1997 E36 323i - traction and abs dash lights on

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  1. 1997 E36 323i - traction and abs dash lights on 
    #1
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    Pug81's Car Details
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    hi guys,

    i have an R reg 97 323 E36 coupe and my traction and abs lights are constantly lit on the dash. i have been told there is a good chance that its one of my speed/abs sensors. but, how can i test which one without going to diagnostics and havin my pants pulled down over the price? i work with electronics so i'm pretty handy with test meters etc apart from a megger tester which i dont have or know how to use...
    could it be done with a multimeter on resistance or anyother setting? also, once fixed, would the lights on the dash go out straight away or would it need turning off by diagnostics?

    i assume because the lights are on is the reason why my traction doesnt work and doesnt turn on.

    my airbag light is also on but ive been told that its a common fault on the E36 and E46. they can come on by themselves or if the steering wheel has been removed for any reason(which mine has). apparently that needs turning off by diagnostics but i've also heard it can be turned off by shorting out a series of pins in the diagnostics socket? any ideas about my problems?

    any help appreciated.

    cheers
     
     

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    Hey there,
    I've just fixed this problem this week. I had 2 bad ABS sensors on the car, they also showed up as problems with the ABS wiring too, but as soon as I changed the offending sensors and cleared the codes, they never came back and all is well.

    I guess you have 2 options to choose from, get the ECU scanned to see what errors show up, or change all the ABS sensors on the car..

    I got an OBD cable and a copy of BMW INPA from fleabay for 20 quid.. It's saved me hundreds. If I were you.. that would be my first port of call. My own means of diagnosing my own car.

    As for the airbag light, you can clear it sure, but if there is a problem with one of the seat sensors or associated wiring, it will just come right back on.. get an OBD cable and BMW INPA.. forget the stealers.!
     
     

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    thepurpleblob's Car Details
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    Just get the codes read - it shouldn't be much. If you have an old laptop kicking around you can actually get the lead and the INPA software off eBay for even less and do it yourself.

    It's the quickest (and cleanest) solution
     
     

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    When i had the 323i i had the same problem! Get the codes read! And change the ABS sensor which by the way is the traction control to! It costs around 75 quid a piece so i suggest you read the codes before changing them both at 150. Code reading costs only 20 quid.
    My BMW history= E36 318IS, 323I,Mini Cooper, E46 320 D SE and now E39 530D. awesome
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiku84 View Post
    It costs around 75 quid a piece so i suggest you read the codes before changing them both at 150.
    Both ?

    You mean all 4 ! There's one for each wheel !
     
     

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    Cool, cheers guys. I'll hunt around eBay for the gear. I knew it would be a sensor. Just wanted to know if there was a way to test them without readin codes. But if not then eBay should bail me out.

    Thanks again.
     
     

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    #7
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    bad ABS sensors. then undo the bat for 12-24hrs and the ecu may reset.
    stanced vert OEM BABY! when verts go mad
     
     

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    You won't need to remove the cable from the battery, as once the bad sensor has been replaced, the ABS ECU will pick up on this, and once the car starts to move again, the lights will go out as it'll then be proven to work
     
     

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    I used to own a 1996 323i coupe which had the same problem. If you really do want to roll your sleeves up then you can find the offending sensor using your multimeter resistance measurement.

    Its been a while since I did it but you have to unplug the ABS sensor on each wheel which means you'll probably have to take the wheel off first. On mine, there were 3 pins on each sensor but one of the pins didn't return a value (screening connection?). The other two pins measured (from memory) about 1 Kohm but the faulty sensor measured something like 1 Mohm. Sorry I can't remember which pins so you'll have to experiment.

    Once you've found the offending sensor(s) then you'll have to remove it which usually proves difficult as the retaining bolt is probably rusted up and seized.

    Once you have 4 working wheel sensors again, the system detects this and extinguishes the ABS and traction control lights after you have had a drive.

    I hope this helps and good luck.
     
     

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    joylove (17-06-2011)

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    If you need to talk to the ABS/ASC you will need a full serial port on your laptop (USB serial will not do) and an ADS adaptor (£55, white colour)
     
     

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