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BMW ABS Control Module – ABS DSC Warnings – E38 E39 X5

August 3, 2010

car year: 2000
car model: 528i Wagon
ABS,Brake and DSC warning lights were on for months. Had a mechanic test for the problem. After testing, speedo, and odometer and associated readouts and cruise became intermittent and eventually quit working. I replaced the ABS control module with a tested used one, that got the cruise and speedo working again.I then took it to a BMW dealer to reset and program the unit. But they could not get the ABS, Brake and DSC to correct, citing pressure sensor line fault and precharging pump possible.

I would first wonder if there is indeed a problem with the used replacement module. With this noted, you certainly could have a fault other than the control module …. even though this is the most common fault for the symptoms that you have had. We have also seen past problems with attempting to re-code used modules (re-coding the module from another car to the coding for your car). It may be that this module simply can not be properly re-programmed.

  1. JerryM3 permalink

    I also have a 2000 528i Wagon with the premium sport package & automatic transmission. I am having the same ABS – DSC -BRAKE warnings pop up on the dash, but so far it has not affected the speedometer or cruise control operations, however, sometimes when these warning lights appear the EML light comes on and the car drastically loses power! I can stop the car and switch off the ignition for about a minute and everything seems to clear out and go back to normal. The problem seems to be intermittent even though the ABS – DSC – BRAKE warnings appear to be more frequent. The EML light has only come on twice so far, but, it only seems to “act up” when the other warning lights are lit. They all light up at the same time. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • Your symptoms do line up with the potential of a faulty ABS control module. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to have the ABS fault codes checked.

      The EML (the “fly-by-wire” electric throttle system) can also be affected by faults in the ABS and ASC/DSC traction control systems.

  2. Sheldon permalink

    I had a similar problem, ABS & DSC light came on, cruise control, speedo, all on board computer functions and intermittant speed on windshield wiper stopped working. Turned out to be an ABS Speed Sensor at the rear wheel.

    • Thank you for your input.

      Remember – on the E39 chassis, the left rear sensor also gives input to the speedometer. If you have ABS fault warnings and the speedo also does not work, start with the left-rear wheel speed sensor.

  3. dm530 permalink

    For those whose issue was with the wheel speed sensor, was the speedometer ever intermittent? I would think that if the wheel sensor is bad the speedometer would never work.

    I notice that when 3 lights (brake, abs, and ASC/DSC) are on my speedometer works, but if only abs and asc/dsc the speedometer does not work.

    Does this sound like a wheel speed sensor or more of a module issue?

    • We would think that this would be more likely a module issue.

  4. I have a 2000 BMW e39 540i, problem abs/dsc/brake are all amber. change module reset same problem. need help

    • Did the diagnostic scan say that the module was the problem? Does it still say the the module is at fault?

  5. change module and the problem is gone

  6. george rosa permalink

    my dsc light is on all the time, my cruise control dont work,my car transmision is automatic with 5 speed manual and can not switch to manual and car runs like too heavy when acceleration, like if its running on traction all the time, what do i have to check?

    • You may have a transmission fault that is causing the transmission to be in what is commonly called “limp mode”. This keeps the transmission in 3rd or 4th gear all the time. This may explain why the car feels very sluggish when accelerating from a stop and the sport (or manual) mode not working. We would suggest that you have the transmission fault codes checked by a BMW dealer or an independent shop that has the applicable testing tool.

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