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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 01-26-2014, 11:54 PM
taggart taggart is online now
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Mein Auto: 2003 525i
the infamous trifecta

Hello,

135k and the ABS, brake and DSC lights all went up yesterday. They go away after every restart but come back after 10 mins or so of driving. Speedo and cruise control still works but gear shifting in AT and sport is a bit abnormal if I punch it. Normal shifts in regular driving. Saw the guide for checking the sensors from the ABS connector but my DMM couldn't get any reading in diode and resistance mode. No error codes found with the Peake code reader.

Suspect the ABS module at the moment and left it at a local shop(ModuleRepairPro) in Van Nuys today. The guy who runs the store said it's usually repairable.(70% chance) Saw a test mule 528i in his parking lot. Without the module, all the lights are always on from startup and got the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light on too. Speedo is dead. Peake reader showed speedo not detected as expected.

Will find out tomorrow if they find anything wrong with my module. My thought was even if it's good, might as well have it rebuilt and rule it out.

My question is could the symptoms still point to a bad wheel sensor or something else? ABS module the likely culprit?
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2014, 05:07 AM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is online now
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Most often it is a sensor- light no on until driven- The module should set the light as soon as you start it.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2014, 06:08 AM
taggart taggart is online now
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Gotcha mjalloul. Just ordered front and rear speed sensors on ebay in case it's not the ABS module. Will update once I get the module back.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2014, 06:56 AM
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matt540 matt540 is offline
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Yea i just did my front suspension yesterday, and i got the trifecta. I probably knocked a wheel sensor loose or off. It snuck up on me this morning while driving in the snow.


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  #5  
Old 01-27-2014, 11:40 AM
taggart taggart is online now
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Well the latest thing I did was replace the water pump a few days back. Are you also having the exact same symptoms? Good luck finding the problem.

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  #6  
Old 01-27-2014, 03:50 PM
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matt540 matt540 is offline
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About the same symptoms, after i turned it off everything went back to normal. It hasn't happened again so maybe it was just a fluke. "Knock on wood"


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  #7  
Old 01-27-2014, 05:21 PM
taggart taggart is online now
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Picked up the module today. Gino(the owner?) said there were lots of things wrong with my module but that they were able to repair it. Trouble codes they found were the brake pressure sensor & front left wheel sensor. Externally you can tell the module was opened up with a bit of silicon around the edges. Installed it and immediately the trifecta was gone and didn't come on again during the 25-mile drive back. Am relieved to find that this was the only issue.

Lifetime warranty on the repair so at $149, it's a good deal.

Will update if the problem comes back but it's looking good so far.

Forgot to add that if it were not for the collective wisdom of this forum, I would still be lost in troubleshooting and out a lot of money! Thanks guys!

Last edited by taggart; 01-27-2014 at 09:01 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2014, 10:25 PM
overwerked1 overwerked1 is offline
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Ah, the three amigos. Sensor caused in my instance also. (knock on wood)
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2014, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taggart View Post
Without the module, all the lights are always on from startup and got the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light on too.
In my experience, the SES was due to a bogus P0500 which caused me to fail smog even though nothing was wrong:
- What to do about the bogus P0500 sensor malfunction (1)

In fact, here is what sometimes happens when the module is removed:
- Brake/DSC/ABS trifecta solid yellow lights (on the instrument cluster)
- Service Engine Soon (SES) solid yellow light lit (on the instrument cluster)
- No ABS (upon hard braking under low-traction conditions)
- No traction control (DSC or ASC on lateral action)
- No speedometer (use a portable GPS navigation unit if you're worried about that)
- No odometer (again, use a portable GPS unit if this bothers you)
- No tripmeter (use a portable GPS unit if it's a worry to you)
- No cruise control
- OBDII diagnostic trouble code DTC P0500, i.e., bad speed sensor (clear by driving or with an OBDII scanner)
- No possibility of passing (California at least) smog inspections (until you replace the ABS control module & clear the DTC)
- No speed-sensitive automatic door locks (if enabled at the stealer)
- No GPS (if you have navigation)
- No mileage calculations on the instrument cluster
- No fuel consumption calculations on the instrument cluster
- No range indications on the instrument cluster
- No speed-sensitive radio (if equipped)
- No speed-sensitive wipers (if equipped)
- Erratic fuel gauge (especially when near empty, so keep the tank at greater than 3/4 at all times)
- Erratic transmission shifting (if automatic; if it bothers you, switch to manual shifting)


See also:
- How to physically test & repair the Bosch ABS control module (1) & 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) & explanations by 540iman as to why the fancy diagnostic tools always fail to properly diagnose the trifecta or bifecta (1) & where to get the fancy schmancy diagnostic tools for free once you're aware of their limitations (1) & an ABS BRAKE DSC trifecta brake pressure sensor diagnostic DIY (1) & how to test and replace the steering angle sensor (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #10  
Old 01-29-2014, 05:11 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taggart View Post
Trouble codes they found were the brake pressure sensor & front left wheel sensor
You can test the BPS, but usually it's the module errantly reporting it:
- How to test the brake pressure sensor (1)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #11  
Old 01-30-2014, 12:11 AM
taggart taggart is online now
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Location: Alhambra
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overwerked1 View Post
Ah, the three amigos. Sensor caused in my instance also. (knock on wood)
Many fixes to this same problem. Good thing it's common or we're in trouble.





Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
You can test the BPS, but usually it's the module errantly reporting it:
- How to test the brake pressure sensor (1)
You're right Bluebee. In my case, it was the module. No more trifecta since! Thanks for the links!

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