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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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Old 07-30-2011, 02:11 PM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 M3 6MT
Red face My experience with the trifecta lights (ABS/DSC/Brake)

Update: it was a bad (new) speed sensor after all, despite it passing the multimeter and visual tests!

I have done an extensive amount of research on this topic and I've come to learn that my issues with the 3 lights is not exactly mainstream. It differs in a few key points, so I'm posting this to share my experience as I deal with the problem, and maybe it'll help someone in the future because we know that this problem isn't going anywhere!

First off, this is a 2000 540i/6 Sport. It has the Bosch 5.7 DSC III unit. I got the car with this problem and the previous owner had done a bit of troubleshooting already. For the sake of being thorough however, I started from the beginning.

INITIAL SYMPTOMS
1. All lights off upon cold or hot start.
2. Brake pedal pulsates at any pressure while moving. ABS modulates brake pressure, car pulls to the left while braking. <-- IMPORTANT
3. While pulsating, the braking performance is absolutely horrible with only the front-left wheel braking on the front axle!
4. 15-60 seconds later, ABS/DSC/Brake lights come on.
5. Brake pedal no longer pulses on braking, traction control verified non-functional (ABS assumed non-functional).
6. Speedometer works, cruise control works.

RELEVANT INFORMATION:
1. Front tires are winter 235/45-17 and rears 255/40-17 with 90% thread. Swapping F/R and mounting all seasons made no difference. Wheels are balanced.
2. Front speed sensors were aftermarket non-OEM units from the previous owner. They look new.
3. The module had been replaced and recoded with a non-new unit. This is suspect.
4. The car may have been involved in a front-end collision. Wiring in the front has not been tested thoroughly though everything works.

This is a common problem with E39's and the consensus is that the ABS module is the cause 80% of the time, the speed sensors 15% of the time, and the remaining 5% are things like wiring, grounds, defective reluctor wheels, etc.. So it makes sense to test the speed sensors given low expense and ease of testing/installation.

TEST 1: Speed Sensors
I performed the DMM test at the ABS control module connector, hoping to locate the faulty speed sensor. My results were as follows:
Quote:
SENSOR PINS resistance diode+/diode-

LF 12-28 700 1.600/0L
RF 15-16 700 1.610/0L
LR 13-29 700 0L/0L
RR 30-31 700 1.615/0L
I tested each sensor twice and the faulty LEFT-REAR four times. I am not new to electrical work, and I definitely know how to wield a multimeter, so this isn't a testing error. The resistance values were rounded obviously, and I was 100% sure of the results because we repeated them for confirmation. I even manipulated the harness expecting to find an intermittent issue with the wiring, at no avail.

TEST 2: Left-Rear Speed Sensor
I took off the wheel and disconnected the speed sensor. We performed the same test and got the same results as above (within error). This drove me crazy because my speedometer worked fine (it relies on the LEFT-REAR sensor for the speed reading that drives the speedo gauge, odometer, trip meter).

TEST 3: Engine Bay Grounds
I've heard reports and even seen a video of a bad ground causing the same symptoms. So I measured the voltage drop and resistance across the grounding blocks in the engine compartment. I tested the two on each fender and both passes my sanity checks. For a piece of mind, I disconnected the grounds and cleaned them nicely, along with the nut and the mounting location. A bad ground caused massive missfire and very loud electric arc-ing sounds in my 500hp Trans Am WS6 not too long ago, so I'm a bit sensitive to their needs!

TEST 4: Autologic Vehicle Diagnostics
At this point, I wasn't sure if it's adviseable to replace the LEFT-REAR sensor or swap with the RIGHT-REAR. I decided to take it to my buddy who works at a shop specializing in BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche. We hooked it up to an Autologic Scanner which is supposedly a fully fledged diagnostic tool and more powerful than the factory diagnostic tools. This thing, for the lack of a better word, is badass. I also ordered a Peake tool so I can do some basic stuff without bothering him.

This scanner plugs into the underhood ADS connector and polls all modules for stored error codes. More importantly, it provides comprehensive troubleshooting and testing procedures for each detected issue. My car had a slew of them which had never been cleared properly, from bulb codes, foglight malfunction, headrest blocked on downward motion (wow). We concentrated on the ABS and speed sensor problems knowing that it's difficult to discern between a faulty sensor and module.

There were two relevant errors from memory:
Quote:
1. Right front speed sensor output not reliable, 255 iterations
2. Magnetic wheel error, 200-230 iterations
TEST 4A: Brake Pressure Sensor
This sensor is located on the upper back side of the ABS distribution block. Mine looked to be in good condition despite the semi-awkward factory angle of the connector wiring, but the troubleshooting sequence asks to ensure that it detects smooth and linear pressure. I jumped into the car, started up the engine, and very very slowly applied the brakes while my buddy logged the data. It showed a linear increase in brake pressure and a max of something around 200 bar at full depression and idle engine speed. BPS is OK.

TEST 4B: Steering Angle Sensor
Similar as above, but we polled the sensor's output to ensure that it's working fine and not impacting the DSC negatively (it's one of the inputs as per the technical documents). My car showed -20 degrees to start with, and moving the wheel lock to lock registed -359 to +360. Getting it back to ~0 on the scanner resulted in the steering wheel being straight as well. I do not recall what the unit of measaure was used for this, presumable degrees. SAS is OK.

TEST 4C: Speed Sensor Outputs
With the car raised on the lift, I went from wheel to wheel and spun as quickly as I could while the speeds were logged on the Autologic. Each sensor reported 0kph with that wheel stationary, and they reported upward of 15-25kph with me spinning the respecting wheel. The reported speeds went up and down very quickly, but this was consistent among all four wheels so we considered the speed sensors and wiring functional. This is particularly strange given the results of TEST 1. Speed sensors appear OK.

TEST 4D: ABS Control Unit Solenoids
The Autologic has the ability to toggle the ABS solenoids on an individual basis. I think there were 12-24 tests and they all clicked on/off as instructed. Nothing surprising here. This was more of a hunt for more symptoms than a test. Not a total waste of time because it was cool to see!

TEST 4E: Reset Every Single Code & Test Drive
Because there were so many stored codes from previous issues, we thought it best to just reset all the codes and drive the car for a bit. This would allow time to read and store current codes so we can more effectively diagnose the issue from here on out. I drove 15 miles home through Friday rush hour traffic!

NEW SYMPTOMS:
1. ABS light is always on now - suggests error code stored by ABS module
2. DSC/Brake lights appear to turn on much sooner, or immediately after starting the car now

The next step is to do another scan with the Autologic and see where we stand. After that, I suspect it is time to swap the front sensors or buy 1/2 new ones (though I suspect that has already been tried). I have two ABS modules coded for my car and they both behave the same, so I may consider taking apart one and/or having it rebuilt anyway (concentrating on the steel wire connection).

TEST 5: PEAKE TOOL
I didn't get a chance to get the car scanned with the Autologic as I had hoped, so for now, I'll keep with the Peake while I learn about EDIABAS, INPA, GT1, and similar systems that can offer insight into this issue.

