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Discussion Starter #1
I never post, but this is a juicy one I really want to get out there.

So I'm trying to register my '04 in California for the first time with 46,000 miles on the odometer. But I can't because she's blowing too many hydrocarbons. 71 PPM to be exact. I tried race fuel and injector cleaner and the numbers didn't budge. So BMW of San Diego got a good look at it today and calls me back with some frustrating news. Apparently 17,000 miles after getting my valves adjusted (which were barely out of spec to begin with considering how I pamper this engine) the tech determines that my lifters are overadjusted and I'm floating the valves, thereby causing fuel to blow through. No codes are getting thrown.

My questions to all you awesome owners out there are:
1)Should rip them a new one since a BMW dealership did the lifter service and they are trying to get me to pay for it again?

2)Is this even feasible or are the VANOS, MAF, o2 sensors, secondary air pump system more likely to be the culprit?

3)Should I say F*** California? I'm in the military and don't have to register my car in your state anyway. :evil: (The only reason why I'm doing it is because I want to sell it and not have the poor buyer pay $2400 in back taxes)
 

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if BMW did the service and did it wrong, they should eat the bill to correct it.. end of story. if any of these, VANOS, MAF, o2 sensors, secondary air pump system were gone you would have a SES light.
Try cleaning ur MAF

unless you plan on driving back to whatever state your from to register the car.. ur still gonna have to do it to get base decals.. eventually its going to catch up to you. I know ive played the same game i only won cause i EASed.. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I totally agree on them re-adjusting the valves free of charge. When I thought into it deeper, since there was never an SES light, it is more likely a mechanical issue is present.

As far as the MAF goes, I've been a little suspect of that guy since I bought a K&N filter for the car. I've only recently started seeing depreciate fuel mileage and the issues with this SMOG B-S. But after cleaning and re-oiling the filter twice now, hopefully I haven't damaged the MAF. Each time that I cleaned and re-oiled I've also cleaned the MAF with the appropriate cleaner. But again if it is failing I should see a SES light, right?
 

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I got a little assertive on the phone this afternoon and found myself wanting to double-eye poke this service advisor Three Stooges style. Now they are pushing for me to get the fuel injection cleaning service for carbon buildup soaking up the fuel, before I address the valvetrain issue. I'm pretty sure he's going to avoid this like the plague.

Could the valves be that fouled that they are soaking up fuel and then throwing high HCs? He used "lean-burn condition" to describe my symptoms.
 

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The emissions system is under a longer warranty than the rest of the car. You may fall within that spec and be eligible for replacement parts. I don't have the paperwork with me, but paint and emission warranty documents are out there.

I would go to a different dealer if you plan to go that route though. San Diego is already blaming it on the valve train and wouldn't warrant the emission parts (or maybe they would?)
 

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I never post, but this is a juicy one I really want to get out there.

So I'm trying to register my '04 in California for the first time with 46,000 miles on the odometer. But I can't because she's blowing too many hydrocarbons. 71 PPM to be exact. I tried race fuel and injector cleaner and the numbers didn't budge. So BMW of San Diego got a good look at it today and calls me back with some frustrating news. Apparently 17,000 miles after getting my valves adjusted (which were barely out of spec to begin with considering how I pamper this engine) the tech determines that my lifters are overadjusted and I'm floating the valves, thereby causing fuel to blow through. No codes are getting thrown.

My questions to all you awesome owners out there are:
1)Should rip them a new one since a BMW dealership did the lifter service and they are trying to get me to pay for it again?

2)Is this even feasible or are the VANOS, MAF, o2 sensors, secondary air pump system more likely to be the culprit?

3)Should I say F*** California? I'm in the military and don't have to register my car in your state anyway. :evil: (The only reason why I'm doing it is because I want to sell it and not have the poor buyer pay $2400 in back taxes)
I'm assuming you say this because you perform maintenance before the service interval is due and never run your engine at high load or over 5k rpm?

If so, I would say 1)pick your car up. 2)Fill with top tier fuel. 3)Drive the holy hell out of it for about 30 mins. 4)Have the car rechecked at another smog station.


Beyond that, I don't have much faith in their diagnosis without a more solid theory. "M" cars with poorly adjusted valves almost always run poorly - faults or not. I would have them check your software level. The M3s had a series of software recalls for emissions compliance, though I think most were related to OBD communication.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I finally called BMWUSA and made a case, and the local service manager at BMW of San Diego to FINALLY get them to replace the cats. I love being right... WINNING!!!!

Quick story so no one else goes through this:
1)74 ppm Hc while smogging, NO CEL.
2)Put 1/4 100 octane and techron in it, cleaned the MAF and went to stock paper filter, ran the hell out of it. Result = 75 ppm Hc
3)Had BMW stealership look at it. They did the fuel injection service, but I said F-U when they told me to adjust the valves
Result= 74 ppm Hc
4)Changed both pre-cat o2 sensors (thought they could've been lagging), result = 71 ppm Hc
5)Temporarily swapped MAF sensor with a good samaritan, 74 ppm Hc at 1500 RPM, 59 ppm Hc at 3500 RPM
6)Checked spark plug gap and fouling, took pictures, walked into that dealership and refused to leave without new cats.

California EPA standards give cars 8 years/80,000 miles warranty. The one good financial benefit of living here. Now to not smog up these beautiful skies :)
 

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actually I think the 8/80k is federal. Well played :)
 
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