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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 05-12-2009, 04:50 PM
markjord markjord is offline
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Question ABS issue

I know there are numerous posts on the subject of "DSC-ABS-Brake lights on", but I am concerned that the problem is bigger/smaller now that I have done some of the recommended remedies. I have not done them all, but wanted to get some input before I swipe my credit card again.

I won't bore you with a long discussion on what you already know...
  1. DSC-ABS-Brake lights stay on
  2. Full functionality of speedometer, odometer and cruise control
  3. P0500 fault code - front and rear, passenger side abs sensors bad (when codes were read it said right front and rear; is this the same as passenger side)

So far I have...
  1. Rebuilt ABS module
  2. Changed front, passenger-side ABS sensor


Reason for asking for help before changing rear sensor...


I am not an idiot. I have read on this and other forums that in order for the problem to be a rear sensor I would have to have lost functionality of one the items above. I have already ordered a rear sensor to install, but wanted other opinions before installing.

After installing the rebuilt ABS module (original to my car; did not need to be coded), the fault code went away, but the lights remained.

After installing the front-passenger ABS sensor the DSC light remained, but the Brake and ABS lights went away for about .5 mile and then returned. I thought the lights went off briefly, simply because I disconnected the sensor today and it sort of reset itself, but I have disconnected it before since installing the ABS module, and they have never turned off; even after unhooking the battery for hours, these lights always stay on. Also, before putting the wheels back on I connected the new sensor to drivers-side, reconnected the old sensor to the passenger-side and the lights remained on, as they usually do. So, I thought I must have the correct sensor, or at least one of them.

Questions...
  1. Am I all wrong about the rear ABS sensors and what they control?
  2. Should I just change all sensors and go from there?
  3. Is it possible that the problem is more than just the ABS sensors and ABS module? (I've read that the front wheel bearings could be an issue.)
  4. Why did the DSC light remain when the others went out, albeit for a short period?
  5. Is there a particular sensor that is specific to the DSC?
  6. Is this truly just a stealership item?
  7. Am I really an idiot, who's to stubborn to shell out the cash?

Thanks in advance for your help. Feel free to point me to a post or thread that has the information.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2009, 05:20 PM
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BlackBMWs BlackBMWs is offline
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Is it possible that the rebuilt module is still failing?
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2009, 05:24 PM
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dannyc9997 dannyc9997 is offline
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The rear DRIVERS SIDE sensor controls the speedometer ect.. not the passengers side.
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2009, 07:05 PM
markjord markjord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBMWs View Post
Is it possible that the rebuilt module is still failing?
I have considered that, but did not want to complain to Module Masters until I did all that I could before hand. I will change the rear sensor and see how it goes. Thanks
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2009, 08:41 AM
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ttgxc ttgxc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjord View Post
I have considered that, but did not want to complain to Module Masters until I did all that I could before hand. I will change the rear sensor and see how it goes. Thanks
I recently sent mine to be rebuilt from Reman. I got it back, installed it and all the lights when out. The next day, they popped back on. They went off and on for the next few days, but are now permanently on. Now I have to take it back out, send it back to get repaired again. Annoying and frustrating. (my speedo, cruise, etc all work fine) I haven't tried the sensors, but I doubt it would be them. As the "repaired" module worked for a short while.
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Last edited by ttgxc; 05-13-2009 at 08:46 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:57 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I'll be watching this thread 'cuz I don't have the heart to fix mine yet ...
bluebee
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2009, 07:22 PM
markjord markjord is offline
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Location: Baltimore, MD
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttgxc View Post
I recently sent mine to be rebuilt from Reman. I got it back, installed it and all the lights when out. The next day, they popped back on. They went off and on for the next few days, but are now permanently on. Now I have to take it back out, send it back to get repaired again. Annoying and frustrating. (my speedo, cruise, etc all work fine) I haven't tried the sensors, but I doubt it would be them. As the "repaired" module worked for a short while.
That's a great point and makes a lot of sense. I went the sensor route because there was no change when I installed the rebuilt ABS module. I figured I would go straight to the brain before addressing the limbs. I will install the rear sensor and go from there. Thanks for your insight.
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  #8  
Old 05-29-2009, 10:37 PM
markjord markjord is offline
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Unhappy

Well, I installed the passenger rear sensor and driver side sensors as well, for good measure, but I am having the same symptoms. Maybe the car has an enlarged prostate, because it is p...ing me off.

I am sending the module back to rebuilder for another check. The car is worse than a woman, "I'm in love with a b$@#h I can't stand."

Also, for the short period that the ABS and Brake lights are off (DSC light still on, constantly) it feels as if the ABS system tries to work when I brake, but feels and sounds like there is crunching at times. The front and rear rotors and pads only have 800 miles on them.

Last edited by markjord; 05-29-2009 at 10:41 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-30-2009, 08:24 AM
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ttgxc ttgxc is offline
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I had just sent mine back to BBA Reman again and they said it tested fine. I know it can't be one of the rear sensors, because my speedo and cruise work, so either it is one of the front sensors or there is something still wrong with the module.

