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E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 02-25-2013, 09:02 PM
audiosonic audiosonic is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 Z4
Exclamation 2003 Z4: Brake, TPMS, and DSC dash lights

Hi, these three lights are on my dash and they stay on all the time whether I'm moving or not.

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Symptoms are:
No Dynamic Stability Control (if go into a skid, I get no help from the computer to straighten me out...just like the old days!).
TPMS doesn't work (No warning if I get a flat tire).
After startup, as soon as I'm moving 2-3mph the car beeps at me once. Won't beep again until I restart the car.
ABS works fine (I tested this).

Also, pressing or holding the DSC or TPMS buttons won't clear the lights or do anything whatsoever.


Given these symptoms, what is most likely the cause of the dash lights so I can fix it?


Searching the forums have given me an IDEA of what the problem COULD be, but nothing definitive and specific to my 2003 2.5 manual Z4 and I don't have the $$$ to spend on dead-ends.

Thanks a TON for any help in narrowing this down!
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  #2  
Old 02-26-2013, 03:05 AM
Mikey48 Mikey48 is offline
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It may be time for some brake pads. Also check your tires to make sure they have enough air in them. Check your owners manual their is a page in it that shows all symbols and what they mean. It is very important to keep an eye on your tire pressure.The symbol in the middle means low tire pressure. Add air to your tires I think it is 36 pounds. Then while your car is running and not moving press hold the tire button in your console. This should reset the light. I would think it is something to do with your tires or brakes. Either pads or one of your pad sensors has gone bad. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2013, 03:43 AM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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audiosonic,

Brake pads, will not cause any of this.
.....................................

I am going to assume that you have checked the fuses and your tire pressures and they are all at the recommended values (what the door sticker says) for a starting point.

If we assume that all the tire pressures are good, then we have bigger issues.

Worst case is the DSC MK60 control unit is fault. That unit also controls Tire Defect Indications (TDI) functionality on your year car. You do not have TPMS. TPMS is on MY 2007+.

Before we go there, sometimes I have seen symptoms like this and it was caused by dirty DSC wheel sensors. You can pull them off, clean them up and see if there is a change in indications.

This is all I can tell you just off the top of my head.
If this was me, and these small checks that you can do donít fix the issue, you need to have the car diagnosed by the dealer, an independent BMW mechanic or yourself if you have the appropriate software. Good software (INPA for instance) will read any error codes and give you a good starting point.

This has started to become a somewhat reoccurring issue lately. Do a search for more information.

Here are some links to a couple of web pages for some more information:

http://www.shipkiller.com/Tire_Defect_Indicator.html
http://www.shipkiller.com/Dynamic_St...trol_MK60.html
http://www.shipkiller.com/images/Fusechart-1.gif



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  #4  
Old 02-26-2013, 02:43 PM
audiosonic audiosonic is offline
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Thanks shipkiller. Yes my tire pressure in all four wheels are good and my brakes were recently checked and are fine.

I will check the tire rotation sensors for dirty connections as you recommend. I'm going to have to wait until the weekend to lift my car to access them. I hadn't looked at fuses but I and the shop I took it to will look pretty silly if that ends up being the issue.

Assuming it's not a fuse, I'm starting to think it's more likely a control module issue. Here's why:
On my car I understood the tire rotation sensors are used to determine if you have a flat tire (Maybe this system isn't called TPMS but that's what I've been calling it; sorry if that is technically incorrect). I wondered if one of these sensors was the culprit but wouldn't the ABS not work if one was bad (and the ABS dash light would come on)? This combination of properly functioning ABS, but not functioning DSC and flat tire warning system makes me think it's not a rotation sensor, but one of the control units.


EDIT: I just checked all my fuses and they are OK. I'll check the wheel speed sensors this weekend.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2013, 03:39 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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Don't just check the electrical connections. Also check to see if mud or something else has fouled the sensor so it cannot sense the induction wheel.

You are correct that it (the DSC) uses tire rotation to determine if you have low air pressure. I am not sure of how it would affect the ABS. I have read of other posts where the poster had to replace one or two of the speed sensors to correct his DSC issue. He did not elaborate if it effected the ABS.

