Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1996 BMW Stereo CODE WAIT

1996 BMW Z3 "CODE WAIT" Radio Locked
 1996 BMW Z3 Stereo went into "CODE WAIT". Well actually I put it in Code Wait. SO I replaced my O2 Sensor as indicated in my posts Part 1 and Part 2. After I replaced the Sensor I removed the negative battery terminal connector for 30 minutes to reset the light (If the check engine light stays on try disconnecting the battery to reset the car's computer). Which when I reconnected it I had to set my clock which was easy BUT when I turned on the Stereo, on the display it showed CODE _ _ _ _ _  and by entering numbers from the preset buttons it either worked or didn't. I FORTUNATELY have the CODE however for purposes of writing this blog I purposely entered the incorrect code into my BMW Z Radio and it went into "CODE WAIT". So if you do this here is what you have to do to fix it. First you have to do one of two things.

1. Disconnect the Battery to reset the computer again.
2. Leave the car in the "ON" position for 90 Minutes and the radio will reset and "CODE" will appear.

you can now enter your code.....If you have it. Typically it is given to the owner and may be with a seperate Radio "Security" packet. and will have two small credit card, cards that have the "CODE" on them. IF by some chance you do not have the code you can get it by finding the serial number of the radio and taking it to your dealer. Here is the way to get the Serial Number. 

1. If the radio is in the "CODE" mode awaiting you to enter a 5 digit code you can hold in your "M" button and it will display the S/N of the radio.
2. Remove the radio and look at the back.

No take the Serial Number to your BMW Dealer with your proof of ownership (Registration, bill of sale, etc...) they will look up your Code for you.
There is one problem here. There are two manufacturers of radios in most BMW cars, Alpine and Blaupunkt
If you get the code from the dealer it may be wrong because you go the one for the opposite radio manufacturer. If they give you the wrong code try it in the radio and if it doesn't work reset the radio again and go back into the dealer and tell them the situation ALSO when they say "Sorry we can't help you then" or "well then it must not be the original radio that came with the car" Tell them  "You know that there two manufacturers of the radios and that there is a chance that there is another code and they gave you the wrong one".  If they don't give you a second number tell them also to call BMWNA who are the people that provide assistance to the BMW Dealers when they get stumped.  Once you have the right code and you input it into the radio it takes about 5 seconds for the code to unlock the radio and you will have music again.

Removing a Seized or Stuck BMW Z3 O2 Sensor

Car on the lift
2. Rounded bolt head on O2 Sensor
SO I had to replace my O2 Sensor on my 1996 BMW Z3. See my post on replacing a BMW O2 Sensor. I already had my car jacked up and I tried a 7/8 wrench which started the rounding of the bolt head then I tried to rent the "O2 Sensor Socket Tool" from Autozone and it further rounded the head. (costs $25 to rent the tool and you get your money back).
A Pipe wrench may end up as your last resort
However I rounded it enough that I needed to take it to a shop and have them lift it and get the O2 Sensor out. They ended up using a Pipe Wrench which if I had one may have worked if I could have gotten enough torque on it. It cost $47 but it was worth the time and effort and they put the new one in for free.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Location of the OBD Plug on a 1996 BMW Z3

Passenger Side OBD Plug
So where is the OBD Plug on a 1996 BMW Z3. At first I thought it was under the hood which is true if you are an authorized BMW dealer and you use the plug in your BMW Shop. The plug then is located under the hood as shown in the picture below. BUT if you are a DIYer you need the plug for the OBD II connection and it is located on the passenger side on the kick panel on the left side.
OBD Plug 1996 BMW Z3
If you see in the picture below it shows that the plug has a cover on it that says "OBD" once you remove the cover you see the OBD Plug and the plug has a cover on it as well which is easily removed to expose the plug and allow you to read the codes from your car. See this resource online for OBD codes. Also this is the location for the OBD Plug on a 1996 BMW Z3. Yours may be in a different location HOWEVER I read that it should be never more that 2 ft from the drivers seat.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Check Engine Light on a 1996 BMW Z3 - PART 2 - O2 Sensor replacement (P1186)

O2 Sensor is on the passenger side.

