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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 05-20-2009, 02:44 PM
Freyg Freyg is offline
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ABS/Brake/Traction Light all come on, and one other thing...

Well I've been reading a lot in these forums about this problem happening to people, it can be anything to wheel sensors to a bad ABS control unit from what i've gathered, but I have also encountered another problem, my speedometer went out on me as well, could anyone offer some advice on this? I really hope it's not an expensive fix as I just sunk 1300 dollars in this car recently and if I had to sink a lot of money into this again I might just freak out haha...anywho its a 2000 528i if that helps. If you need any more info from me feel free to ask =)

Last edited by Freyg; 05-20-2009 at 02:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2009, 04:21 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Yours is easy. It is a wheel sensor. I believe it is the right rear. It is definitely one of the rear sensors. Feeds the ABS and the speedo. Get it from Autohauz for about $60. Someone will verify if it is LR or RR.
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2009, 04:24 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Yours is easy. It is a wheel sensor. I believe it is the right rear. It is definitely one of the rear sensors. Feeds the ABS and the speedo. Get it from Autohauz for about $60. Someone will verify if it is LR or RR.
x2
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2009, 04:34 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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BTW, the rears are the same speed sensor so just buy one and put it in the right rear. If that fixes it, we guessed right. If that does not, then move it to the left rear and put the original RR back. Do you have a multi-meter with a diode position? That will tell you which one for sure. If you have the meter and need to go further, let me know.
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2009, 12:07 AM
Freyg Freyg is offline
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Hey all, thanks for the replies, glad to know this hopefully isn't anything major...well I will admit I am fairly new to the do it yourself way of fixing cars...I decided that after spending so much to get my car fixed the last time that I would try to figure out how to do some things on my own and save some money, plus have the pride in knowing I did it myself

So honestly I really don't know how to replace the rear sensor, could someone give me a quick overview on what I should do, or lead me to a post that explains what I'd need to do, and also what tools I may need to do this, sorry if I'm still a bit of a newb in this but I am trying to learn, especially since there are a few other things I would like to get fixed in this car, first being the carrier bearing, at least that's what I'm told it was, that needs to be fixed soon as well.

and to 540iman I'm sure what I just said already tipped you off but no I don't have a multi-meter unfortunately.

My last question is this...would it still be alright to drive the car short distances without anything else going wrong with it? Aside from the fact that I can't tell how fast I'm going but the joys of living in a big city is the cars around you determine how fast you can go anyways...I just don't want to drive it and have something else go terribly wrong with it, but yet I still need a means to get to work and such until I can get the parts and knowledge required to fix this.

But anywho thanks all for the help, really appreciate that there is a forum where so many are willing to help you out on
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2009, 04:34 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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No problem. It's what is called "paying back" into the forum that has saved my butt so many times. No problem at all. There is a lot I still need to learn as well, but just been through this myself, so I can explain-b/4 I forget.

This is the easiest repair to do- fear it not and yes,you may drive your car with no issues other than you will not have active ABS, ASC, or Speedo. So, you will essentially be driving a car that was made before anti-lock brakes & stability control were invented or widely in use-anyway. Just don't drive over your head. The BMW has pretty phenomenal stability and brakes even without these systems, but obviously be careful in rain, etc. Otherwise, you are not in any rush. I believe you will not put any miles on the car as you drive. I replaced mine pretty quick, but I can not tell you if you drive it too long w/o a working speedo and odometer whether you risk setting a mileage verification code which might not be good. I don't believe this will occur, but the car has phenomenal "brains". Let's just fix it.

Go to the place of your choice and order a rear wheel speed sensor. May be called an ABS sensor, but it will be part # 34526756376. $82 @ the source I checked. You may want to use EAC tuning who support this forum (Mark or Jared). They are delightful to work with, support this forum, and will give you excellent support should you have a question. Prices are great. You might find cheaper, but you will not find better folks to work with. Priceless as the commercial says.... They will even tell you if it is a part they feel they might not be as competitive on. They use only OEM or equivalent suppliers so you might pay a couple bux more, but you will get it back + in service.

