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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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  #526  
Old 01-08-2012, 12:35 PM
geobrick geobrick is offline
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Arrow Conclusion

I just wanted to post my final results here (in case everyone doesn't read every thread I posted in for this brake module diagnostic and repair).

As I posted above, I bought a new module after giving up on the repair process (details in the "autopsy" thread).

My next hurdle was coding the new module. I'm not sure exactly what worked since I tried several times to code the module with NCS Expert (it did execute the "Job" but the trifecta lights remained lit and I had no way to know if the coding really took to the the module).

I then got DIS up and running thanks to the excellent instructions written a couple of years ago by "Randomy" on bimmerforums (along with some help from a user named "David MC").

I couldn't code the module with DIS. I got an error saying "For the Part Number Basic Control Unit 6755741 no data available in the loaded program" (in blue is the 7 digit BMW part number for the original module - DIS asks for that information before attempting to code the new module but I never got past that step).

I decided to move on to the Steering Angle Sensor Calibration. Using DIS, I followed all the steps and completed the calibration. I figured with that done, maybe I could code the module now but I got stuck at the same spot as I did in the paragraph above.

The next day I had to move the car to work on some other unrelated things and the trifecta lights were gone! I ran some diagnostics and there were no errors. Carsoft no longer indicated the errors shown in the screenshot below and DIS showed no issues as well.


My only guess is that either the Steering Angle Sensor Calibration took care of everything required for coding the module or the coding I did with NCS Expert worked but I needed to do the Steering Angle Sensor Calibration to complete the process. Either way it seems the job is done.

I'd like to offer my old module to anyone who PM's me and is willing to send me a prepaid FedEx or UPS label. You can see the condition of my old module in the "Autopsy thread".

Thanks to all the contributors of this and the several other threads on the subject.
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  #527  
Old 01-08-2012, 02:24 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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This sounds like yet another example of the Heinlein "technology vs. magic" aphorism.
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  #528  
Old 01-08-2012, 03:06 PM
geobrick geobrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
This sounds like yet another example of the Heinlein "technology vs. magic" aphorism.
I had to look it up. It can seem like magic when you don't know what made it work.

I've since found this link showing what the poster says is the correct order for coding and calibration.

It says:
1) Code (I used NCS Expert)
2) Calibrate (Steering Angle Sensor, Rotation rate sensor and Lateral-acceleration sensor) - I only did the first one using DIS
3) End of Belt Test (Means end of production line test) - See link for instructions on that. I didn't do this one either.

While it seems things are working, I'll go through the remaining calibration steps tonight just to make sure it's all good to go.
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  #529  
Old 01-08-2012, 04:07 PM
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Trebbia Trebbia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geobrick View Post
I'm not sure exactly what worked since I tried several times to code the module ......The next day I had to move the car to work on some other unrelated things and the trifecta lights were gone!
Correct me if I'm wrong but won't the trifecta go away even without coding the new module?

I was under the impression that coding was only for preventing the red dot.
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  #530  
Old 01-08-2012, 04:18 PM
geobrick geobrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebbia View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but won't the trifecta go away even without coding the new module?

I was under the impression that coding was only for preventing the red dot.
A lot depends on the module you get. A new one seems to rquire coding to the car VIN plus calibration. If you get a used remanufactured one it may already match your transmition type or the part number is recognized by the computer. If you get your original repaired, then no coding at all is required.

Some say that by not coding and calibrating, you're running at a basic DSC performance and not getting the most out of it although there doesn't seem to be a consensus on any of this. The bottom line is that BMW, Bosch, and DIS all say to code and calibrate it. My new module came with a small document saying in several languges that it must be coded.
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  #531  
Old 01-09-2012, 12:43 PM
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Trebbia Trebbia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geobrick View Post
A new one seems to rquire coding to the car VIN plus calibration. If you get a used remanufactured one it may already match your transmition type
I knew about that becasue it's in the other thread on vin recoding.

And I'm not saying not to code it but that doesn't changte the question.

If I read the other vin thread right, people have put uncoded modules in that didn't match the transmission and the trifecta went out but they were worried about the red dot only.
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  #532  
Old 01-09-2012, 01:00 PM
geobrick geobrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebbia View Post
I knew about that becasue it's in the other thread on vin recoding.

And I'm not saying not to code it but that doesn't changte the question.