One other sensor that could affect the DSC is the Steering Angle Sensor (SAS), which is part of the Electrical Power Steering (EPS) and located on the steering column.
On a BMW, every time you do a four wheel alignment, you must rezero the SAS. Most of the time the SAS is very close and very little change is done when you rezero it. If you don't rezero it and it is off, the car will feel very wonky... because the DSC is confused....

The DSC compares all four wheel sensors with the yaw rate sensors and the SAS. You can read more on how this works on my website.

I had this very thing happen on the Roadster several years ago. This is one of the reasons why when you take the car to a shop for an alignment and they say that they can't do it, it is most likely because they don't have the special computer/software to perform this function, not because they are idiots. A Hunter alignment machine, when you input the type car to be aligned, say a BMW, it will alert the operator that this rezero/reset must be performed.

http://www.shipkiller.com/SteeringAngleSensor.html


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How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2013, 09:06 PM
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Bucko521 Bucko521 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiosonic View Post
Hi, these three lights are on my dash and they stay on all the time whether I'm moving or not.

Symptoms are:
No Dynamic Stability Control (if go into a skid, I get no help from the computer to straighten me out...just like the old days!).
TPMS doesn't work (No warning if I get a flat tire).
After startup, as soon as I'm moving 2-3mph the car beeps at me once. Won't beep again until I restart the car.
ABS works fine (I tested this).

Also, pressing or holding the DSC or TPMS buttons won't clear the lights or do anything whatsoever.


Given these symptoms, what is most likely the cause of the dash lights so I can fix it?


Searching the forums have given me an IDEA of what the problem COULD be, but nothing definitive and specific to my 2003 2.5 manual Z4 and I don't have the $$$ to spend on dead-ends.

Thanks a TON for any help in narrowing this down!
Had the same thing.... low voltage on your battery perhaps. A lot of threads on here about this. I experienced the exact same thing. Yes...low voltage....quick battery exchange done myself and no more issues.
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2013, 04:45 AM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucko521 View Post
Had the same thing.... low voltage on your battery perhaps. A lot of threads on here about this. I experienced the exact same thing. Yes...low voltage....quick battery exchange done myself and no more issues.

Yes,
Forgot about that one.
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How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2013, 04:59 PM
audiosonic audiosonic is offline
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Finally had the time to check the sensors with a multimeter set to ohms. When I touched the pins in the connector, all gave a response except for the left rear. I'll put one on order and swap it out when I have the time again. I will be SO HAPPY if this is all that's needed to clear the dashboard lights!

I could have sworn with the symptoms I was having that it would have been more likely the control module that was bad. Oh well, live and learn.

Bonus: I found a huge nail in one of my tires! Pulled it and repaired the hole myself. Future crisis averted!
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  #9  
Old 04-08-2013, 05:07 PM
audiosonic audiosonic is offline
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Update: Replaced the sensor with an OEM part and it didn't clear the lights.
Does anyone know if I need to disconnect the battery or reset anything to clear the lights? I did hold down the flat tire button for a while but nothing happened.
If the sensors aren't the problem, I guess that leaves the control module as the likely culprit?
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2013, 08:58 PM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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I just went through the DSC issue with my 2004 Z4 that would randomly illuminate in yellow the two fault lights associated with a DCS issue....indicating that there had been an issue...but wasn't current according to INPA when I read the error codes. Reading the faults in INPA showed that my faults were with the ABS sensors. I had cleaned them prior to today with electrical contact cleaner but issue still appeared randomly and after turning off/restarting the car would disappear and then randomly appear some time later (in yellow). Today I had time and pulled the tires and cleaned the wheel sensor connectors with electrical contact cleaner ( front tires) and the faults ( in yellow) were now there constantly each time I stopped/restarted the car and moved...unlike before. So I re cleaned the ABS sensor contacts and had no change. I cleared the faults in memory with INPA but the fault indicator lights still re illuminated when I started to drive. On a hunch I re initialized the RTA... Tire flat sensor system... And the issue has resolved. Not to tell anyone how to suck eggs but....You re initialize the RTA by starting the car and before driving ....hold down the button on your centre console with symbol with the tire symbol until the dash light illuminates with the same tire symbol. After driving off the light will go off. It takes a few minutes for the RTA to "learn" and afterwards if your tire pressure falls by a set amount it will illuminate to indicate low tire pressure or a flat.