Start by removing RR tire. Use a decent jack, not the trunk jack. If you don't own one, get one. Get a deal on a cheapo jack and jack-stand kit if you can't afford better now. You will be slightly under the car. You will see one or maybe two wires leading to back of brake area. I hope Qsilver7 or someone with more time and better at hosting pixs will jump in, but you will find a heavier wire about the size and shape of small coax cable leading into the rear wheel spindle area. The sensor itself is held in with one or two metric allen screws. If at the end of the cable you do NOT see one or two allen screws, you are looking at the wrong part. remove the allen screw which is like a 3mm metric or thereabouts. This is all that is holding the sensor in. It will be stuck it there good and is plastic so don't get heavy-handed removing. Use some rusty bolt loosener. Look, buy the sensor. Once you have the new part in your hand a lot will become more clear. Order the part, get a jack and jack stand handy and we will go from there. You will have time to get pix and find more helpful posts. I ramble! Sorry.Drive the car, get the part, get your tools, and it will take no longer than 1/2 hour to change. If we guessed right the first time, you'll be done. If we guessed wrong the first time, we wil go from there. I check forum daily as I am in a job hunt. Ok?

Last edited by 540iman; 05-21-2009 at 04:38 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2009, 02:28 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
you will essentially be driving a car that was made before anti-lock brakes & stability control
Interestingly, harking back to the lack of ABS days came in handy when debugging the cause of the violent shudder upon braking on bumps!

And thanks 540iman for the excellent advice. I still have to gather the courage to tackle my blown ABS (which I think was blown by a screwed up DICE battery-reset procedure).

Do you think sending 13.5 volts into the grounding system can blow the ABS?

Last edited by bluebee; 05-23-2009 at 08:13 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-21-2009, 02:40 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Depens on the source of the +13.8 VDC. Current follows the path of least resistance. So, if for example you took a jumper wire and shorted it across the top of the battery, nothing in the car (down-stream) would be affected. If the 13 VDC was borrowed from somewhere on the radio or the MID and you let it go to ground, then the surge will go trough the device until the fuse blows which are slightly slow to pop.

I don't know how you did the dice battery reset procedure, but you should take the positve cable off the battery completely and after a few miutes short it to any ground. The ground wire on the battery is fine. You can remove BOTH battery cables and hold them together for awile it does not matter. I find this EXTREMELY unlikely to do squat to anything in you car, esp. the ABS module. Tell me exactly how you did it and I will be able to talk mor eintelligently to the issue. I did read lately that someone tried connecting a jumper between the two terminals of their battery- OUCH!!
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  #9  
Old 05-21-2009, 05:36 PM
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Can shorting the battery + to ground cause damage to the ABS control module?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Tell me exactly how you did it and I will be able to talk mor eintelligently to the issue.
Below is my own writeup on how I am supposed to do it.

Note 1: A full battery reset procedure is as follows:
1. Disconnect the iPod from the DICE interface cable
2. Remove the negative battery cable with a 10mm socket wrench
3. Remove the positive battery cable with a 10mm socket wrench
4. Touch battery cable terminals together (away from battery) for about 5 seconds (a small spark is normal as this is stored power draining from the system); on the E39, short with your wrench because the cables do not reach each other otherwise.
5. Allow cables to remain disconnected for about 5-7 minutes
6. Reconnect the positive battery cable
7. Reconnect the negative battery cable
8. Reboot most iPods by pressing on MENU & CENTER buttons for about 5 seconds and then reconnecting to the DICE cable after the reboot process is completed. Reboot of iPod touch & iPhone, which don't have buttons, is a different procedure (please advise so we can write that here for others).


However, I don't always do it the right way since my DICE needs to be reset so many times, that, well, sometimes I skip step 2 and don't disconnect the negative cable. In those cases where I don't disconnect the negative cable, I just hold the positive cable in my hand for a minute or two, and then I reconnect it. In doing so, with the negative cable still connected, I sometimes accidentally short the wrench to the battery hold-down metal strap (as evidenced by those burn marks in the picture in a prior post).

