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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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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  #101  
Old 08-06-2009, 01:04 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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I do not know the answer to your question,but I can tell you that not one of your test readings is anywhere near what it should be and I suspect you are not using meter correctly, meter battery is dying, or you are not making good connection with these small pins. You should get OL in one direction and between .7-.8V drop the other way. I would not trust any of your results.
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  #102  
Old 09-08-2009, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
I can tell you that not one of your test readings is anywhere near what it should be
I concur with 540iman. Most of us get the type of results I posted earlier in the spreadsheet picture.


Also note there are about six tests you can run on the sensor, each of which will provide useful information (so you don't have to rely solely on your current readings).



BTW, I just ran into this thread on replacing the sensors themselves that might be useful to others so I post it here ...
See also this nice picture thread on replacing the ABS unit, should that be the culprit in your case.


Last edited by bluebee; 09-08-2009 at 04:42 PM.
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  #103  
Old 09-14-2009, 04:34 PM
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This amazing picture from Dave Zeckhausen shows how utterly reliable brakes are, even when grossly abused by the owner!

To answer the question, how thin can you wear your rotors and still stop the car ...

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  #104  
Old 09-17-2009, 12:49 PM
Takechan Takechan is offline
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My ABS/DSC problem

Hi,

I myself had a ASC/DSC problem when I got my car. I have a BMW E39 520I from 1996/11.

I went to BMW where they used INPA to read the fault codes. It reported a fault on the left front sensor, so I had my mechanic replace it with a new one. The fault reappeared and I went back - same error. I then measured the resistance through the speed sensor, which was fine. Then checked the wiring from the wheel back into the ABS unit and there weren't any problems. I was quite sure I had a faulty ABS module, I mean everyone here was talking about how their ABS control unit would fail.

In the end I changed the left front bearing (another possible solution, cheaper than refurbishing the control unit) because I got one almost new very cheap, which solved the problem. The magnetic ring had somehow become damaged, so that the speed sensor would get faulty readings. I had a problem with the ABS/DSC warnings appear and dissapear. Compared to the ABS control unit it seems very rare for people to have broken magnetic rings, but sometimes it happens!

Oh and great job on the DYI!

Last edited by Takechan; 09-17-2009 at 12:58 PM.
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  #105  
Old 09-30-2009, 05:29 PM
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For a cross reference (to keep useful information together), this post shows details of exactly where the sensor lies in the wheel assembly ...

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  #106  
Old 10-19-2009, 10:36 PM
Goggles Paesano Goggles Paesano is offline
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Disconnect Battery?

Thanks to the excellent information on this site, I diagnosed the problem on my 2000 540i and sent out my ECU to ATAE for a rebuild. I received it today, but didn't install it because the re-installation instructions indicate that it is important to disconnect the power from the battery at the cables. I am reluctant to do so, because I fear that will spawn a litany of other electronic ills such as radio reset codes and who knows what all else.

None of the instructions I have read on this thread have made mention of this. Can anyone tell me if this is just a generic CYA disclaimer or if it really is critical? If it is important, can anyone tell me what I would likely need to do to get up and running again after restoring the battery connections?

I look forward to your sage advice.

Eager to clear the warning lights on the dash,
GP
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  #107  
Old 10-20-2009, 06:36 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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You need not disconnect the battery. Period. That is just Don's "chicken little-the sky is falling" advice to everyone. Just make sure the key is off. Don also insists that you must "clear the codes". This step too is unnecessary as if the module is truly fixed and you do not have any bad sensors, your error will clear itself. If you continue to have any issues, I urge you to post here, but also PM me. I have personal knowledge with ATE that I can share with you, but would rather do off line. I had (others have as well) a module rebuilt by ATE that I returned to ATE under warranty as my errors came back. Re-sent to Don at ATE. He said module tested "fine". I knew otherwise by the reading my carsoft was telling me. I sent same module ATE said was fine to BBA. BBA said it failed and failed HARD. It was not repairable. I bought a new module from ECU tuning and all is well. So you tell me who was right?????

