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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got my car back yesterday and BMW replaced the DSC control module. I brought the car home and no problems. I washed my car and cleaned the wheels up and let the car sit for about an hour or so.

Well, when I started the car up to go out to dinner with my friends, the ABS light came on AGAIN! WTF!! I just spoke with my salesman and have been calm with him and the dealership. I told him that I thought I had either a faulty computer and/or a faulty sensor at one of the wheels.

This is my feeling on the computer: In a one month period since picking up the car new from the dealership, I have had two separate electrical issues that aren't full failures. By this I mean that the system "fails" but only intermittently. Sometimes if I shut the car down and start it back up, the issue mysteriously cures itself - only to crop up sometime in the near future. I have not had any issues with the throttle control module that was replace about three weeks ago. This ABS thing is really starting to bug me. Why only after I wash the wheels does the light go on (only to reset itself when the car has completely dried)?

BMW has one more chance after Monday to get this problem resolved. If its not resolved, the Lemon Law kicks in and by law, they will required to give me a new car. My real issue is my audio setup. I put this stuff in my car thinking it was a new car with no issues. If I do actually get a new car, its going to cost me anywhere from $2,500-$3,000 to get everything ripped out of this car and put into the new one. I guess I'll cross this road when I come to it. Maybe if I do get a new car, I will be able to get BMW to cover these expenses. Hopefully it won't come to this.

Edit: If anyone has some experience with this or has some further insight, I would appreciate the help. I love this car too much to give it up and wait two more months for a new car.

The saga continues . . .
 

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Christ, I was starting to think about the lemon law but then you reminded me about the system install. Ouch! :yikes:

Best of luck with whatever path you end up taking, and hopefully BMW will be feeling generous. :thumb:
 

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Ack -

I definitely commiserate with you on all the problems you've had :( Just plain outright sucks.

There's nothing worse than that "whats next?" sinking feeling you get when problem after problem crops up on something new, especially when it's a dream car. And then there's the frustration trying to get it all straightened out.

Again, don't hesitate to enlist the BBB. They really can help. hopefully it won't come to that.
 

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What's the possiblity that your "system" is causing faults and/or failures in the electrical system?

Keep in mind that the dealer might be doing "warranty" work on your car, at the dealer level, but when you file lemon law, BMWNA will get drawn into the situation. When they see your audio equipment they could have a leg to stand on that the car is modified and hence no warranty/lemon law will apply.

Just my toughts. :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sdwolff said:
What's the possiblity that your "system" is causing faults and/or failures in the electrical system?

Keep in mind that the dealer might be doing "warranty" work on your car, at the dealer level, but when you file lemon law, BMWNA will get drawn into the situation. When they see your audio equipment they could have a leg to stand on that the car is modified and hence no warranty/lemon law will apply.

Just my toughts. :dunno:
You have a good point but, it would only be true if these issues came up after the audio install. The issues I'm talking about started before the install and have continued to occur. Before the install, my car was at the shop five times for electrical issues. The dealership and myself have been logging all of the times I have been in for service issues.

Geomax and Mystikal, thanks for the support guys!:thumb: I can only hope that the ABS issue is resolved. I don't want to invoke the Lemon Law, I just want a car that has no problems and is in the condition that it should have been in on my delivery day. I'm hopeful this will be resolved. This is one of the reasons why I haven't given my dealership a hard time. They have gone beyond what is required on several occasions - they have picked up my car from my work location (which is 15 miles from the dealership) on four occasions. They want to resolve this problem as much as I do. It just kind of sucks all the way around.
 

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ok, then forget eveything I said. :angel:

Two other thoughts.

1. Have your dealer get BMW Technical involved. BMW will send a factory service rep to look at the car.

2. Bring the car to another dealer. They may have another idea what's causing the problems.
 

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Ackster said:

This is my feeling on the computer: In a one month period since picking up the car new from the dealership, I have had two separate electrical issues that aren't full failures. By this I mean that the system "fails" but only intermittently. Sometimes if I shut the car down and start it back up, the issue mysteriously cures itself - only to crop up sometime in the near future. I have not had any issues with the throttle control module that was replace about three weeks ago. This ABS thing is really starting to bug me. Why only after I wash the wheels does the light go on (only to reset itself when the car has completely dried)?
Just the wheels? Does it go fritz when you wash the entire car or just when you rinse down the wheels?

If it goes fritz when you wash the entire car, then I have a good feeling I may know what's going on. If it's just the wheels it doesn't make sens at all...The only possiblity I can think of is an exposed wire SOMEWHERE near the wheel well. How that wire got exposed, I don't know...These ABS sensors NORMALLY come insulated pretty well. If it's fritzing out when you wash the whole car, it maybe that some how, some way your rain gutter in the engine compartment has been damaged and it's leaking water into your DSC controller in the passenger side.