I wonder if my accidentally shorting the battery, directly to ground, with the negative cable still connected, instead of to the disconnected negative cable, causes a surge that can blow the ABS modules or sensors?



Last edited by bluebee; 05-21-2009 at 05:40 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2009, 06:39 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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No, you have no chance that this caused your ABS to fail. Heat is what takes them out. BMW later mover them to a better location to avoid the engine heat. I was going to use an aux input for my satellite radio and found that with my 2002 no easy aux. input existed so I just use the FM signal which is fine for listening to Howard stern (talk radio), but I read that these dice deals need to be reset all the damn time. There sound be a way to use a single pole double thrown switch which when pushed "right" will connect the input 12 VDC to the radio. Push to the "left" and it will connect 12 volt dice input to ground. Not sure if that will work as long as the 12 volt cable is still connected to the battery, but there has to be a better way. If it has to constantly be reset, I'd ship the damn thing back. Why does it need reset- maybe I can figure out a work around.

When you shorted out the battery, the only thing affected was the battery. You were way ahead of everything electrical in the car
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  #11  
Old 05-21-2009, 06:48 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Always remove the negative cable first and install last.
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2009, 07:04 PM
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FREYG- Read this thread and pay particular attention to post #24 as it shows exactly what the sensor looks like, where it is, and how to persuade it to come out. Like I said, get the part and suitable jack and jack stands. If you want to make sure you have the right size allen you can get a set of metric allen wrenches or metric torx bits. You will see how it is done. Now that I think about it, we might want to try left rear first. I'll try to figure out. It just hit me that my speedo was out as well and it was the right front. If you have not ordered yet, hold up. The fronts and rears are different. Rears are interchangeable and fronts are interchangeable. But front to rear is not. lemme see about that. You should have a digital volt meter. You can get them for about 10 bux. well worth the expense. You will use it from testing wall outlets to checking your alternator. If you get one we can verify all for sensors in 10 minutes. Must have diode checking position.
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2009, 04:10 AM
Ebonix Ebonix is offline
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ABS control unit is a routine and expensive failure item and takes out speedo, ABS and DSC so check that all warning lights come on during "ignition on" then go out at start-up.

Thats what i found Car Review Checkpoints BMW E39 models

Good Luck
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  #14  
Old 05-22-2009, 05:26 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebonix View Post
ABS control unit is a routine and expensive failure item and takes out speedo, ABS and DSC so check that all warning lights come on during "ignition on" then go out at start-up.

