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      02-03-2011, 04:24 PM   #1
Nikki
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Unhappy P1200 - Service engine soon light came on

So I was just driving and my 'Service engine soon' light came on. Naturally I freak out thinking this is a check engine type of light but when I looked in the manual it says it is emissions related.

So I used a code reader and it came up with P1200 twice but P1200 wasn't in the book.

I searched online and couldn't find anything for BMW under P1200 but for other manufacturers it listed things like, "Injector Control Circuit", "Fuel Pump Relay Circuit Malfunction", and "Positioning of camshaft of right cylinder bank impaired with respect."

Why would P1200 show up but not actually be a BMW code? I'm super worried now. I just called to bring it in for service but left a voicemail with the SA because she wasn't there.

The only thing I can think of but may be coincidental is that I did SMOG my car a few days ago but it passed no problem. Good thing I brought it in then before the light came on.

I hope they don't give me any shit at the dealer for having a non-stock exhaust since the issue appears to possibly be "emissions" related.

Anyone have this happen before or have a source for the P1200 error code from BMW?
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      02-03-2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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P1200 = Injector Control Circuit

There's a list here... http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...30&postcount=2
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      02-03-2011, 07:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki View Post
I hope they don't give me any shit at the dealer for having a non-stock exhaust since the issue appears to possibly be "emissions" related.
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Originally Posted by Quickid View Post
P1200 = Injector Control Circuit

There's a list here... http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...30&postcount=2
Since it's injector related using the exhaust I would hope they don't give you any grief.
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      02-03-2011, 08:58 PM   #4
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Just set up an appointment at Century West BMW for Tuesday the 15th (that's the next available appointment the had with a loaner car.)

At first I was a little apprehensive about letting it wait that long but the service advisor I spoke with told me it's ok to wait a couple weeks, especially if I haven't noticed anything unusual. He also said the code P1200 doesn't exist for BMW but generally it means it's misfiring. Odd because I don't seem to have any issues starting or otherwise and double odd that the car can throw a code that "doesn't exist."

I'll update you guys when I take it in, and hopefully have a good experience to report on (any of you that read about my troubles with Pacific BMW know there's pretty much zero chance that this place could be any worse.)
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      02-03-2011, 09:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
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P1200 = Injector Control Circuit

There's a list here... http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...30&postcount=2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki View Post
Just set up an appointment at Century West BMW for Tuesday the 15th (that's the next available appointment the had with a loaner car.)

At first I was a little apprehensive about letting it wait that long but the service advisor I spoke with told me it's ok to wait a couple weeks, especially if I haven't noticed anything unusual. He also said the code P1200 doesn't exist for BMW but generally it means it's misfiring. Odd because I don't seem to have any issues starting or otherwise and double odd that the car can throw a code that "doesn't exist."

I'll update you guys when I take it in, and hopefully have a good experience to report on (any of you that read about my troubles with Pacific BMW know there's pretty much zero chance that this place could be any worse.)
If you go to the full thread linked above, if that is really a BMW code list, it sure does appear to be a real code in the list.....them telling you it's not a code, well, turn on the skeptical switch.....I'd be concerned at the least about them getting it right. Never hurts to question....
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      02-03-2011, 11:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by onebluemcm View Post
If you go to the full thread linked above, if that is really a BMW code list, it sure does appear to be a real code in the list.....them telling you it's not a code, well, turn on the skeptical switch.....I'd be concerned at the least about them getting it right. Never hurts to question....
Exactly (blue added for emphasis), the code does exist. If you just look at post 2 from the original link you'd miss it. But in post 2 it's there. I looked at some other sources too: here and here and here the code is the same: injector control unit.

Nikki, it sucks, but I wouldn't accept this answer. I not chance anything that might result in engine damage. If this is an injector control issue that could mean the engine might run lean under load (which is a very very bad idea). I don't know enough about the injector control unit to understand how much risk there is, but if it's controlling injector duty (and hence impacts AFR) I wouldn't mess with it. At the very least I would drive ultra conservatively under low throttle and low revs.

Last edited by Finnegan; 02-03-2011 at 11:32 PM.
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      02-03-2011, 11:34 PM   #7
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Yes it is in that thread but it states those are not BMW codes, those are ones he found when googling.

I can try calling another dealer and seeing what they say but this is actually the second one I called because the first one didn't give out loaners to people who didn't buy their cars there. She said she could make a one time exception but wouldn't have been able to book me with a loaner until two weeks out.
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      02-03-2011, 11:57 PM   #8
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My understanding is that there are generic (all model) OBDII codes and then there are specific BMW (supplemental) codes. OBDII was a means to standardize a large number of codes and the generic codes apply across all makes. The supplemental list is a smaller subset for each make to allow for "unique" codes.

The error code itself tells us what kind of code it is and which system is impacted. The first character describes the system. P in the first position means powertrain. The second character defines whether this is a generic (0) or make specific supplemental or enhanced (1) code. The third character is for the system, and a 2 means injector related. The rest of the string describes the specific error in more detail.