Car jacked up - O2 Sensor is on the left side underneath
Close up of O2 Sensor in the exhaust
I went to Autozone and had them read the code on my 1996 BMW Z3.  See my post on the location of the OBD connection on a BMW Z3.The code showed a P1186, I researched the code and found it is an "O2 Sensor Heater Control Circuit" (Bank 1 Sensor 2). So I searched some more and found that I need to replace my O2 Sensor on my BMW Z3. Where is the O2 Sensor on a 1996 BMW Z3. On the 1996 BMW Z3 the O2 Sensor is located on the right (passenger) side of the car underneath and towards the front on the side of the exhaust pipe near the front Exhaust manifold and in front of the Catalytic converter. It is actually in a good location on the side and not on the top so you can get a wrench on the (22mm) head. I recommend a 22mm wrench as opposed to a 7/8in wrench due to the more exact fit. the 7/8 has enough play in it and the sensor is so tightly installed that you may strip out the edges of the sensor nut head. (which I did). See my post on removing a seized or locked O2 Sensor from a BMW Z3.
Side view of O2 Sensor
First thing your need to do is jack up the car. getting under it can be tight I recommend ramps or at least getting it up off the ground to get jack stands under it, i used two by fours to get it up enough to get my floor jack under it. Once up you can see the O2 Sensor from the Drivers side by looking under it and seeing exactly where it is located. You can see it clearly in the picture on the right showing where the sensor is located.
1). Exhaust Manifold to exhaust pipe. 2). O2 Sensor. 3). Catalytic Converter
Once the car is up you can easily see the (2) O2 Sensor in the side of the exhaust pipe. Notice how the sensor cable is connected at the top. It is easily remove by just gently pulling it out of it's socket. You can use a flat screw drive to reach up and get to it and gently slide the connection out if needed.
1. Electrical Connection on O2 Sensor
Take note of the new O2 Sensor, and the connection. The new O2 Sensor will have anti-seize grease on it and if not use some prior to putting it in.
New 1996 O2 Sensor
Screw the new sensor into the opening being careful to not touch the ceramic end of the sensor and not getting anti-seize compound on the end of the sensor. Tighten the sensor to 40ft pounds of torque. Once completed lower the car and take it for a test drive and then recheck under the car for any leaks (should be NONE) or anything else under the car that may be out of place. If the check engine light does not go off. remove your negative battery connection for 30 minutes to reset the computer then drive it and watch to ensure the check engine light does not come back on. If it does go back and have the codes read again and see if now something else is an issue and may be the root cause of the sensor going bad.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Check Engine Light on a 1996 BMW Z3 - PART 1 - Diagnosis

My Check Engine light just came on on my 1996 BMW Z3. NOW WHAT. So I first need to find out what is going on. so I do a search on "check engine light on a 1996 BMW". One of the first results I looked at said the guy bought a Peake R5/FCX-3 and scanned the engine and found 07,6C,1B,0A codes. 6B is "battery disconnected" and 0A is "PreCAT O2 sensor". I haven't run a code check on mine but I am not sure I want to buy the $149.99 tool to do the check, it is affordable but I think I can do it by going to Advanced Auto or AutoZone and having them run the check. The article I am referencing is here and I think it may be what I need to find what is wrong. The next search was "1996 BMW Z3 Check Engine Light" and the results gave me this link. This search came up with one good hit and it was about codes P1174 and P1175. The link to what should be or could be wrong is here. Most information all said go to Advanced Auto and have the codes read. SO that is what I will do and I will post an update when I get them.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tinny engine noise upon heavy acceleration

My 1996 BMW Z3 has a distinct "tinny" sound that comes from the exhaust when you hit the accelerator and really want to move. I found out that this is a normal situation and it is caused by the exhaust itself and perhaps either some of the internal components vibrate together OR the mounting of the exhaust causes it. IN any case it is completely normal and I think it is part of the character of the car. Many people have these cars and I'm sure they've noticed that small tinny sound coming from the rear as they step on the gas. BUT What about those who pay the $100,00 price tag for the new 2012 BMW M5, it comes with a Stereo enhanced sound of the rumble of the engine through the speakers. If that isn't a kick in the pants I don't know what is. If the Engine truly doesn't make enough sound to be heard inside do I really want my stereo making up for it? Anyway here is what BMW has to say about it.
--------------------------------BMW comments about the 2012 BMW M5-------------------------------
"M5 drivers will be given an even more direct reminder of their car’s performance capability by technology that brings the distinctive sound of the high-performance V8 – in all its glory – into the cabin of the new BMW M5. The Active Sound Design technology specially developed for the new BMW M5 takes its cues from the driving situation at any one time to deliver an accurate reproduction of the engine’s sound through the car’s audio system. The system’s digital signal processing exchanges data directly with the engine management, allowing it to reflect the engine’s revs and torque, and the car’s speed over the road. The result over a smoothly driven journey is a discreet soundtrack in keeping with the harmonious and assured characteristics of the V8 powerplant. A stamp on the accelerator, meanwhile, prompts an immediate audible response to match the instantaneous – and typically M – burst of power from beneath the bonnet."
When that car is 17 years old like mine will the stereo be able to keep up with it? I'll keep my original engine noise and I'll put my top down if I want it louder.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Programming your 1996 BMW Z3 KEY

Really the simplicity in the key is that is is not chipped, it only has three buttons and it only does three things. First the three buttons are the LIGHT, which is the center  with the BMW Logo. The small gray button which unlocks and the large gray button which locks. The three things it does it lock the car, unlock the car, and start the engine. The programming functions are to turn on the security alarm notification beep OR shut off the notification beep. When the beep is on the car chirps ONCE to let you know it is locked and TWICE to let you know it is unlocked. If you try to unlock it when it is already unlocked it will chirp three time.
To program the 1996 BMW Z3 KEY to turn ON the chirp, hold the small gray button and the large gray button in at the same time. ONCE you hear a chirp it is programmed to make the beep or chirp when the security system is armed. IF you want to shut off the beep notification, hold the small and large gray button in until you hear NO BEEP after a few second of holding the buttons in. THEN try it out. Lock the car if the chirp is not heard the notification is off. If you hear the chirp and want the notification OFF repeat the steps to turn the alarm notification off until it is OFF.