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Steve, BMW Expert
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 23993
Experience:  BMW Expert
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I have a code being thrown from my 2009 mini- S, I've tried

Customer Question

Hello, I have a code being thrown from my 2009 mini-cooper S, I've tried many things and I cannot locate the problem. It's some kind of air leak, throwing a P1497, "Secondary air system Bank 3 incorrect flow". I've changed the valve cover, the o-Rings in the vacuum pump, and the PCV hose (which I found after smoke testing it). After doing all of that, which was recommended by everyone online, it still did not fix the problem. I'm guessing that it has something to do with another area, but not sure. Need to find a better way to debug this thing...!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome,
My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to assist you today.
I will provide an honest answer. I trust this will be appreciated. Please remember that a low rating PUNISHES me for being honest and that I receive nothing for my time until a positive rating is clicked.
unfortunately this code is meaningless - your mini does not have a secondary air injection system, nor does it have a bank 3.
this is a perfect example of generic p codes being misleading
the only way to get to the bottom of this is to have the vehicle scanned with a factory BMW/MINI scan tool and appropriate test plans run
additional guesswork based on a nonsense p code will leak to further $ wasted
if you need a non dealer to save $ on a proper diagnostic, check out or for options
Please let me know if you have further questions. Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you. Best wishes with your vehicle.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, Steve... thanks for the response (Sorry not sure if I said "Air Injection", but I believe it's "Air Intake"). Regardless of what the code description is, P1497 is openly described as a vacuum leak in the system. It's straight out of Mini... it's also throwing a P2187 (running lean), even the Mini dealer confirms these. Anyways, I did go to a Mini dealer. As you may have guessed, they said it was "probably" one of the following; (1) bad valve cover, (2) torn intake hose, or (3) leaking vacuum pump. So, I (myself) replaced the valve cover, found a cracked PCV hose through a smoke test and replaced it (dealer did not find that), and changed the O-Rings in the vacuum pump (which I don't think was related). As far as the intake hose goes (#2), there is a little "cup" around the very front of the hose that has a little piece out of it. I taped it up good, and I can't see how any air is getting through it. My only guess is that the actual "air cleaner" intake box in the back is not sealed well, but I am not sure if that has anything to do with this. Certainly if you are working on Mini's you might have a good assumption here, the codes that both myself and the Mini dealer saw were the same, and NONE of their recommendations worked. Oh by the way, some guy on Youtube said he fixed his P1497 by replacing the gas cap LOL, so I actually did that as well, no help. So, I'm trying to track down other places this could be happening, such as something with emissions (O2 sensors?), or the Leak Diagnosis Pump in the rear by the gas tank? I need to find some good troubleshooting options and no, I don't want to go back to the dealer and pay and arm and a leg for the same advice, etc. If you could lead me in the right direction would be great.Oh yeah, the car runs great, does not overheat, great gas mileage... no issues. Just the stupid engine light. FYI, I smoke tested this thing from both the valve cover, and the dipstick and only found that one crack in the PCV hose. If you think that I need to smoke test this again, let me know where I should be plugging in my hose etc for better results.Looking forward to your help!
Thanks, Brian.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for referring me to another mechanic. I look forward to hearing from that person. -Brian
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello? It's been a lot longer than 24 hours... going on 5 days. Anyone there?