So your SA was telling the truth when they said "there is no P1200 for BMW". Maybe there was a misunderstanding or lack of clarity supplied by the SA in describing the code. Yes, it is not a supplemental code on BMW's list.. However, it is a valid OBDII code--just not a BMW enhanced code. The code doesn't describe a misfire; rather it's a code that says the injector control isn't working properly. That could lead to detonation (lean condition) and knocking and misfires (but there are other specific codes for those as well in additional to the injector code).

Someone chime in and correct this if I'm wrong.

Last edited by Finnegan; 02-04-2011 at 12:08 AM.
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      02-04-2011, 12:27 AM   #9
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Someone chime in and correct this if I'm wrong.
Thanks, yeah what you said makes sense. I think the person I spoke with maybe said I didn't find it in the book because it doesn't exist [in the book]. I will try calling another dealer tomorrow and see if they agree it isn't something that is urgent and also maybe they can squeeze me in earlier with a loaner.
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      02-04-2011, 03:06 AM   #10
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Sooner is always better in my book with car issues.
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      02-04-2011, 04:12 AM   #11
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Out of curiosity, have you tried resetting it?

I have a feeling that if the dealer doesn't know what to do about it, they will just reset it and "fix" something, send you on your way, and pray you don't come back. Then you'll have to get another service appointment, and your car will be driven for a month or more with the problem.

I'm curious as to whether this is a one-time fault that causes a hard light, or if it's related to a continuous malfunction. With a one-time fault, the dealership may or may not fix something and just reset the light. If it's a continuous malfunction, they will be forced to do something to shut up the fault code.

When my airbag light illuminated, I brought my car to the dealership to have it reset (out of warranty). I had tripped the light when jumping the car. I was told the fault was related to the sensor in the seat, and parts would be $650 and labor another few hundred dollars. Most customers would have just taken the dealership's word and thrown down $1000 for the new sensor to be installed, listening to the BS about how the SA "wouldn't mess with the airbags... that's like signing a death warrant!" After further probing, I found out the fault had only appeared once (as I suspected), and thanked them and was on my way. It's been fine for over a year now, and I have another grand in the bank.

I know certain code readers can determine if a fault is continuous or a one-time occurrence, and the number of times a fault has appeared. Even when the codes are "cleared" and light reset, they are saved in a history folder in the car. So, if you reset the code now and it doesn't return prior to your appointment, your dealership may be able to pull up the history folder and see that the fault was recorded.

If you are out of warranty I would try resetting the light. They get paid more for out of warranty work, so they will do everything they can to retrieve that code from your car's history. If you are still under warranty, I wouldn't touch it until the dealer gets hold of it.
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      02-04-2011, 10:42 AM   #12
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I haven't reset it. It is under warranty so I don't want to mess with it. I'm crossing my fingers to hope they don't give me shit about the exhaust because the last place wouldn't even fix my rear sway bar mount issue because of the exhaust. It's such bullshit.
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      02-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #13
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OK called South Bay BMW and had them schedule me for next Thursday. I did ask if they have a specialized M technician that could work on my car (my coworker goes there and he said they do) but the lady on the phone told me they don't and that any technician is certified to work on the car. She also didn't know what an M Coupe was though because I had to give her the last 7 of my VIN for her to find it in the system. Hopefully when I go in and speak to the service advisor he will be more knowledgeable.
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      02-04-2011, 02:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokeybritches View Post
I know certain code readers can determine if a fault is continuous or a one-time occurrence, and the number of times a fault has appeared. Even when the codes are "cleared" and light reset, they are saved in a history folder in the car. So, if you reset the code now and it doesn't return prior to your appointment, your dealership may be able to pull up the history folder and see that the fault was recorded.

If you are out of warranty I would try resetting the light. They get paid more for out of warranty work, so they will do everything they can to retrieve that code from your car's history. If you are still under warranty, I wouldn't touch it until the dealer gets hold of it.
This is why I like having my Bavarian Technic tool. It's not the best of these types of tools in the world (the ones for Audi/VW are better and they support more programming) but it's pretty darn handy. I generally run this ever few months or so to check for potential issues as quite a few codes never give a CEL or any other kind of warning.

It allows you to not only read the codes in the ECU but see "when" the fault occurred, if the fault is still present, if it's occurred multiple times, if there are any other codes present (that won't trigger a light), and if there are any shadow fault codes (the "history" pokey referred to). (Clearing some codes leaves the "shadow" code behind--this is not true for all types of fault codes.) For most codes you get a description of the issue as well. Example. You can then decide to clear the code, clear the code and the shadow fault code, or leave it alone.