Thats what i found Car Review Checkpoints BMW E39 models

Good Luck
I am "less positive" on this issue, but I would be willing to hear evidence to the contrary. I have never heard of a bad ABS/DSC module keeping a speedometer from working. I believe until someone can show me different that when the speedometer/odometer stop working (they are not taken out which implies that they are broken) it is 100% of the time due to a sensor. It is my belief the speedometer/odometer simply rely on the input from the same sensor the module does. The module itself does nothing to the input from the pulse generator (that is all the sensors are-magnetic pulse generators) or speed sensor as it relates to the speedometer. Two separate circuits doing two completely different functions. They just both happen to look at the output from the same sensor. The ABS module does not somehow massage the signal from the wheel speed sensor/pulse generator before sending it to the speedometer. Therefore, if I am correct when the Speedo goes out it is a very clear indication that a sensor is out and does not say anything about the condition of the module. You get ABS & DSC + Brake lights as that system too is compromised by the loss of that sensor's signal. I just need to verify for the OP which sensor serves the dual purpose of ABS input and speedo input. On my car, it was the right front. Somewhere in the back of my admittedly small brain I recall the RR sensor being in this deal- Maybe it was for the cruise control or odometer and not speedo. Can someone else chime in that can verify loss of speedo is RF sensor? This is why I want the meter so we can take all the guesswork out of the damn equation and evaluate like a pro would. My module was rebuilt and when I got it back, I had the exact same faults I started with. See, I ASS umed it was the module just like some here are leading this guy to believe. After getting my module back, I had gained nothing. Then I got out my meter like I should have in the first place as big as hell, the RF was open. Replaced and now all is fine. Nothing points at the module except history or by proving all of the inputs are fine.
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2009, 02:36 PM
McCandless McCandless is offline
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Just had the ABS control module go out on my 99 529i a couple of weeks ago. Warning lights on the dash were: check engine, transmission, abs, and asc. Other "indications" were: no speedometer, odometer and trip meter not updating, no cruise control, no (low) on board computer functions. The indy that I took it to put it on the diagnostic computer and read all the codes. Basically what was happening was the ABS was not responding at all, hanging the CAN bus, and NOT allowing any of the other devices on the bus get a "word" in edgewise. So the engine and tranny controllers slapped everything into "limp home" mode. I learned that the car CAN be driven safely with fairly normal performance by leaving the ABS module disconnected. BUT still no speedo, odometer, trip, cruise control, ASC, ABS(of course), or OBC. Tranny and engine lights will go out but ASC and ABS stay on. Got out the door with a new 3 year warranty controller and a (due anyway) brake flush for just a fuzz under a grand. Module was/is heat sensitive. Cold worked fine, at normal underhood temp, failed. Nature of the beast and breaks (no pun intended) of the game. BUT BMW (OR BOSCH) SHOULD FESS UP AND FIX FOR FREE IMO!!!!
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:19 PM
Freyg Freyg is offline
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Ok I will do my best to get the volt meter and a decent car jack tomorrow...work schedule has me kinda busy as of late but I can probably get these things tomorrow to test out the sensors...now I'm not so sure if I have the same symptoms of the ABS control unit since my transmission/check engine light haven't gone on and also my cruise is working fine...or maybe I'm just hoping that it's the sensor, I'll put my faith in that for now But as I said I will get a pick a few things up tomorrow so I can have a better idea of what I'm working with here, and as I said last time thanks for the help!

Last edited by Freyg; 05-22-2009 at 03:21 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-22-2009, 03:34 PM
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McCandless, what did you do? Get your module rebuilt or buy another one? No sensors replaced and that cured it?

FreyG. Trust me on this one. Get a digital volt meter with a diode check position. Don't let them tell you there are other ways to check a diode. You want the Diode position on the main dial to verify a voltage drop. I hope you will find one for around $10. You can try Radio Shack, but they are more expensive. You really will find this tool invaluable. IT will answer a lot of questions as well. You will not just use this meter for doing this you will use it for many, many things forever. Can you borrow one from an electronics "nut" friend?The ABS module taking out the entire Can line is weird. I have heard of the K-line and others, but the can line is net to me. The fact that FreyG only has the speedo out is beginning to point me to the rf speed sensor. I had the exact same items out. I have a 2000 540 so I believe the wiring will be the same. I have pictures if someone will tell me a good hose and make them be under 150K.
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  #18  
Old 05-22-2009, 03:46 PM
Freyg Freyg is offline
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Oh I have no problem buying the meter, I just will have to do it tomorrow as work kinda has taken my life up a bit. Now one more stupid sounding question, as I said I am still pretty new to figuring out how everything works so at risk of embarrassing myself again with stupid questions...well here goes...I have seen volt meters before many times, however how do I actually know if it has a diode checking feature on it? Perhaps you could link me to an example if it isn't too much trouble that way I'd know what to look for, and I will probably stop at radio shack to get one since there is one less then a mile down the road. And also when I get this how do I use it to check the sensors? Once again sorry for all the questions but I really do appreciate all the help
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:30 PM
McCandless McCandless is offline
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As I said a NEW controller was installed and all the sensors were good. BUT 540iman is absolutely correct about FIRST checking the wheel sensors. My situation was such that my only recourse was to take it to the indy. All my tools (DMM included) were 90 miles away and the shop was less than 2 miles from where it died, familiar, used before, and absolutely trusted. And has a full up diagnostic machine. If I had been at home you betcha I would have first checked all four sensors, bought some cool spray at Radio Shack, and used it to verify that it truly WAS a heat problem with the controller itself. But Murphy wasn't having it that way!
:-)

