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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I'm the new owner of a 2002 BMW 525i and I thought I'd share my experience over the past week. Overall, it was rough but rewarding. I enjoy troubleshooting but dealing with the tight deadline of a temp tag and the holiday schedule in general, it felt like there was a seemingly infinite number of "if this then that" scenarios which created a bit of stress.

Oh and sorry about the crappy photos. They're actually just screenshots of videos from my iPhone. I'll take better ones once she's all cleaned up.

Skip to the bottom for the "too long; didn't read" version.



BMW Ownership Day 0

  • Paid cash and picked up the title and keys.
  • Drove the car to my parents house for the night (no valid registration but it was parked just one neighborhood over). On the drive over, the Service Engine Soon light appeared.

BMW Ownership Day 1

  • Drove my other car to the DMV for a 5 day temporary tag.
  • Drove the BMW to the DMV for inspection. It failed because of the SES light is throwing code P0500.
  • Drove the BMW to AutoZone and had them read the code and then clear it.
  • Went back to the DMV. Rejected for inspection (because I unknowingly cleared out all the data). The DMV employee told me to Google "drive cycle" and then follow it. I did.
  • Drove all over following drive cycle instructions and went back to the DMV. Rejected because I needed at least 1 more system to be "ready" (EVAP and Secondary Air remained unready).
  • Got an oil change.
  • Drove some more but my SES light came on so I went back to AutoZone to clear out the code.
  • Went back to the DMV but rejected again because clearing out the codes cleared out the readiness. The DMV employee informed me of this.
  • Decided that simply guessing when my system was "ready" wasn't going to work and ordered the Autel AutoLink AL319 on Amazon because it monitors the data I'm looking for.



BMW Ownership Day 2

  • Drove to work and got a flat tire. Most of the tools in the trunk are missing but I had what I needed to change the flat. It took 90% of the time to remove the center cap on the wheel.
  • Spare tire has a small nail in it.
  • Took off one of the wheel speed sensors and cleaned it.
  • Installed new engine air filter.



BMW Ownership Day 3

  • OBD II scanner arrived.
  • Car now showing P0444 and P0500.
  • Replaced purge valve and gas cap. P0444 stayed off.
  • Drove around and soon P0500 came back, "Wheel Speed Sensor A".
  • Got a misfire code while exiting the highway. Sat for a few minutes and restarted the car, no issues. Reset the codes to keep an eye on things.
  • After a night of errands, I realized I got home without the SES light ever appearing. I checked the readiness and I on- ly need EVAP and/or AIR.
  • Installed new cabin air filters.



BMW Ownership Day 4

  • Woke up early to get in a drive cycle just as the DMV opened.
  • Ended up having no luck so I went to my brothers.
  • We forced a fake cold start by using fans to cool the engine while using other methods to raise the temperature of the ambient air sensor.
  • Drove back to the DMV hoping the readiness monitor would be complete. It wasn't.
  • Dropped by Costco for a hot turkey provolone sandwich. Feeling pretty pitiful because if it's not ready today to pass inspection, I'll have to just take it to the shop which would be an unnecessary cost. If I can get it to just pass inspection on my own, I can do the work but I don't want to keep buying $20 5 day temporary tags in the meantime.
  • Got back in the car and decided to just check things out. Turns out I had all but one system ready and in my state, you can pass inspection that way.
  • I carefully drove back to the DMV all while staring at the dash, praying the SES light wouldn't come on.
  • Got in line for the OBD re-check and in moments, it was all over. I got the paper that says "PASS" and I was immensely relieved.
  • Went inside the DMV to transfer the title and receive my official metal license plate and left just 5 minutes after they closed.
  • Fixed rear door vapor barrier before the rain came in the morning.



BMW Ownership Day 5

  • Removed and cleaned all wheel speed sensors (ABS module is the main culprit but I know it couldn't hurt)
  • Replaced rear turn signal bulbs; the amber color coating was wearing off.

tl;dr
I was in a stressful waiting game trying to get all the readiness monitors reading "OK" without triggering the P0500 SES light.

Currently

I've replaced the roundels, cleaned the leather, added a pair of "Ultimate Cupholders" and I'm waiting on my tires to come in any day now. Once the tires are in, I'm sending off the ABS Module, GM3, and MID [display] for repair. I also plan to replace the spark plugs after all that too.
 

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Welcome to the ****fest!

Boy I'm glad inspections here in RI aren't as strict. lol
 

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Indeed welcome (again)!
Glad to see everything working out in the end.
So abs, tires, and mid - check
Why the GM3?
Anything else on the list?
 

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Wingnut
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welcome...and to add to TAB's post..why the ABS module? is your car an automatic? there is also a speed sensor on the tranny, sensor often id'd as sensor "a". your new scanner should enable you to monitor the different abs sensors live to see which is the culprit before falling back on having the module redone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah it***8217;s an automatic.

GM3
My central locking and interior lights (that should light on unlock) don***8217;t work.

ABS Module
My cruise control, DSC, and ABS are all not working.
 

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Who are you sending the ABS module to? I have the same vehicle and plan on doing my module soon.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
 

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Still debating between Module Master and BBA Reman but leaning towards BBA.

Edit: I saw some hit or miss reviews of BBA but they were all from a couple years ago. While doing some more research, I stumbled across this tonight. Now I'm thinking I should look elsewhere.
I had mine done at BBA for something like $270 bucks; that was 3-5 years ago though. Still working good after all these years, not a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Yeah it's an automatic.

GM3
My central locking and interior lights (that should light on unlock) don't work.

ABS Module
My cruise control, DSC, and ABS are all not working.
The central locking could be a fuse (as stated by others) and the lights coming on is a possible coding IIRC. So while your course makes sense there are some other avenues to explore.

So am I right to assume different States have different tests? and your not allowed to take your car to another State for an "easier" test?
Correct. There is a federal minimum standard (mainly safety) but then each state may add to that. Some states add emissions and each of the states has varying standards. California is one of the most rigorous emissions states whereas others (Tennessee?) have almost none. Then there is the added complexity of counties/cities adding on top of those. For all owners you need to abide by the registered locality.
 

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One last thing to check on central locking: validated the switch/button? Seem to recall the switch can be flooded (coffee/soda spill) and cease functioning.
I know it seems like we are throwing a hundred things to check but in this forum test everything before committing to an expense.
 

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So am I right to assume different States have different tests? and your not allowed to take your car to another State for an "easier" test?
Emissions are based on the county you reside in. Usually the counties around a major city. Fortunately my area stopped emissions some years ago as my 02 E39 wouldn't pass now.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
One last thing to check on central locking: validated the switch/button? Seem to recall the switch can be flooded (coffee/soda spill) and cease functioning.
I know it seems like we are throwing a hundred things to check but in this forum test everything before committing to an expense.
I don't know how long exactly it's been an issue but I know water would occasionally get in through the vapor barrier on the rear passenger door.

I've since sealed it up so it won't be an issue anymore. And we've had some solid rain recently which has been a good test as well.

I'm currently on my phone but I'll dig up the location for the switch later and see what's up.

Any ideas why the interior lighting doesn't work? Just from my research it sounded exactly like a GM3 issue. The car previously sat for a year.

Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
 
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