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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-17-2008, 05:23 PM
flyboy310 flyboy310 is offline
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Which wheel is speed sensor A on?

I've got a '97 528I. The ABS and ASC lights came on and I'm getting a P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor A malfuntion. Which wheel is sensor A on?
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2008, 05:56 PM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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If you have ASC, then you have speed sensors in your front right (passenger side) and rear left wheels. Stands to reason that "A" would be front right, but that's just speculation....
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2008, 05:20 AM
velvetMonkey velvetMonkey is offline
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It's one of the front ones, there are four wheel speed sensors on an E39. Front right is used to tell the gearbox electronics how fast you're going. The rear left is used to tell the instrument cluster/navigation etc the vehicle speed.
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2008, 08:16 PM
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cpatstone cpatstone is offline
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if your car is like my '00 528it with dsc, then speed sensor a is the processed speed signal coming from the abs module. it doesn't refer to one of the four wheel speed sensors. have a bentley manual? if so, on the abs module connector, find the four pair of pins which lead to each sensor, then measure the resistance across each, and measure the resistance both ways. all sensors should read about the same. then again, if the resistance of just one of them is infinite or zero, then you have your faulty sensor.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2008, 08:25 PM
flyboy310 flyboy310 is offline
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best info yet, need a little more

Cpatstone, you've given the best info yet. Even with ASC, there is a sensor on each wheel. I rotated the two front ones and the message stayed the same, which lends credence to your explanation. Problem is, I don't have a Bentley (for a BMW?) manual, and I don't know where the ABS module is. New to BMWs. Could you tell me where the module is located, and more importantly, which pins are the sensors. Pin numbers, or wire colors maybe. If you have some additional info and don't feel like typing, please e-mail me your number and I'll call you. Save you the long distance. Thanks in advance, I really need some informed help with this. flyboy310@yahoo.com

Last edited by flyboy310; 12-19-2008 at 08:28 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2008, 06:24 AM
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cpatstone cpatstone is offline
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what year is your car? I don't know if that's important, but it might be. Just to confirm, does the button below the radio say ASC or DSC?

Bentley says that the module is to the left of the glove box... I'll let someone else chime in who's actually seen it and knows what it looks like.

I might be able to dig up pin numbers, but do you have access to a voltmeter?
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Stereo that doesn't suck, Xenons, Sport Package, ZHP shift knob, PDC, DSC still working.

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  #7  
Old 12-20-2008, 04:30 PM
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If anyone needs an ASC Control Unit, I have one for sale cheap in the parts forum.
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2008, 05:49 PM
flyboy310 flyboy310 is offline
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my ride info

It's a '97 528I, automatic. The button below the radio says ASC, and there is a sensor on each front wheel. Haven't visually verified the back, but I'll bet there is one on each rear also. When you refer to a Bentley manual, is that the publisher, or is there actually BMW info in a Bentley auto repair manual. I know that sounds like a stupid question, but I am new to beemers and honestly don't know.

Here's a twist. The lights went out and both the ASC and anti-lock are now functioning. I wonder if the module is about to take a dump on me. Lastly, I have a multimeter, so if someone can give me pin numbers or wire colors of the sensors I can ohm them out at the module plug.
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2008, 05:18 AM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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Next time you skid or brake hard, the lights will come back on and the ASC and ABS will again cut out. Pretty sure that you only have speed sensors in front right and rear left wheel wells with ASC. You have brake lining sensors in each wheel well also, which looks similar. Anyone else confirm this?
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2008, 02:21 PM
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blz456 blz456 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveho View Post
Next time you skid or brake hard, the lights will come back on and the ASC and ABS will again cut out. Pretty sure that you only have speed sensors in front right and rear left wheel wells with ASC. You have brake lining sensors in each wheel well also, which looks similar. Anyone else confirm this?
I think your right about only two wheel speed sensors with ASC. I can't really confirm though since I have the DSC with sensors at all four wheels.
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2008, 02:26 PM
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blz456 blz456 is offline
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I had the same problem not too long ago. I thought it was a wheel speed sensor at first because I had the dsc brake and abs lights on and everything else worked. As the months passed it got worse. When I stared the car in the morning it was fine but as the car heated up everything failed including my speedo, odometer, cruise, the fuel gage flucuated, and the p0500 code popped up. The reason this code was on though was because since the whole module wasn't working none of the sensors were and since the computer monitors the sensors it threw a code saying that they weren't working. Once I got my module fixed the sensors worked again and the code cleared itself.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2009, 03:37 PM
williemac williemac is offline
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original Post----I had the same problem not too long ago. I thought it was a wheel speed sensor at first because I had the dsc brake and abs lights on and everything else worked. As the months passed it got worse. When I stared the car in the morning it was fine but as the car heated up everything failed including my speedo, odometer, cruise, the fuel gage flucuated, and the p0500 code popped up. The reason this code was on though was because since the whole module wasn't working none of the sensors were and since the computer monitors the sensors it threw a code saying that they weren't working. Once I got my module fixed the sensors worked again and the code cleared itself.