If I read the other vin thread right, people have put uncoded modules in that didn't match the transmission and the trifecta went out but they were worried about the red dot only.
Which thread is that? Is it the one where someone asks what happens if you don't code the module? I thought the red dot is only an issue if you drive for a period of time without recording mileage. My car's speedometer worked even with the bad module and the trifecta lights on so I don't think I was at risk of a red dot. If people could get away with disabling the speedometer so they can reduce the recorded mileage without concern about the red dot, I'm sure some people would do it. That's why I think the red dot is only related to a lack of recorded mileage.

Last edited by geobrick; 01-18-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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  #533  
Old 01-18-2012, 07:07 PM
ppkgnv ppkgnv is offline
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I have been trying to deal with the ABS+Brake+DSC lights in my 1999 540i. I first had the left front wheel speed sensor replaced. Next, I had the ABS module rebuilt by BBA. The problem persists. My indy mechanic used his Launch scanner and it shows that the left front wheel speed as being zero while the other three sensors are being read correctly. Interestingly, the code from Launch scanner is 21, which based on everything I have read in these boards indicates Memory fault in the ABS module. So, it may be that the ABS was not really fixed. On the other hand, may be there is a wiring problem in the front left wheel speed sensor.

Before I send it back to BBA, I want to be sure that there is nothing wrong with the left front wheel speed sensor and the wire that connects the sensor to the ABS module. So, the plan is to test the sensor circuit from the ABS connector plug.

Any thoughts on what could be going on here? Has anyone seen this sort of behavior?
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  #534  
Old 01-18-2012, 10:19 PM
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Trebbia Trebbia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geobrick View Post
Which thread is that? The one on what happens if you don't code it?
Yes. That thread. People have not coded it. Others coded it just to not get hte tamper dot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppkgnv View Post

Before I send it back to BBA, I want to be sure that there is nothing wrong with the left front wheel speed sensor and the wire that connects the sensor to the ABS module.
So test it.

It takes about an hour to completely test a wheel sensor, on or off the car.

How did it read when you tested it?
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  #535  
Old 01-19-2012, 03:58 AM
ppkgnv ppkgnv is offline
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That will be done today. I will report back then. I was just curious why code 21 on the Launch scanner shows left wheel speed sensor while it is supposed to mean Memory Module failure according the canonical trifecta thread?
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  #536  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:08 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppkgnv View Post
I was just curious why code 21 on the Launch scanner shows left wheel speed sensor while it is supposed to mean Memory Module failure according the canonical trifecta thread?
A better question might be whether anybody has ever gotten the launch scanner to read the abs trifecta correctly yet.
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  #537  
Old 02-03-2012, 09:49 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Another poster asked today about the fancy schmancy tools (among other questions) in this ancient thread:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > ASC, ABS Indicator Light Stays on

What was interesting is that the poster searched (just like we all did) and found all the garbage that was out there.

He didn't seem to find this thread though.

How do I know he didn't read this thread?

Because he asked the following ... (with my answers appended for leverage):

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
About a month ago I notice if I hit a bump while going slow, the ABS would kick in.
It's a well known problem where many people have felt it but the dealer seems ignorant of the cause.

See this long thread for details:
- How to determine cause for slow-speed bump-related ABS-related severe braking vibrations (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
I noticed the check engine/alert triangle on, as well as the ABS and brake lights.
If you read anything, read this one post:
- How to diagnose the BMW ABS BRAKE DSC/ASC trifecta (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
there's so many links I didn't know where to go for all the info I need.
If it's not in the thread listed above, then it's in a link that is embedded in the thread listed above.

Over 200,000 viewers have vetted that thread, so, all the inconsistencies and wrong answers have been culled out by now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
but the ABS went out intermittently while the triangle and brake light stayed on. Well, adding fluid didn't work.
Both observations above are standard:
- The ABS BRAKE DSC trifecta is often intermittent.
- Adding fluid has nothing to do with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
I then saw that disconnecting the battery might work--nope.
If you read the one post I referred you to, you wouldn't have wasted time disconnecting the battery.

