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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 03-08-2011, 02:05 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Sometimes you have to bit the bullet and take it to an Inde-

Enough is enough, I'm taking my baby to the shop for the first time since I have been in Indianapolis. I found a local shop called Vaughn Motorwerks. The owner is a Master Tech and has been working on Bimmers for 35 years. They are highly rated by the local BMWCCA (they actually do all of the tech inspections for the local chapter when they have events). OK, now that I have talked myself into it:

The issues in order of how they occurred:

DSC Light came on after battery drained (new battery)
ABS light came on accompanied by speedo and fuel consumption not working a few weeks later.
SES light came on accompanied by rough idle when engine is cold a week after ABS.


New plugs, changed the oil, cleaned ICV, MAF, and threw a wheel sensor on the left rear for good measure and still all of the same symptoms.....
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2011, 04:05 PM
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ncmallard78 ncmallard78 is offline
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f it... life is too short.
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2011, 08:52 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Let us know what the master techs find out so we can increase our knowledge base (using your expense account!).
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2011, 04:34 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Let us know what the master techs find out so we can increase our knowledge base (using your expense account!).
I guess I can spend a few dollars to help the site since you have spent thousands of man hours working for us for free.

My hope is they can diagnose what is going on for a small fee and I can do the repairs.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:15 AM
Bob Michaels Bob Michaels is offline
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I've heard good things about Vaughn. I believe they're in the Zionsville area?

Another good indie is Ress on Capitol Avenue, downtown. Either is a good alternative to the thieves at D&R....
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2011, 06:16 AM
soledoc soledoc is offline
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Vaugh is good. I take my E39 wagon there. It's actually at Dreyer (dealership) right now becuase Vaughn said they can't work on a problem regarding the airbag light and can't do the one touch unlock on the key. So while it's there I'm having other stuff done too (plus I get a free '11 328i x drive loaner). But I will still use Vaughn and they have always done good work.
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2011, 06:48 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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"Master tech",

chuckle ...... I love hearing that......

Electrical diag is the hardest tho..... good luck.
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  #8  
Old 03-09-2011, 08:55 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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Good luck with the car. The ABS and DSC lights are related and could be something simple like a wheel speed sensor. ABS module replacement is not quite as common on the early e39s as the 99 and newer models for whatever reason.

It's never a bad idea to take the car to someone who is qualified when you get into issues that require scanners and tools you don't have access to. These cars are generally not hard to diagnose, even electrically if you have the appropriate equipment. If you had carsoft or INPA for example you could scan the DME which would present you the engine trouble codes associated with the check engine light, and you could scan the ABS/DSC module which would display the trouble codes that correspond to that system.

Without a diagnostic scanner you can still test the wheel speed sensors with a multimeter and eliminate or pinpoint those as a problem. Search the e39 section here for an ABS thread by Bluebee and you should find all the info on the ABS/DSC system you will ever need. Sometimes what seems like it could be nightmare of a problem is just a simple sensor in need of replacement.
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  #9  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:06 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark@EACTuning View Post
Good luck with the car. The ABS and DSC lights are related and could be something simple like a wheel speed sensor. ABS module replacement is not quite as common on the early e39s as the 99 and newer models for whatever reason.

It's never a bad idea to take the car to someone who is qualified when you get into issues that require scanners and tools you don't have access to. These cars are generally not hard to diagnose, even electrically if you have the appropriate equipment. If you had carsoft or INPA for example you could scan the DME which would present you the engine trouble codes associated with the check engine light, and you could scan the ABS/DSC module which would display the trouble codes that correspond to that system.

Without a diagnostic scanner you can still test the wheel speed sensors with a multimeter and eliminate or pinpoint those as a problem. Search the e39 section here for an ABS thread by Bluebee and you should find all the info on the ABS/DSC system you will ever need. Sometimes what seems like it could be nightmare of a problem is just a simple sensor in need of replacement.
Been there done that- the car is in the shop.
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  #10  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:11 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Now I remember why I hate taking my car somewhere. The good news is that it only cost me $44 bucks to find out this shop is full of ****.

The guy calls me talking all fast and giving me a run down of everything that is wrong with the car other than what I took it in for I knew he was a crook when he told me that my drive belts needed replaced. My serpentine belt has less than 10k on it I guess he thought I just bought the car or something.

