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  #1  
Old 01-Jun-2011, 01:50 PM
bmwbmc bmwbmc is offline
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Default E39 error code 123???

HI everyone.
I just got my hands on a 520i, '03 reg, manual,2.2l engine, 118k mls. I drove it back home (about 100 miles) and it was driving like a dream. The next day wanted to bring it for a wash and started the car, no problems there, until i put on the aircon. Seconds after that the yellow engine light on the dash came on
i hooked up the BMW v1.3.6 to read the codes, i got a nice collection, cleared them all and read the faults again. This time around i got only one: DME cod dec:123(hex:007B).
The code list i have tells me it's the Coolant Temperature Sensor and the explanation goes like this: Signal range is checked against the predefined diagnostic limits and the calculated temperature.
Also the first time around the 123 code had parameter 241, second time around had parameter 113.
Anyone knows what to make of that?
Couldn't find this particular error code anywhere else.
If it's indeed the CTS, i understand there's two of them, one on the lower hose just by the radiator and one at the back of the engine, under the intake manifold. How do i know which one is in the wrong?
The temp level it shows on the dash is bang on 12 o'clock, the car drives well, no other signs of trouble.
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  #2  
Old 01-Jun-2011, 02:32 PM
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The coolant temperature sensor is a common enough failure item on the E39's - it's much more likely to be the radiator hose sensor as opposed to the dual temperature block sensor. FYI the sensor in the block is what sends the temp signal to your temp gauge in the instrument cluster.

The non-BMW diagnostic equipment like your PA Soft and Carsoft for example, can be a little vague/misleading sometimes on error codes - even more so with PA Soft 1.36 as you've to go look up the codes yourself! Something like INPA or GT1/DIS would give a more clear reading.

Thankfully the coolant temp. sensor is a fairly cheap item and might be worth a punt straight out. You probably know, but it's part 4 here:


Cooling System Water Hoses - BMW parts catalog
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Old 01-Jun-2011, 02:49 PM
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Thanks for the input RPG, i was enclined to think the same thing until i just noticed the explanation of the code i have is listed for M52 engine, i don't have a list of codes for the M54, so the 123 code could mean something different (like i'm thinking the T'stat)...? The reason i'm saying that is i just found a couple of threads on a different forum that mention code 123 as a faulty T'stat but then again, it was a different engine. Now i'm even more confused.
I think i should bring the car to the dealer for an accurate diag, after all if it's the CTS it wouldn't cost the earth(methinks). And it wouldn't hurt for them to have a look at it, the last documented trip to the BMW dealer was in 2008. Or should i think twice?
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Old 01-Jun-2011, 03:09 PM
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By the way, RPG is right about this PA soft 1.3.6, it is confusing. But i understand the GT1 is very expensive, so any suggestions as to what affordable diag tool would be the one to go for in the future, so that the error codes would be easier to interpret?
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Old 01-Jun-2011, 03:14 PM
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Yeah I think further diagnostics are necessary to single out the issue, a trip to the dealer may not be necessary for that though. Someone like beemerchris from 3Rock Car Electronics Services would be able to do a diagnostic for you. Even if you do choose to go to the dealer and they tell you what the results are, just buy the sensor and fit it yourself. No point paying 100 for an hours labour when it's a ten minute job.

The thermostat on the other hand takes a bit longer. Are you having any temperature issues though? Is it taking a long time for the engine to heat up? Any signs of over/underheating at all? The coolant temp sensor in the rad hose acts as the set point for the auxiliary fan, have you heard that coming on at all?

