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

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-28-2011, 08:00 PM
Skyhigh512 Skyhigh512 is offline
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Dsc light on

I have a 2001 BMW 540. The dsc light is always on. If I push the button it won't turn off.
How do you fix this? Is it bad to drive with the dsc light always on?
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2011, 09:37 PM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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When the DSC light is on, it means your DSC system is not operating. Are the ABS and Brake warning lights also on?

Here's a post with lots of information that may help.
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2011, 04:46 AM
Skyhigh512 Skyhigh512 is offline
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No just the dsc light is on. Thanks for your reply
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2011, 05:10 AM
garywald119 garywald119 is offline
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You have 4 sensors, 1 per wheel. could be corroded connection or bad sensor. If I remember correctly there about $75 each... Plus easy to replace
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2011, 06:55 AM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh512 View Post
No just the dsc light is on. Thanks for your reply
As garywald119 wrote, it's probably a wheel sensor. There are instructions for checking the wheel sensors in that thread I linked. Also, the dealer has software that can diagnose the fault and determine which sensor or other component is a problem.
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2011, 08:41 AM
Skyhigh512 Skyhigh512 is offline
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Is there a way that I could get that software and check it myself?
Also what is the name of the sensors? Is it wheel speed sensors?
Thanks
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2011, 09:40 AM
kgorczyn kgorczyn is offline
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I disagree with the above suggestions - an ABS/Speed Sensor would set off the BRAKE and ABS lights as well.

Every time I have seen ONLY the DSC light on, the issue has been the steering angle sensor. Most of the time it just needs to be recalibrated, other times the sensor has to be replaced. It is about $200 and it's at the bottom of the steering column.

Good Luck!
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:11 AM
Skyhigh512 Skyhigh512 is offline
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Thanks for that good info. I'll look into that.
Does anyone know where to download the BMW diagnosis tool??
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:39 AM
kgorczyn kgorczyn is offline
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Download the software won't help unless you have the BMW Scanner. Check on ebay for the software and scanner kits. I bought one for $100 and have a fullly functional GT1/SSS/Progman - now if i could only learn how to use it to it's full potential!

Get it scanned at an Indy - Should take 10 minutes. Maybe he can try to recalibrate the sensor too and your problem will be gone.
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2011, 08:35 PM
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Trebbia Trebbia is offline
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There are entire forums dedicated to the bmw diagnostic tools which you can download for free.

All you need is a laptop PC and the right cable for your pc & bimmer.

Start with the threads on this forum which explain where to get the software & cable and how to set it all up.
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:14 PM
cclcal cclcal is offline
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I have the exact same issue, DSC light always on.

I had an indy shop tell me it's the ABS control module, cost about 1000$ but you don't have to replace right away.

I think I will do a search on this forum for wheel speed sensors and steering angle sensor and then plan my next step.

Thanks!
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:53 PM
ilian007 ilian007 is offline
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Ive had same problem replaced the dsc contol module and the problem got fixed. You can have yours rebuild. Just have it in mind you will need the new module programmed at the dealer.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2012, 12:31 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh512 View Post
Is there a way that I could get that software and check it myself?
This from the bestlinks will give you a head start on how to test the four wheel speed sensors and the software to test the three steering angle sensors.

- How to diagnose the BMW amber ABS BRAKE DSC/ASC trifecta or bifecta (1) & what are all known options when your ABS control module is bad (1) & Quick99Si's explanation of why the 10-minute wheel speed sensor diode-action quick test doesn't always work, especially on brand new non-OEM wheel speed sensors (1) (2) & explanations by 540iman as to why the fancy diagnostic tools very often (extremely often, like almost all the time) fail to properly diagnose the trifecta or bifecta (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & where to get the fancy schmancy diagnostic tools for free once you're aware of these limitations (1)
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2012, 02:27 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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How to fix your DSC light
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2012, 04:53 PM
cclcal cclcal is offline
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read that already. Looks like I will have to buy a cable and software.
Still cheaper than dealer
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  #16  
Old 01-08-2012, 08:34 AM
jht3 jht3 is offline
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when my '01 540 exibited the DSC light, with an amber BRAKE warning, it was the brake light switch under the steering column. replaced it and the problem went away. i have DIS and INPA on my laptop and used them to find the issue. no way i would have found it other than drive to my local shop and scan it w/ their Autologic. good luck
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  #17  
Old 01-09-2012, 01:30 PM
Skyhigh512 Skyhigh512 is offline
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Jht3 where did you get DIS and Inpa? Tell me how you got it and what I should look for. Thanks
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  #18  
Old 01-09-2012, 02:20 PM
jht3 jht3 is offline
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google is your friend. DIS runs on a SCO Unix operating system base, and INPA is a Windows tool. for both you need a working OBDII interface. i have an el cheapo serial based EDIABAS cable i bought off ebay, connecting to my laptop with a serial->usb adapter. if you aren't familiar with vmware/virtual machines it can be challenging to get it all working. INPA is all you REALLY need to read all the BMW specific codes and run most of the diagnostics, it just isn't as user friendly as DIS.
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  #19  
Old 08-10-2012, 02:37 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgorczyn View Post
I disagree with the above suggestions - an ABS/Speed Sensor would set off the BRAKE and ABS lights as well.

Every time I have seen ONLY the DSC light on, the issue has been the steering angle sensor. Most of the time it just needs to be recalibrated, other times the sensor has to be replaced. It is about $200 and it's at the bottom of the steering column.

Good Luck!
How to recalibrate?
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  #20  
Old 08-10-2012, 03:57 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztom View Post
How to recalibrate?
Not sure how much you know about BMW DIS and aftermarket diagnostic software/hardware...but there's tons of info on the internet and in these forums about diagnostic stuff.

For example...I typed "BMW DIS software" into my browser's google search box and got info like found at this link:

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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #21  
Old 08-10-2012, 10:48 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Making sense of the most often recommended BMW diagnostic tools & cable interfaces (1) & BMW factory & dealer programming, coding, and diagnostic software such as INPA, EDIABAS, NCS Expert, DIS, EasyDIS, Progman (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) & related BMW diagnostic-tool forums (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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