Last edited by McCandless; 05-22-2009 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:39 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=600452
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  #21  
Old 05-22-2009, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
I am "less positive" on this issue, but I would be willing to hear evidence to the contrary. I have never heard of a bad ABS/DSC module keeping a speedometer from working. I believe until someone can show me different that when the speedometer/odometer stop working (they are not taken out which implies that they are broken) it is 100% of the time due to a sensor. It is my belief the speedometer/odometer simply rely on the input from the same sensor the module does. The module itself does nothing to the input from the pulse generator (that is all the sensors are-magnetic pulse generators) or speed sensor as it relates to the speedometer. Two separate circuits doing two completely different functions. They just both happen to look at the output from the same sensor. The ABS module does not somehow massage the signal from the wheel speed sensor/pulse generator before sending it to the speedometer. Therefore, if I am correct when the Speedo goes out it is a very clear indication that a sensor is out and does not say anything about the condition of the module. You get ABS & DSC + Brake lights as that system too is compromised by the loss of that sensor's signal. I just need to verify for the OP which sensor serves the dual purpose of ABS input and speedo input. On my car, it was the right front. Somewhere in the back of my admittedly small brain I recall the RR sensor being in this deal- Maybe it was for the cruise control or odometer and not speedo. Can someone else chime in that can verify loss of speedo is RF sensor? This is why I want the meter so we can take all the guesswork out of the damn equation and evaluate like a pro would. My module was rebuilt and when I got it back, I had the exact same faults I started with. See, I ASS umed it was the module just like some here are leading this guy to believe. After getting my module back, I had gained nothing. Then I got out my meter like I should have in the first place as big as hell, the RF was open. Replaced and now all is fine. Nothing points at the module except history or by proving all of the inputs are fine.
Reading a couple of posts, I read the rear drivers side provides speedometer feedback.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:20 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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BMW E39 ABS diagnostic, repair, replace DIY procedure

For the record, I read all that I could from this thread and others and published a "BMW E39 ABS diagnostic, repair, replace DIY procedure".

Two things:
1. If you guys can check it out and fix where I made mistakes, we'll all benefit.

2. Then, I will try the procedure myself, and, if I can find the time, I'll put some pictures to the ABS R&R DIY so that others can follow it easier

The hopes are that others have an easier time than I did (giving back being the whole point of these forums).

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  #23  
Old 05-23-2009, 08:36 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCandless View Post
As I said a NEW controller was installed and all the sensors were good. BUT 540iman is absolutely correct about FIRST checking the wheel sensors. My situation was such that my only recourse was to take it to the indy. All my tools (DMM included) were 90 miles away and the shop was less than 2 miles from where it died, familiar, used before, and absolutely trusted. And has a full up diagnostic machine. If I had been at home you betcha I would have first checked all four sensors, bought some cool spray at Radio Shack, and used it to verify that it truly WAS a heat problem with the controller itself. But Murphy wasn't having it that way!
:-)
Did you then need a stealer to re-code your new module? Look guys, these module are pure CRAP. They have either failed or are about to fail. If you replace a sensor and it cures your problem, do not get too full of yourself! The module will go next. It is weak and a $105 rebuild is a great safety precaution and will also take this out of the whole equation. Any re builder worth his salt will upgrade the heat-sensitive diodes, refresh solder connections and in general make it better than new. Mark and Jared sell new at the best price you will find anywhere. I do not know whether the newer modules are built to last longer, however. You will likely get a lifetime out of them either way, but a rebuild is stronger and will avoid the re-code issue.
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  #24  
Old 05-23-2009, 08:42 AM
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BlackBMWs BlackBMWs is offline
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While I went the Jared route, I agree with your approach for my next E39.
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1995 318ti Sport - Schwartz II/Schwartz Anthratz, style 27 rims
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  #25  
Old 05-24-2009, 08:42 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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None of my close-up pictures of the "business side" of the ABS module connector are any good. If someone can take a very tight shot of the connector such that we can identify which pins are located where, that would be great. Or if there is a diagram that someone can find ( QUICKSILVER7 WHERE ARE YOU?) that would be helpful.
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