Don't feel badly - I disconnected mine also in a lame attempt at solving the problem. But anyone who says you can reset the trifecta by disconnecting the battery doesn't know what they're talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
I called the dealer and got pricing based upon ABS wheel sensors from info I read on here. Average was $200.00 per wheel!!!! really? I looked on ebay (and I know that is debated a lot on here), but they average $20 to $25 per tire.
You never need more than one. And, there are PLENTY of threads of people sorry they bought non-OEM wheel speed sensors ... but the price is nowhere near either of your two numbers. Again, all this is in the link I gave you but here's another link that is useful:
- Why the 5-minute ABS DIY quick test doesn't always work, especially on brand new non-OEM wheel speed sensors, by Quick99Si (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
Since I don't have any equipemtn to test, I'll have to just replace all 4 and hope it's not the abs module (which I have yet to find the location, or pics, on here yet).
If you replace all four, don't tell us because we'll think you are styupid or sumphun'.

Nobody yet can come up with a scenario where all four wheel speed sensors failed at once.

In almost all cases (something like 98%?), one sensor failed or the 7th silvered thick wire lifted ever so slightly off its bondpad inside the ABS control module.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
Do you think I should replace all 4 sensors, or try cleaning as the parts guy suggested?
Nothing wrong with cleaning - but - you already know (see above) why nobody who is sane replaces all four.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
I've also heard on here about a bad wire. do you repair the wire, or replace the sensor?
People do both. You can find a bad wire in less than five minutes when you test the sensors and wiring from the engine compartment as described in the first post I referenced for you. (HINT: It took me longer to write this than it would for you to run the tests.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
I've heard about thsi DIS reset tool? expensive? needed? disconnect battery just as good?
Loooong story. My simple answer: Forget the fancy schmancy test tools. All you need is a DMM. If you don't have a DMM, then buy a DMM. You'll use it for the rest of your life and it's cheaper than anything you've suggested so far.

For more details on the fancy schmancy test tools, see this thread:
- Why the fancy schmancy test tools don't always tell you what you need to know about the trifecta (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
Any sugguestions on using car stands, or ramps under frame to support the car?
You can test the sensors & the ABS control module with the wheels on the ground.

For ramps, start here:
- How to make your own BMW car ramps (1)

For jack stands, start here:
- How and where to jack up the BMW E39 with pictures of jack pads & jacking points (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & jack stands (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #538  
Old 02-03-2012, 10:16 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here's yet another thread, posted today, where the OP hasn't seemed to have found this thread - so - they're working off of loose assumptions and guesses:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Rear ABS Sensors

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaMonkey View Post
There are several threads on ABS/DSC Brake light issues that can involve the ABS sensors on the wheels. ...

I am wondering if anyone can confirm or disprove my understanding that the rear wheel sensors send data to the speedo, odo and cruise...so that if one did not have issues with those functions you could rule out the rear wheel speed sensors.
To which Edjack rightfully replied:
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
IIRC, the left rear feeds the speedo. You really should search this site for ABS troubleshooting procedures, rather than throwing parts at it.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #539  
Old 02-24-2012, 04:36 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Hi Bluebee,

I'm still at it. man, what an end to a crappy day/week/month/year. lol. I was excited to get home to my autoecu rebuilt module..watching the clock all day knowing it was waiting. As was the new peake research scanner. But alas, neither worked out! Other than coming home to snow (moving tomorrow), picked up tools to go work in module and case wasn't snapped so out they fell everywhere (154 pieces). then I needed a drink, but alcohol was already moved to new place. not going good. Disconnect battery, hookup new module perfectly...zero issues..I'm getting excited. Close hood, hook up battery...trifecta still there. I'm for lack of a better word...crushed. The check engine was still on too. Fortunately, that went away with 10 miles of driving. For kicks, I tried the turn wheel fully end to end and back, then drive in straight line for steering sensor, but nothing. So, back to square one. Eitehr bad rebuilt module (doubt it), bad steering sensor, or wheel sensor. I would have reset all the codes, but the priority mail for today was returned because today is official change of address day. Really? no luck today. I have to go to Louisville tomorrow (140 miles). I doubt it but maybe the trifecta will go away on the drive. :-)

I'll try retesting the wheel sensors, but with move, might not be able to this weekend. I am going to Boston on march 8th, so have to get it done soon as I'll be sure to encounter bad weather. oh, speaking of bad luck, I bought/returned bavarian technic test software and it picked up 215 wheel sensor. I was told it would pick up what wheel, but did not, just generic wheel sensor. In hindsight, I should not have returned so quickly. It probably did not identify which one because the ABS module was not installed. par for the course. :-) And somewhere after removing the module 10 days ago, and doing the fuel filter (no issues), my fuel gauge is moving in front of my eyes (less than 1/8th tank at a time). Can all this be going wrong all at once? lol. Where's that drink! :-)

