More ABS headache... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old Jun 17th, 2007, 5:03 pm Thread Starter
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Unhappy More ABS headache...

Hi guys, I have been searching for similar symptoms but have not found something like these yet.:

* Problem: ABS and the brake warning triangle light are flashing.
* History: I noticed that for the first time two months ago. Both warning lights came on while I was riding on a motorway at 130 km/h. I made a stop, turned off the bike, restarted and all was OK. After a week or so, same thing again. And third time. In all cases the brake feel was normal, but I did not test the presence of ABS.
I had read that a low battery can cause this so I changed the battery to a new one. Everything was OK for a couple of weeks until I rode on a very rough old cobblestone road near Berlin Germany and the warning lights came on again! Again the problem (i.e. warning lights) went away after I restarted the bike.
Next day rode a longish ride through Denmark and Sweden towards home and the warning lights came on during riding. This time restarting did not help. Next morning we continued our journey through Sweden and at first no warning lights until they came on and stayed on for the rest of the day.
The following weeks were mostly problem-free, just occasionally had the warning lights on but most of the time not.

I took the bike to 60.000 km service last week Tuesday and I rode the 100 miles to service without the warning lights on. I asked the tech to check the brake fluid level as I had learned that it can cause the problem. He checked the single reservoir level (by the right pannier) from outside and refused to fill it as it looked to be full. The computer log showed nothing exceptional except a "front wheel ABS sensor having been too far from the ring" or something like that. The tech said that this was on the "history log" and he measured the gap between the sensor and the ring and it was OK. I rode home and no warning lights.

Two days later the warning lights came on again. And this time they are on all time. As "jzeiler" kindly educated me (and the others) about the location of the newer model brake fluid reservoirs I filled them both (the reservoirs which are by the ABS unit) plus I filled the rear reservoir by the pannier. No help and after filing the reservoirs I test rode the bike and the status per today is as follows:

* no ABS ( I tested that on a relatively slow speed on asphalt by slamming the foot pedal down and the darn front wheel locked which almost caused me underpants laundry...)
* when I turn off the bike and start it again only the ABS light is flashing as usual waiting for the bike to roll off and then go out. The ABS light goes out but after some 20 feet or so both warning lights come on.

Where could I start looking or should I take it to the dealer and could the fault be read from the MoDiTec now that the warning lights are actually on? (Last Tuesday the problem was not on when the bike was hooked to the computer.)
Is there a way to reset the ABS warning yourself or does it need to be done by the dealer with his computer?

Anybody ever had similar symptoms? Bike is a 2005 (or we call it 2004) with 62.000 km.

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

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post #2 of 10 Old Jun 17th, 2007, 5:24 pm
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Hi, Ari - you're pretty good at tracking *oopseees*, I know; butt take a read thru George Barnes thread listed down below on this page. Also, one other thread in the group of five is worth a read. I'm guessing that 'most' ABS faults have to be read by the MoDiTec at the dealer, and also cleared by them.

I sure hope it's not the main ABS pump system, as replacing that thang eats into the farkle budget big time. Good luck on a simple, inexpensive fix, Ari.
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post #3 of 10 Old Jun 17th, 2007, 5:38 pm
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If the light came on after only moving 20 ft, and you wern't applying the brake, I would tend to belive you have a problem with one of the wheel sensors. Maybe low battery votage? More info....
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...ht=abs+sensors
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post #4 of 10 Old Jun 17th, 2007, 6:39 pm
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Ari, I responded to the other ABS thread in Bike Talk, but you provided more information here. You have ruled out the more common causes (low fluid, low battery). At one (or more) points your ABS system threw a fault about the sensor gap, but then self corrected, so the fault was put into the log but was not current when the tech read the computer. This makes sense as the lights were not flashing when you rode to the dealer. But now the previously intermittant fault has turned into a full time fault; can't tell if it is the same sensor gap code or something different until it gets hooked up again and re-read. But I'm guessing from the progression you described that it may be a bad circuit from the sensor (poor ground, cut or broken insulation), or, as Dean_BMW suggested, the sensor itself going bad. Here's hoping that it is not the ABS computer or pump. Good luck.