I retrieved the following error codes using the Peake:
Quote:
Table 0F
1C - mixture control, idle, cyl 1-4
1D - mixture control, idle, cyl 5-8
62 - EVAP emission system purge valve
05 - precat oxygen sensor, cyl 5-8
12 - precat oxygen sensor heater, cyl 5-8
?? - aftercat oxygen sensor (aging?)
DD - CAN Timeout ASC/DSC
The last code is the only relevant one for this troubleshooting procedure. I suspect it represents power cutting in/out at or near the ABS module, or no power at all, which is consistent with BlueBee's repeated assertion of a cracked/disconnector power supply wire on the module circuit board.

The "CAN Timeout ASC/DSC" code is stored immediately with no nonsense anymore. I can clear all the codes and this is always the first one to come back by far.

To deal with the other symptoms, the car is getting new Bosch primary oxygen sensors, NGK spark plugs, new fuel filter and fuel pressure regulator, gas cap silicone lube, a vacuum line lookover, secondary o2 non-foulers etc..

ABS MODULE INSPECTION
I cut open the Bosch 5.7 III module in order in order to look for obvious damage. Thorough inspection using dentistry tools, magnetic tweezers, and heavy breathing showed no obvious breaks in any wires. I wiped away some of the good from various soldering points to get a better feel, but at no avail. I did however, see what people meant by "Angel Hair" gold wires. These things are ridiculously fragile and it would behoove you to not come anywhere near touching them. I closed my garage fearing that a draft could damage them beyond repair! I don't think that module rebuilds can fix this so be advised.

CROSSROADS
With the speed sensors testing OK on the Autologic, the speedomter/cruise working fine, and with the newly realized "cheap" prices for ABS module rebuilds, I had to decide if it's worth having the module rebuilt. After quick deliberation, I thought it best to send it in for diagnostics and repair. The only question was who... the following options are retail prices:

Quote:
Comany - Price - Warranty - Notes
MODULE MASTERS - $300 - 5yr - The shorter warranty isn't a huge problem, 5yrs is a long time IMO.
BBA REMAN - $275 - LIFETIME - Best reviews from what I've gathered. Free shipping. Also on eBay (not at this moment)
ATE AUTO ECU - $159 - LIFETIME - Free shipping. Also on eBay (seller=ate1234)
I decided to go through eBay and selected ATE (aka Auto ECU, Auto Truck Electronics) for $150. I shipped it via FedEx for $8. It's important to remember that some modules cannot be rebuilt (the success rate varies with whom you ask). I looked at ATE's eBay feedback as a general guide for positive/negative feedback on BMW Bosch 5.7 rebuilds and felt that it's probably a 50/50 shot at getting back a working module. They charge a bench testing and shipping fee only in the event that it cannot be rebuilt. This wasn't expressed in the eBay auction so it may be waived/mitigated, so who knows. Speaking of which, here is the eBay auction in question:
Code:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380338577904 - if it dies, search ate1234
DRIVEABILITY WITH THE MODULE REMOVED
If you're wondering about driveability with a module being shipping back and forth, then here are some notes for your consideration:
1. Speedometer won't work. This is in addition to your odometer, trip meter and dependent systems not being functional
2. Cruise won't work either obviously
3. Cover the ABS pump to mitigate long-term dust/water exposure. It's fairly well sealed, but I'd put some foil or plastic on it just for piece of mind
4. ABS and DSC lights will be on permantently. Orange BRAKE light will be off
5. NONE of these systems will work: ABS, stability/traction control, anything relating to speed like
auto-locking doors, speed-sensitive volume, OBC features like MPG/ETA/distance, etc..

WAITING
As I wait for the module to be repaired (hopefully!) and sent back to me, I'll be dealing with a bad MAF and valve cover gasket oil leaks. A fresh batch of Mobil-1 0w-40 awaits along with more tune-up and maintenance items.

I also bought a diagnostic cable for future use. The cost was $80 and it's the supposedly super-compatible type with the ADS interface. This cable has a serial connector and won't work with recent laptops (circa 2007 and later). Further, if you want to scan only your E39, then you can find them for a lot less than $80. I can't wait to finish downloading all the software and start playing with it. By the way, here is the recommended cable:
Code:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260815839317
I have a backup ABS module already coded which I may use for some testing. Who knows, maybe it's like an old TV that just need to be smacked around a bit before it starts working again D:

ATE PHONE CALL #1 - 8/17/11
I've called them a couple of times to check in on the status of the module repair in hopes of getting different people on the line. I just got off the phone with a tech who advised me that my ABS module had "extensive damage" and that they're still in the process of repairing it. It was shipped to them on 8/8, received 8/11, today is 8/17, and expected completion is 8/22.

More importantly, prodding for information about what was damaged and what is being fixed has not been fruitful. I wasn't able to get any specific information, only general script language. Going to try again!

ATE PHONE CALL #2 - 8/19/11
I received a phone call advising me that the module tested perfectly fine on their test bench and that they were unable to duplicate my symptoms. After inquiring further, I was transferred to the same tech with whom I spoke two days ago and he confirmed this. Apparently there was a mix-up with another module hence the explanation from the previous discussion. More detailed questions resulted in me being transfered to their master tech Donnie who took the time to go into great detail about their testing procedure (very helpful guy!). Here are the notes I took as he was explaining everything to me, and the parts in quotes are his exact words:

Quote:
- My module was unusual in that it was "exceptionally clean inside"
- It was bench tested on a "custom BMW ABS/DSC precharge pump" using diagnostic software connected to speed sensors
- Software used was propriatary "Bavarian software" from Germany. I asked was it INPA/GT1 or even Autologic. No, "propriatary."
- They were able to communicate with it just fine
- No fault codes were found so they opened it for inspection
- Common event is for heat/vibration to "break bridge connections and lose communication"
- "Much thicker silver wires normally fail"
- Bridge wires were strength tested for "tensile strength"
- Microscopic connections (angel hair wires) were in great condition as well
- "Integrity of the wires was absolutely perfect"
- Suggested inspection of harness connection for corrosion and damage
- Suggested that any other rebuilder will have the same experience
- "-002" BMW modules experience both hardware and software failures (002 are the last digits from the p/n)
- Software failure result from heat damage to the microprocessors
- BMW unwilling to help with releasing information necessary to build a "piggy-back" or alternate chip
- They do "150 modules a day" (across all makes/models)
- Typical -002 results from his experience: 50% not rebuildable, 5% test as good, rest are rebuilt
- Considering to stop offering support for -002's because "they're not in and out" and have a low success rate
- Sending in open modules is OK. "Probing around" OK, touch gold wires and it's not rebuildable
- Sending in open modules with solder work already performed not OK
- Offered to take a look at my other module despite it being opened up
ATE PHONE CALL #3 - 8/22/11
Mike will be shipping the working ABS module back to me. They charge $15 for return shipping and refund the original payment in full (no bench-test fee!). I'm fairly confident that this applies only to purchases originating from their eBay listings. Now we begin the procurement of software!

TEST 6: MY OWN VEHICLE DIAGNOSTICS
I received the module very quickly and installed it in pitch-black dark to make sure it works (well, not works). The symptoms listed way above persisted, but hey, I finally get a chance to put this diagnostic software to use. If you're interested in getting started with this, I strongly urge you to head over to Making sense of ADS, EDIABAS, INPA, NCS, NFS, GT1/DIS, Progman, ISIS, WinKPT, Carsoft and read up. Feel free to post there or PM any of us if you run into problems.

