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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-02-2005, 07:55 PM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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Exclamation ABS Problem?

My 94 325's ABS Light comes on shortly after driving. I tested the brakes to see if the ABS would work and it did not. I have searched the threads and all seem to recommend checking the speed sensors. Does anyone know that if the speed sensor is dirty would this disable your ABS system causing you to slide to a stop? I appreciate any help.
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2005, 08:37 AM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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Nobody knows?
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2005, 08:39 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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A faulty wheel sensor will cause this, yes. They are relatively cheap to replace, but not so easy to troubleshoot I think.
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  #4  
Old 11-05-2005, 01:39 PM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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Thanks Dawg. I will dig into then.
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2005, 08:55 PM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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Welp, I pulled all four sensors off and they were super dirty. I cleaned them off and reinstalled them. It improved but the ABS light still comes on sometimes but not all the time like it used to. Any ideas?
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  #6  
Old 11-07-2005, 09:52 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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One of mine actually had to be replaced. I didn't do it myself so I can't help, sorry.
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2005, 01:56 PM
Shaun N Shaun N is offline
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I don't think dirt would cause your problem, I don't know how to diagnose exactly your problem but would suggest you disconnect the sensors and carry out a resisitance check on axle pairs, both sides should be the same. If you get an odd reading on one it would be worth changing that sensor. Make sure the battery is disconnected during the test and that all sensors are properly mounted.

Even if this is your problem you may still have to get the unit re-set by the dealer to remove the fault code & get it up & running again: someone with more knowledge of the finer details should be able to advise you on this one.
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2005, 08:05 PM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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Thanks Shaun that is a great idea. What is interesting is that the ABS light only comes on sometimes now and that the brakes work properly when the light is off. Im thinking that it is still too dirty, maybe where the sensors are looking. Im not quite sure how to get to that spot though. It looks like I may have to remove the brake rotors?
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  #9  
Old 11-07-2005, 09:35 PM
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BeRzErKaS BeRzErKaS is offline
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Why are you checking the speed sensor?

...instead of the brake pad wear sensors? Did I miss something here?? When was the last time your actual pads were checked/changed?

Is your ASC working? How about the cruise control?
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  #10  
Old 11-07-2005, 09:41 PM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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Front brake pads are almost new, rear are suspect! They are approx 1/4" thick. Cruise control works fine? Not sure what that has to do with the ABS. Abs brakes work as they should when the light is off. ACS?

Last edited by Charliewww; 11-07-2005 at 09:51 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2005, 10:04 PM
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BeRzErKaS BeRzErKaS is offline
U know how the game goes
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ACS = active stability control (traction control). The 3 systems mentioned are closely intertwined. ACS applies the brakes in addition to cutting power from the engine when enacted. Often an ABS problem will trigger the ACS light as well.

1) Disconnect the battery; this may clear any codes that are triggering the warning light. Procede to step 2.

2) Jack up car, remove wheels and inspect brakepad sensors. The run from the calipers to a connector just behind the shocks. Make sure they are all connected and undamaged. You may want to pick up replacements and just swap them out to be safe. They are cheap, under $10 bucks.

3) Lower car, reconnect battery and go for a drive. If the light doesn't come back on then problem fixed!

..if the light does come back on then replace those rear pads.
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BMW 3 Series - "Consistency of Purpose...Excellence of Execution."

Supercharged E36 325is 5sp
::ERT S/C, Auto-Manual Conv, SPAL Fan, Zeitronix, SAFCII, Alpine, Autotek, Orion, Angel Eyes, Tinted, Smoked, Trackpiped, and so much more::

Drop Top E46 330cic Step
::PP, SPP, CWP, HK, BT, Lumbar, Xenon, Tints, Clears, Remus Exhaust, ///M-Tech Wheels::

Last edited by BeRzErKaS; 11-07-2005 at 10:06 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2005, 05:36 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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The brake wear sensor won't trip the ABS light, it trips the 'brake' light. He probably doesn't have ASC, it was optional on '94s.

When I had a bad wheel sensor, my ASC light also went on when the ABS light went on. And like his problem, mine was intermittant for months before it became a constant problem.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2005, 07:22 AM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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I checked and I do not have a ASC light. My brake light works but is not on. So it looks like I need to start replacing the sensors. If anyone knows how to trouble shoot them please let me know. Or if a dealers computer would pin point the sensor?
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2005, 01:19 PM
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Newbie with similar prob.

Hey whats up everyone..just purchased my first BMW. a 325i. My ABS light also comes on after some trips. It goes in Monday to see what the problem is...so as soon as i get it worked out...ill let you all know exactly what it was, and what needs to be done! I do suspect a faulty sensor.
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2005, 09:09 AM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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Thanks Freddy! Will be looking for your diagnosis. I will check back on Monday/Tuesday
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  #16  
Old 12-03-2005, 08:39 AM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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bump
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2005, 02:58 PM
//: Freddy B_'s Avatar
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lol yeaa i still got nothing...im still looking into it...the dealership is dicking me around so im on my own!
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2005, 07:53 PM
Charliewww Charliewww is offline
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Bitter, Im thinking of just replacing all the sensors
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2005, 09:35 AM
//: Freddy B_'s Avatar
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me too lol
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  #20  
Old 12-18-2005, 01:51 PM
custum325 custum325 is offline
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make sure you clean the sensor wheel on the axle too...with too much dirt bildup it will throw off the readings of the sensors and trip the light
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  #21  
Old 11-13-2006, 12:42 PM
wwilme wwilme is offline
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I thought my ABS problem might be just the light until this morning when I locked up the brakes on wet leaves and then again on pavement when someone pulled out in front of me. I recently replaced the front brake pads, pad wear indicator, rotors and struts/mounts, etc so I was able to check for loose wires/connections under the front end.

I did not try cleaning the wheel sensors as everyone here is suggesting. Will regular brake parts cleaner do the trick? Are there any other simple checks I can do before paying bucks to a mechanic armed with a code reader to figure it out? Thanks!
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  #22  
Old 11-13-2006, 04:09 PM
Derekj Derekj is offline
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Get in your car turn the ignition on, but don't start and pump the accelerator pedal 5 times within 5 seconds. the chack engine light will go out for 2.5 seconds then come back on for 2.5 seconds then it will flas.......flash...pause...flash ...flash pause etc normaly it will flash a 4 digit # this will be a code like 1221 for example. Let us know what the # is and I will see if i can tell you what is out. Hope this helps.
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  #23  
Old 11-13-2006, 05:23 PM
wwilme wwilme is offline
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This is cool. I tried that and I think it worked. At first I thought the code I was getting was five digits: 14441, but then when I studied it more carfully the last 1 held lit for about two seconds. Therefor I think the code I am reading is 1444 repeated with a single two second flash in between. Does that sound right? Let me know what I am being told in BMWese - Thanks!
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  #24  
Old 11-13-2006, 05:38 PM
Derekj Derekj is offline
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Good news... 1444 means that there are no stored codes. Now do it all again to make sure one more time, if you get the same reading 1444 then just hold your gas pedal down for 10 seconds and it will clear the computer. Then enjoy.
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  #25  
Old 11-13-2006, 05:55 PM
wwilme wwilme is offline
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I guess that is good news in that there is no code telling that anything else is wrong, but it doesn't tell me what is wrong with the ABS! Shouldn't there be a stored code if the ABS is not working and the warning light is on?
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