Bill
Guilford, CT
'99 Canyon Red K1200 LT - Buddah Bike
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post #5 of 10 Old Jun 17th, 2007, 7:24 pm
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I would at least check the sensor gaps and clean the sensors before I went any futher... simple to do. I think the gap is supposed to be 0.45 - 0.55 mm (check me on that). I have found that taking a bike to a dealer doesn't insure that anything is done correctly, or that the obvious things will even get checked.
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post #6 of 10 Old Jun 17th, 2007, 8:53 pm
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Ari,


I'll add that these systems will reset themselve once the fault is cleared (i.e. no longer present) unlike the earlier systems that HAD to be reset at the dealer. So what ever it is causing the fault must still be there.

The new GS-911 emergency diagnostic tool will read this ABS system faults and clear stored faults just like the dealer unit. I have also found out that when a fault occurs it is stored in memory even if it is no longer present. I had a low fluid fault theat was in memory but no longer present and I was able to clear it with the GS-911. Maybe some one near by has one.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #7 of 10 Old Jun 18th, 2007, 3:59 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for the input!

As I am travelling again (by flight) I decided to order the front wheel sensor from my dealer. I did this kinda blindfolded, but since so far the only fault message has been given by that sensor I think I have to start from somewhere.

My "personal tech" (the guy who srviced the bike last week) is on vacation currently and I spoke to his colleague and he was actually relieved when I asked him to mail the sensor to me. Their shop is full of bikes and they really don't need a "mystery case" in their hands right now.

So I will tackle the sensor swap as soon as I receive it. I have read through the service CD instructions and the job seems pretty straight forward. Just remove the right side fairing etc...

I'll keep you updated how I succeed.

Best regards to all

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #8 of 10 Old Jun 18th, 2007, 5:31 pm
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My '06 had similar symptoms within three weeks of purchase new. Additionally, speedometer wouldn't work, nor would cruise control. This happened on 4 different occasions spanning 6 months. Dealer was never able to locate the problem. Replaced the real wheel speed sensor; replaced the ABS pump. Nothing worked. The bike has been out of service because of this around 25% of the time I have owned it and about 85% of the time in the last 3 months. In fact it's at the dealer's now; been there since May 23. The dealer wants it replaced, as do I. BMW wants to replace the wiring harness. Problem is there aren't any any. They are on nationwide backorder. Anyway, I told them to just keep the bike; I couldn't risk the safety of my wife, grandchildren and myself. I really hope your problem is not this bad.

Ray
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post #9 of 10 Old Jun 26th, 2007, 11:10 am Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Problem solved -front sensor changed!

Today I finally received the new front wheel ABS sensor that my dealer mailed to me. (91 euros = 120 USD) At first I just unhooked the old one and installed the new one in place and pulled the wire to the connector and strapped it just temporarily to make a test ride with my half-stripped bike.

NO MORE ABS WARNING!

My betting for the faulty front wheel sensor went right.

So the message in the Moditec alarm log about the sensor being too far from the ring means actually that the sensor had lost contact. Now that I had the alarm on constantly I did not have a chance to go to the dealer and take the computer reading again. I bet it would have recocgnized the front whel sensor being bad this time as the alarm was on.

Whew...I'm glad I found the problem and actually the hardest part is to get to the connector under the nose cone. Especially that I have more than tripled the amount of wires in there, plus 8 extra relays, air hose, 2 extra horns and whatever disturbing the access.

Oh well, I gotta fly to Latvia now and I left the bike stripped in the garage. It sure is nice to just put it back together on Friday and not having the stupid ABS light blinking all the time...

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #10 of 10 Old Jun 26th, 2007, 11:20 am
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Hey, Ari - I can read *relief* all over this post!!! Glad you found the right solution. Best of luck getting it all back together --- although by now, you oughta be able to do it blindfolded!!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
Today I finally received the new front wheel ABS sensor that my dealer mailed to me. (91 euros = 120 USD) At first I just unhooked the old one and installed the new one in place and pulled the wire to the connector and strapped it just temporarily to make a test ride with my half-stripped bike.

NO MORE ABS WARNING!

My betting for the faulty front wheel sensor went right.

So the message in the Moditec alarm log about the sensor being too far from the ring means actually that the sensor had lost contact. Now that I had the alarm on constantly I did not have a chance to go to the dealer and take the computer reading again. I bet it would have recocgnized the front whel sensor being bad this time as the alarm was on.

Whew...I'm glad I found the problem and actually the hardest part is to get to the connector under the nose cone. Especially that I have more than tripled the amount of wires in there, plus 8 extra relays, air hose, 2 extra horns and whatever disturbing the access.

Oh well, I gotta fly to Latvia now and I left the bike stripped in the garage. It sure is nice to just put it back together on Friday and not having the stupid ABS light blinking all the time...

Regards
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