Forum Thread

How to Reset "Service Engine Soon" Light on BMW 3 series

707 92 February 24, 2017 at 06:37 PM
Hello

So I have a 2009 BMW 3 series. About a month ago, I was driving and suddenly my car starts jolting slightly. Then the SES comes up. Being a complete noob, I take my car to BMW where they diagnose it (for $200) and tell me that 2 of 6 ignition coils have failed and recommended me to have them replaced for $1100. I said no, went online, bought the parts for around $200 and replaced it myself. Car no longer jolts and is back to normal.

However, the SES light is still on, it never went away. I need to get this cleared soon as I need to get my smog check. Just wondering what's the best way to do this. Would prefer to DIY if easy.

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I don't have a BMW, but I imagine most OBD II scanners would capable of resetting the light as they can for other makes. Auto parts stores can do it also, but store policy prohibits some (e.g. AutoZone) from doing it due to liability. I have an UltraGauge MX in my truck and can reset the CEL with it.
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Quote from ManUpOrShutUp
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I don't have a BMW, but I imagine most OBD II scanners would capable of resetting the light as they can for other makes. Auto parts stores can do it also, but store policy prohibits some (e.g. AutoZone) from doing it due to liability. I have an UltraGauge MX in my truck and can reset the CEL with it.
Do you have a recommendation on a OBD II scanner?
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Quote from Initial Z
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Do you have a recommendation on a OBD II scanner?
There are tons of options out there so it all depends on what you want. I'm a big fan of the UltraGauge products as they allow you to monitor engine parameters for far less than most competing products. Of course they also let you clear codes. Take a look at the EM Plus [ultra-gauge.com]. The benefit to these is that you can use them 365 days per year instead of just sticking it in a drawer when you're done like you will with a simple code reader. I've got mine setup to display engine temp, transmission temp, long fuel trims and cat temps. They do cost more than the cheaper code readers though. (FWIW, I absolutely hate the Bluetooth versions of these types of monitors. They cut out constantly.)

Alternately, you could get a code reader like this Actron for $60 [amazon.com]. You can get that same model at Advance Auto for ~$45 with code TRT30. You may even be able to find a better code to bring the price down a little more.
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Quote from Initial Z
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Hello

So I have a 2009 BMW 3 series. About a month ago, I was driving and suddenly my car starts jolting slightly. Then the SES comes up. Being a complete noob, I take my car to BMW where they diagnose it (for $200) and tell me that 2 of 6 ignition coils have failed and recommended me to have them replaced for $1100. I said no, went online, bought the parts for around $200 and replaced it myself. Car no longer jolts and is back to normal.

However, the SES light is still on, it never went away. I need to get this cleared soon as I need to get my smog check. Just wondering what's the best way to do this. Would prefer to DIY if easy.

Same issues on my MINI (BMW) - it's happened often enough that if I get the stuttering/loss of power I know it's a failed coil. FWIW, the coils *are* a maintenance item you're supposed to replace at intervals, so I can't really complain about them dying at 180k miles laugh out loud They *are* like $60/ea though, so certainly not cheap BUT replacing them is pretty simple, so a dealer charging you $1100 for 2 is rape.