Quote:
E R R O R M E M O R Y R E P O R T
Date: 08/31/11 03:27:43
ECU: DSC57
JobStatus: OKAY
Variant: DSC57
-------------------------------------------------------------
RESULT: 2 errors in error memory !
-------------------------------------------------------------
24 wrong impulsering
Error frequency : 219
Vehicle speed 49.19 km/h
-------------------------------------------------------------
6 wheel speed sensor front right plausibility
Error frequency : 255
Vehicle speed 11.38 km/h
I tested brake pressure and steering angle, nothing unusual here.

These errors are reminiscent from the Autologic vehicle scan cited way above. Knowing that the ABS module is in working order, the reluctor ring or speed sensor must be to blame on that corner. I had a strong feeling that this was the case a while back, thinking that a wheel reported a speed of 0 causing the ABS to pulsate the brakes because it believes the car to be partially on ice. This was was confirmed via email by a user all the way in Ireland who had similar symptoms and resolved it by "having a new bearing fitted" (that's the Queen's English for ya). The "impulse ring" appears to be built into the wheel bearing. These bearings are relatively cheap and apparently not as difficult to do as I expected. I've never done a front one on an E39 but this is the general guide which I expect to be abusing in the near future: DIY: 1998 528i FRONT Bearing the Easy Way (45 min to 60 min each side).

Before that, however, I'll log individual wheels speeds in DIS for confirmation of a faulty front-right signal. I need to source a serial cable that reaches the cabin from the ADS connector for this. After that, swapping sensors and logging again should provide nearly 100% certainty of the root of my problem.

TEST 7A: DATALOGGING
Right-front is confirmed to be the problem using DIS live logging, though I it doesn't definitely narrow it down to the sensor, the wiring, or wheel bearing quite yet. The computed speed for the trouble corner varies greatly while cruising at a constant speed, whereas the other 3 wheels are perfectly steady and in sync with the OBC speed read out (TEST NR. 8?). Here are pictures taken while going ~60mph.



TEST 7B: MORE DATALOGGING
Fully expecting to locate a faulty ABS ring in the wheel bearing, I swapped the two sensors in the front anyway *just to make sure* a simple speed sensor wasn't the issue. Besides, they were all new so why test? Well, the problem moved alongside the speed sensor.





So there we have it, both sensors tested fine using the multimeter yet one ended up being faulty in the end. It's a good thing I swapped them out against my instincts because I almost bought two new wheel bearings to fix the reluctor ring I presumed to be bad.

This laptop and interface cable just paid for themselves!

NEW SENSOR INSTALLED
I threw on the new speed sensor while doing the valve cover gaskets earlier today. We fired up the car to burn off all the sillicone spray, oil, finger prints, etc... the ABS/brake lights were on until I started moving. They immediately turned off as I reversed out of the garage.

During late night "testing" up north, I learned that toggling the DSC off during a ballsout 60mph sweeper will result in a sudden burst in engine power. I'm happy to report that this isn't my first RWD car, so I'm alive to make this final update in this thread :P

Parting words: my advice is to datalog the wheel speed sensors! Go to your indy, find a local member, or get your own setup [urlhttp://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=561237=]with info found here[/url]. If you can't communicate with ABS/DSC, odds are your module is toast; if you can, find the oddball reading and work on it by inspecting the wiring and/or swapping sensors side to side.

Adi

Last edited by Quick99Si; 09-17-2011 at 11:42 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2011, 09:50 AM
kbbelanger kbbelanger is offline
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ABS light issue

this is very interesting and I can not wait to see the results. I also have a similar issue and was about to bring it into the dealer for diagnostics...($$$$!). Please advise any updates.

Tks
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:13 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to look into this further, but here's a quick update.

PEAKE TOOL
Polling the pacman connector for errors revealed code DD from table 0F. This corresponds to "CAN Timeout ASC/DSC." I don't think this helps much for my troubleshooting purposes.

I have a spare ABS module with the same p/n as the one in the car. They're both Bosch 5.7 parts and they identical to the ones I've seen on the forums and rebuilder websites. I opened up the spare one and found that the insides look very different from what I expected. The typical power wire, which is the leading cause of problems due to a crack/break, simply does not exist. There are a bunch of similar looking double-wire grounds, but a closer inspection with a dentist pick indicates that they're all seated properly.

I still cannot find the printout from the comprehensive scan, and I've looked damn near everywhere for it
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:01 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Congrats for applying every known test we in the community know of! I am very impressed with your thorough diagnostics and especially your rationale. I have had a lot of personal experience with this issue and your results don't make sense to me, but they are what they are. I am sure your readings are correct. Presented with just your test info of the speed sensors, I would have to say LR is bad (regardless of speedo, etc.) as there is just no accepting that LR and RR don't ping back same resistance and/or diode test.

When my car had the first round of this, my module was re-built, but the error was still there and I tracked to the RF sensor which I am leaning toward in your case. I don't trust non-siemans sensors, but still the outputs as read by the Auto-logic say they are reading revs.

I can only assume that in the end, you will find two or more issues. The whole purpose for this public posting of issues is to *avoid* just throwing parts at the problem, but at this point I must say that beyond the "inquisitive and need to understand" there is some value to your time, energy, use of scan tools, etc. I think that just based upon putting a modest value on your time and loss of use of the system, I think if it were my car I would want to purchase one new front sensor and put it at RF and then if you don't want to buy a second...see what that yields and if no better, I would replace LR more just as a process of elimination. Normally, I might suggest swapping L to R rears and L to R fronts and see where issue moves. I just have the strongest hunch that despite using different modules, you will end up at the end of the day finding module is bad and either LR is bad or LR AND RF.

I'm definitely subb'ing. G/L
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:06 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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Thanks for your input guys. I updated the post above with some more information, but basically, I decided to send it out for a rebuild. The pulsating brake pedal was a strong indication that the ABS module is getting intermittent power moreso than a potentially failing speed sensor. Like 540iman suggested, the curious troubleshooting gets old and a waste of time becomes pricey after a while, so $150 wasn't a high price to pay in this situation.

I, too, expect a double-fault here. I quickly realized that hunting down a faulty sensor is much easier with a known working module, and messing around with all the underlying components is very difficult with a potentially bad module. I'll update with new developments!
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:11 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
Like 540iman suggested, the curious troubleshooting gets old and a waste of time becomes pricey after a while, so $150 wasn't a high price to pay in this situation.
I think you've done a WONDERFUL job documenting troubleshooting steps!

Thank you for such a wonderful well written and beautifully organized experience with diagnosing the trifecta!

I wish I had cut mine open when I had this problem; but Bill (540iman) hadn't written his ABS control module autopsy at that time so I didn't know it could be done.

I am not surprised you found those 'angel hairs'; but I am surprised at what appears to be a difference between the two modules you had (where one seems to have had the thick steel wire firmly affixed while the other doesn't even seem to have the thick steel wire at all)???

Please do keep us informed as to your progress.

If I'm not too late to ask, please take a really close look at the BACKSIDE of the ABS control module before and after the rebuild to see if/what the rebuilders touch there.

See details here:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > ABS DSC module rebuild by Module Masters and DIY

Quote:
This is the FIRST time I've heard that they touched parts on the backside (the one with the cylindrical posts)!

What we need to do is ASK people to snap BEFORE and AFTER pictures of that (often neglected) backside - so that we can tell if they've been touched during the rebuild process.

It might be that these 'parts' are touched either to test or to fix so it would also be useful to know WHAT these two objects do!