From what he said:

Electronic Thermostat is causing the rough idle. $310 Really?? $91.50 at Pelican but I hope this is the culprit.

Need a "NEW" Steering angle sensor for $484 bucks- Weird how this just turned to junk because the battery was replaced? BS I heard this can be re calibrated.

Need new rear wheel speed sensors for $360 - LMFAO $40 each and 2 hours of my time.

Need a new L Rear "Ball joint" for - $460 LMFAO

Then at the end of it all he tells me that if i need parts to buy through him because he can get them cheaper than the dealer.
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  #11  
Old 03-09-2011, 03:10 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Yeah, and I'm sure they're gen-yu-wine factory OEM parts, too.
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2011, 03:43 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
...drive belts ...Thermostat ...Steering angle sensor ... rear wheel speed sensors..."Ball joint"
I'm surprised if "both" the rear wheel sensor and the steering angle sensor is out of whack.

Methinks he's just guessing or that the diagnostic tool is misleading him. But, at the very worst, you calibrate the steering wheel sensor and you replace the rear wheel speed sensor ... and that "should" solve the problem (if he's at all close to being right).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
I heard this can be re calibrated.
There is a DSC PDF in the canonical ABS thread that tells you exactly how to calibrate (and test) the steering angle sensors (it covers ALL the 20 or so related sensors).

That PDF isn't in post #48 but in a later post, about 20 posts later. Gimme a sec to dig it out ...

Ah, here it is. It's post #61 by Max_VQ:
- DSC part 1.pdf (988.0 KB, 1633 views)
- DSC part 2.pdf (771.1 KB, 1799 views)

It was posted in the 1MB PDF-limit days (someone could put it all back together ... my Windows machine, with Acrobat on it, crashed so I easily can't combine them right now).

If you end up calibrating your steering wheel sensors (there are three IIRC), then let us know the DIY you follow and how it works out for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
he can get them cheaper than the dealer.
Isn't it wonderful to not be a sucker! I love it when I hear someone, dumber than even I am, trying to 'sell me' on something. It's the ones who are smarter than we are who scare me! Luckily, your mechanic doesn't qualify!

Good for you to see through his parts-pricing charade.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2011, 03:47 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, I just added this thread to the bestlinks as the first (of likely many over time) threads where just the ASC/DSC and ABS lights were lit up but not the ABS BRAKE ASC/DSC trifecta.

Over time, we'll add more and more threads, which, in their totality, will likely point to a common solution, over time:

Here's the start:
- What if you only have the amber DSC and ABS light on but not the amber BRAKE ABS DSC trifecta (1)
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2011, 07:41 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Luckily, hes not your mechanic

Fixed
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:16 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
Fixed
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  #16  
Old 03-09-2011, 09:45 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I just now reassembled the 30-page Max_VQ DSC PDF, which is a must read for anyone with any DSC or ABS or sensor-related problem!

- All about DSC and the score of ABS DIY related sensors from MaxVQ including steering angle and wheel speed sensors (1)
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  #17  
Old 03-09-2011, 10:02 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Thanks, Bee. I'm going to be needing it myself.
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  #18  
Old 03-10-2011, 12:03 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I did a quick search to see if anyone has written a DIY for calibrating the steering angle sensors ...

In addition, to the DSC document:
- All about DSC and the score of ABS DIY related sensors (1)

Here's what I found using just a minimal set of keywords (so I may have missed good DIYs):

- E39 Steereing Angle Sensor HELP, by Scorps
- Steering Angle Sensor, by mnepitjr
- Steering Angle Sensor E39 2002, by amutiga
- Alignment and Steering Angle Sensor Question, by sleepyx637
etc.

Which, I can assemble into a keyword-rich sentence of something like:
- How to test your BMW E39 DSC steering wheel sensors (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
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  #19  
Old 03-10-2011, 12:18 AM
sferley sferley is offline
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the blue librarian does it again! thanks
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  #20  
Old 03-10-2011, 12:26 AM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Blue, maybe we should ask the Powers That Be if we could make a "How to do a key word search" sticky.
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  #21  
Old 03-10-2011, 05:29 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
I have plenty of DIY's going on in the upcoming weekends, I'll be looking for u!
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  #22  
Old 03-10-2011, 06:49 AM
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Interesting thread BigC. Keep us posted and hope you can get CEL/SES free very soon!
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