1998 E39 traction control warning light

Discussion in 'BMW 5 Series' started by RichK, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. RichK

    RichK Guest

    My car has 31,000 miles and yesterday, what I assume to be the
    traction-control light came on and stayed on. (middle of the dash, triangle
    with "i" in the middle, and an arrow going around the triangle) At the same
    time, the warning indicators "BRAKE" and "ABS" came on. All are white,
    rather than red. The car seems to drive normally. I assume some sort of
    sensor has died. Can anybody suggest what might be broken?
     
    RichK, Nov 22, 2003
    #1
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  2. RichK

    Danny Guest

    Possible brake pad warning light on.
     
    Danny, Nov 22, 2003
    #2
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  3. RichK

    Pete M Guest

    Danny made the world a better place for us by saying..
    ABS sensor more than likely.
    --
    Pete M.

    Golf Gti (For Sale)
    Alfa Romeo 164 TS.
    Wahey, I'm a proper petrolhead again!"
    Liverpool, Great Britain.

    "you can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead"
     
    Pete M, Nov 22, 2003
    #3
  4. RichK

    Michael Low Guest



    Based on the description of the indicators, the first lamp is the
    ACS+T/DSC light indicating deactivation or malfunction of either or
    both.

    The "BRAKE" light indicates a DBC malfunction.

    The "ABS" light indicates either ABS deactivated or a malfunction.

    It's curious all 3 systems should be affected at the same time.
    Assuming you have not had any accidents with the car I suspect there
    may be a system malfunction, perhaps an electrical surge or perhaps
    your battery is not working properly.

    I would take it to the dealer, especially if warranty is still in
    effect.


    Michael
     
    Michael Low, Nov 23, 2003
    #4
  5. RichK

    Joe Morris Guest

    I believe if you lose critical sensors, then this affects multiple
    components that depend on them (DSC, ABS, etc.). My 2003 manual
    indicates that this combintation (DSC, BRAKE and ABS) is possible and
    it more or less indicates, "The entire ABS, CBC, ASC+T/DSC and
    ADB/ADB-X/DBC control system has failed". Car will handle normally,
    however, you do not have ABS, DSC and other enhancements that
    intervene to keep you on the road. Avoid hard braking if possible.
    At 5 years old not sure what warranty one might have. It certainly
    can't hurt to go in a and least find out what the initial assesment
    is. Could be something as simple as a loose wire to a sensor. Good
    luck!

    --Joe, 2003 325xi
     
    Joe Morris, Nov 24, 2003
    #5
  6. RichK

    Michael Low Guest


    Yeah, I missed the year model in the subject title. OTOH, it should
    be covered by CPO or extended warranty. They are pretty common in N.
    America.

    These electrical system problems are definitely not something for the
    average hobbyist to troubleshoot.

    Thanks for sharing your information on sensor problems possibly
    causing multi-system malfunctions. I have a PDF version of the E39
    user's manual and curiously it does not mention this possibility.
    However, what your manual says is very plausible. It's very unlikely
    that the 3 systems' failures are not related. Perhaps RichK will
    update us when he gets his car sorted out.


    Michael


    It certainly
     
    Michael Low, Nov 24, 2003
    #6
  7. RichK

    RichK Guest

    I will post back afere getting the car fixed. As I write this, I see that I
    must have hit a wrong key in the title of the original post. The car is
    actually a 1999 model, but still not under warranty.

    Yeah, I missed the year model in the subject title. OTOH, it should
    be covered by CPO or extended warranty. They are pretty common in N.
    America.

    These electrical system problems are definitely not something for the
    average hobbyist to troubleshoot.

    Thanks for sharing your information on sensor problems possibly
    causing multi-system malfunctions. I have a PDF version of the E39
    user's manual and curiously it does not mention this possibility.
    However, what your manual says is very plausible. It's very unlikely
    that the 3 systems' failures are not related. Perhaps RichK will
    update us when he gets his car sorted out.


    Michael


    It certainly
    [/QUOTE]
     
    RichK, Nov 25, 2003
    #7
  8. RichK

    Michael Low Guest


    You're not the only one with "fat fingers" - I had meant to type "it
    could be covered by CPO or extended warranty..." rather than "...it
    should be...". I think I need new glasses and to go on a finger diet.

    Good luck with fixing the problem.


    Michael
     
    Michael Low, Nov 25, 2003
    #8
  9. RichK

    Kev Guest

    Well for what it's worth. My wife runs a new VW beetle and does absolutely
    no miles a year (or very little). Strangely the traction light kept coming
    on similar to yours. It was due for a service and was still under warranty.
    I advised the garage that the light kept coming on and staying there.
    When they serviced it the guy who was taking my service money said that as
    the car did so little amount of miles they had to recalibrate the traction
    control due to voltage/current issues that arise if the car is not driven
    far or too often.
    I was probably told a load of crap but maybe there is something in it.
     
    Kev, Dec 5, 2003
    #9
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