Last edited by bluebee; 08-09-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:26 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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Unfortunately, I had sent the module out on Friday night and it finally left the FedEx Kinkos this morning. I'll post pictures of the solenoid side and compare it to my spare module's once I receive it.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:43 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Before sending ABS CPU for repair, we should snap before/after photos!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
I'll post pictures of the solenoid side and compare it to my spare module's once I receive it.
Sorry my request came too late (I only found out about this yesterday from Whorse's thread).

May I request you call ATE while your ABS control module is still in their possession and discreetly ask (if you can) 'what' they are fixing in your module?

As you know, I have been told (but have absolutely no proof) that all they do is affix the thicker steel wire to its gold bondpad (and/or separate the gold "angel hairs" that may have contacted one another over time in the goop).

It would be good to hear from them, as ATE told me that they replace 'components' such as capacitors (from memory) ... which, after seeing pictures of Bill's ABS control module (and quite a few others), I just can't believe without having more proof.

BTW, I am surprised at 'some' of your results, most of all these two observations:
  1. Why, on earth, does the LR wheel speed sensor read so strange?
  2. How can two identical ABS control modules be so different inside?
Do you have pictures of the opened ABS control modules?

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Last edited by bluebee; 08-11-2011 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Added a reference showing the two types of photos needed!
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:16 PM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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I will be contacting ATE once they receive it to inquire and get as much information as possible. I feel that I owe it to the community, and there are a few members in particular, who have dedicated so much time and resources to help with this widespread problem (from which I have benefited greatly!). If it helps, I'll gladly open it back up to see what they touched, warranty be damned.

I may have been unclear in my post about the modules. I have two presumed non-working ABS modules: the original was opened up for inspection by myself, and the other is a used one with junkyard numbers on it. The latter is currently on the way to ATE. I made a mistake in saying it looks different from other 5.7's as I was referencing the wrong photos.

LEFT-REAR SENSOR ANOMALY
The LEFT-REAR speed sensor tested bad as per the 10-minute DMM test, however, I feel that it's possible that it simply cannot be confirmed bad/working using a multimeter. I suppose it can easily detect a totally destroyed speed sensor, broken internal wiring, or a sensor that is totally disconnected... BUT it isn't a definitive test of confirming that it outputs correct and reliable speed readings to the ABS module. The vehicle speedometer and Autologic logging both received valid speed readings, and we know that the LEFT-REAR speed sensor is used for this. My speedo wasn't erratic. I can also confidently say that my test method isn't faulty (see first post above) so it must be the the sensor's operation that doesn't yield itself to 100% confirmation using a multimeter.

One thing that I can try doing is to test the LEFT-REAR sensor again with the wheel in a different position, or spinning, to see if it spits back anything useful.

LOTS OF PEOPLE GET NEW LEFT-REAR SPEED SENSORS WITHOUT ANY BENEFIT
I can't tell you how many E39 ads I've seen where the seller will openly say that the car has the trifecta of lights, only to follow that by saying that the car has a new speed sensor back there (and radiator, PS components, all the usual stuff). This tells me that people are quick to replace it but this doesn't always fix it as we know. A simple left/rear swap would save time, money, and help with troubleshooting in general. If the speedo works, I think it's a safe bet that the sensor in question is working despite the DMM test results (as was my case).

Last edited by Quick99Si; 08-09-2011 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:46 PM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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As far as before/after pictures go, I don't have any before photos of the module that was sent out. I can post comparative images between the ATE-rebuilt (hopefully!) module and the one that I opened up. It should be easy to identify replaced components on the solenoid side due to surface corrosion, and it should be even easier to do so on the circuit side because of that lovely Bosch snot.

There is a local seller with a BBA-rebuilt module selling it for around $125. It is sealed and has a tamper-proof sticker from BBA... I considered picking it up and having it recoded, but he's way too far for my liking. If you want his contact info, please PM me.
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:26 PM
Whorse Whorse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
I will be contacting ATE once they receive it to inquire and get as much information as possible. I feel that I owe it to the community, and there are a few members in particular, who have dedicated so much time and resources to help with this widespread problem (from which I have benefited greatly!). If it helps, I'll gladly open it back up to see what they touched, warranty be damned.

I may have been unclear in my post about the modules. I have two presumed non-working ABS modules: the original was opened up for inspection by myself, and the other is a used one with junkyard numbers on it. The latter is currently on the way to ATE. I made a mistake in saying it looks different from other 5.7's as I was referencing the wrong photos.

LEFT-REAR SENSOR ANOMALY
The LEFT-REAR speed sensor tested bad as per the 10-minute DMM test, however, I feel that it's possible that it simply cannot be confirmed bad/working using a multimeter. I suppose it can easily detect a totally destroyed speed sensor, broken internal wiring, or a sensor that is totally disconnected... BUT it isn't a definitive test of confirming that it outputs correct and reliable speed readings to the ABS module. The vehicle speedometer and Autologic logging both received valid speed readings, and we know that the LEFT-REAR speed sensor is used for this. My speedo wasn't erratic. I can also confidently say that my test method isn't faulty (see first post above) so it must be the the sensor's operation that doesn't yield itself to 100% confirmation using a multimeter.

One thing that I can try doing is to test the LEFT-REAR sensor again with the wheel in a different position, or spinning, to see if it spits back anything useful.

LOTS OF PEOPLE GET NEW LEFT-REAR SPEED SENSORS WITHOUT ANY BENEFIT
I can't tell you how many E39 ads I've seen where the seller will openly say that the car has the trifecta of lights, only to follow that by saying that the car has a new speed sensor back there (and radiator, PS components, all the usual stuff). This tells me that people are quick to replace it but this doesn't always fix it as we know. A simple left/rear swap would save time, money, and help with troubleshooting in general. If the speedo works, I think it's a safe bet that the sensor in question is working despite the DMM test results (as was my case).
That is so true. The bad advice flies around alot about this, When I first started looking up the tri-fecta issue every thread had someone saying replace the speed sensor since its so cheap and easy. WRONG cheapest and easiest thing to do would be drive the car and test the cruise control. If it works then the speed sensor is fine.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:20 PM
jeffstri jeffstri is offline
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Quick99Si,

Finally, someone reporting real test results. Nice work.

I may have missed it, but did you read the ABS fault codes before doing the Autologic tests? (The Peake tool will not read ABS codes.)

It's fun to do all the tests you reported but if, for example, there was no wheel sensor fault code there's no need to test the wheels sensors. Similarly, the only reason to test the pressure sensor is if there is a pressure sensor fault code.

I have no experience with the Autologic system but I seriously doubt that if has the capabilities that the BMW diagnostic tools have. I've seen the same claims for Carsoft, P.A.Soft and others, and none of them live up to their hype. Independent shops use them because they can't afford to buy separate factory diagnostic tools for every make/model they service. Autologic relies on reverse engineering of OE modules and tries to support multiple makes (BMW, Mercedes Benz, VAG, Jaguar, Porsche, Volvo. and Peugeot, CitroŽn, Renault, Rolls-Royce). Jack of all trades, . . .

I don't mean to knock Autologic, but those of you interested in DIY diagnostics will be better served by the BMW tools (INPA, DIS, SSS/Progman, NCS Expert, WinKPT) which can be downloaded free here (you need some "help" to access the files) and also here: (ftp://94.212.182.18/), and if you have an old computer handy, you can set up a system for less than $50, the cost of an INPA/ediabas interface and cable set.