Better yet, you can write out the codes to a file or screen print the the results. I always run this before taking the car to the dealer so I can see exactly what is stored in the ECU and keep a record of it. I have a really good dealer and SA, but nevertheless I'd rather know exactly what's going. Given the nature of many dealers and service departments and their tendency to say "we couldn't find anything, nothing in the ECU, blah blah" or "we just cleared it, it's fine" it's really nice to have. I think having a record is a wonderful thing since once the dealer clears it it's gone--very handy to have in the file for future use if needed. Even if you're going to an indie shop it still pays to have insight--and if you work on the car yourself it's almost a necessity.
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      02-04-2011, 03:00 PM   #15
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OK so I went out to lunch and as I started it at a light it stalled...and then I restarted it and it felt realllly slow. I parked, started it again and it still felt really slow. Then I got food and started it again (crossing my fingers that it would even start) and it starts up no problem and the light is no longer on and it drives fine again.
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      02-04-2011, 03:02 PM   #16
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Possible bad gas or maybe a coil starting to go
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      02-04-2011, 03:13 PM   #17
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OK so I went out to lunch and as I started it at a light it stalled...and then I restarted it and it felt realllly slow. I parked, started it again and it still felt really slow. Then I got food and started it again (crossing my fingers that it would even start) and it starts up no problem and the light is no longer on and it drives fine again.

Sorry to hear this Nikki. At least you've got an appointment next Thurs. Is there any way to move that up? See if you can get it in sooner--call the service dept back and tell them the car is stalling and sluggish and non-responsive. See if they can get you in Monday.

Given the error code your gave us yesterday (injector control unit) something in the fuel/air system (injectors) is failing. Could be a lot of things--need a tech to track it down. It may have gone into limp mode as well (sluggish) to try and protect the engine.

Problems like these do not go away on their own and usually get worse. I would drive as a little as possible (if at all) in the meantime. It's not worth the risk of getting stranded or causing other secondary issues by continuing to drive it. Given the loaner issue (which I find mindboggling btw--don't these idiots think about future sales???) maybe you could say "<sigh>, wow, that's disappointing--is there any way you can be flexible on that...I was thinking about a new ____ in the next year or so, and, well, I'd really like to be able to work with you guys....??" or something along that line?
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      02-04-2011, 03:19 PM   #18
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Sorry to hear this Nikki. At least you've got an appointment next Thurs. Is there any way to move that up? See if you can get it in sooner--call the service dept back and tell them the car is stalling and sluggish and non-responsive. See if they can get you in Monday.

Given the error code your gave us yesterday (injector control unit) something in the fuel/air system (injectors) is failing. Could be a lot of things--need a tech to track it down. It may have gone into limp mode as well (sluggish) to try and protect the engine.

Problems like these do not go away on their own and usually get worse. I would drive as a little as possible (if at all) in the meantime. It's not worth the risk of getting stranded or causing other secondary issues by continuing to drive it. Given the loaner issue (which I find mindboggling btw--don't these idiots think about future sales???) maybe you could say "<sigh>, wow, that's disappointing--is there any way you can be flexible on that...I was thinking about a new ____ in the next year or so, and, well, I'd really like to be able to work with you guys....??" or something along that line?
Yeah, I wish I could not drive it but unfortunately I don't have any other means of getting to work and back.

As for the loaner issue, it isn't that they won't give me one, it's that they don't have any available until Thursday. Only the first place said they couldn't give me one unless I bought the car there but then they did say they could give it to me as a one time courtesy but still not until the 15th since they were all booked up.
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      02-04-2011, 03:27 PM   #19
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Sheesh. My dealer has limited loaners too, and if they're out they just send you to Enterprise (which isn't great, but at least you get a car if you need transportation).

Still, I'd call them, and see what they can do. It's not like this is a "regular service visit" where you can wait a week and work around loaner availability. Tell them you're worried about getting stuck and stranded and that car is stalling, running rough, and so on. Ask them to help. Be very nice, but insistent. Worst case you end up in on Thurs; best case they find a way to help you. It never hurts to ask! Nothing is ever set in stone (hey, you got them to move on the loaner for a one time exception already), and "policies" can be changed with thoughtful negotiation in some cases. Any, it never hurts to ask.

<Begin_Rant> Like I said before, the shortsightedness of these bozos never ceases to amaze me. Don't they know the service experience for all their customers impacts future sales? If they don't treat people well ("only loaners for people who bought here") that drives away future sales. People move from place to place and most people do not live in the same place for years on end.... </End_Rant>

Last edited by Finnegan; 02-04-2011 at 03:35 PM.
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      02-04-2011, 03:39 PM   #20
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I called and spoke directly with the service advisor this time and he recommended I bring it in right away. He said I can get an emergency loaner vehicle but it has to be towed into the dealership. It's running ok and last time I drove it back the light wasn't even on but I guess it's better than chancing it and getting stuck on the side of the road during rush hour or breaking something even worse than it already is. So I'm going to call roadside assistance and have them come get it. They said it's covered so should be OK.
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      02-04-2011, 03:42 PM   #21
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Nice work Nikki!

I hope this gets squared away quickly and you're back on the road quickly!
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      02-04-2011, 04:20 PM   #22
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UGH 70 minutes until tow. Getting there and back in LA traffic on Friday is going to suuuuuuck.
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