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e30 BMW Car Pages


e30 Fault Codes

Motronic 1.3

The fault codes for these systems will appear on the check engine light when you turn the ignition key to the On position (but don't start it), then: fully depress the accelerator pedal, then fully release it. Repeat the depress, release cycle 5 times fairly quickly, but not too fast. It should be completed in a few seconds. What you are doing here is clicking the wide open throttle switch then the idle switch each 5 times. This signals the Motronic unit to send the fault codes by flashing the Check Engine light. You should see the light flash once then it will start flashing the 4 digit codes. If there are no faults, you should see the 1444 code (and 2444 if you have a 12 cylinder). The codes appear as a series of flashes for each digit. The flashes indicating one digit are about 1 second apart, the next digit appears after a couple second interval. The rest of the fault codes appear in Table 1 below.

Table 1. The Motronic Fault Codes.

CODE MALFUNCTIONING SYSTEM EXPLANATION
1211  DME Control Unit This code is stored when the DME self test fails. Delete any stored codes. Start and run the car for 30 seconds. Turn off the ignition for 30 seconds. Rerun the diagnosis. If the same fault recurs, the DME control unit must be replaced.
1212 Lambda (O2) Sensor 2 This code is stored when the engine temperature is >70C and the Oxygen Sensor value is out of range or not present. Check the Oxygen Sensor wiring and the operation of the sensor. The value should fluctuate between 0.02 and 0.85V. Slow fluctuation indicates a polluted Oxygen sensor and negative values indicate a damaged sensor. Note: Cars without Catalytic Convertors will incorrectly store this code.
1213 Lambda Control 2 This code is stored when the DME detects excessive deviations in the air-fuel mixture (too rich or too lean) for longer than 10 seconds. Possible causes: Fuel tank ran empty, Incorrect Fuel Pressure, Injector valve defective or coked, Engine Temperature Sensor defective, Secondary air leak, Fuel evaporation control system defective,  Air Flow Meter defective and/or the combustion is being disturbed by mechanical failure (Spark plugs,,    compression, intake/exhaust valves, ...etc.)
1215 Air Mass/Volume Sensor This code is stored if there is a break or short-circuit at: Air Mass Flow Meter or its supply wires or the voltage supply to Air Mass Flow Meter insufficient. Cable damage is the most common cause of this trouble code.
1216 Throttle Potentiometer This code is stored if a break or short-circuit occurs in the wiring to the Throttle Potentiometer or the potentiometer is defective. Damage at the throttle potentiometer connection is the most common cause of this fault.
1218 Output Stage, Group 1 This code is stored if there is a short to B+ or Ground at the Output Amplifier Stage (Bank 1). Generally this code occurs with other defects.  Causes may be a faulty Idle Speed Actuator,  Injector Valves, Ignition Coil on Plug, Oxygen Sensor Heating Relay, Fuel Evaporation, Control Valve,  Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) and/or EKP Relay. Delete the code after examining for other faults. If the code recurs, delete code, then disconnect the DME for a minimum of 5 minutes to initiate a reset. Rerun car. If code recurs and no other defects are found the DME is most likely damaged and must be replaced. If the code does not recur and the engine runs properly, ignore.
1219 Output Stage, Group 2 This code is stored if there is a short to B+ or Ground at the Output Amplifier Stage (Bank 2). Generally this code occurs with other defects.  Causes may be a faulty Idle Speed Actuator,  Injector Valves, Ignition Coil on Plug, Oxygen Sensor Heating Relay, Fuel Evaporation, Control Valve,  Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) and/or EKP Relay. Delete the code after examining for other faults. If the code recurs, delete code, then disconnect the DME for a minimum of 5 minutes to initiate a reset. Rerun car. If code recurs and no other defects are found the DME is most likely damaged and must be replaced. If the code does not recur and the engine runs properly, ignore.
1221 Lambda (O2) Sensor 1 This code is stored when the engine temperature is >70C and the Oxygen Sensor value is out of range or not present. Check the Oxygen Sensor wiring and the operation of the sensor. The value should fluctuate between 0.02 and 0.85V. Slow fluctuation indicates a polluted Oxygen sensor and negative values indicate a damaged sensor. Note: Cars without Catalytic Convertors will incorrectly store this code.
