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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 01-15-2010, 10:10 PM
bhuang1103 bhuang1103 is offline
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E39 ABS Module, what if one does not code the VIN

I am contemplating replacing the ABS module to get rid of the trifecta lights. I saw Bluebee's post on the module. The question that wasn't asnwered on the post was if one doesn't program the VIN or calibrate the steering angle, then what? Will the speedo and odometer still work?
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:45 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Considering that the ABS costs $500, and the coding costs $100, you're shortchanging yourself. Just get it coded.

Alternatively, stick a bicycle speedo on the car.
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Last edited by bmw_n00b13; 01-15-2010 at 10:47 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2010, 11:57 PM
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mnepitjr mnepitjr is offline
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Why don't you just pull yours off and send it for repair. Then no re-coding.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2010, 09:41 AM
bhuang1103 bhuang1103 is offline
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I tried getting it repaired and came back negative. Bluebee was correct about the low hit rate of repair, though the repair shops claim 99% success rate.
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2010, 07:18 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhuang1103 View Post
The question that wasn't asnwered on the post was if one doesn't program the VIN or calibrate the steering angle, then what? Will the speedo and odometer still work?
For the steering angle, BlackBMW had his checked, and adjusted, trickyrickyrica found documentation it needs to be checked; however to confuse matters, 540iman says the steering angle (yaw) sensor does not need to be adjusted if you didn't replace it, and, well, almost nobody gets their steering angle adjusted after simply rebuilding their ABS module ... so, I'd "assume" it doesn't need to be checked despite the indications to the contrary.

However, it seems everyone who gets a different ABS module than their original DOES get it recoded. That's fine, as I'd to that also.

But I too am curious: Why does the ABS module need recoding (what happens if we don't recode it)?

I suspect the rebuilders know the answer so, I'd ask the next person who sends the ABS module in to be rebuilt ask them; or better yet, the next time someone buys a rebuilt or new module, ask the parts supplier and let us know!

Last edited by bluebee; 01-20-2010 at 07:34 AM.
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2010, 04:47 PM
jburnham jburnham is offline
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I've replaced three of four sensors and purchased a rebuilt abs control module (BBA said mine was not rebuildable). I've reinstalled it and still have all three lights.
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2010, 08:01 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jburnham View Post
I've replaced sensors and a rebuilt abs module
Not good. There are about 20 things that can cause the lights to go on, although most seem to find the ABS module (roughly 80% of the time) or the sensors (roughly 10% of the time) are the culprit.

Since the module is a rebuilt module, and since there is really no good test we have for the ABS module, you might wish to doublecheck the sensor checks (even though you replaced three of them, it could be in wires leading to the sensors).

There are 6 tests of the sensors, but, mainly the first test (DMM) should suffice. Were you able to run that test on all four sensors? (It only takes about five or ten minutes if you have a thin wire and a multimeter.)

If it's not the 4 sensors, their wires, or the ABS control module, you have to look at the other twenty or so components. Yuck. For your sake, I hope it's the sensor wires.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2010, 06:54 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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I believe I said the yaw sensor can fail and may need to be replaced just like a speed sensor. You should be able to get a new yaw damn close compared to the old one, so *if* your yaw is the culprit, you can usually tell from the dirt or discoloration nearly exactly where yours was before and be o.k. If you do not recode a new module, I do not believe your codes will clear and therefore your error lights will still be on, but your speedo may very well work.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2010, 11:54 AM
bhuang1103 bhuang1103 is offline
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I personally doubt it has anything to do with steering calibration or yaw sensors. The car drives just fine without the ABS module in the car. Without the ABS module, the three lights come on and the speedo and other items related to speed does not work (like auto door lock, odometer, cruise, etc).

And if it has to do with coding the VIN (so someone doesn't steal it and hawk it??), how long does it take to type in 20 digits??
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2010, 03:43 PM
Takechan Takechan is offline
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I've read somewhere that if you don't code your VIN into the module, it won't "activate" at all = the light (ABS/ASC) won't disappear, until you have it coded. Supposedly it's to prevent people from putting a module in the car, that it might not be compatible with, which could become dangerous.