Last edited by jeffstri; 08-10-2011 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:28 PM
jeffstri jeffstri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
I am sure your readings are correct. Presented with just your test info of the speed sensors, I would have to say LR is bad (regardless of speedo, etc.) as there is just no accepting that LR and RR don't ping back same resistance and/or diode test.
G/L
Why? The BMW uses active wheel sensors, which include circuity that coverts the Hall effect AC current into a DC square wave signal. What makes you think you can test the integrity of the circuit with a simple resistance of diode test?

His TEST 4C: Speed Sensor Outputs proves definitively that the wheel sensors are sending appropriate output and the DSC module is interpreting the output correctly.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:06 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Let's DEFINE the proper test procedures (anything else is just useless banter))

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whorse View Post
every thread had someone saying replace the speed sensor since its so cheap and easy. WRONG
I agree with you!

When I first started looking up this problem, the amount of BAD INFORMATION & NO INFORMATION was astounding!

The whole point of the diagnostic procedures Quick99Si ran above was so that he wouldn't just be throwing parts at the problem.

And, Jeffstr's point is that diagnosis might not be as simple as the oft-proposed ten-minute DMM test (which we always knew to be the case, having defined at least a half-dozen tests).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whorse View Post
drive the car and test the cruise control. If it works then the speed sensor is fine.
That might work (as long as the problem isn't an intermittent); but it would only work for the one wheel speed sensor.

We'd still need to devise a functional test for the other wheel speed sensors:
  • Right Rear --> cruise control ?
  • Left Rear --> speedometer, odometer, tripmeter ?
  • Right Front --> gearbox ?
  • Left Front --> steering angle ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstri View Post
What makes you think you can test the integrity of the circuit with a simple resistance or diode test?
Let's all work together to help refine the wheel speed sensor & ABS control module diagnostic testing procedure!

Anything else, is just idle talk (with nothing useful backing it up).

Here is the best description of the wheel speed sensor operation I can find:
- BMW_30-PAGE_DSC_COMPONENTS.PDF
- BMW_DSCIII_E38_E39_X5.pdf
If you, or anyone else, has a BETTER description, PLEASE POST A LINK!

There seems to be a reasonably new decently detailed BMW wheel speed sensor test DIY here:
- Superior Vehicle Repair: Testing the BMW wheel speed sensors (1)

These two threads report similar diagnostic test procedures that we can follow as a DIY:
- Bimmerforums E39: Best way to test speed sensor circuit (1)
- M5Board.com: Testing the wheel speed sensors (1)

Quote:
Diagnosis:
A BMW service computer can isolate the source of the problem; standard OBDII code readers cannot pull the requisite information.
The Peake Research code reader seems to be capable of reporting whether or not a problem exists, but there do not appear to be any codes that reveal the location of the faulty sensor.

If a wheel speed sensor is suspected, and no computer is available, the identification process is one of trial and error. Jack up you car and support appropriately. Access to the sensor is considerably easier with the wheel removed, so pick a corner and remove the wheel.

It is worth noting that certain failure modes are associated with particular corners of the car. If the speedometer and odometer do not work, the driver's side rear sensor is probably bad. If the speedometer works but the cruise control does not, then the passenger side rear senor is probably bad.

Locate the sensor (mounted on the wheel carrier near the hub) and trace its wire back to a blue connector. The connector might be housed in a black plastic box. Open the hinged box if it is present. There might be a second connector next to the blue speed sensor connector; that's for the brake pad wear sensor. Pull the blue speed sensor connector out of the box and disconnect the two sides.

Deep inside the sensor side of the connector, there are two metal prongs. Now comes the tricky part. Turn the mutimeter on and to its diode testing setting (it looks like an arrow with a line in front of it). Connect one probe to one of the prongs, and the other probe to the other prong. The meter should read ~1.4-1.8 V or indicate an "open" condition (e.g., "OL"). Reverse the probes. Once again, the meter should indicate either an open condition or a 1.4-1.8 V drop, but the result should be whichever one you didn't see the first time. If you see any other result, such as 600 mV in each direction or 0.0 V in either direction, you've probably found the bad sensor; congratulations! Note that a 0.0 V drop is possibly indicative of a poor test setup; verify that you are not shorting the multimeter probes. If the sensor tests out okay, try again at a different wheel. Of course, it's always possible that one of your speed sensors has failed in a way that wouldn't present itself in this test. In the worst case, you'd have to go to the dealer anyway for the diagnosis.

You might want to try another wheel even if you think you found the bad sensor in order to confirm that your technique is good. It's sometimes a bit tricky to get a good connection to those prongs. If you think you found two bad sensors, you probably messed up.
Again, if we can't perform the suggested test, it's just idle talk (same with any suggestion to use tool X or tool Y without explaining HOW to use that tool, including the test jig & what to look out for).

By way of results, here are my wheel speed sensor test results using a Fluke 75 DMM on the original wheel speed sensors of a 2002 525i:


Here is an old summary of the best set of diagnostic test procedures I could find on the net (this hasn't been updated since way back on 5/22/2009):

Quote:
UNDERSTAND WHEEL SPEED SENSORS:
Note: The wheel speed sensors are two-wire hall effect transducers which send a digital square wave signal with a low of .75 volts and a high of 2.5 volts to the DSC control unit. Each sensor receives a well-regulated 8 volt power supply from the control module through one wire. The ground path for the sensor is through the second wire back to the control module. The signal is generated by a pulse wheel affecting the voltage flow through the hall element in the sensor. The pulse wheel is integrated into the wheel bearing assembly, behind the seal. This protects the trigger wheel from foreign substances which may affect the wheel speed signal.

