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DSC/traction control light always on

2409 Views 26 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Chedley
I have a North American 2000 BMW 528iA with the sport package. Normally I’m just a lurker who figures everything out by reading old threads, but this issue has left me scratching my head so I had to make a post. I recently had the ABS module rebuilt, and after putting the original wheel speed sensors back on (and throwing the Amazon ones in the trash) I fixed the “ABS light trifecta” and all the other associated problems. With that being said, my DSC/traction control light is still constantly on. It is the only light on the dash. I am getting error code 52 “rotation-rate sensor, line” from the ABS module. (I am using a BMW specific scanner and adapter to the 20-pin connector in the engine bay) I believe it is talking about the YAW sensor under one of the front seats (I cannot get a straight answer on the location). I have done the steering angle reset and when reading live data, all is good. I’m fairly certain it’s not the steering angle sensor. The manuals all say code 52 is for a wheel speed sensor, which I know is not my problem since the ABS still works. It seems that the YAW sensor location can very widely depending on the year, can anyone tell me where it is on my car and if that might be my issue?
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Which BMW specific scanner are you using to get the "rotation-rate sensor" error and to read live data ?? And how did you reset the steering-angle sensor after installing the rebuilt ABS ??
And yes, error code 52 from the ABS module indicates a bad rear-left speed sensor or bad inlet valve.
FYI, IIRC, the yaw sensor is located under the driver seat. And I do not think it is your issue..
Code reader is a BMW specific Creator C310+ with a round 20 pin adapter. I am able to talk to every module in the car. It’s cheap, but it works. I do not believe my steering angle sensor ever needed reset. I just did it because another thread suggested it. I did the simple “center wheel, turn to the left, turn to the right, back to the left, and re-center” method. When I view the live data for the sensor, it reads accurately. It’s at 0° when the wheel is straight. Angle changes accordingly when I turn the wheel. All is good there. If it were the rear-left wheel speed sensor, I would not have a speedometer and my ABS light would be on. I just got done getting rid of those problems so I know the sensors are good. I have seen one other thread where someone had code 52 and it also saying “rotation-rate sensor, line”. The OP ended up finding something must have shorted on the YAW sensor circuit and the connector was melted. Replacing the YAW sensor fixed his issue. Only problem is, that car was a 2003 530i and I’m not sure if my 2000 528i has the same DSC system. See the other thread I’m talking about here
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Well, may be you have the same problem as in that thread.
Can you have access to or borrow INPA and its K+DCAN cable ?
It can directly connect to and read the status of the ABS (DSC57 for your car), the steering-angle-sensor, the yaw-sensor and all other sensors/modules on this car.
If so, run Tool32's test_lenwinkel job : it recalibrates all the steering-angle and yaw sensors, and resets the ABS/DSC errors. Then test again.
Maybe that is all what is needed to fix your DSC error light. It has been the cure for many other bimmers with similar problems.
My scanner can already read the status and values of all the sensors. However, I’m not entirely sure if it is able to run Tool32’s test_lenwinkel job. (I’ve read about this, but don’t really know what it is). My code reader lets me read the status/live data of sensors and modules, read codes from individual modules, and clear those codes, but not too sure if it can preform recalibrations or resets. I don’t have access to any other diagnostic software without taking it to a shop. I’ve only had a shop work on my car once and it was a nightmare.
To answer the question about the ABS module, it was rebuilt earlier this summer. The car was purchased earlier this year with the ABS, DSC, and check engine lights on. Shortly after getting the car, the “trifecta” and my speedometer would come and go with the weather. Replaced the wheel speed sensors with some cheap Amazon ones, which did nothing. After having the ABS module rebuilt, still nothing worked. I put the original sensors back on and all but the DSC light went away. That’s where I currently stand. I suppose the module rebuild could’ve been botched, but I’m hoping not. Thankfully there is a warranty.
Well, you have many variables for this problem : a correctly rebuilt ABS ?, old and new speed sensors, and a questionable OBD2 scanner.
Tool32 is a software tool part of the INPA suite ("Mike's easy BMW Tools"). But that is not the scanner you have.
Not sure why my scanner is questionable. Just because it’s not name brand, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It was recommended to me by the ABS module rebuilders to help troubleshoot the other issues I was having. I would assume they are knowledgeable on this sort of stuff. My wheel speed sensors are all OEM. The junk Amazon ones were discarded. The ABS works, therefore the wheel speed sensors must be good. Again, every system works besides the traction/stability control.
Well, forget the -Creator C310+ OBD2 scanner- for a moment. You can check its technical specs later.
You do have the DSC light on, and an error code 52 that does not want to go away. Yes ??
If so, this points to an ABS (DSC57 for this 2003 E39 car) that is disabled , presumably because of a bad rear-left speed sensor (code 52). That is all I can say.
What I was suggesting with the Tool32 test-lenwinkel trick is to clear the DSC light and the errors codes. Then see if they come back again.
I have cleared the error code before, but it always comes back. Not sure if clearing the code is resetting the sensor like it might need. Before I put the original wheel speed sensors back on, the ABS module was giving me 5 error codes, one for each wheel speed sensor, plus the one code I still have. Once I put the original sensors back on, those four codes went away and everything started working again (except for the DSC)
So, the persistent error is code 52. The ABS list of errors says : "Code 52 : Wheel sensor rear left or inlet valve rear right".