1222 Lambda Control 1 This code is stored when the DME detects excessive deviations in the air-fuel mixture (too rich or too lean) for longer than 10 seconds. Possible causes: Fuel tank ran empty, Incorrect Fuel Pressure, Injector valve defective or coked, Engine Temperature Sensor defective, Secondary air leak, Fuel evaporation control system defective,  Air Flow Meter defective and/or the combustion is being disturbed by mechanical failure (Spark plugs,,    compression, intake/exhaust valves, ...etc.)
1223 Coolant Temp. Sensor This code is stored when a short to plus or a break in the wiring at the Coolant Temperature Sensor or its supply wires may exist. Check the wiring and the value of the sensor. 8.26-10.56 KOhms at -10C,  2.2-2.7 KOhms at 20C,  290-364 Ohms at 80C
1224 Intake Air Temp. Sensor This code is stored when a short to plus or a break in the wiring at the Intake Air Temperature Sensor or its supply wires exists. Check the value of the sensor. 2.2-2.7 KOhms at 20C, 760-910 Ohms at 50C
1225 Knock Sensor 1 This code is set when Knock Sensor #1 has sent multiple signals or a break or short has occurred in the sensor or it's wiring. Check the Knock Sensor and its wiring for defects. Check with customer about the grade of fuel being used (RON>91). Increase octane if necessary. (Caution customer about carbon build up.)
1226 Knock Sensor 2 This code is set when Knock Sensor #2 has sent multiple signals or a break or short has occurred in the sensor or it's wiring. Check the Knock Sensor and its wiring for defects. Check with customer about the grade of fuel being used (RON>91). Increase octane if necessary. (Caution customer about carbon build up.)
1227 Knock Sensor 3 This code is set when Knock Sensor #3 has sent multiple signals or a break or short has occurred in the sensor or it's wiring. Check the Knock Sensor and its wiring for defects. Check with customer about the grade of fuel being used (RON>91). Increase octane if necessary. (Caution customer about carbon build up.)
1228 Knock Sensor 4 This code is set when Knock Sensor #4 has sent multiple signals or a break or short has occurred in the sensor or it's wiring. Check the Knock Sensor and its wiring for defects. Check with customer about the grade of fuel being used (RON>91). Increase octane if necessary. (Caution customer about carbon build up.)
1231 Battery Voltage/DME Main Relay Either the battery was disconnected or the voltage of the battery is too low or too high. Check the battery and charging system.
1232 Throttle Idle Switch  
1233 Throttle WOT Switch  
1234 Vehicle Speed Sensor (Speedometer A Signal) This code is stored when no plausible speed signal is detected while driving. The requirements are an engine speed >2500 rpm and under load for more than 10 seconds. Check the speedometer function and the wire to the DME . Also check for codes in the Combi Unit (Instrument Cluster).
1237 A/C Compressor cut off This code is stored if there is a short to B+ or Ground.  In the case of a short to ground, the A/C compressor is not switched off at a speed below 5 mph (8 km/h) when accelerating under full load. The A/C compressor does not operate when shorted to B+. Check the A/C compressor cut-out relay and its wiring.
1241 Air Mass Sensor (See note 1)  
1242 A/C Compressor  Check A/C compressor signal wire to the DME control unit for a short-circuit to power,  ground or for disconnection. Check refrigerant level and condition of A/C pulley drive belt.
1243 Crankshaft Pulse Sensor  This code is stored when signal from the Crankshaft Pulse Generator is implausible (absent or out of range). Check the Crankshaft Pulse Generator and the wiring.
1244 Camshaft Sensor  This code is stored when the Camshaft Pulse Generator signal is interrupted or defective. Also check the spark plugs and the ignition coil(s) output. Check the pulse signal with an oscilloscope (50Hz, 25ms sweep). Measure with a break-out box. If a coil is found to be defective the DME control unit may also be damaged. Failure of the injector side of the output stage is the most common symptom.
1245 Intervention EGS  This code is stored when a short to ground occurs on the wire from the EGS to the DME control unit,  for more than 2.5 seconds. The on-board computer should display the message TRANSMISSION EMERGENCY PROGRAM.  Ignition timing will be retarded only once and then the DME will substitute the original value until this code is cleared. Check the wire and connection to the EGS.
1247 Ignition Secondary Monitor  
1251 Fuel Injector 1 (or group 1) Check the injector valve for coking and proper spray pattern. Check the wiring from the DME and the output stage of the DME. Code 1283 may also be stored when the defect is intermittent.
1252 Fuel Injector 2 (or group 2) Check the injector valve for coking and proper spray pattern. Check the wiring from the DME and the output stage of the DME. Code 1283 may also be stored when the defect is intermittent.
