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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 01-22-2011, 11:53 AM
Saher Saher is offline
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Location: New York, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 E39 528i
Transmission or Speed sensor

3 months ago I bought a 97 E39 528i. As soon as I got it I flushed all the fluids including the transmission fluid.
yesterday I noticed the ASC and ABS lights coming on and later that day the transmission stopped shifting. Reverse is fine. When I use the triptronic shifting it works ok.
What could that be?
Could it be a wheel speed sensor? if it is, which one is it?
Or is it on of the Pulse Generators inside the transmission (I think these are also known as Transmission speed sensors)
OR is it the transmission itself.

I'm an average DIYer. I'm hoping this would be something I can do.
I do not have access to a lift. I only have a floor jack and a couple of stands.

Last edited by Saher; 01-22-2011 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Edit
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2011, 05:03 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Doubt speed sensor. Get underneath again and double-check fluid level. Assume you changed filter as well. Hope your tranny fluid level has dropped some and you now just need to top off fluid again. If fluid level is good, check each of the pins in the ABS module connectors doing the pairs indicated in Bluebees post to check each of the sensirs as they are.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:40 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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have you added transmission fluid on running engine ?
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2011, 05:50 PM
Saher Saher is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 E39 528i
I didn't do the transmission fluid myself. So I don't know if that was done. However. When I open the fill plug, clean red transmission fluid comes out slowly. If there is another way to check the transmission fluid level, would you please let me know?
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saher View Post
ASC and ABS lights coming on ... Could it be a wheel speed sensor? if it is, which one is it?
Is it just me or lately has there been a LOT of DSC or ASC and ABS (but no BRAKE) lights on?

The "typical" ABS control module problem has all three lights going on (AFAIK); but there have been multiple threads this week with just two of the lights (neither reporting back what the final answer was).

Anyway, my advice is to test the four wheel speed sensors because it's easy, it's definitive, and it only takes a DMM and two strands of thin wire.

See how to test the four wheel speed sensors here.

Basically you're looking for consistency between all four. Rarely will more than one be bad, so, if all four test bad, then your technique needs to be adjusted. Let us know what you get by way of results as I seem to be one of the very few publishing their results (not sure why that is).

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Old 01-24-2011, 07:14 AM
Saher Saher is offline
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Location: New York, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 E39 528i
My car is a 1997 E39, so the ABS connector looks significantly different, however I think I was able to test sensors. At the bottom of my connector to the right there were 4 pin holes and to the left there were 2. I tested the resistance between each of the 2 left pinholes and each of the left 4 pinholes and noted that I was getting a consistent reading for each of them (3-4) that was not 0 or infinity, so I assumed that the resistors are fine.

Next I took off each of the wheel speed sensors and cleaned them using "Goo Gone". AND IT WORKED!!!!!!!
I'm actually writing this from work, which is 30 miles away, and until now the ABS and Traction lights are off and the car shifts normally again.
I hope that what I did won't screw up anything else in the car.
I'll let you know if anything else happens.

Thanks to everyone!
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:19 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saher View Post
I didn't do the transmission fluid myself. So I don't know if that was done. However. When I open the fill plug, clean red transmission fluid comes out slowly. If there is another way to check the transmission fluid level, would you please let me know?
Put the car on stands, level.
Have the tranny temp between 35C - 50C (95F - 120F MAX).
Open the fill plug. If nothing comes out, add until it starts trickling out. If the procedure you mentioned was done on a flat surface AND the temperature mentioned, the ATF level is OK.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:41 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saher View Post
My car is a 1997 E39, so the ABS connector looks significantly different, however I think I was able to test sensors.
A LOT of people have been asking about those older ABS control module harness connectors in the ABS thread ...

Can you snap a picture or two of the procedure so others benefit from your knowledge?
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