ATE of course said BBA is just seizing the opportunity to bash a competitor. BBA said they tested it a second time while I was on the phone and it failed 2 of 3 tests. A new module cured the problem (plus the mandatory re-code). I believe it conclusive the module was bad. I believe ATE can do a perfectly fine repair and I like Don. I spend 0 money as ATE gave me 100% refund as did BBA. No one made a dime off me, but question was module good or bad. New module fixed all. BBA said it was bad. ATE said it was fine, but gave me immediate errors.

Depending on error, I believe ATE CAN do fine. In some cases their C/S is suspect. In fairness, they did me right.Just cost me a lotta time shipping back and forth. Neither tried to sell me a new or rebuilt.

Bill
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  #108  
Old 10-22-2009, 04:19 PM
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HihoBrian HihoBrian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
ATE of course said BBA is just seizing the opportunity to bash a competitor. BBA said they tested it a second time while I was on the phone and it failed 2 of 3 tests. A new module cured the problem (plus the mandatory re-code). I believe it conclusive the module was bad. I believe ATE can do a perfectly fine repair and I like Don. I spend 0 money as ATE gave me 100% refund as did BBA. No one made a dime off me, but question was module good or bad. New module fixed all. BBA said it was bad. ATE said it was fine, but gave me immediate errors.

Depending on error, I believe ATE CAN do fine. In some cases their C/S is suspect. In fairness, they did me right.Just cost me a lotta time shipping back and forth. Neither tried to sell me a new or rebuilt.

Bill
I just got a generic email from BBA saying my unit was unrepairable. This is a colasal dissapointment. I just want this fixed. I wish they offered to ship me one that works and kept the 255 as a deposit towards the balance. I guess its not likely that Id have better luck sending it to ATE and I need to source a replacement.

EDIT: found one a local recycler for $50.00!!! Gonna try to put it on tomm. Will it will it work (assuming its good) but still need to be recoded?
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Last edited by HihoBrian; 10-22-2009 at 05:44 PM.
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  #109  
Old 11-02-2009, 11:13 PM
Goggles Paesano Goggles Paesano is offline
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Here's what happened...

540iman: Thanks for your advice. This is what I did. I reinstalled the module without disconnecting the power. I started the beast and everything returned to normal. YES!!
I drove it a few hundred feet then... the warning lights came on again.

ATE's rebuild solved half the problem, because all my dials came back to proper operation, but the three warning lights: Brakes, DSC and ABS all appeared again. Specifically, the DSC off triangle comes on immediately upon start up, then the other two light up after I have moved a few feet - probably detecting a non-responsive sensor. I suppose I could call ATE for their advice, but I wasn't too impressed with their CS, when I called to ask for new bolts. I checked the four wheel sensors from the harness before I diagnosed the module problem. I have an appointment coming up this week at the garage for winterizing and asked them to check it out. Unless, someone can come up with a solution before then, I will write an update afterward.

Bluebee: If it helps, I watched my fuel gauge closely when the module was off. It did appear to be erratic. Near empty, it would light up and signal low fuel repeatedly as I drove around corners, up and down hills and while accelerating and braking. It was especially noticeable when I turned on the OnBoard computer and selected Range. It would increase and decrease very quickly. Around one particularly long 270 degree right hand turn, I watched the range estimate vary between 7 km and 120 km.

I can understand why this would be inaccurate, given that there was no reading from the speedometer, but I haven't noticed any wild fluctuations in the fuel level needle since I replaced the rebuilt module.

Also, I have a question about this statement you made earlier:"your odometer and your internal mileage tracking will disagree the longer you have no odometer. I do not know how far the two can differ before you throw a code that you may have a real hassle resolving." How does the car track mileage if there is no wheel sensor connected?


Also for the record, I first noticed my speedometer cutting out and in for a few days before the warning lights appeared. It alarmed me the first time, because my temperature sensor would cut out at the same time, so it looked like I was in the Red. After pulling over, I confirmed the engine temperature was normal, but only the indicator was erratic. Then, over time, the speedometer went dead along with the tachometer, the temperature sensor and the fuel consumption meter. After I removed the module, the tachometer returned to normal as did the temperature indicator.

Since I really only rely on those two dials in my regular driving, I wasn't too concerned. Same about the loss of DSC, since I normally turn that off too.