1253 Fuel Injector 3  Check the injector valve for coking and proper spray pattern. Check the wiring from the DME and the output stage of the DME. Code 1283 may also be stored when the defect is intermittent.
1254 Fuel Injector 4  Check the injector valve for coking and proper spray pattern. Check the wiring from the DME and the output stage of the DME. Code 1283 may also be stored when the defect is intermittent.
1255 Fuel Injector 5  Check the injector valve for coking and proper spray pattern. Check the wiring from the DME and the output stage of the DME. Code 1283 may also be stored when the defect is intermittent.
1256 Fuel Injector 6  Check the injector valve for coking and proper spray pattern. Check the wiring from the DME and the output stage of the DME. Code 1283 may also be stored when the defect is intermittent.
1257 Fuel Injector 7  Check the injector valve for coking and proper spray pattern. Check the wiring from the DME and the output stage of the DME. Code 1283 may also be stored when the defect is intermittent.
1258 Fuel Injector 8  Check the injector valve for coking and proper spray pattern. Check the wiring from the DME and the output stage of the DME. Code 1283 may also be stored when the defect is intermittent.
1261 Fuel Pump Relay Control  There is a break or short circuit in the wiring to the Fuel Pump Relay, pin 3, of the DME or the output stage in the DME is damaged (M1.3 only).
1262 Idle Speed Actuator There is a break or short circuit in the wiring to the idle actuator or the wire from the DME is defective or the output stage in the of the DME is damaged. This code will also be stored if the engine stalls at over 600 rpm.
1263 Purge Valve  This code is stored if there is a break or short-circuit at: Evaporative control valve, wire from the DME control unit or the output stage of the DME control unit is defective (M1.3 only).
1264 Lambda (O2) Sensor Heater  This code is stored if there is a break or short-circuit at:,  - Oxygen Sensor Heater,  - Sensor heating relay,  - Wire from the DME control unit.  Check the Oxygen Sensor Heater Relay and Air Pump Relay and the supply wires.
1265 Fault Lamp (check engine) This code is stored if a break or short-circuit occurs in the wiring to the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) or the lamp is burned out.
1266 VANOS Relay Check the wires and the connections of the VANOS relay (Variable camshaft adjustment). The relay could also be defective. 
1267 Air Pump Relay Control  
1271 Ignition Coil 1 A break or short in the Ignition Final Stage wiring has occurred. Check primary ignition signal pattern.
1272 Ignition Coil 2 A break or short in the Ignition Final Stage wiring has occurred. Check primary ignition signal pattern.
1273 Ignition Coil 3 A break or short in the Ignition Final Stage wiring has occurred. Check primary ignition signal pattern.
1274 Ignition Coil 4 A break or short in the Ignition Final Stage wiring has occurred. Check primary ignition signal pattern.
1275 Ignition Coil 5 A break or short in the Ignition Final Stage wiring has occurred. Check primary ignition signal pattern.
1276 Ignition Coil 6 A break or short in the Ignition Final Stage wiring has occurred. Check primary ignition signal pattern.
1277 Ignition Coil 7 A break or short in the Ignition Final Stage wiring has occurred. Check primary ignition signal pattern.
1278 Ignition Coil 8 A break or short in the Ignition Final Stage wiring has occurred. Check primary ignition signal pattern.
1281 Control Unit Memory Supply This code is stored when a defect is detected in the RAM or in the ROM/EPROM. This is most often the result of low battery voltage. Delete the stored codes and disconnect the DME for at least 5 minutes in order to trigger a reset. Reconnect the DME and run the engine at idle for 3 minutes then drive the car at over 30 mph for more than 5 minutes. If the code recurs the DME must be replaced.
1282 Fault Code Memory  This code is set if there is illogical data stored in the trouble code memory. Delete the stored codes. Simulate a defect (i.e. start engine and then disconnect the Idle Actuator) If the code recurs, the DME control unit must be replaced!
1283 Fuel Injector Output Stage  This code is stored when a break or short-circuit occurs temporarily at: an injector valve, wiring from the DME to an injector or the injector stage of the DME is damaged.
1286 Knock Control test Pulse  The ECU internally generated pulse was not detected. It is used to verify electrical integrity (shorts or disconnection) of the knock control circuitry both internally and externally. Check wiring and Knock Sensors.
1444 No Failures   

 

1995-2016, Ted Verrill

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"Red Light Insight" is copyright Ted Verrill, 1999