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Discussion Starter #1
I've had a growing list of stuff to get done on my E61. So this weekend I successfully replaced my rear shocks, which were completed dead. I did the front struts soon as I bought the car.

I used INPA to successfully re-calibrate the rear air suspension. It's been sitting too high and always leaning to the left. Now it's sitting level and at the right height.

Finally, more and more often I'd been getting "DSC and AWD" warnings when I turn left. I ordered the $15 SZL repair kit. The disk was very dirty so I cleaned it with isopropal alcohol.

Before cleaning:

IMG_1798.jpg

After cleaning:

IMG_1801.jpg

I replaced the light tube, but honestly I can't tell the difference between the old on and the new one.

New one (left), old one (right):

IMG_1802.jpg

The entire job went pretty quickly and smoothly. After getting everything put back together I drove around the neighborhood and everything worked fine.

I then went in the house to shower and change. When I came back out to take my son to lunch, I fired up the car and immediately got this warning:

IMG_1803.jpg

I went back through the steps of taking apart the steering wheel and checked all the connectors to no avail.

I then did a Google image search but couldn't find this exact same malfunction screen.

I did find one post that seems similar. It describes a micro switch falling out of place. The micro switch is used to detect when the gear lever is in park.

I then dismantled nearly my entire dash and center console so I could get good access to the gear lever.

IMG_1810.jpg

I then tried to test the micro switch by backprobing the socket with pins. I wasn't sure I was actually making contact with the pins so I resorted to removing some of the wire insulation. Still not getting any indication that the switch is closed. So finally I've cut the wires and removed the switch from the car. Still seems dead to me. I'm measuring the resistancing across the switch with an ohm meter.

The switch is made by cherryswitches.com but I can't seem to find this switch in their current catalog.

The gear lever is only sold as a complete unit for $600+.

I'm completely stumped. I just can't believe that this simple, sealed switch went bad after 10 years within an hour of me messing with the steering wheel.

I must be missing something. What am I doing wrong?
 

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i recently had the same steering angle sensor problems. my disc was quite a bit dirtier than yours and had some sticky gunk on it as well as some tiny metal shards.

your issue with the shifter sounds like a crappy coincidence. I don't see how one could have anything to do with the other.
 

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pull the codes, but likely a shift solenoid. but without code you'll be chasing just about everything.

I would disconnect battery for 10 or 15 minutes, charge the battery a bit while you wait, and see if you get lucky
 

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2008 535xi wagon
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Sounds like it could be an issue with the parking solenoid. What does inpa say?

Also, did you recalibrate your steering sensor after reassembly? That could be causing some weird issues if the car now things it's always steering left, for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Shifter turned out to be a complete coincidence. Murphy strikes again!

Last Saturday I drove an hour out to BMW dismantler, Strictly German, in Braselton, GA. Extremely friendly and helpful folks. But alas after standing around in the hot sun for 2.5 hours waiting for one of their guys to search all of the E60's and E61's that he could find on 3 different lots, we came up empty. None of the shifter they found had the same microswitch.

The guy then mentioned that I try Bimmer Motor World, which was about 5 miles up the road. I walked in. Showed them the broken $3 switch. The guy said "I'll be right back." When he returned he had an old rusty shifter out of an E60 with the correct microswitch. Best part: only $40.

Drove the hour home. Swapped microswitches. Fired up the car and no more warning. Then spent the next several hours putting the entire dash and console back together.
 
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