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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 08-22-2012, 04:42 PM
boneweed boneweed is offline
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Location: MD
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 1993 325is
Malfunction Lights

I'll probably end up selling my daughter's '93 325is. She heads off to college this evening and she says she's done with it. First I need to try to extinguish a couple minor MILs: The brake pad light and the ABS light. The pads are recent but the light has always been on. Won't know if the ABS works or not until it snows. Where do I start?
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:09 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
The brake pad light is easy. There is a pad wear sensor on the driver side front and passenger side rear brake caliper. When the pads wear down, it rubs off the tip of the wear sensor, thus tripping the pad warning light. They are one-time-use only, so if you replace the pads but not the sensor(s), the warning light will remain illuminated. New pad wear sensors cost about $5.00/ea and only take a minute to replace. They are part number 34351181338.

The ABS warning light could be more significant. You could have a faulty ABS unit, or perhaps more likely is that you have a bad wheel speed sensor, which isn't too hard to replace.

1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 08-22-2012 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:01 PM
boneweed boneweed is offline
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Location: MD
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Mein Auto: 1993 325is
Is there a way to find out which one of the pad sensors is bad? Also, is there more than one wheel speed sensors? They are fairly cheap on ebay.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:09 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: E24x2,E36x1,E30x1, F150
You can pull the wear sensors off the pads and look at them. the damaged one will be pretty obvious, since it will have the end worn off. Be aware that the sensors frequently break when you remove them. Don't worry about figuring out which one is bad, just replace both of them.

All four wheels have speed sensors.
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