TEST WHEEL SENSOR CIRCUIT FROM THE ABS CONNECTOR
(also checks wiring circuit):
OPTIONAL: Jack car up (so that all four wheels can be spun to test voltage & resistance fluctuations of the hall-effect sensors)
- Turn the car off and remove the key from the ignition.
- TEST 1: Switch the DMM into the diode test position
- Wrap a stiff 20AWG wire onto the ends of your DMM probe for sticking into ABS-connector pins
- Label the positive 20AWG wire with white tape so that you won't get confused as you switch back and forth
- Stick the ends of the wire into the appropriate female holes of the ABS connector (13-29, 30-31, 28-12, 15-16)
- In one direction, you should see 1.7 to 1.8 volts (note the pinouts mentioned are in order, positive to negative)
- In the other direction, you should see OL or some other infinite reading (open circuit)
- TEST 2: Switch the DMM into resistance checking mode (optional)
- You should see around 3.3 Mega ohms in one direction & approximately twice that in the other direction (but some say more)
- TEST 3: If desired spin the wheel at about 1 revolution per second, by hand (the resistance should fluctuate as the wheel spins)
- TEST 4: Switch the DMM into millivolt mode (optional) & again spin the tire & wheel assembly by hand (test-lead polarity won't matter)
- You should read between 1 and 5 mV when you spin the hub (no voltage implicate the sensor or circuit)
- OPTIONAL TESTS BELOW REQUIRE FLYING LEADS WITH THE IGNITION SYSTEM ABS SYSTEM CONNECTED & POWERED UP:
- TEST 5: Swith the DMM into the 10v and attach flying leads to the sensors with the power on
- You should see the voltage going to the sensor and the return signal
- Expect a baseline voltage of about +5 to +12 volts depending on the ABS system (does anyone know this value?)
- Expect that baseline voltage to the sensor to change (by how much?) as you spin the wheels
- TEST 6: Hook an oscilloscope with "flying leads" to the ABS sensors (notice that the ABS system must be powered)
- You should see nice clean square waves generated as you hand spin the wheels at about 1 revolution per second.
Note: The oscilliscope can detect problems that can't easily be found with a DMM (A scope pattern for a wheel speed sensor should show a classic sine wave alternating current pattern that changes both in frequency and amplitude with wheel speed. As the wheel is turned faster, signal frequency and amplitude should both increase. Damaged or missing teeth on the sensor ring will show up as flat spots or gaps in the sine wave pattern. A bent axle or hub will produce an undulating pattern that changes as the strength of the sensor signal changes with every revolution. If the scope pattern produced by the sensor is flattened (diminished amplitude) or is erratic, it usually indicates a weak signal caused by an excessively wide air gap between the tip of the sensor and its ring, or a buildup of metallic debris on the end of the sensor. A weak signal can also be caused by internal resistance in the sensor or its wiring circuit, or loose or corroded wiring connectors.)
Note: More information on how to perform test 4 above is here:
- How to actively test voltage output of a BMW wheel speed sensor (1)
Quote:
Jack and remove the wheels. Disconnect the wheel speed sensor(s) from the harness in the wheel well. You'll need a digital volt meter (DVM). Connect the meter leads to the wheel speed sensor - polarity doesn't matter. Select the milivolt range (mV). Spin the hub and observe the meter. You should read between 1 and 5 mV when you spin the hub. No output = a defective and/or dirty sensor.
If anyone knows of a better set of procedural diagnostic tests than are already listed above, PLEASE POST A REFERENCE to them!
(But, please remember, if you simply say "Use DISplus" or "Use GT-1", that's next to useless for most of us - because it's not enough diagnostic information & most of us don't have those tools handy.)

Or, if desired, folks can do as the OP did in this thread: Define the diagnostic test procedure, step by step, sufficient for someone to follow it.

The entire goal is to create a well defined logical doable test procedure for the wheel speed sensors and for the ABS control module (using tools available to the DIY crowd).


Note: The square wave while powered up seems to be 0.75 volts to 2.5 volts (however, note that test #4 is apparently run with no power, hence the 1mv to 5mv hall-effect sensor dynamic output expected test results).


It would be useful for someone to figure out a test sequence so that we can test these sensors with a voltmeter while they are powered up and the wheels are spinning!
(Therefore, instead of expecting 1mv to 5mv unpowered output, we'd expect something closer to what it says below for the operating square wave 0.75 volt to 2.5 volts.)


This is the best I can do for specifying test procedures for the BMW wheel speed sensors.

If anyone can do BETTER than what Quick99Si and I proposed here, please do so!
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File Type: pdf BMW Repair Manual_ Replace ABS Sensor for BMW 540i E39.pdf (91.2 KB, 1136 views)

Last edited by bluebee; 08-11-2011 at 12:04 AM. Reason: Attached reference material for understanding & testing the wheel speed sensors.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:13 AM
jeffstri jeffstri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Note: More information on how to perform test 4 above is here:
- How to actively test voltage output of a BMW wheel speed sensor (1)
If anyone knows of a better set of procedural diagnostic tests than are already listed above, PLEASE POST A REFERENCE to them!
(But, please remember, if you simply say "Use DISplus" or "Use GT-1", that's next to useless for most of us - because it's not enough diagnostic information & most of us don't have those tools handy.)

Or, if desired, folks can do as the OP did in this thread: Define the diagnostic test procedure, step by step, sufficient for someone to follow it.

The entire goal is to create a well defined logical doable test procedure for the wheel speed sensors and for the ABS control module (using tools available to the DIY crowd).


Note: The square wave while powered up seems to be 0.75 volts to 2.5 volts (however, note that test #4 is apparently run with no power, hence the 1mv to 5mv hall-effect sensor dynamic output expected test results).

It would be useful for someone to figure out a test sequence so that we can test these sensors with a voltmeter while they are powered up and the wheels are spinning!
Here's the test procedure from DIS/GT1 (also can be found in WDS):



The signal (output) from the sensor should be checked with power supplied to the sensor (ignition position #2), ideally with an oscilloscope, but most of us will have to rely on a DIMM. With DIS/GT1 you can you can measure the wheel speed (as processed from the wheel sensor and reported by the DSC module) as Quick99Si did with Autologic. This screenshot shows DSC function tests available in DIS/GT1. (The bottom pane shows my brake line pressure reading with no pressure applied to the brake pedal - should have been 0+/- 2 bar).

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Old 08-11-2011, 01:52 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstri View Post
The bottom pane shows my brake line pressure reading with no pressure applied to the brake pedal - should have been 0Ī2 bar).
Do I understand correctly that flying leads would not be needed in this test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstri View Post
The signal (output) from the sensor should be checked with power supplied to the sensor (ignition position #2), ideally with an oscilloscope, but most of us will have to rely on a DIMM.
May I ask ... to perform this test, do we need to make 'flying leads' to use the DIMM/oscilloscope for this test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffstri View Post
Here's the test procedure from DIS/GT1
I'm confused about "GT1" (as I'm unfamiliar with it).

If one were to successfully download INPA_2010 (6 RAR files), NCS_made easy (1 executable & a couple of ancillary files), & Easy_DIS (3 RAR files), what 'else' would they need to run these recommended tests?
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:25 PM
jeffstri jeffstri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Do I understand correctly that flying leads would not be needed in this test?
Correct - measured directly by DIS via the 20-pin diagnostic connector under the hood, if you have one. If not, via the OBD port.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
May I ask ... to perform this test, do we need to make 'flying leads' to use the DIMM/oscilloscope for this test?
Yes, you will have to back probe the wheel sensor/wiring harness connector, unless you can find an old wheel sensor cable and wiring harness connector from a junk yard to fashion a Y adapter like BMW uses. They say not to back probe because it could damage the connector seals and allow water to leak into the connector, but I think you can get away with it if you're careful and maybe put a dab of silicone sealant where you inserted the probe. Also, I'd recommend you use Fluke/Pomona back probes like these on ebay rather than something like paper clips or copper wire.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I'm confused about "GT1" (as I'm unfamiliar with it).
They're really the same for our purposes. Essentially, GT1 (Group Tester One) is the system, including the hardware, and DIS (Diagnosis and Information System) is the user software interface.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If one were to successfully download INPA_2010 (6 RAR files), NCS_made easy (1 executable & a couple of ancillary files), & Easy_DIS (3 RAR files), what 'else' would they need to run these recommended tests?
Get all you files from the 4shared site; all of them have been tested and they work.

For DIS/GT1 you'll need 3 EasyDIS .rar files and the 9 GT_v44 .rar files. You'll also need vmware workstation 6.0.3-80004 (not sure to get that right now).

For INPA, you need to start with 3 INPA 6.4.3 .rar files. These install INPA, NCS Expert, WinKPT and some other programs. You can update these programs with the INPA_2010 .rar files if you want. NCS_made easy may be useful once you get into NCS.

