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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2010, 06:12 PM
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mnepitjr mnepitjr is offline
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Steering Angle Sensor

I'm not normally on this forum, usually the 5er, but have a question. I am working on an 06 325i that has the steering angle sensor bad. This all started with her taking the car to a jack leg for alignment. Steering wheel is straight and centered but the dreaded lights are on. She has taken it to the dealer that is close to me, that I cannot stand, and they told her the steering angle sensor is bad. They wanted 1300.00 to do it. I have tried disconnecting the battery and doing the lock to lock but it doesn't clear the lights. I can get the switch for 299.00 through their parts since I have an account with parts. Anyway, my question is this, does this sensor really need coding to the car or will the lock to lock on start up set the new switch. Any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by mnepitjr; 12-30-2010 at 06:14 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2010, 06:33 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnepitjr View Post
I'm not normally on this forum, usually the 5er, but have a question. I am working on an 06 325i that has the steering angle sensor bad. This all started with her taking the car to a jack leg for alignment. Steering wheel is straight and centered but the dreaded lights are on. She has taken it to the dealer that is close to me, that I cannot stand, and they told her the steering angle sensor is bad. They wanted 1300.00 to do it. I have tried disconnecting the battery and doing the lock to lock but it doesn't clear the lights. I can get the switch for 299.00 through their parts since I have an account with parts. Anyway, my question is this, does this sensor really need coding to the car or will the lock to lock on start up set the new switch. Any help would be appreciated.
I don't know the answer to your question concerning a 5'er, but maybe someone else who does will see this after the bump and give you a response.
I do know a bit about alignments and 'steering angle sensors' (sas). The SAS is a very simple device in a secure location. It is very unlikely that the alignment tech damaged it, even at a "jack leg" shop. It is far more likely the guy didn't know he had to reset it after the alignment. In effect he has to reset the 'zero' so that the stability control computer knows when you are steering straight ahead. It's a relatively easy procedure to perform but the shop has to have the right scanner to interface with your on-board computer.
My suggestion would be to call a more competent alignment shop and see if they will take your word that the alignment is good and reset zero for you. They might charge you a lot less than doing a complete alignment.
Bottom line, I don't thing the SAS in your car failed at the exact same time you were getting an alignment.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2010, 07:45 AM
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Bob Shiftright Bob Shiftright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnepitjr View Post

She has taken it to the dealer that is close to me, that I cannot stand, and they told her the steering angle sensor is bad. They wanted 1300.00 to do it. I have tried disconnecting the battery and doing the lock to lock but it doesn't clear the lights. I can get the switch for 299.00 through their parts since I have an account with parts. Anyway, my question is this, does this sensor really need coding to the car or will the lock to lock on start up set the new switch. Any help would be appreciated.
I took my car in to my BMW dealer for an oil change and annual service earlier this month -- which they finished in just under 90 minutes, as promised.

I drove the car no more than 10 feet when I received an error code.

Which turned out to be the steering angle sensor.

Odd coincidence, but I am baffled as to what they could possibly have done to break the sensor during an oil change. The sensor needed to be ordered, but they ordered the wrong part. Eventually they received the right part and then the car needed to spend a day in the programming bay. Yes, it seems that the E9x needs reprogramming to recognize new electrical components!

The 335i loaner that I had for the next week was nice, albeit it was a slushbox.

I asked how much it would have cost me out of warranty and the answer was well over $1k -- and that convinced me that I need to buy the extended warranty. And ditch the car when that warranty expires. For some reason I didn't receive a satisfaction call from BMW about either the oil change or the repair.

Anyway, yes, $1300 for parts, labor and programming seems about right. The days of the shade tree mechanic are probably over, at least as far as the European makes.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2010, 08:10 PM
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mnepitjr mnepitjr is offline
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Thanks for the responses. After dealing with her car, I have decided that my 2000 M5 and 2002 5er are probably as new as I will go. She has been dealing with these lights on her 2006 e90 ever since her alignment and the BMW dealer told her the sensor was bad after the alignment. I don't know if they didn't want to just reset it or just wanted the extra money to install another one. I'll probably put the sensor on anyway and see if a local shop here can code it. With the prices of equipment just to be able to do this programming, I think I am gonna pass doing any service work on the newer cars from now on. Thanks again and Happy New Year
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2010, 10:21 PM
Vulpes Vulpes is offline
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I don't know anything about the SAS, but I did some googling out of curiosity, and found this item:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=291643
"long story short i f***** up a part of my wheel while installing an M3 wheel and the steering angle sensor reset itself."
I also found that when swapping out the battery, the Bentley manual recommends resetting the SAS, although I think I would wait for the fault before resetting it in this case, given the cost..

More from the Bentley Manual:
After repairs to the steering or suspension system, use a BMWscan tool or equivalent to calibrate the sensor. Once the calibration is complete, the sensor sends an identification number over the CAN-bus to the DSC control module. The ID confirms that the sensor is calibrated correctly.

DSC control module logic checks the plausibility of the steering angle sensor signal against other inputs such as wheel speeds and acceleration inputs.

If battery voltage is interrupted, steering wheel angle of rotation is recalculated by the DSC control module evaluating the wheel speeds. If replacing steering angle sensor, remember to recalibrate sensor.
I also found that the BT Tool (Bavarian Technic Tool) has a setting to reset the SAS.. The tool is about $300, but I question if it can really recalibrate it. Although in the following thread, toward the end, someone said it fixed something.. YMMV

http://forums.n54tech.com/showthread.php?t=2804
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2010, 10:40 PM
Vulpes Vulpes is offline
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I missed one thread. Found it as an open tab in my browser after I typed the above response..

What's interesting here is that one person says that disconnecting the battery for 15minutes may reset the sensor.. Might be worth a shot.. I didn't read the whole thread, so they might have thrown the guy under the bus for this suggestion..

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/arc.../t-471422.html

Let us know what you end up doing to solve this.. It is good to document this stuff.. These $1000 plus reprogramming "repairs" scare the bajesus out of me..
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2011, 04:40 PM
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mnepitjr mnepitjr is offline
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Thanks Randall for the info. I'll give it a shot and see what happens. The info about the CAN Bus system makes sense and I have another scan tool for CAN Bus autos. So I'll hook it up and give it a try.
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2011, 05:33 PM
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mnepitjr mnepitjr is offline
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I just thought I might update this for those who are interested in trying to install the SZL switch/sensor. After talking with an indy here who said he had the best and latest equipment and could program the new switch, I went home and started this project. I disconnected the battery and let it sit for about 15 mins so as to make sure the airbag module would be powered down. I have done this since I worked for GM. It's just a habit. Anway, I had researched on here how to get the airbag out but couldn't quite understand it. So I carefully removed the trim panel around the airbag with the switches in it. Finally I realized that you have to push the pins inward towards the center to make the airbag become loose. Removed the bolt on the steering wheel and removed it, popped the two halves of the steering column cover apart and there is the switch. Unplug the switch and remove the four torx screws and the switch comes off. Now make sure you have the steering wheel straight before you even started this. Anyhow, got the switch for $299 and maybe spent 30 mins time including the power down for installing it. Went the next day and the indy idiot couldn't do it. He just came in there with the list of codes and said that I would have to get it programmed. I told him that's why I brought it over there and that I had discussed that with him. Anyway, called the dealer and they wanted $180 to program it. She had been quoted by the BMW dealer in Nashville TN $1500 for doing the same thing. A small mark up. The new switch also comes with a cover so you can't screw up and get the clock spring assy off center. It's locked until you take the little red cover off.
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