This is the exact sympotoms I have just had today, I was on mororway just outside London (400 miles from home).

What module did you have to repair to sort this.

Thanks Williemac
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  #13  
Old 03-17-2009, 04:51 PM
apdriver69 apdriver69 is offline
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Williemac,
Just had the same thing happen to my 2002 530i-DSC,Brake and ABS has been coming on periodically for the past week. A bunch of guys on this site and "bimmerforum" are saying it could be the wheel speed sensors OR the ABS module AND i've even heard it could be wheel bearings?????????? I have a decent mechanic so i'll take it to him and let him figure it out!! If it is the ABS module,you can get them rebuilt for about 300 bucks!! I belive there are 2 options when having your ABS module rebuilt-module masters and bbs!! I am sure i'll be corrected if i'm wrong about that!! Good luck and enjoy that good scotch and golf you have over ther!!
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  #14  
Old 03-18-2009, 05:27 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy310 View Post
I've got a '97 528I. The ABS and ASC lights came on and I'm getting a P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor A malfuntion. Which wheel is sensor A on?
Mind if I ask what brand code reader you are using? Thanks.
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  #15  
Old 06-23-2011, 02:30 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the cross-linked record, I ran into this (old) thread researching wheel speed sensors for someone ...

This is the latest set of links for these types of questions:

- All about DSC (1-pdf) (2-pdf) & comparisons to ASC+T (1) & how to diagnose & fix the ABS DSC (or ASC) BRAKE trifecta (1) or the amber ABS DSC (or ASC) bifecta (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) or just the DSC light (1) & what is the ABS control module testing pinout for the older E39s (1) & what is the logic of ABS diagnostics (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & how to test brake systems (1) & how to test the brake pressure sensor (1) & how to autopsy & fix your Bosch ABS control module yourself for free (1) (2) & what anomalies occur while the ABS control module is out of your vehicle for repair (1) (2) (3) & how to replace wheel speed sensors (1) (2) & why you want OEM wheel speed sensors (1) & what happens if you don't code your VIN into a new/salvage ABS control module (1) & how to test (and align) your E39 DSC steering wheel sensors (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & how to turn off DSC traction control (1) (2).

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  #16  
Old 09-08-2013, 05:07 PM
erichall erichall is offline
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speed sensor location

I have an 01 530i that is doing the same thing. Check engine light,abs light, and transmission light all on. Speedo doesnt work, or cruise, or sport shift. It also pulled the same p0500 code but was told the sensor is not located on any of the wheels, it is actually on top of the transmission which must be removed to access the sensor. This was told to me by a very trusted mechanic(my father) with over 40 years experience working on german cars
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2013, 10:12 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erichall View Post
I have an 01 530i that is doing the same thing. Check engine light,abs light, and transmission light all on. Speedo doesnt work, or cruise, or sport shift. It also pulled the same p0500 code but was told the sensor is not located on any of the wheels, it is actually on top of the transmission which must be removed to access the sensor. This was told to me by a very trusted mechanic(my father) with over 40 years experience working on german cars
There are about 20 things that sense that are used in the ABS system (as explained in the PDF in the aforementioned threads).

I don't remember how many of those are on the transmission - but - yes - there are transmission speed sensors also.

For more information about the P0500, you might see these threads:
- ABS Diagnostic DIY + P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor Malfunction
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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