Last edited by jeffstri; 08-12-2011 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:17 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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The diagnostic software discussion seems to have moved onto the Making sense of ADS, EDIABAS, INPA, NCS, NFS, GT1/DIS, Progman, ISIS, WinKPT, Carsoft thread.

As for my troubleshooting, I've updated the first post with the following info:

Quote:
ATE PHONE CALL #2 - 8/19/11
I received a phone call advising me that the module tested perfectly fine on their test bench and that they were unable to duplicate my symptoms. After inquiring further, I was transferred to the same tech with whom I spoke two days ago and he confirmed this. Apparently there was a mix-up with another module hence the explanation from the previous discussion. More detailed questions resulted in me being transfered to their master tech Donnie who took the time to go into great detail about their testing procedure (very helpful guy!). Here are the notes I took as he was explaining everything to me, and the parts in quotes are his exact words:

Quote:
- My module was unusual in that it was "exceptionally clean inside"
- It was bench tested on a "custom BMW ABS/DSC precharge pump" using diagnostic software
- Software used was propriatary "Bavarian software" from Germany. I asked was it INPA/GT1 or even Autologic. No, "propriatary."
- They were able to communicate with it just fine
- No fault codes were found so they opened it for inspection
- Common event is for heat/vibration to "break bridge connections and lose communication"
- "Much thicker silver wires normally fail"
- Bridge wires were strength tested for "tensile strength"
- Microscopic connections (angel hair wires) were in great condition as well
- "Integrity of the wires was absolutely perfect"
- Suggested inspection of harness connection for corrosion and damage
- Suggested that any other rebuilder will have the same experience
- "-002" BMW modules experience both hardware and software failures
- Software failure result from heat damage to the microprocessors
- BMW unwilling to help with releasing information necessary to build a "piggy-back" or alternate chip
- They do "150 modules a day" (across all makes/models)
- Typical -002 results from his experience: 50% not rebuildable, 5% test as good, rest are rebuilt
- Considering to stop offering support for -002's because "they're not in and out" and have a low success rate
- Sending in open modules is OK. "Probing around" OK, touch gold wires and it's not rebuildable
- Sending in open modules with solder work already performed not OK
- Offered to take a look at my other module despite it being opened up
Next step: test the reluctor rings. Only test method I can imagine is to hook up the Autologic equipment and take it around the block to make sure that the wheels are spinning at the same rate when going in a straight line. Hmm.. I should be able to do this in DIS once my cable arrives.
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2011, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
The diagnostic software discussion seems to have moved onto the Making sense of ADS, EDIABAS, INPA, NCS, NFS, GT1/DIS, Progman, ISIS, WinKPT, Carsoft thread.
Thanks for your help in that thread, Quick99Si. I love your approach, which is to do the right thing, for everyone, and not just for yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- My module was unusual in that it was "exceptionally clean inside"
They're sealed units (at least on the circuit board side). All the pictures I've seen in the ABS autopsy thread show 'clean insides'. Maybe they meant the backside (where the solonoids and two screwed-in boxes are)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
It was bench tested on a "custom BMW ABS/DSC precharge pump" using diagnostic software ... Software used was proprietary "Bavarian software" from Germany. I asked was it INPA/GT1 or even Autologic. No, "proprietary ."
Interesting. Very interesting. Bavarian software hmmm... If we all ask these questions when our modules are in their shop, we can narrow it down.

I'm beginning to suspect their test jig is something like a junkyard BMW, stripped down to the frame with only the ABS-related components left on the vehicle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- Common event is for heat/vibration to "break bridge connections and lose communication"
Aha! The smoking gun! This is the big kahuna. I suspect this is the 'steel wire lifted off its gold bondpad' situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- "Much thicker silver wires normally fail"
I thought so! (Eternal thanks to Bill, 530iman, who first clued us into this as the main problem inside the ABS control module!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- Bridge wires were strength tested for "tensile strength"
I suspect this is the 'magnetized needle' test, where you simply try to lift the steel wire off its gold bondpad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- Suggested inspection of harness connection for corrosion and damage
Hmmm... you would have seen that when you tested it. Mine was as clean as could be. So were all the pictures I've seen of the connector itself. Of course, wire integrity could be a whole 'nother ballgame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- Software failure result from heat damage to the microprocessors
Huh? The microprocessors are hardware. Inside of them is firmware (eeproms and ram and rom). This is interesting that heat damage can cause 'software' damage. But, maybe there is a clue hidden in that statement that, over time, we'll coax out of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- They do "150 modules a day" (across all makes/models)
Wow. There are 3 main rebuilders and a handful of others. That's a LOT of Bosch modules being repaired!

But, notice that, at 150 modules a day, unless they employ an entire army, they must be fixing something rather repetitively simple.

And, also notice, at that volume, I'll bet they would be willing to take a lower price if people would just offer it to them (I paid, for example, $105 to ATE sans shipping ... shipping cost me $20 via UPS).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- Typical -002 results from his experience: 50% not rebuildable, 5% test as good, rest are rebuilt
Interesting. Very interesting.

The low percentage of 'good' modules means that whoever is doing their diagnostics, they're (for the most part, at 95%), doing that right!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- Considering to stop offering support for -002's because "they're not in and out" and have a low success rate
Can you clarify the "002"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- Sending in open modules is OK. "Probing around" OK, touch gold wires and it's not rebuildable
THANK YOU for confirming that! ATE had told me they get opened up modules all the time. I think this makes it safer for us to suggest people open up their modules to see if the steel wire lifted off its gold bondpad (with a magnetized needle).

I understand the admonition about the angel-hair gold wires flopping around in the goop. If they break or touch ... Lord help the little tiny fingers that have to unsnag that fishing line!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
- Sending in open modules with solder work already performed not OK
Understandable.

I must commend you, Quick99Si, for your EXCELLENT information for the tribe. I know (from other communication) that you're also working on the diagnostic hints from JeffStri and others ... so I, for one, want to publicly state my appreciation for your efforts to help all.

I just wish EVERYONE would call up the rebuilders while their ABS control modules are on the test jig, and glean the kind of information you have.

PS: You don't work for the CIA, perchance?

Last edited by bluebee; 08-19-2011 at 04:54 PM.
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  #20  
Old 08-21-2011, 08:38 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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I'll try to address your comments in list form to avoid the recursive quoting

They're sealed units (at least on the circuit board side). All the pictures I've seen in the ABS autopsy thread show 'clean insides'. Maybe they meant the backside (where the solonoids and two screwed-in boxes are)?
My thoughts exactly. It seems that he was referring to the side that needs to be cut in order to gain access. The other side is also sealed, so it's probably a moot point

I'm beginning to suspect their test jig is something like a junkyard BMW, stripped down to the frame with only the ABS-related components left on the vehicle!
He did mention to me that they have the full system set up, down to the wheel speed sensors. I don't think it's a full frame-on car, but it's definitely substantial in terms of the number of components.

Aha! The smoking gun! This is the big kahuna. I suspect this is the 'steel wire lifted off its gold bondpad' situation.
Precisely. They are well aware of this and Donnie confirmed the common issue when I asked if the wires were lifting off the pads.

I suspect this is the 'magnetized needle' test, where you simply try to lift the steel wire off its gold bondpad.
Very likely, but I myself preferred the use of dentistry tools to gently nudge the thick wires in order to confirm their attachment to the pad. With a thin enough pick, and a steady hand, it's easy to tell if they are connected or not (lateral movement!)