Anyway, I have a ScangaugeII [scangauge.com]always plugged into my OBDC so resetting faults is pretty simple. Your local auto parts store should have a scanner that allows you to reset faults too - they'll let you borrow it for free (in the parking lot).
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Last edited by Dr. J February 25, 2017 at 06:02 AM.
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#6
Bluetooth dongle on Amazon for under $20, free app from Google Play store called Torque.
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Quote from Dr. J
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Same issues on my MINI (BMW) - it's happened often enough that if I get the stuttering/loss of power I know it's a failed coil. FWIW, the coils *are* a maintenance item you're supposed to replace at intervals, so I can't really complain about them dying at 180k miles laugh out loud They *are* like $60/ea though, so certainly not cheap BUT replacing them is pretty simple, so a dealer charging you $1100 for 2 is rape.
That's interesting. I've got a Ford Expedition and while many Expedition owners treat coils like a maintenance item, they're not actually one (on Fords). Since we're on the topic though, regardless of vehicle, the most common cause of coil failure is spark plug failure so changing the plugs before problems with them arise (instead of when they arise as many people do) will at the very least increase the chances that your coils don't crap out.
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I took your thread title and searched Google. First result:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkQ6Jv1m0FQ
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Quote from Jabbit
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Bluetooth dongle on Amazon for under $20, free app from Google Play store called Torque.
This is what I do.
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Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
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Quote from Dr. J
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Same issues on my MINI (BMW) - it's happened often enough that if I get the stuttering/loss of power I know it's a failed coil. FWIW, the coils *are* a maintenance item you're supposed to replace at intervals, so I can't really complain about them dying at 180k miles laugh out loud They *are* like $60/ea though, so certainly not cheap BUT replacing them is pretty simple, so a dealer charging you $1100 for 2 is rape.

Anyway, I have a ScangaugeII [scangauge.com]always plugged into my OBDC so resetting faults is pretty simple. Your local auto parts store should have a scanner that allows you to reset faults too - they'll let you borrow it for free (in the parking lot).
Sorry to be clear, the dealer recommended to replace all 6 coils for $1100. I bought 6 on amazon for $200, they were 30-something each.

Quote from WaarrEagle
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I took your thread title and searched Google. First result:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkQ6Jv1m0FQ
I actually saw that video.. and thought it was trollish and didn't bother to give it a try. However, I'll give it a shot now, nothing to lose.
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Quote from Initial Z
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I actually saw that video.. and thought it was trollish and didn't bother to give it a try. However, I'll give it a shot now, nothing to lose.
Most 1990's cars have a way to reset the check engine light without any tools some can even read the code to you as a series of light flashes. Many cars since have kept at least the ability to clear the code though the procedures have changed.

It's nice to have an OBDII reader around to you can check the codes but auto parts stores are convenient too. There are almost always MFG specific codes and settings your standard OBDII reader can't touch.
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#12
Quote from Initial Z
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Sorry to be clear, the dealer recommended to replace all 6 coils for $1100. I bought 6 on amazon for $200, they were 30-something each.



I actually saw that video.. and thought it was trollish and didn't bother to give it a try. However, I'll give it a shot now, nothing to lose.

Ahh I see. Those coils are cheap then..... best place I can find mine is about $45/ea after a hefty coupon, but I'd only need 4. It takes more time to unscrew the cover than to replace the actual coils!
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Quote from Dr. J
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Ahh I see. Those coils are cheap then..... best place I can find mine is about $45/ea after a hefty coupon, but I'd only need 4. It takes more time to unscrew the cover than to replace the actual coils!
This is what I got: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product...UTF8&psc=1
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Quote from Dr. J
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Those coils are cheap then..... best place I can find mine is about $45/ea after a hefty coupon, but I'd only need 4. It takes more time to unscrew the cover than to replace the actual coils!
Be careful of brands because here's a graph from GM Delphi showing wide variations in lifespans for diferent brands of ignition coils. Unfortunately the brands weren't identified, except for GM's: ignition coil lifespans [delphi.com]

Some have said that AutoZone's lifetime-warranted Duralast coils are not the longest lasting
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#15
So I got a OBDII scanner and tried to clear the code, but I got an error when doing so.

So to recap:
1. BMW told me 2 of 6 cylinders were misfiring.
2. I replaced all 6 ignition coils.
3. Bought a OBD2 scanner to clear service engine soon light
4. OBD2 scanner shows "Cylinder 5 Misfire Detected"
5. Error when trying to reset.

Question now is.. Did I not actually fix the problem? Someone also mentioned spark plugs.. should I replace those as well? My car has around 67K miles on it. Or is the scanner I got not good enough? (https://www.amazon.com/Foseal-Sca...d2+scanner)
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