This is by far the worst thing that can happen...Sounds like if your DSC is going to go all out of whack whenever it rains, just when you need DSC the most.

I'll bet you $5 and a can of whoopass that SOMEHOW BMW will find a way to blame the failure on the aftermarket audio system or it's install. Good luck fighting the good fight.

A little afterthought...Have you try rinsing down individual wheels to find out which wheel sensor is tripping the fault in DSC? If your dealership isn't competent enough to figure that out, maybe you can help them along a bit?
 

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Ackster
Sorry to hear about all your problems on your vehicle. It must be like a love-hate relationship.
I am by no means a mechanic but, could the spray you are using on your wheels cause the ABS light to come on? Maybe an electrical short or something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Re: ABS Failure Part III

The HACK said:


Just the wheels? Does it go fritz when you wash the entire car or just when you rinse down the wheels?

If it goes fritz when you wash the entire car, then I have a good feeling I may know what's going on. If it's just the wheels it doesn't make sens at all...The only possiblity I can think of is an exposed wire SOMEWHERE near the wheel well. How that wire got exposed, I don't know...These ABS sensors NORMALLY come insulated pretty well. If it's fritzing out when you wash the whole car, it maybe that some how, some way your rain gutter in the engine compartment has been damaged and it's leaking water into your DSC controller in the passenger side.

This is by far the worst thing that can happen...Sounds like if your DSC is going to go all out of whack whenever it rains, just when you need DSC the most.

I'll bet you $5 and a can of whoopass that SOMEHOW BMW will find a way to blame the failure on the aftermarket audio system or it's install. Good luck fighting the good fight.

A little afterthought...Have you try rinsing down individual wheels to find out which wheel sensor is tripping the fault in DSC? If your dealership isn't competent enough to figure that out, maybe you can help them along a bit?
It is happening when I wash down the entire car. . . but, if the car dries completely and the ABS returns to normal and it rains later in that week, I have no problems. I think its just from soaking the wheels. . .:dunno: I have actually thought about doing the "test each wheel by hosing it off and drying it" technique to see which is actually the culprit.

I hope your wrong about BMWNA. Since I have the record of problems and visits prior to the audio install, this will make a strong case against BMW not myself.
 

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sorry to hear about all your problems...

But , I'm wanted to mention something off topic to you. Concidering the investment you have made on your audio mods, have you thought about installing the keyhole cover on your door??? 3 series coupes are notoriously easy to break into via the driver's door. And I'm sure that you know that even the best alarms won't keep someone from causing damage/theft from inside your car.

There was a post here about these covers, including part numbers, around the begining of January (search " keyhole cover")

Here in NJ, lots of 3 series are entered regularly. I'm sure NY is no safer.:thumbdwn: You might want to check it out:thumb:

Hope everthing gets resolved to your satisfaction.

Doug
 

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Re: Re: Re: ABS Failure Part III

Ackster said:


It is happening when I wash down the entire car. . . but, if the car dries completely and the ABS returns to normal and it rains later in that week, I have no problems. I think its just from soaking the wheels. . .:dunno: I have actually thought about doing the "test each wheel by hosing it off and drying it" technique to see which is actually the culprit.

I hope your wrong about BMWNA. Since I have the record of problems and visits prior to the audio install, this will make a strong case against BMW not myself.
:dunno:

I would try the "check wheel by soaking" method first. If that does NOT trigger the ABS to fail, then it's got to be the drainage underneath your hood that is damaged. It's possible that when it's raining not enough water accumulates inside the housing for the DSC thus nothing gets shorted out/triggered, but when you wash your car, the flow of water is more constent and a larger volume over a shorter amount of period, and the drainage can't drain fast enough, due to whatever damage that's occurred.

I hope you do get this resolved with BMWNA...However from what I read on these boards, and from common sense I would suggest you keep all your paperwork and prepare for a TOUGH fight because your car is heavily modified. And if you can ISOLATE where the problem is coming from and find out exactly what is causing the problem, it may be in YOUR best interest.

I would also suggest going to a third party, a mechanic you can TRUST and have them take a look at the car. At least you'll get an honest third party opinion regarding the problem and more ammo to fight BMWNA with. My friend who had a clunk on his rear suspension thought it was the UUC Swaybar that we installed that is causing it, his dealership was blaming the UUC Swaybar, but when he took it to a good BMW mechanic they immediately discovered that it was a torn lower control arm bushing, NOT the UUC Swaybar. He got the dealership to change that part out.

Remember, the monkeys at the dealerships aren't usually the best and the brightest. They diagnose your problem BY THE BOOK. What seems like a defective DSC control unit may be something else, like a problem with drainage under the hood.