I was more concerned about reconciling the internal mileage tracking with the odometer and with the impending winter weather, I was anxious to have the ABS back before the roads ice over.

One more thing, I noticed the Check Engine symbol light up after the module was off for about two weeks. It cleared itself within a few miles of driving once I reinstalled the module.

Too much detail?

I hope it is useful to your chronicle of this particular problem.

Thanks,
GP

Last edited by Goggles Paesano; 11-02-2009 at 11:16 PM.
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  #110  
Old 11-03-2009, 01:06 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goggles Paesano View Post
Bluebee: If it helps, I watched my fuel gauge closely when the module was off. It did appear to be erratic.
Well, I'll be darned. I'm amazed that the fuel gauge has anything to do with the ABS; but, thank you for re-affirming that the fuel gauge appears to have 'something' to do with the brakes via this test. Let's all keep an eye on that.

Quote:
It was especially noticeable when I turned on the OnBoard computer and selected Range.
hmmm... I can easily see how the range could be associated with the wheel speed ... but I still can't fathom what the fuel gauge (which simply measures fuel in the tank ... right?) has to do with the wheel speed.

Quote:
How does the car track mileage if there is no wheel sensor connected?
Dunno. Maybe someone else knows. Maybe it's by the fuel injectors measuring the amount of fuel? Dunno.

Quote:
After I removed the module, the tachometer returned to normal as did the temperature indicator.
Interesting. It's amazing that the ABS has anything to do with the engine temperature!

Quote:
I noticed the Check Engine ... cleared itself within a few miles of driving once I reinstalled the module.
Good to know for others to expect in the future.

Quote:
Too much detail?
Nope. Not enough. Never enough! ... we need this information so that we're informed when it happens to us!

Thanks,
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  #111  
Old 11-03-2009, 08:30 PM
Ariel22 Ariel22 is offline
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Hello!!! someone knows where is located the ABS RELAY????? Thank!!!!!
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  #112  
Old 11-03-2009, 09:02 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel22 View Post
Hello!!! someone knows where is located the ABS RELAY????? Thank!!!!!
I see your post here asking the same question ... so I posted there a reference to here.

See also great additional ABS diagnostic hints in this recent thread.

And, while these diagnostic procedures are for the BMW 740i, the pictures are really nice in the ABS DIY (see PDF attached).


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File Type: pdf DSC _ ABS Module Repair_3of4.pdf (611.6 KB, 880 views)
File Type: pdf DSC _ ABS Module Repair_4of4.pdf (756.0 KB, 840 views)
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  #113  
Old 11-04-2009, 08:33 AM
meb meb is offline
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In related news...

A question for those who know more than I...this regards a 2005 JCW mini. I am asking here since I cannot find the info anywhere else.

My Hydro Unit ASC failed.

I have no speedometer, no ABS, no traction control, no trip odometer info, no gas gauge - or intermitten and inaccurate, and lost all client preferences - doors lock when pulling away, two speeds on intermitten wipers and only one full time speed.

This occured shortly after BMW/Mini replced the supercharger pully. They had to remove the driver's side wheel speed sensor to gain access to this area. The sensor was not reinstalled properly; the tech did not place the wire in a clip fastened to the sub-frame. The sensor came into contact with the crank shaft pully and when the insulation wore away it shorted out the hydro unit. When I pulled very large socket from the hydro housing the bottom third of socket or plug had blue burn marks on it. These correpsond to the burn marks on the hydro unit itself.

Now, I fancy myself pretty darn good with suspension and brakes but not this stuff. I read this entire thread and although I am somewhat more comfortable changing the hydro unit, how do I know the socket or plug isn't fried as well? This is actually the scary part since this plug contains the wires that go to all the lights glowing on my dash - or I assume so and must be in part responsible for these systems working properly.

Any help is wlecome...the hydro unit looks just like most BMW designs.

Click on the link below for the image...hte actual 'port' that is burn is just up from the bottom.

http://i37.tinypic.com/1040y6s.jpg

Last edited by meb; 11-04-2009 at 09:18 AM.
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  #114  
Old 11-04-2009, 11:33 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel22 View Post
Hello!!! someone knows where is located the ABS RELAY????? Thank!!!!!
cn90, as always, posted a GREAT picture of the ABS relay in this thread.