I will state this, after I did receive it back the first time, it was fine for a day. It would be intermittent before the lights became permanently on again. Sometime when I started my car with my foot on the brake, it would push hard back up and making a grinding noise. The lights often would stay off or not light up right away too. I don't think the wheel sensors would have anything do with this.
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2009, 11:11 PM
scott0357 scott0357 is offline
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You should have checked out the old ABS sensors to make sure they're good or bad before wasting money in replacing all of them. It's easy to check. With the connector disconnected, use a digital volt meter and switch to the "diode" check position, a good sensor would be reading around 1.8V, a bad sensor would have no reading. My ABS/DSC/Brake lights are on, and using the procedure above, I verified that 3 senors are good and one is bad. I just ordered the front senor online and will see if that fix the problem.
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2009, 12:48 PM
jewelerz jewelerz is offline
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I sent my module to BBA reman. Got it back and same thing ABS/DSC/BRAKE lights still on. Sent it back and they initially said it tested ok. They sent me another module and I got it recoded and BOOM no more problems.
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  #12  
Old 06-01-2009, 06:44 AM
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ttgxc ttgxc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelerz View Post
I sent my module to BBA reman. Got it back and same thing ABS/DSC/BRAKE lights still on. Sent it back and they initially said it tested ok. They sent me another module and I got it recoded and BOOM no more problems.
This is becoming a real hassle.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2009, 12:32 PM
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ttgxc ttgxc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttgxc View Post
I had just sent mine back to BBA Reman again and they said it tested fine. I know it can't be one of the rear sensors, because my speedo and cruise work, so either it is one of the front sensors or there is something still wrong with the module.

I will state this, after I did receive it back the first time, it was fine for a day. It would be intermittent before the lights became permanently on again. Sometime when I started my car with my foot on the brake, it would push hard back up and making a grinding noise. The lights often would stay off or not light up right away too. I don't think the wheel sensors would have anything do with this.
It's back in with all lights shining bright I am getting really annoyed and don't want to waste more money figuring this out. I really do not think it is a speed sensors (I don't have floor jacks to remove wheels and check). If i get one of those ebay carsoft programs, will it accurately tell me what the problem is?
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2009, 11:24 PM
markjord markjord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelerz View Post
I sent my module to BBA reman. Got it back and same thing ABS/DSC/BRAKE lights still on. Sent it back and they initially said it tested ok. They sent me another module and I got it recoded and BOOM no more problems.
I am beginning to wonder if it is possible that my module needs to be recoded. Maybe if they are really fried before rebuilding, having it recoded is a must... I don't know.

That these modules fail at this rate is a problem for me.

I love my four legged, 282-hp lady and would not divorce her for the world, but BMW should be shot for building some of the most expensive "Ultimate Driving Machines" with ultimately, the most inferior parts. After a few years, some of the most owner accessed parts just crumble in your hands. My woman is 9 nine years old (robbing the cradle, I know), but when I attempted to change the two turn signal bulbs last month the bulb sockets crumbled in my hands like those brittle-ass headlight adjusters did when I attempted to... adjust the headlights. That is like driving somewhat spirited and having your MAF sensor blow when you need more air. Oh... my bad, that happens to everyone also. Most of us are driving around in a BMW-VW hybrid car, because BMW charges triple $$$ for the same plastic and wire.

And, for everything that breaks BMW gives you a nice, bright warning light to let you know that "you can drive her, but you won't enjoy her." I don't know about you guys/gals, but I could put $1000 a month into making my car the best looking and riding thing on the street, but when one of those lights come on I feel like Dan Akroyd in Trading Places, when that dog tinkled (i have a 4 year old son who doesn't quite "piss" yet) on him while dressed like Santa Claus.

I am all about capitalism and making as much cash as possible, but there is something wrong with having so many big ticket, maintanence items go bad on a $60K-$70K car. My real wife can't drive a manual and is most comfortable with the Honda Pilot, but every now and then we do that mommy/daddy date thing and she wants to go in the car that has her eating Stouffer's mac'n cheese three times a week, and when she does... the idiot lights are on, bigger and brighter than her mother's new teeth. Or, I'll turn a corner really strong hoping Imcan count on that super, tight sport suspension and the cheap quality of it will have her in my lap (face-up) before I can finish the turn - it's embarrassing.

OK... sorry about the rant, but something has got to give. Actually, the Honda Pilot is a really nice car...

Last edited by markjord; 06-03-2009 at 11:34 PM.
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  #15  
Old 06-04-2009, 01:38 PM
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ttgxc ttgxc is offline
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I am feeling like buying a new one from EAC for $450. How difficult would it be to get refunded from Reman since they said it tested fine after they "fixed" it.
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  #16  
Old 06-04-2009, 09:45 PM
markjord markjord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttgxc View Post
I am feeling like buying a new one from EAC for $450. How difficult would it be to get refunded from Reman since they said it tested fine after they "fixed" it.
I doubt if they will refund your money. They will probably agree to fix it until you lose patients, or they decided that it is not repairable, forcing you to purchase one of their truly remanufactured units that they know works (+ core costs). At the end of the day you will probably end up paying the $400-$600 that a lot of people are paying for new ones. It will have to be recoded, of course...$$$$$$.


I drove my mother's '97 528i today. She is 73 years old, likes BMWs, but doesn't know how beautiful her car really is. When something breaks she takes it to the dealer and pays them to fix - she's probably paid for her 3 times already. However, it was nice driving in a car with no warning lights, no wobbles, no squeaks, no codes... just a really solid car. She makes me sick.
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