Anyway, thought I'd share less than good news, but news nonetheless. Based upon Autoecu feedback, I'll presume my module is good, and start over again at the wheel sensors. I never could get them to read correctly. I could buy a new VOM, but when I test a resistor and a diode that I had around, I get the right readings. fun stuff. :-) At least I know if it is a wheel sensor, it's one of the front ones. I have both speedo and cruise still. Something does work. :-)

Last edited by mjbennett9; 02-24-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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  #540  
Old 02-25-2012, 02:50 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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If you swing by Chicago, I can hook up your car to my laptop to help narrow down the problem. Peake will not tell you which, if any, speed sensor has gone bad, unfortunately. The brake pressure sensor is very easy to test with either a multimeter or INPA/GT1, as is the steering angle sensor (laptop only AFAIK). I suggest taking off the speed sensors and giving them a nice cleaning because your problem likely lies there. Assume the module is good but do not discount it as a potential cause down the road.

In related news, my buddy with 130k just started getting the same problem. His is definitely a bad module and is looking for a place to do the rebuild for him in the coming days. Anecdotally, 6-cylinder cars seem to last longer than 8's...
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  #541  
Old 02-25-2012, 10:14 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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If my speedo and cruise work intermittingly, Lets say when I use a multimeter to check my sensors, if at the time my sensors are in the "working" phase, will this make things more difficult to diagnose? Sometimes I have speedo and cruise, and sometimes I dont...sometimes I have either or, and sometimes neither.

Is there a way to check what the module is sending to the sensors? Will this vary if things arent working properly? Will the multimeter reveal anything?
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Last edited by Big Chaze; 02-25-2012 at 10:17 AM.
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  #542  
Old 02-25-2012, 10:20 PM
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Trebbia Trebbia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
Sometimes I have speedo and cruise, and sometimes I dont...sometimes I have either or, and sometimes neither.
It's very common for the abs trifecta to be intermittent.

What are your voltage diode style readings on the four sensors?

And, did the dental pick show the wires lifted inside the abs computer?
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  #543  
Old 02-26-2012, 06:03 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Havent gotten around to all that yet...Im waiting on my obd cable to come in to mess around with inpa. Dental pick??? thats a new one...elaborate please..
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  #544  
Old 02-26-2012, 06:05 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
Havent gotten around to all that yet...Im waiting on my obd cable to come in to mess around with inpa. Dental pick??? thats a new one...elaborate please..
Cut open the ABS module and use a sharp tool to see if the relatively large wires (still very small!) have lifted off the solder points. This is just about 100% confirmation that your ABS module is your problem.
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  #545  
Old 02-26-2012, 06:14 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
Cut open the ABS module and use a sharp tool to see if the relatively large wires (still very small!) have lifted off the solder points. This is just about 100% confirmation that your ABS module is your problem.
Cut open?? Then what if its not the module?? Does it snap back into place?and solder points??? Will I be able to solder those bad boys back on?
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  #546  
Old 02-26-2012, 06:16 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
Cut open?? Then what if its not the module?? Does it snap back into place?
Cut open, glue/seal shut
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  #547  
Old 02-26-2012, 06:24 AM
Big Chaze Big Chaze is offline
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but what about the intermittent functioning of the cruise and speedo?? If the contacts were affected the way you say, there wouldnt be any intermittent anything, correct? I would not have cruise and speedo all the time, dont you agree?
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  #548  
Old 02-26-2012, 06:44 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
but what about the intermittent functioning of the cruise and speedo?? If the contacts were affected the way you say, there wouldnt be any intermittent anything, correct? I would not have cruise and speedo all the time, dont you agree?
The fact that it's intermittent is an indication to me that the ABS module is your source of troubles. You may not have noticed it yet, but whether or not those functions work is probably closely linked to the temperature in the engine bay (vibration may also cause it, so it isn't an exact science just yet). You may be able to make it "fail" more quickly by using a heatgun on the ABS module to get it nice and hot.. however, as time goes on, it pretty much seems to get a mind of it's own which only complicates the troubleshooting procedure. I suspect that the module's proximity to the exhaust manifold is the primary cause of premature failure of the ABS/DSC systems in ours cars, E38's, and some Volvos.