So... I have reason to believe that the tire pressure sensors on the Z4s of 2004 are tied in with the DCS system.

INPA is capable of telling you if your tire sensors are functional so I knew that I did not have to replace any of them.....luckily for me.
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2013, 10:12 PM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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Addendum.. My manual says... Flat Tire Monitor. I said RTA because I believed from reading my INPA error report that was what INPA references as that system within the DCS_MK60 module... It seems to be monitoring 16 things... From brake light switch, fluid level, ASC/DSC switch, brake pressure through to Run-up mode (not sure what that is...) in addition to vehicle speed and mileage ( that makes 18 things)....

Also have to say that I love the INPA program and having a manual oil dipstick. INPA is telling me that my oil level sensor is defective( Open circuit...Sporadic error.. Error code 11 84 00...). Was going to clean that connector to see if i could clear the error codes until I looked at Realoem.com's engine diagrams and crawled under the car to look. I wouldn't do that job unless I had a lift. Have to remove bolted on shield(s) to expose that area to do so.... No wonder working on these cars can be so expensive at the Dealers...

Love my dipstick.. Feel sorry for those that don't have one... (Possible mod?)
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2013, 10:26 PM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 Z4
2003 Z4: Brake, TPMS, and DSC dash lights

Update..... So the fault codes came back. INPA has my wheel sensors as good. INPATIENT is showing my brake pressure


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  #13  
Old 04-21-2013, 12:01 AM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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2003 Z4: Brake, TPMS, and DSC dash lights

Ok.... Finger problem sending from my iPad ..

To continue.....

INPA reading of fault codes says its my brake pressure sensors that's are giving a sporadic error ...5E20 and 5E21. Only thing is that INPA shows that the pressure and wheel sensors are functional and stepping on the brake pedal shows the pressure sensor readings tracking equally. So at this point I'm convinced that I have an intermittent electrical fault that is causing the warning lights to illuminate. I just can't locate the site of the fault and I've cleaned all the obvious electrical connections.... Including the centre console connectors.

Somewhere in my search for information I located and downloaded a 2003 Z4 Technicians training manual and I finally read it last week. I read that there is a DCS yaw rate sensor underneath the passengers seat and I go have a look under the seat and yup...there is a small module and wiring connection that matches the diagram in the training manual..... I now remember that I had cleaned under my passenger seat about the time my issues with the DCS fault warning lights started... and I had wiggled the module out of curiosity.

So... Cleaned the connection/blew it dry and reconnected ..... Read my error messages and INPA had the pressure sensors showing a complete electrical failure. So now I know that the DCS module/wiring connector and the brake pressure sensors are inter-related/connected. I clear the error codes and re initiate the tire sensor system after confirming my tire pressures (as this seemed to also be a help earlier) and go for a drive. Issue eventually comes back but again is sporadic... Appears on startup and before the car has moved.....sitting at a stop light ...and just driving in a straight line with no brakes etc.. I note that if I turn the car off.. wait and restart ...most times the fault lights go out/goes away (ignition needs to be off for at least 10 seconds or longer) and I can drive without an issue until the car is turned off.

I drive for a few days to see if the issue will resolve but it doesn't change... Same sporadic fault. Get to thinking that if its a sporadic fault perhaps its vibration thats setting it off... as well as the startup check of DCS system. So... I get a zap strap and zap strap the connector as tight as I can to the module. Then without having done anything else... Start the car and go for a drive. No faults showing on startup and started/stopped the car several times over the new few hours. Same after supper when we go for a confirmation drive and stop/restart the car . Unlike prior to the zap strap where I had intermittent illumination of the warning lights........ Nothing... no faults from the time I zap strapped that connector tightly to the module.

So.... No where in any thread in the various forums that I've read on the DCS fault light issue...was the DCS yaw rate sensor located under the passenger seat mentioned. Given that an issue with the connector to this module shows up as a fault in the brake pressure sensors, it might be the cause of some DCS issues. Cleaning and perhaps as I did... Zap strapping the connector/module tightly together might be a potential cure.