Again, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Re: Re: Re: ABS Failure Part III

The HACK said:


:dunno:

I would try the "check wheel by soaking" method first. If that does NOT trigger the ABS to fail, then it's got to be the drainage underneath your hood that is damaged. It's possible that when it's raining not enough water accumulates inside the housing for the DSC thus nothing gets shorted out/triggered, but when you wash your car, the flow of water is more constent and a larger volume over a shorter amount of period, and the drainage can't drain fast enough, due to whatever damage that's occurred.

I hope you do get this resolved with BMWNA...However from what I read on these boards, and from common sense I would suggest you keep all your paperwork and prepare for a TOUGH fight because your car is heavily modified. And if you can ISOLATE where the problem is coming from and find out exactly what is causing the problem, it may be in YOUR best interest.

I would also suggest going to a third party, a mechanic you can TRUST and have them take a look at the car. At least you'll get an honest third party opinion regarding the problem and more ammo to fight BMWNA with. My friend who had a clunk on his rear suspension thought it was the UUC Swaybar that we installed that is causing it, his dealership was blaming the UUC Swaybar, but when he took it to a good BMW mechanic they immediately discovered that it was a torn lower control arm bushing, NOT the UUC Swaybar. He got the dealership to change that part out.

Remember, the monkeys at the dealerships aren't usually the best and the brightest. They diagnose your problem BY THE BOOK. What seems like a defective DSC control unit may be something else, like a problem with drainage under the hood.

Again, good luck.
Hack, as always, thanks for your helpful insights. I am going to try the "soaking each wheel independently" method tomorrow and see if I can isolate the problem to a specific wheel.

I agree with you whole-heartedly about the BMW mechanics. It seems like they are more "read error code, replace what the computer says is causing the error" as opposed to the old-fashioned way of trial and error, or just some common sense. It is rather frustrating that I can figure out when/how the problem happens but not the why. You would think BMW would have good technicians that could figure out the why by knowing the when/how the problem occurs.

I miss having a car that I could tell a mechanic the problem I'm having, make some noises, and they were able to tell me what was wrong. Computers have greatly enhanced our lives but at doing so makes a minor problem so many times worse. It stinks when a person is just looking at error codes that a computer spits out rather than "getting one's hands dirty".:dunno:

Enough of my rant. I'll post what I find out tomorrow. If I can isolate this issue myself, all the better.

Thanks again!!:thumb: :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hack - found out something later today. I was able to trip up the sensor, not by dousing everything with water, but by having DSC kick in. As soon as I spun the rear tires a little bit and the DSC turned out, I immediately got a yellow brake light followed a few second later by the infamous (red brake, yellow ABS) lights. When I shut the car off and turn it back on, the lights turn off until I trip the DSC again. At least I know what is really the culprit - DSC not the ABS.
 

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Ackster, that may not be the case... When you trigger DSC like that, you also trigger the ABD system... ABD is the active brake differential. It is an integral part of the ABS system and shares the hardware. :(
Unfortunately, I don't think we really have any more of a picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nick/Hack -

I found out another odd thing. The ABS/Brake light came on again today and I pulled over, shut the car down, restarted and the lights all cleared. I tried my cruise control and it didn't work. I figure, even though the error lights weren't on, since they were triggered, the cruise control was disabled due to the car not being able to accurately determine the wheel speed. I got home and left the car alone for 15 minutes, started her up again, and the cruise control worked.

The one thing I can say is that I'm learning alot about what systems are tied into one another. This is not the way I wanted to learn about them though.:eeps:
 

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sorry to hear about your troubles :( I had a lemon car once, it was not a BMW but I had same thing fixed like 5 times and it was still screwed up. Yes you can see the lemon laws in black and white on paper, but when it comes down to it, its a very long process and a *****. I went to all steps, and still did not get another car. The outcome was to have the car maker to make good on it again. They took a LONG time, so I finally got pissed really adn sold it. So they won, but I would not waste more work time and stress, it was already getting into a year. Needless to say, I will NEVER buy that car make again. Good luck, keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would really hate to have to go thru the Lemon Law process. :thumbdwn:

I just talked with the service dept. and they don't have the wheel sensors for today but they will have them for Thursday. They said they will need to keep my car overnight to make sure that they do fix the problem. I guess they don't think it has anything to do with the computer.

I guess I'll find out sometime of Friday what the verdict is on the car. I know they want to fix this thing as much as I do. There's nothing worse than having a customer come in every week to get service done on a new vehicle. I've been driving a loaner for almost as long as I have been driving my own car.:yikes:
 

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Hey Ack-

Sorry to hear about all the problems with your car. :cry: Hopefully it will be the sensors and the issue will be resolved. I'd hate for you to have to rip all your stuff out. :mad: :cry: Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Just wanted to let you know my Prayers are with you Ack. Try not get too bummed out and think positive. :thumb:
 
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