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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 03-18-2011, 05:33 PM
dlfred530i dlfred530i is offline
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Warning lights and power seat not working 01' 530i

We just obtained this car and we now have multiple lights coming on. Automatic Stability Control, ABS, Service Engine and what looks to be the airbag light. In addition to the lights I cannot adjust the drivers seat or steering wheel. Thanks for the help.

Last edited by dlfred530i; 03-18-2011 at 05:34 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2011, 07:30 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Check battery voltage, anything < 12V counts as discharged.

Search bestlinks thread or wiki for ABS problems.

You need the codes read. Search best links thread for "code reader"

Look into returning the car. You should always have the local BMW dealer perform a pre purchase inspection.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2011, 07:51 PM
Youngproexec Youngproexec is offline
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I must ask, is the car driving prominently terrible? If so then we could diagnose the problem caused, thus displaying those warning lights. But as bmw_n00b13 you do need to get bmw obd2 scanner and scan for codes - error messages- on your bimmer.
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2011, 08:28 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfred530i View Post
Automatic Stability Control, ABS
From a five-second /ABS(F3) in the VERY best of E39 Links:
- E39 ABS DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfred530i View Post
Service Engine
From a five-second /SES(F3) in the VERY best of E39 Links:

- How to identify all BMW computer-specific OBDII DTC diagnostic fault codes (1) & how to better understand the key EPA federal test procedure (FTP) concept of the BMW SES "drive cycle" (1) & how to diagnose a typical BMW E39 engine misfire (1) or a sporadic-temperature-change cold-engine intermittent misfire (1) obtaining the pending or diagnostic trouble code (DTC) using free or freeware scans (1) [except in California or Hawaii (1) (2)] or the cheapest ODII scanner in the world (1) (2) or a better overall scanner (1) or the best diagnostic tools (1) (2) (3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfred530i View Post
and what looks to be the airbag light
From a five-second /airbag(F3) in the VERY best of E39 Links:

- What can cause an SRS airbag light (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & what tools reset the fault (1) (2) (3) (4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfred530i View Post
In addition to the lights I cannot adjust the drivers seat or steering wheel.
From a five-second /seat(F3) or /steering wheel(F3) in the VERY best of E39 Links:

- What to do when both your automatic steering wheel tilt and manual & automatic driver seat control fails (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & related automatic steering wheel tilt details (1) (2) (3) & what to do if your steering wheel & key cylinder locks in place (1) & signs of a failing ignition switch (1) & the BMW TIS for when the ignition switch spins but does not engage (1) & rebuilding a failed ignition switch (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) & how to test your BMW E39 DSC steering wheel sensors (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & how to retrofit to a 3-spoke M-Sport steering wheel (1) (2) (3) (4) & heated steering wheel retrofits (1) & updating the life of an old steering wheel (1) & where to buy the BMW steering wheel roundel (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2011, 02:16 AM
dlfred530i dlfred530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngproexec View Post
I must ask, is the car driving prominently terrible? If so then we could diagnose the problem caused, thus displaying those warning lights. But as bmw_n00b13 you do need to get bmw obd2 scanner and scan for codes - error messages- on your bimmer.
The car starts and runs out great. The previous owner suggested that the seat switch may have come disconnected. Would this affect the steering wheel adjustment?
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2011, 03:05 AM
dlfred530i dlfred530i is offline
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I have been reviewing the info that you provided so far. The side cover on the seat base is loose and flopping around. I will start there and have the codes read.
Great information, by the way. I just "thought" I had used the search tool.
So the seat and steering adjust can be connected.
Thanks, I realize I should not have purchased a car without having it checked. I believe the previous owner was being straight when he told me he had the codes read and it was pointing to the ABS module. It is possible that my family finished the seat switch off.

Again, thanks.
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2011, 10:49 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfred530i View Post
So the seat and steering adjust can be connected
They are connected!

What happens is that a kid uses your seat cover as a step stool into the front seat.

If you have kids, the rule is all kids enter through any door OTHER than the driver door!

As for the ABS, it's in that 300+ count ABS DIY thread ... all the diagnostic tools FAIL to give the correct diagnosis. Long story. Lots of arguments but that's the end result. Most of the time it's a single sensor (never more than one at a time) or the ABS control module steel wire lifted off its gold bondpad. Sometimes the gold angel-hair wires flop together due to the migration of the gel supposed to prevent all that.

Anyway, the solution is simple. I paid $150 in toto (shipping included) to have mine rebuilt by ATE about a year ago.

Good luck. Happy reading!
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2011, 04:04 PM
dlfred530i dlfred530i is offline
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No good Scan Tools? How about reset's?

I found all the great DIY threads and removed the hammered up, busted existing cover. I am ordering the the pair of covers this weekend. The module had been repaired once already, unsuccessfully, and one of the switch knobs brought a piece of black plastic from the housing. I have already read that once that happens it's time to buy a new or used module.
I have the plug zip-tied to the module so I can adjust if needed. The airbag light remains on. The plug was pulled out without removing the battery so it has to be reset.

So in you opinion the Peake Research R5 FCX Scan Reset tool is not a good one to pickup?

I thought an inspection of the wheel sensors would be worthwhile. I have a shop to read the codes, but if it is a tool that goes along with owning the car, I would like to get a proper one. I will repair almost anything that I have the tools for.

