes and if the light comes on a second time, then pull codes and fix whatever is a repeat code. Codes can be stored for a very long time that occur only once or twice. You may not be having a problem that demands service. Getting the same code a few hours apart (operating hours) is cause for concern.
When you get the same code twice, then leave it the second time and call the repair shop if you do not know how to handle the repairs.
PS Your 5 year old car with just over 50,000 miles is a "spring chicken." It will give you another 200,000 miles of service without any major repairs. The minor repairs (ones such as what you are reporting here) are perhaps the easiest to perform than on any of the other vehicles I've owned. I squoze in excess of 200,000 miles from the factory clutch on my first '94 3 Series. I'd still be driving that car were it not for an old lady with a double-knit pants suit and blue hair making a left turn in front of me. Brake work on these cars is the easiest to do for any ov my several cars and trucks.
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