I'll monitor/update the thread if the fault errors come back. I've only have cleaning of the wheel sensors left to do. But I've felt my issue was electrical from the start due to the error messages and my INPA program reading of the DCS_Mk60 module that indicated that all my sensors were functional...

Shipkiller... If you read this, the tech training manual (introduction to Z4 for techs used to working on Z3..) would be an excellent addition to your website. It's a zipped file of some 7 Mbs that unzips to 16 PDF files. They cover all the basics of the Z4 systems and has great information... diagrams, and background info... Finally found out what the little thin wire and connector connector on the battery cables in the battery compartment and + connection in the engine compartment are for..... B+ monitoring system of the battery cable....


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  #14  
Old 05-01-2013, 11:41 AM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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2003 Z4: Brake, TPMS, and DSC dash lights

A stand alone Garmin GPS will cause the ABS/DCS fault indicators to light if you tap into your fuze panel with a tap/12v to USB adapter as I did to one of the spare fuze sockets on my Z4 looking for a "clean" install. It absolutely does not cause the fault when plugged into a cigarette lighter adapter to power the GPS. The preceding test and days of driving afterwards confirmed that my particular issue was ultimately caused by my GPS thinking it was connecting to a computer (BMW) when powering up and the Z4 "sensing" ( for lack of a better description) the inquiry. This attempt to connect caused the faults... The weirdest part was that after about 15-20 minutes of driving with the GPS on the faults would go away on a stop/restart of car. I now believe that when the GPS no longer tried to go through the connect to computer cycle, it no longer tripped what ever the car sensor systems monitor sensed that caused the fault indicators to light. I've been told that the cigarette/power socket power line is likely filtered to eliminate power line noise/this issue so I either tap power at the cigarette socket or get a separate power line filter and insert into my 12v to USB adapter/power supply to the fuze panel.

My old GPS that I had just replaced did this power up cycle when it was plugged into the cigarette lighter adapter on any vehicle so it never crossed my mind that the new GPS would cause the fault scenario.




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Old 05-01-2013, 04:37 PM
audiosonic audiosonic is offline
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I've never plugged in a GPS into my Z4.

What I want to do now is verify all my wheel speed sensors are working and that the wires are good. To do this I want to do continuity and resistance tests from the the wiring harness that plugs into the DSC/ABS module in the hood.

Problem is I can't the wiring connector to unplug from the module!

Can anyone provide a detailed description of how this plug is supposed to connect/disconnect from the module?

(DSC/ABS module located near the firewall right below the brake fluid reservoir)

If my wires and sensors are good, then I'll see if I can send the control module out for repair as my next step.

Clearancediver: If you've got a copy of that repair manual, could you send it to me? Maybe it has a description of that plug and how it connects/disconnects.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:47 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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I have a standalone Garmin unit hardwired into my fuse block on both cars. No issues.
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How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
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  #17  
Old 05-01-2013, 05:47 PM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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2003 Z4: Brake, TPMS, and DSC dash lights

That's the puzzling part... But what is an absolutely fact is that the screen of the GPS shows the "connecting to desktop computer" symbol that it exhibits when I connect it to my computer to download/update my maps... My GPS comes with lifetime maps. It could be because the GPS has this feature that it "looks" and tries to connect to the monitoring electronics of the Z4. It does this when connected directly to my fuze block ....and I get the fault indicators. Unplug from the fuze block ... The fault indicators go away. Plug into the cigarette lighter and it acts just like a GPS is supposed to do when switched on.... and no fault indicators.

My car now has the cleanest connectors of any car on the road. The brake pressure sensors are confirmed as reading correctly... As are the wheel sensors... Both were confirmed static (DIS/IMPA) and dynamically while driving (INPA). It has a brand new Heavy Duty / Telemetrics battery installed (965 CA if I remember correctly). Despite all this the faults continued as previously described. The second I pulled the connection from the fuze block the symptoms disappeared.... and I did not clear the faults prior to.... nor have I since.