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  #115  
Old 12-04-2009, 05:00 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I think I made a mistake; did I do my ABS rebuild price survey right?

The minute I try to pin down exact details, I realize I am still confused about re-manufacturing a BMW E39 ABS module!

Similar to 540iman, I just surveyed the three choices; but I noticed some discrepancies that I'd like to iron out properly.

Did I do this survey right?

Module Master http://www.modulemaster.com (> $317 USD)
Caveat: They're the highest price (by far).

BBA Reman http://www.bba-reman.com (> 100 Pounds, i.e., >$166 USD)
Caveat: You have to deal with foreign complications.

ATE1234 http://www.autoecu.com (>$125 USD)
Caveat: You have to deal with EBAY.

The results are confusing. Like, ATE is on Ebay but they also have a web site ... (which one should we use?)
And, what's with the BBA Reman foreign stuff (I hadn't noticed that until I tried to check the price)....



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Last edited by bluebee; 12-04-2009 at 05:20 PM.
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  #116  
Old 12-08-2009, 11:03 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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As in many things, I was wrong on BBA-Remanufacturing having to deal with foreign currencies.

I just couldn't navigate their (rather confusing to me) web site properly. I had to click on the tiny American flag after going to www.bba-reman.com

If you don't select the American flag, those of us in the USA will be forced to convert from pounds (their native currency apparently) to US dollars and we'd get a UK shipping address for our ABS control unit.

Once in the American section, we can click on ABS and get a rebuild price of $225, plus shipping. If they can't rebuild your BMW ABS unit, they charge $35 for a bench fee and $400 for a replacement ABS unit.

I think you send the old ABS unit to BBA Remanufacturing, 300 Myles Standish Blvd, Taunton, MA, 02780, +1-866-573-2740 or 508-822-4490







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  #117  
Old 12-09-2009, 07:00 AM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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All correct -- that's the price I paid, and I agree on their web site Blue!
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  #118  
Old 12-12-2009, 11:25 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Just saw MatWiz' thread on filling the brake fluid higher than you'd think is needed to "repair" the three-lighted horror. Weird.

Also, on the reputed erratic fuel gauge, I've noticed that, with the ABS control module off the car, and the fuel tank rather full, the gauge isn't erratic but the number of miles to empty reading varies by the second as if there isn't an integration of the results any longer.

Interestingly, when the fuel is low, e.g., at the level where the yellow round close-to-empty light is lit, the fuel gauge seems to bounce widely from below zero to a quarter tank and then back to below zero in seconds, again as if the integration that smooths out perturbations isn't working properly.

Weird. Very weird ABS happenings.

Last edited by bluebee; 12-12-2009 at 11:32 PM.
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  #119  
Old 12-13-2009, 07:54 AM
xraye39 xraye39 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Just saw MatWiz' thread on filling the brake fluid higher than you'd think is needed to "repair" the three-lighted horror. Weird.

Also, on the reputed erratic fuel gauge, I've noticed that, with the ABS control module off the car, and the fuel tank rather full, the gauge isn't erratic but the number of miles to empty reading varies by the second as if there isn't an integration of the results any longer.

Interestingly, when the fuel is low, e.g., at the level where the yellow round close-to-empty light is lit, the fuel gauge seems to bounce widely from below zero to a quarter tank and then back to below zero in seconds, again as if the integration that smooths out perturbations isn't working properly.

Weird. Very weird ABS happenings.
GREAT thread with tons of fantastic documentation..... I did not read anywhere if folks with issues had checked their ground wires.

WATCH this VIDEO for a potential no cost fix and see why we often know more about our cars than the experts.


Another thread here
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  #120  
Old 12-18-2009, 03:54 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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In an attempt to gather missing information for this thread, last week I called our favorite ABS rebuilder ATE and asked a few questions.
866-983-6688 - Toll Free (423-921-9085 - Direct Dial)

Q: What's the total cost of sending an E39 ABS module to you for repair?
A: About $150 USD (i.e., roughly $125 EBAY + < $15 to ship back (plus another ~$15 to box & ship to them)).