I'm sorry I can't provide any links to support my claim, but I read it somewhere back when I dug through a lot of material because I needed to find out if replacing the module required coding - Yes I also had a ABS/ASC problem at one point and exchanging the sensor didn't help because it was the magnetic ring in the hub that was broken lol... I was convinced it was the module.
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  #11  
Old 01-31-2010, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhuang1103 View Post
other items related to speed does not work (like auto door lock)
THAT explains why my door locks suddenly stopped automatically locking on me!

Many have noted the fuel gauge, odometer, tripmeter, transmission, etc. are related to the ABS ... but you're the first person to mention the connection between ABS and automatic door locking that I'm aware of.

I even had opened a post a few weeks ago thanking God my automatic door locks stopped locking on me. I didn't realize what made it come back, but, of course, it was me putting my ABS module back in the E39!
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2010, 06:19 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhuang1103 View Post
I personally doubt it has anything to do with steering calibration or yaw sensors. The car drives just fine without the ABS module in the car.
The car's driving characteristics are irrelevant. The calibration of various sensors must be performed to make the DSC work. That's why you calibrate NEW MODULES. The yaw/steering sensors are there for the stability control. It's part of the same system. When you turn that system off, the car still drives fine, but you lose that system entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Random behaviour of computers is NEVER good... unless it's Windows.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2010, 06:40 AM
jburnham jburnham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takechan View Post
Yes I also had a ABS/ASC problem at one point and exchanging the sensor didn't help because it was the magnetic ring in the hub that was broken lol...
Is the magnetic ring in the hub visible or inspectible? I would like to confirm/eliminate that as the source of my ABS troubles. Myself and another board member started having ABS problems as soon as we installed new front Hamburg Technic bearings sourced from Turner Motorsports (F A G have been out of stock or short supply). I'm wondering these are defective. I don't have the equipment to check for signal from the sensor while spinning the wheel.
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2010, 03:39 PM
bhuang1103 bhuang1103 is offline
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I just stuck in a new module, and interesting observation,

ABS and brake lights went off, but DSC is still on, after two starts. I am wondering if that is what other people observed.
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2010, 09:03 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhuang1103 View Post
ABS and brake lights went off, but DSC is still on
Check your DSC button?

BTW, I found a very nice 740iL DSC/ABS DIY here for cross reference.

With his ABS control module off the BMW, Magnum observed the following:
  • No Speedometer
  • SES with code P0500 <=== he got same bogus error that caused me to erroneously fail my California SMOG inspection!
  • No ABS
  • No DSC [Traction Control]
  • No GPS for the Navi
  • No Mileage was Calculated
  • No Trip Mileage Meter
  • No Fuel Consumption 1 or 2
  • No Auto Lock
  • No Speed Sensitive Radio
  • No Cruise Control
  • The Temp Gauge Read 31* - 33* [even though it was much warmer than that]
  • The Brakes Were Extremely Mushy
  • The Steering Was Really “Loose”
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Last edited by bluebee; 02-02-2010 at 09:09 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-02-2010, 02:15 PM
bhuang1103 bhuang1103 is offline
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I got P0500 before when my abs module was flaky. It will clear with any OBDII reader.

I was able to clear mine several times.
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  #17  
Old 02-02-2010, 02:51 PM
DavidZ DavidZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhuang1103 View Post
I just stuck in a new module, and interesting observation,

ABS and brake lights went off, but DSC is still on, after two starts. I am wondering if that is what other people observed.
The same thing happened with my rebuilt module. The DSC stays on and the DSC button does nothing.

An indy told me that the module is fine, but that it's something called the recharge pump and he'd charge about $800 to fix it. I've decided to live with no DSC for the time being.
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2010, 05:39 PM
bhuang1103 bhuang1103 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidZ View Post
The same thing happened with my rebuilt module. The DSC stays on and the DSC button does nothing.