For the inquiry about the technicians training manual... It's located on Bills webpage here...
http://www.billswebspace.com/

He also has some great info on Z's



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Old 05-01-2013, 05:54 PM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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2003 Z4: Brake, TPMS, and DSC dash lights

Audiosonic... That is the only connector I didn't clean. It didn't want to disconnect despite releasing/pulling the "catch" and I didn't want to pry at it on ignorance. INPA software program gives you live information on whether or not your sensors are "seen".... along with a host of other information. Google BMTechnic ... he's British. His one click connect software "just works" as Shopliller once said. Costs a little over $60 US shipping and connection cable included.


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Old 05-03-2013, 03:00 PM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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2003 Z4: Brake, TPMS, and DSC dash lights

Here is the link to the Tech training manual...

http://www.billswebspace.com/Z4E85Te...ningManual.zip

It's informative but not a "shop manual" per se...

Here is the UK site for software/cable for our BMW's

http://bmtechnic.co.uk/







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Old 05-03-2013, 06:22 PM
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shipkiller shipkiller is offline
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The 'shop' manual is call 'BMW TIS' and you can get on on Ebay. The Electrical manual is the 'BMW WDS V12' and you can get that in the same place.
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How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
Furthermore, does legality establish morality?
Slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of morel people. - Walter E. Williams
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  #21  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:25 PM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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2003 Z4: Brake, TPMS, and DSC dash lights

Yah.... Have the TIS software. I find it not the easiest system to navigate/find information. I found that the documentation in DIS that displays during diagnosis a lot more informative.

I found that the detail in the "Coles notes" information on the Z4 that the Tech training manual gives you ... provides the background information that helps you understand the information that TIS and DIS are presenting/displaying.

That being said.. Nothing replaces a good manual that you can thumb through... as much as I use electronic documents on a daily basis. Not realistic to expect that, but nothing wrong with wistful wishing..


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  #22  
Old 04-21-2014, 10:56 PM
Ernieman Ernieman is offline
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Hi Audiosonic,

Read this thread with interest as I currently have the exact same symptoms as you mentioned (DSC + brake yellow warning lights stay on, with a beep a few second after driving).

Have you managed to resolve this in the mean time?

Diagnosis showed problems with brake pressure sensors, however after replacing them the lights stayed on.

Still to investigate: battery, wheel rotation sensors, steering position sensor, acceleration/yaw rate sensor underneath the seat, control module, wires, etc. Would be great to be able to pinpont the cause just a little bit first.

Thanks a lot!
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  #23  
Old 04-22-2014, 09:54 PM
rambo25 rambo25 is offline
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Clearancediver,

I just got an 06 z4m last week from a dealership and I noticed when I am taking off in the mornings, those three lights also illuminate, but the strange part is that it only stays on for a few seconds while im driving and it feels as if it goes in limb mode and it repeats again like 3-4 times in that moment. Also, a few days back, the battery light turned on while i was driving and yesterday the battery light turned on again but this time one of the headlights did not turn on as if its shutting down parts of the car thats taking too much energy, so i turned off the car and turn on and strangely the opposite headlight would not turn on! i just had my battery and alternator checked earlier today and said everything was fine and in addition i moved my car elsewhere and i had to crank it like a good 4 times. Im thinking it could be the battery? It currently has an oem battery "shipped on 2012" (not that old of a battery) Im starting to feel as if i got a lemon which i can take it back to the dealer and fight or sue them but I really like this car and this is my first M and really dont want to get rid of it because it could be something very small like the battery for instance. What should I do?

Last edited by rambo25; 04-22-2014 at 09:56 PM.
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  #24  
Old 04-23-2014, 10:11 AM
Clearancediver Clearancediver is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 Z4
2003 Z4: Brake, TPMS, and DSC dash lights

I would measure my alternator voltage to see what the alternator is actually producing/doing. Your problems could start with this issue causing a battery charging issue etc...


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Last edited by Clearancediver; 04-23-2014 at 10:56 AM.
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  #25  
Old 04-23-2014, 10:21 AM
rambo25 rambo25 is offline
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Do you recommend taking off the alternator? I went to autozone and the alternator was close to 15 volts, the guy said it was normal but then again wouldn't taking them the alternator be more accurate?
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