The information was vast, I don't know how I missed it. OK, maybe I panicked a little

Thank you to those who helped so far. So you know, this isn't over until it is put together.
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2011, 07:20 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfred530i View Post
So in you opinion the Peake Research R5 FCX Scan Reset tool is not a good one to pickup?
In all honesty, I don't have the Peake tool and I'm surviving quite well. However, I don't have an airbag light either (I used garlic to ward it off ... plus I read the DIYs BEFORE I opened my door panels):
- One user's experience with diagnosing the front left driver door window regulator (1)

Having said that, NOBODY is UNHAPPY with the Peake. The guys who work at the company live right by me. They are wonderfully responsive. They are quite knowledgeable. I've spoken with them. They're wonderful people and they make a wonderful tool. If you have a hankering for their tool, go for it.
I'm not sure if you want it just for the codes though (in which case I'd recommend a cheap OBDII scanner instead) or if you need it to reset the SRS airbag light (in which case anything is better than feeding the stealer).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfred530i View Post
I thought an inspection of the wheel sensors would be worthwhile.
If I were you, I'd spend the five minutes to DMM the four wheel speed sensors. That's it. Your readings, after five minutes, will tell you whether the wheel speed sensors are good or bad. You will know MORE than any shop you take it to. For some reason, they don't know this simple test. Dunno why. I learned it from 540iman whom I'm indebted to for his knowledge.

Anyway, you 'probably' have a bad wheel speed sensor (the DMM will tell you whether or not you actually do). If not, then we can look at the ABS control module. All the ABS control module info you need is in the reference threads so there is really no reason to rehash it here.

Good luck.
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2011, 04:25 AM
dlfred530i dlfred530i is offline
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So, as far as the code readers such as Peake, although their employees and product are wonderful in their own way, spitting out incorrect diagnosis is par for the course?
That being the case why would anyone purchase a reader only tool. I am not interested in finding the error, fixing the problem and then cannot reset it.
Am I incorrect in thinking that you need a reset tool to get the light off and clear the code ? I am speaking of most any of the warning lights. Thanks
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2011, 11:18 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfred530i View Post
Am I incorrect in thinking that you need a reset tool to get the light off and clear the code ? I am speaking of most any of the warning lights. Thanks
I'm no expert as I 'only' know what I've run into (or read on the forums).

AFAIK, the 'normal' $25 code reader will reset ALL the Pcodes (there are 8 different types IIRC) that are indicated on your cluster with an SES light (some don't actually trigger the SES light).

The airbag (SRS) light is different. That needs a tool which we've discussed to reset it.

The oil-service interval can be reset without any tool (some older E39s need a copper wire).

I've had the "CHECK LICPLATE LIGHT" and "CHECK BRAKE LININGS" light and a "CHECK HEADLIGHT" and "WINDSHIELD FLUID", "CHECK FILLER CAP" etc. variety of cluster warnings ... each of which are reset by fixing the problem they are warning you of.

From memory, those are the 'lights' I know of (there are probably more but off hand, that's what resets them).

TO others, what "other" warning lights are there that may need to be reset?
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2011, 07:23 PM
dlfred530i dlfred530i is offline
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When I start the car the SERVICE ENGINE SOON and the AIRBAG lights are on. I first noticed the AIRBAG light about the time the SEAT SWITCH became unplugged.

Sitting there prior to moving, if I press the DSC button I can turn the DSC(?, yellow triangle w/yellow circle) light on or off.

Right after leaving the driveway the DSC light comes on and stays on, nothing changes when pressing the button.

Within 5-10 minutes of driving the ABS and BRAKE lights both come on and stay on.
So once warm the car has all of these lights on;

SERVICE ENGINE SOON, AIRBAG, DSC, ABS, BRAKE

I can't imagine their are many more lights to bring on. I would like to be able to fix whatever needs fixin to get them to go out. ("fixin" That's how they say it in Georgia)
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  #13  
Old 03-25-2011, 05:08 AM
dlfred530i dlfred530i is offline
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The D light is on as well. Unless I am sitting still then the P is on.

Kidding, .....BUMP
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  #14  
Old 03-27-2011, 09:52 PM
dlfred530i dlfred530i is offline
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Looking for some code reader and I want to reset them.

I would welcome anyone's experience with the readers. The lights I have on are listed a couple posts up. I would like to know if you had a reader you liked or didn't like. And yes I have been searching the forums. Thanks folks.
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  #15  
Old 03-27-2011, 10:00 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfred530i View Post
I would welcome anyone's experience with the readers
Methinks you'll get three different types of people's answers here:
  1. K.I.S.S. readers
  2. Fancy schmancy readers
  3. Something in between
All have been discussed ad infinitum.

This link may help (see part highlighted in red):
- How to identify all BMW computer-specific OBDII DTC diagnostic fault codes (1) & how to better understand the key EPA federal test procedure (FTP) concept of the BMW SES "drive cycle" (1) & how to diagnose a typical BMW E39 engine misfire (1) or a sporadic-temperature-change cold-engine intermittent misfire (1) (2) obtaining the pending or diagnostic trouble code (DTC) using free or freeware scans (1) [except in California or Hawaii (1) (2)] or the cheapest ODII scanner in the world (1) (2) or a better overall scanner (1) or the best diagnostic tools (1) (2) (3)
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