An indy told me that the module is fine, but that it's something called the recharge pump and he'd charge about $800 to fix it. I've decided to live with no DSC for the time being.
Hi DavidZ,

was your rebuilt module originally from your car? If not, did you try to recode the module?
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  #19  
Old 02-16-2010, 02:58 PM
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HihoBrian HihoBrian is offline
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Just to throw my 2 cents in, I had the instument cluster trifecta also with no speedo, mpg,or obc functions. I sent unit out to BBA it was attempted to be repaired but came back no good. I reinstalled it while awaiting a salvage yard unit and found obc speedo and mpg working now! abs and dsc still no good. Later I recieved my "new" unit which was 002 instead onf my 001 part number. I installed it in the parking lot. 200ft later PRESO! The triangle flashed two times and everything functions perfectly. No coding of any sort.I have a post that is moved into electronics now but if anyone wants my old ABS unit or pump, pm me.
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  #20  
Old 02-16-2010, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HihoBrian View Post
everything functions perfectly. No coding of any sort..
Since we can't seem to find anyone who actually required the coding, the evidence is mounting that we really don't need the recoding after putting in a new (new to the car) ABS module.

Time will tell though ... please keep us informed.
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  #21  
Old 02-16-2010, 07:59 PM
silver540it silver540it is offline
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I had my original module rebuilt twice and then tried another rebuilt one. Nothing seems to work, the dealer charged me a $100 to code it and another $100 to tell me that I had a hydrolic pump issue. Needless to say I left a little upset. My solution turned out to be snow tires.
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  #22  
Old 02-17-2010, 07:34 PM
bhuang1103 bhuang1103 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HihoBrian View Post
Just to throw my 2 cents in, I had the instument cluster trifecta also with no speedo, mpg,or obc functions. I sent unit out to BBA it was attempted to be repaired but came back no good. I reinstalled it while awaiting a salvage yard unit and found obc speedo and mpg working now! abs and dsc still no good. Later I recieved my "new" unit which was 002 instead onf my 001 part number. I installed it in the parking lot. 200ft later PRESO! The triangle flashed two times and everything functions perfectly. No coding of any sort.I have a post that is moved into electronics now but if anyone wants my old ABS unit or pump, pm me.
I had the same experience, AutoECU cannot fix the memory fault, but the unit came back working. However, I ended up purchasing a unit from parting out instead of a "new" unit, the parting out unit is still dash 001 and came from 2002 530i. The ABS now works but the DSC light is still on.

The original quotes I got for reprogramming in the San Francisco Bay Area is over $200+. The best to date is $95. I am wondering if I'll be wasting my $95 or $200+
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  #23  
Old 02-17-2010, 07:42 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Over $200 is a joke. $95 would be what I'd consider opening negotiations.
It's 20 min of work, max. They calibrate the steering and yaw sensors, and send you on your way, as I understand it. Coding is never worth more than 1 hr labour. Anyone who tells you anything else is BS-ing you.
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  #24  
Old 02-22-2010, 07:56 AM
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jetjock07 jetjock07 is offline
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Currently, I have traction control and ABS lights on. They've been on for a while. Finally decided to bite the dust and send in my module. My speedometer and mpg guage would go out a lot and pretty much altogether. Just got my unit back last Saturday and installed it. Speedometer works and everything else work, but both lights are still on. Called ModuleMaster this AM to let them know. Waiting to hear back what they want me to do. Crossing my fingers this unit can still be repaired.
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  #25  
Old 03-01-2010, 01:36 PM
Z4NL Z4NL is offline
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Interesting discussion here!

My 535i also got the dreaded trifecta problem this weekend. Everything speed related was dead or behaving erratically. No GPS, odo, trip, speedometer, consumption, auto doorlocks, cruise control. Servotronic steering went up and down.

I went to my local BMW techie and he hooked up a diagnostic computer which indicated the rear left wheelsensor was producing erratic pulses. He tried to reset the error but got a "fault condition still present" message. He ordered a new wheel sensor which will be replaced later this week. When I stepped back into the car and started the engine the DSC, ABS and Brake light were still orange but after driving a few yards they went off and everything was immediately back to normal and no problems all day. I will still have the faulty sensor replaced and hope I don't need a new DSC/ABS controller.

What I don't understand about the design of this system is that it obviously needs 4 wheel sensors for ABS/DSC to function properly but that all other systems apparently are denpending on the impulse signal from the rear left wheel only. Even if one sensor fails there are 3 signals left to keep the rest of the car working properly but there is no failover system in this design..

Thanks for all the valuable info here!

Last edited by Z4NL; 03-01-2010 at 01:49 PM.
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