Keep in mind that the ABS module is the central point of processing for the inputs (speed sensors, steering angle sensor, lateral acceleration, etc) and outputs (vehicle speed, ABS control, DSC, etc). Speed sensors provide a square wave to the ABS module, and the module sends the speed data via BUS. That is to say that intemittent operation of the speedometer can easily be attributed to an intermittently failing ABS module. Pull the module out and you'll notice that your speedometer, odometer, cruise, ABS/DSC, speed-controlled radio volume/door locks and everything else will also stop working. When those broken contacts inside disconnect, the module shuts itself off and functions the same as if it weren't connected at all. Problem is, a bad speed sensor in the front(?) can also cause it to shut itself down -- see my created threads for some good info on my own troubleshooting, symptoms, errors, etc..

I have done more than my fair share of research and testing with regards to this issue, and I have YET to find a symptom or test that can conclusively and consistently tell you if a speed sensor or module needs replacement... that is, unless you do some logging in INPA or GT1 + using your brain.
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  #549  
Old 02-27-2012, 06:07 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
If you swing by Chicago, I can hook up your car to my laptop to help narrow down the problem. Peake will not tell you which, if any, speed sensor has gone bad, unfortunately. The brake pressure sensor is very easy to test with either a multimeter or INPA/GT1, as is the steering angle sensor (laptop only AFAIK). I suggest taking off the speed sensors and giving them a nice cleaning because your problem likely lies there. Assume the module is good but do not discount it as a potential cause down the road.

In related news, my buddy with 130k just started getting the same problem. His is definitely a bad module and is looking for a place to do the rebuild for him in the coming days. Anecdotally, 6-cylinder cars seem to last longer than 8's...
Hi. Thank you very very much for the offer. It's a bit too far (7 hours round trip), and with gas at $4/gal., I'm either gonna go dealer route ($65 to read codes), or re-buy bavarian technic. But sincerely thank you! Folks on here are the best! :-) I've been searching for a multimeter test procedure for the pressure sensor. It's been an illusive search/find so far, but will keep looking.

As for your buddy, I used autoecu.com via ebay and it was $99 shipped. It looked good when I got it back. And yes, I'm hoping v6 last longer because I have 175k miles :-)

Michael

BTW. I've seen several posts of failed DMM testing, including mine. I was wondering for those with successful results, if they can post the DMM they used. I have a rad shack one. it's probably 5 years old, but works perfectly in my day to day electronics/electrical work. I've even tested on a spare resistor and diode, and readings are as expected--just not when in a BMW ;-) I'm not ruling out that some DMM's just won't work in our bimmers. I'm open to buying one and trying it though. :-)

Last edited by mjbennett9; 02-27-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:53 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,082
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
Does it snap back into place?
Everything you need to know about opening & closing the ABS control module is here:
- Bill's ABS autopsy thread


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
Dental pick??? thats a new one...
Actually it's not new at all.

The diagnostic technique is already discussed ad infinitum in this thread (dental pick, toothpick, etc.).

These are the wires most often implicated:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chaze View Post
but what about the intermittent functioning of the cruise and speedo??
It's intermittent for many of us.
There's not much diagnostic value in the intermittence in and of itself.
Quick99Si gave a great explanation of why above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
I've been searching for a multimeter test procedure for the pressure sensor. It's been an illusive search/find so far, but will keep looking.
You're not the first person to say that but it perplexes me to hear that because I typed /pressure sensor in the bestlinks and I found this in less than a second or two:
- How to run a ABS BRAKE DSC trifecta brake pressure sensor diagnostic test (1)



Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
I used autoecu.com via ebay and it was $99 shipped.
I echo what Quick99Si said about the diagnostic tools.

See also this thread:
- The most often recommended BMW diagnostic tools & cable interfaces (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
I've seen several posts of failed DMM testing, including mine.
Here's Quick99Si's explanation:
- Why the 5-minute ABS DIY quick test doesn't always work, especially on brand new non-OEM wheel speed sensors (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
I was wondering for those with successful results, if they can post the DMM they used. I have a rad shack one.
My 30-year old Fluke 75 worked perfectly:


Here are my results using that DMM:


PS: I apologize that all the information above is already in this thread; these are all repeat questions which are already answered in this thread ... so I gave the same answers given before in this thread.
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-27-2012 at 09:57 PM.
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