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abs yellow light & speedodometer not working

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by Paul the German, Feb 12, 2009.

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    Paul the German

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    I have a 2000 528i manual. The yellow abs and brake light came on and stayed on. The odometer and speedodometer quit working. Could it be the rear abs brake sensor? Do I replace both or just start with the left one? Thanks.
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    mooseheadm5

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    It could be a sensor or it could be that your ABS unit just died. Have someone check it for codes. It will tell you which sensor is bad.

    CMED guest

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    The same exact just happened to me. It ended up being the brian box, I believ thats what my mechanic called it. I do not have the paperwork with me, I can post later with more info. But to let you know, if you replace on your own, you will have to get your car calibrated by dealership only.
    Or you will still have no speedo, ect. I ended up with a $2,000 bill. The part was around $1,200 bucks, and the rest labor and calibration. Hope I helped.
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    mooseheadm5

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    The part can cost anywhere from $750 and up depending on model and how much your dealer gouges you (the price is not listed so they can charge what they want, unfortunately.) The programming can be done by any shop with a GT1 or Autologic and does not need to be done by the dealer. I am sorry that they charged you so much. You need to find a good independent mechanic in your area with the right tools.

    CMED guest

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    Ok, I am bending over, and grabbing ankles. You learn new things every day, like I need to find a new mechanic. Thanks for the info.

    Pianofxr guest

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    Rebuild/repair it?!

    Guys, this is a common problem with these cars. If it is the ABS electronic module it COULD be an easy fix. There are several rebuilders that can fix the unit, you can R/R the box with a torx screwdriver, no coding because they use YOUR module, and you'll spend @$300 or less.
    So stand up! and do a little research first.
    It is possible it may not be rebuildable but new ones can be bought for $450 + coding at an independent tech.
    See:
    http://autoecu.net/index.php
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1141152
    Good luck,
    Andrew
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    mooseheadm5

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    I just found a guy on CL that says he can do them for less than Module Masters (he quotes $110 for Bosch 5.3 and says a little more for the 5.7 on the later E39s.) He is an Electrical Engineer. PM me for his email addy.

    BMWguy206 guest

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    I had a client with the same complaint on his 2001 740i and it only turned out to be the left rear wheel speed sensor.

    But yeah, on an E39 it could be the sensor on the ASC/DSC control unit.

    Good Luck.
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    mooseheadm5

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    Which brings me to a good point. You should never simply take info from the internet and start flinging expensive parts at your car. You may get lucky, but you may not. You should try to actively diagnose the problem. I wouldn't call it an ABS module problem until I read out the codes and scoped any sensors that were giving errors. Sometimes the codes themselves are all you need, but at the very least, you must have it checked out by someone that knows what they are doing (which may or may not be you or some guy on the internet.)

    Pianofxr guest

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    diagnose first

    Absolutely try to identify first. I have an e46 that people ran from because it had a "computer" problem. Bought the car cheaply and found an excellent tech willing to use his head before my wallet. Codes were inconclusive and pointed to the instr panel until he pinned out the trans computer and solved the problem. Some $ spent in diagnostic time but it's fixed. Still spent less than the discount the car was sold for because of the problem.
    So yeah, know where you are going and it'll sort itself out. I just bought this e39 touring and was told abs module had been diagnosed already. Having it rebuilt now, I'll post and let you know how it all went.
    Did this same thing with a Lexus LS some years back and it worked out great.
    Dealer said $1200, had problem repaired for $250.

    Pianofxr guest

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    so far..

    I got the rebuilt ABS module back from ATE and installed it this morning. The speedo is working again but the warning lights (ABS & Warning triangle) are still on. I checked and cleared codes with a Peake tool. Not getting any ABS or related codes at all. I know the Peake tool doe not do everything so I will have my indy tech go through it with the Modic. I think its fixed, but may also need a sensor as well. Its going in anyway for a check over so I'll have him do it then.
    BTW, the rebuild was $130 including return shipping so either way I think I'm OK investment- wise.

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