Huh? The microprocessors are hardware. Inside of them is firmware (eeproms and ram and rom). This is interesting that heat damage can cause 'software' damage. But, maybe there is a clue hidden in that statement that, over time, we'll coax out of them.
I got the idea that "software" was referring to the microchip instruction sets. I don't know if they are rewriteable or not (doubt it), but he suggested that heat can effectively corrupt the chip's programming resulting in erratic behavior. I truly don't know how susceptible this particular chip is to firmware corruption. Keep in mind that this may also be their scapegoat because they were unable to fix the hardware issue yet the module may still be faulty.

But, notice that, at 150 modules a day, unless they employ an entire army, they must be fixing something rather repetitively simple. And, also notice, at that volume, I'll bet they would be willing to take a lower price if people would just offer it to them (I paid, for example, $105 to ATE sans shipping ... shipping cost me $20 via UPS).
The 150 modules/day includes other modules as well. They work on several GM, VW, Audi, etc.. modules, from ABS to ECM and so on. So far, I've spoke to two "sales specialists," a tech, and a master tech. They are definitely not big judging by the totality of their operation, and yes, they do seem to specialize in common failures and easy repairs.

Can you clarify the "002"?
This refers to the last 3 digits of the part number for our ABS modules. It likely specifies a hardware revision number.


THANK YOU for confirming that! ATE had told me they get opened up modules all the time. I think this makes it safer for us to suggest people open up their modules to see if the steel wire lifted off its gold bondpad (with a magnetized needle).
He stressed and made it clear that sending in open modules is perfectly fine, I even asked to confirm this twice. They'll take them if you messed with the gold wires, but the odds are that the module will be damaged beyond repair in that event. You can effectively open it, remove all the goo, move the steel wires, and they'll still accept it for a rebuild. If they see signs of solder work, then they will return it on the grounds that a repair was attempted and failed.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:16 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
I'll try to address your comments
That was fantastic!

I wish everyone were like you!

We need to port this over to the other ABS thread and, everyone, please ask the NEXT set of people who send their modules out to CALL while it's on the testbench and find out MORE INFORMATION!

PS: We should work for the CIA (only we care too much about people to do so!).
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:02 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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First post above updated with

24 wrong impulsering
Error frequency : 219
Vehicle speed 49.19 km/h
-------------------------------------------------------------
6 wheel speed sensor front right plausibility
Error frequency : 255
Vehicle speed 11.38 km/h
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:13 PM
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GT1/DIS DATALOGGING
Right-front is confirmed to be the problem using DIS live logging, though I it doesn't definitely narrow it down to the sensor, the wiring, or wheel bearing quite yet. The computed speed for the trouble corner varies greatly while cruising at a constant speed, whereas the other 3 wheels are perfectly fine and in sync with the OBC speed out (TEST NR). Here are pictures taken while going ~60mph.



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Old 09-09-2011, 11:19 AM
Quick99Si Quick99Si is offline
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I swapped the sensors and the problem followed the RIGHT-FRONT one. This damn thing was new, solid, with no apparent issues whatsoever... had me thinking I needed new bearings.

See end of post #1 in this thread
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:13 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by Quick99Si View Post
I swapped the sensors and the problem followed the RIGHT-FRONT one.
Oh my!

This is a great thread showing that there 'is' value in the 'fancy schmancy' diagnostic tools when used well!
Note: JeffStri will be ecstatic!

Now, if only we can hone the BMW dealer-diagnostic procedure to make it as easy as we can possibly make it for newbies to follow at home WITHOUT screwing things up (i.e., diagnostics only ... not coding or programming).

BTW, if you do suspect the (brand new) wheel speed sensor is bad, it would be very helpful if you can attempt to run any of the five other known direct tests of the wheel speed sensors to see what readings you get!

Quote:
UNDERSTAND WHEEL SPEED SENSORS:
Note: The wheel speed sensors are two-wire hall effect transducers which send a digital square wave signal with a low of .75 volts and a high of 2.5 volts to the DSC control unit. Each sensor receives a well-regulated 8 volt power supply from the control module through one wire. The ground path for the sensor is through the second wire back to the control module. The signal is generated by a pulse wheel affecting the voltage flow through the hall element in the sensor. The pulse wheel is integrated into the wheel bearing assembly, behind the seal. This protects the trigger wheel from foreign substances which may affect the wheel speed signal.

TEST WHEEL SENSOR CIRCUIT FROM THE ABS CONNECTOR
(also checks wiring circuit):
OPTIONAL: Jack car up (so that all four wheels can be spun to test voltage & resistance fluctuations of the hall-effect sensors)
- Turn the car off and remove the key from the ignition.
- TEST 1: Switch the DMM into the diode test position
- Wrap a stiff 20AWG wire onto the ends of your DMM probe for sticking into ABS-connector pins
- Label the positive 20AWG wire with white tape so that you won't get confused as you switch back and forth
- Stick the ends of the wire into the appropriate female holes of the ABS connector (13-29, 30-31, 28-12, 15-16)
- In one direction, you should see 1.7 to 1.8 volts (note the pinouts mentioned are in order, positive to negative)
- In the other direction, you should see OL or some other infinite reading (open circuit)
- TEST 2: Switch the DMM into resistance checking mode (optional)
- You should see around 3.3 Mega ohms in one direction & approximately twice that in the other direction (but some say more)
- TEST 3: If desired spin the wheel at about 1 revolution per second, by hand (the resistance should fluctuate as the wheel spins)
- TEST 4: Switch the DMM into millivolt mode (optional) & again spin the tire & wheel assembly by hand (test-lead polarity won't matter)
- You should read between 1 and 5 mV when you spin the hub (no voltage implicate the sensor or circuit)
- OPTIONAL TESTS BELOW REQUIRE FLYING LEADS WITH THE IGNITION SYSTEM ABS SYSTEM CONNECTED & POWERED UP:
- TEST 5: Swith the DMM into the 10v and attach flying leads to the sensors with the power on
- You should see the voltage going to the sensor and the return signal
- Expect a baseline voltage of about +5 to +12 volts depending on the ABS system (does anyone know this value?)
- Expect that baseline voltage to the sensor to change (by how much?) as you spin the wheels
- TEST 6: Hook an oscilloscope with "flying leads" to the ABS sensors (notice that the ABS system must be powered)
- You should see nice clean square waves generated as you hand spin the wheels at about 1 revolution per second.
Note: The oscilliscope can detect problems that can't easily be found with a DMM (A scope pattern for a wheel speed sensor should show a classic sine wave alternating current pattern that changes both in frequency and amplitude with wheel speed. As the wheel is turned faster, signal frequency and amplitude should both increase. Damaged or missing teeth on the sensor ring will show up as flat spots or gaps in the sine wave pattern. A bent axle or hub will produce an undulating pattern that changes as the strength of the sensor signal changes with every revolution. If the scope pattern produced by the sensor is flattened (diminished amplitude) or is erratic, it usually indicates a weak signal caused by an excessively wide air gap between the tip of the sensor and its ring, or a buildup of metallic debris on the end of the sensor. A weak signal can also be caused by internal resistance in the sensor or its wiring circuit, or loose or corroded wiring connectors.)

Last edited by bluebee; 09-09-2011 at 10:47 PM.
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