If you are adamant that the rear left speed sensor is good, then we are left with the possibility of a bad ABS. Its rebuilding has been botched. Specifically, the rear-right inlet valve in the module is bad or broken.
I’m still confused by this conclusion. If that were the case, am I wrong to assume the ABS would also not be working? My ABS light is not on, if it were an issue with the inlet valve, wouldn’t that light be on as well?

I can try what @mattmar1 suggested by swapping the rear sensors and see if the code changes. If the code doesn’t change, that would mean it is the YAW sensor or the inlet valve. There is a warranty on the module, but hope I don’t have to go that route.
could easily be the ABS module as well or wiring. search here in this forum for TRIFECTA by bluebee, rest her soul, there are lotsa posts in the thread, but it will get you thru checking every wire that needs to be checked and how to do it.
curious...does the ABS and DSC light come on when turning the key to pos 2, then the ABS light goes out with DSC still lit, or does the DSC Light go out then return when driving?
when you say the ABS works in your post #8, have you tried to lock the brakes on wet pavement or are you going by what the lights are telling you?
btw, regardless of what you were told by the rebuilder about the creator 310, its a questionable unit, got one long time ago and got thrown down many a hole cuz of it, i ran a screw thru the middle of it and it now hangs on my garage wall.
All lights come on when I start the car and then they all turn off after a second or two once the computers do all their little checks. However, only the DSC light stays on. I have felt the ABS kick in a couple times, once on a panic stop because of an accident ahead, and the other for a car that decided to slam on their brakes for a light that just turned yellow.
I have an update. Sadly, the car was involved in a minor fender bender, an idiot decided to change lanes into me. Thanks to insurance deeming it “uneconomical to fix” and giving me a healthy pay out while also being able to keep the car, I have been busy repairing it myself and the car is now free to me plus about a thousand dollars in my pocket.
Today I got around to removing the drivers seat to inspect the sensor. Visually, it looks fine. After now verifying what version of sensor I have, I now know it is the later DSC III and my sensor is the combination sensor that reads both acceleration, and rotation. (As opposed to previous models having two separate sensors) I am not getting a code for the acceleration sensor, only the rotation rate. When I unplug the sensor, I do get the error code for the transverse (or acceleration) sensor. This is making me think the sensor is only half bad. Half bad is still bad.
At least this has given me an opportunity to throughly clean my carpets and the coffee stains in between the seat and center console.
So, did you get hold of INPA to read the ABS/DSC module error codes ? If so, which error codes are popping out of the ABS or DSC module ??
As to the SAS -steering angle sensor- it rarely goes bad, But often, it needs recalibration. And yes, you will need INPA's Tool32 to recalibrate it. That manual method of turning/locking wheels never worked, to my knowledge.
I went ahead and replaced the sensor under the seat because it was only $30. Did not fix the issue sadly. I have no way of getting ahold of an INPA scanner unless I go to a indy shop. Getting ready to sell the car very shortly and this is the only thing wrong. Would like to sell it with no lights on the dash, but might just give up. I bought a 1987 Porsche 944S so I need to get rid of a car.
Then replacing the SAS sensor under the seat was a waste of time and money. A new sas sensor MUST be recalibrated to work.
You could have used those $30 to buy an inpa k+dcan cable, then download and install the free INPA software, and fix your problem like a pro indy.
The sensor I replaced was not the SAS. I replaced the one under the seat. SAS is in the steering column.
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