Q: Will you fix an already opened Bosch 5.7 ABS module?
A: Yup. They say they get a LOT of previously fixed Bosch modules from BBA-Reman and others.
NOTE: This means I could have opened mine up for a look to see if I could have fixed mine all by myself!


Q: How do you seal them when you're done?
A: They seal them with a waterproof glue so the seal should last forever but it can be re-opened.

Q: What do you fix anyway?
A: Cheap components. They feel that Bosch buys from the lowest bidder for components and the components are really the culprit.
They know what components to look for and they say they bench test the results extensively before shipping back to us.


Q: Which specific cheap components?
A: Why do you want to know?

Q: Ok. Ok. Last question ... Do you think the ABS failure is a BMW design problem?
A: No. They say they get a LOT of Bosch 5.3 ABS modules from Audi, Saab, and VW in addition to Bosch 5.7 ABS modules from BMW.
They all fail. The problem, they say, is that Bosch uses cheap components.
They replace the cheap components with better quality components; they say that's why they give a lifetime guarantee.

They say they even replace components that test out as good but which have a history of failing.

Last edited by bluebee; 01-05-2010 at 12:13 AM.
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  #121  
Old 12-20-2009, 10:16 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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QSilver7 posted a WONDERFUL explanation of what KL means in the ABS diagram previously posted ... namely:

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post

KL R & KL15 & KL30 & KL50 = When you see KL it refers to the ignition and it's various positions and what is "activated" when in those specific positions:
  • KL R = position 1 (limited electronics on)
  • KL15 = position 2 (all accessories on)
  • KL30 = position 3 (run)
  • KL50 = starter (engages)
QSilver7 also beautifully covered in that post what AGS is in the same ABS diagram.

To keep all great ABS information together, I reference his post here.
And, here's just a portion of the AGS description he kindly provided!

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Last edited by bluebee; 12-20-2009 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Added QSilver7's information in a PDF file (because of the number of picture links)
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  #122  
Old 12-31-2009, 02:55 PM
ca2002mp2 ca2002mp2 is offline
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Ok I read a bunch of articles on this site and others and have now completed my work. Here is the pass along. I went to ebay and found user ate1234 . They are with company ASI 1866.983.6688 www.autoecu.com. AFTER I did an OHM reading *at the ABS module ~test to make sure the sensors are not bad. But given what Iíve read here it's the module. In short sent it to ASI ran the car while it was disconnected from the car. All the 3 blazing lights mean is that you have normal old school -pre 80's brakes and no abs at all.. Got the module back installed and all issues fixed.. Total cost 138.00. That is MUCH better then the 2000 for dealership AND 1000 for parts.. I donít recommend buying the parts from BMW as the same issue that caused this break down will happen again. Oh last thought ASI warrants this for life.
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  #123  
Old 12-31-2009, 03:05 PM
ca2002mp2 ca2002mp2 is offline
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where is the delete button?

Last edited by ca2002mp2; 12-31-2009 at 03:07 PM.
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  #124  
Old 01-01-2010, 11:49 AM
Sonare Sonare is offline
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This is a fantastic thread for the dedicated DIY. I am not so dedicated! My indy listened to my probs and simply said "send it to Modulemasters." They got the unit and said they could not guarantee that the ABS was repairable but it turned out that it was. Got the unit back and installed it-- all the problems of warning lights went away. Not cheap but not bad if you consider the hours of analysis that I bypassed.

Rich
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Rich

2000 528it (5-sp manual, M52TU engine, 220k miles and going strong) Bimmer #13!
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:51 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,012
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonare View Post
"send it to Modulemasters." Not cheap but not bad if you consider the hours of analysis that I bypassed.
I'm guilty of the "hours of analysis", I agree; but, if there's one thing I've learned from this thread that I can impart to the next hapless person who reads this is ...

1. If your Bimmer has abs, brake, and DSC lights lit ...
2. Run the 5-minute sensor-resistance test ...
3. And if all 4 are good, then send your ABS module out for rebuild!


See? No hours of analysis (if you already know this!).

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