If you're handy enough with computers, you can actually get INPA or GT1/DIS going yourself. For best results you'll need a cable like this, a guide like this, and plenty of patience. However, you'll need to get INPA up and running before you try out a GT1/DIS install.
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Last edited by rpg; 01-Jun-2011 at 03:26 PM.. Reason: Adding diagnostic info.
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Old 01-Jun-2011, 04:13 PM
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I booked the car in for a diag in enniscorthy, tomorrow afternoon. Will let you know the results of that.
I had no issues whatsoever with the temp. The temp indicator goes up to 12 o'clock in short time after startup and stays there, i was driving a bit around town to watch the temp situation, no fluctuations at all.
About the aux fan, now that you ask, i've never heard it coming on, so if that sensor is the culprit i can change it myself no probl. i hope that's what's causing the probl, it would make an easy fix. I'll know exactly what's to be done tomorrow afternoon.
I have beemerchris's no saved on my mobile, it'll surely come in handy someday, thanks for that.
I will have a closer look at the INPA and GT1 thing, it's definitely worth a try.
Thank you for all the help, i'll post back tomorrow with the diag results.
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Old 03-Jun-2011, 04:22 AM
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OK, so today, actually looking at the time now, it was yesterday, i had the car booked in at the dealer in Enniscorthy for a diag. Funny thing though, when i got in the car and fired up, the check engine light was no longer on. I went there anyway, and after 45 min wait i got the answer.
In the messages and reports category was written:

7B DME: Activation, map cooling
Short circuit to positive (P1620 or P0599)
--
Fault is relevant to exhaust gas
Fault filtered
Fault currently present
Sporadic fault
Rotational speed 0.0 rpm
Air mass 0.0 mg/stroke

Apparently the T'stat is on the way out. Not causing any overheating just yet, it just opens too much once the engine gets to a certain temp and triggers the fault. After the engine cools down (say for ex over night) the fault disappears.
So i asked for a quote for replacing the T'stat and it breaks down like this:

Unit
(Qty) price Price
11 53 000 removing and installing or replacing 14 10.25 143.50
coolant thermostat

11 53 1 437 040 THERMOSTAT HOUSING WITH 1 85.82 85.82
THERMOSTAT

07 11 9 963 200 GASKET RING A14X18-AL 1 0.32 0.32

81229407454 ANTI FREEZE 5.5 10.19 56.05
(81 22 9 401 241)

17 11 1 712 788 VENT SCREW 1 2.51 2.51
---------------------------
288.20
+ VAT 38.93
---------------------------
327.13

Does that seem right?
I did replace the coolant on my previous 518i and 520i but had the proper space and tools to jack up the front of the car. I don't know if it would be a good thing to try do this on my own, especially not in the parking lot.

Last edited by bmwbmc; 03-Jun-2011 at 04:32 AM.. Reason: rearranging the text in the page
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Old 03-Jun-2011, 04:37 AM
bmwbmc bmwbmc is offline
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ok, i can't seem to be able to arrange the text in a proper way at this late hour, LOL.
What it actually means is that they would charge me for 14 units x 10.25 euro each for their work, 85.82 euro for the T'stat, 56.05 euro for anti freeze and vat on top of that.
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Old 04-Jun-2011, 06:21 PM
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By the way, if anyone can recommend a good mechanic/garage around Wexford, non BMW dealer (we all know why) please do so. It's not easy to find a good, reliable, trustworthy garage/mechanic and i for one wouldn't mind to pay a reasonable price for a job well done, especially when care is being showed towards the well being of the car as a whole, rather than just the issue at hand. I can do small jobs but there are other jobs that require more mechanical skill (or tools, or proper space) for which i'm not in the slightest let's say...qualified.
So any good places you know, please share, it's good for everyone, keeps maintenance costs low and brings business to the ones who do a good job.
Maybe there's already a thread on this subject, if so, maybe someone could point me in the right direction. I did a quick search and didn't find anything yet.
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  #10  
Old 18-Jul-2011, 03:19 PM
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I had the t'stat replaced and after one day the error came back, this time along with a few others that i traced back to a vac leak. The leak has been sorted, i cleared the faults and so far everything seems ok. I'll keep an eye on it.
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rpg (18-Jul-2011)
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