ABS Warning Lights and Radio Indicator - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 12:50 pm Thread Starter
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Question ABS Warning Lights and Radio Indicator

It's been cold here for the past week so the beast has been sitting for a little more than a week. Today it warmed up some so I decided to go for a ride. Everything started out fine, but at my second stop (traffic light) about 3/4 miles from home I noticed the ABS and Engine lights alternating at 1Hz. Grabbing the hand brake, it felt like it was in residual mode. I turned the engine off and immediately restarted, and after the initial rolling ABS check saw no other warning lights the rest of my hour or so ride. After returning home I checked fluid levels an noticed nothing irregular. Anyone seen this before? I seem to remember reading on the old board about some problems if the battery was a little low this was possible and since it was sitting for over a week could that be the problem?

I also noticed a probable unrelated indicator on the radio display when I returned home. I pulled into the garage and turned the key to "R" so I could finish listening to Car Talk while I was putting my gear away. When I went to turn the key off, I noticed a small "T" in the upper right hand corner of the display. It was about 1/8" tall with the lines much smaller than the normal display segments. Switching the key to off then back to "R" got rid of the "T". I looked in the radio manual and found no reference to the "T". Any ideas what the "T" is for?

Thanks for the feedback.

-jeff

'03 Silver LT
'05 Silver F650GS (Wife)
'08 Red R12GS
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post #2 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 1:16 pm
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post #3 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 1:33 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comment Raffy. I found TA=Traffic Announcement and TP=Traffic Program as signal codes for RDS stations on page 32 of the audio system manual, but no info on indications or how to access those announcements. Also, I live in the relative boonies and as far as I know, there are not traffic services in this area, but I guess that doesn't mean our local NPR station didn't send out something to trigger the indicator. If it is a traffic announcement, how does one select it? My ride did take me to the top of a mountain, so I guess it is possible I got the info from another station while reception was better (if the radio actually monitors more than one station).

-jeff

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post #4 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 1:52 pm
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Hi Jeff,

I have a couple of comments. First, if a radio station provides traffic announcements, the radio is supposed to switch to that station, give you the report, then switch back to whatever you were listening to before (another station, CD, etc.). I used this system while we were in Wales, but haven't bothered while back in the States.

Second, a low battery can trigger the flashing ABS lights, and that may explain why it went away after you rode the bike for a while, then restarted. But also realize that the rear brake reservoirs need to have fluid all the way up to the Max markings. You can get occasional flashing lights as the pads start to wear (especially if it's cold outside) with the brake fluid levels well above Min, but not quite up to Max.

If the flashing lights return, first check all brake pads to make sure they're not worn down and ready to be replaced. Then, check the rear reservoir fluid levels and top off if needed. Then check the battery voltage to make sure you're charged enough. If you still have flashing lights after all that, then talk to your dealer for a MoDiTech diagnosis.

Ken
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'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #5 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 4:11 pm
 
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Warning Lights

Had same Problem. Filled the rear reservoir a little and it went away. It seems the sensor in the rear is very sensitive, a little brake wear could cause the level to drop and cause your problem.
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post #6 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 5:10 pm Thread Starter
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Just for a little clarification. Upon starting everything was normal. The alternating lights did not come on until the stop at the traffic light (which was actually not the second, but the fourth stop). Although I can't be sure, I don't think they started flashing until I stopped and released the brakes.

The battery is a 2 yr old bmw/exide gel. The bike sat for 2+ weeks recently and although it cranked slower that day than today, I didn't have any problems during that first ride, but it wasn't nearly as cold then (70+ vs 40s). Although the battery could still be the problem, I think I can safely eliminate it for now.

The brakes have 11k on them and look good (I didn't pull the caliper, but checked with a mirror). The rear reservoir is half way between min and max, so that could indeed be the problem.

Thanks for the feedback. This forum rocks.

-jeff

'03 Silver LT
'05 Silver F650GS (Wife)
'08 Red R12GS
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post #7 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 6:15 pm
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Might want to get a battery tender, keeps the battery at full charge. I think it also helps the "health" of the battery. When I leave my bike in the garage for more than a couple of days I plug it in.

Adversity builds character.

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My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
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post #8 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 6:43 pm Thread Starter
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#2 on the current purchase list. I'll need it for the winter. Thanks Doc.

'03 Silver LT
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'08 Red R12GS
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post #9 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 6:47 pm
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Make sure you get the right one for your kind of battery.

Adversity builds character.

BMW MOA #: 115771
My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
'00 BMW 540i (also black)
'76 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (not black)
'06 Toyota Landcruiser (black again)
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post #10 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 7:28 pm
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Based on that, I'd say the fluid level is just at the low sensor level due to normal brake pad wear. The cold would also make it more sensitive, and having it be fine at first then flash later is also common in this scenario.

These pics pics of the Integral rear brake dual reservoir are copied from the old site:


This shows the location of the reservoir behind the front edge of the right saddlebag.


This shows the max / min marks for both chambers. Be sure to fill just up to the max line, as anything between max and min will tend to give you the flashing ABS lights. I make sure it is absolutely full when I put in new brake pads, and then if I get the flashing brake lights I first check the brake pads for excessive wear before topping off again.


This shows the two hex head fill caps (bottom and top right).


This shows the older pre-integral brake reservoir. Note that it is cylindrical, and has only one chamber.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #11 of 17 Old Nov 20th, 2005, 8:20 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Meese. This clarified the rear reservoir for me.

Doc, I don't think I buy into the special battery charger thing. Unless BMW changed their charging system when they went to the gel, I can't see how bmw/exide's claims for special charging requirements are valid. Considering that any charger, if used appropriately, will only be used to top off or maintain charge of a almost or fully charged battery, all the special charging doesn't even come into play. Of course one needs to be sure the charger does a true float if it is to be connected for an extended time. Considering a new battery doesn't cost much more than the special charger, that isn't appropriate for other batteries, I think I'll take my chances. If you or someone else has information to the contrary, I'd be very interested in hearing it.

Always glad to hear the opinions of others.

-jeff

'03 Silver LT
'05 Silver F650GS (Wife)
'08 Red R12GS
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post #12 of 17 Old Nov 21st, 2005, 9:46 pm
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My understanding is that the special gel chargers limit the maximum output voltage (to 14.4 Vdc, I think). Apparently, over-voltage charging can damage gel batteries. Other chargers may not limit this voltage (especially cheap ones), as older lead-acid batteries are more tolerant. The bike's alternator also has a regulator that limits it's output voltage, so that's why they didn't need to change the alternator on the bike.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #13 of 17 Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 9:28 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffB
Just for a little clarification. Upon starting everything was normal. The alternating lights did not come on until the stop at the traffic light (which was actually not the second, but the fourth stop). Although I can't be sure, I don't think they started flashing until I stopped and released the brakes.

The battery is a 2 yr old bmw/exide gel. The bike sat for 2+ weeks recently and although it cranked slower that day than today, I didn't have any problems during that first ride, but it wasn't nearly as cold then (70+ vs 40s). Although the battery could still be the problem, I think I can safely eliminate it for now.

The brakes have 11k on them and look good (I didn't pull the caliper, but checked with a mirror). The rear reservoir is half way between min and max, so that could indeed be the problem.

Thanks for the feedback. This forum rocks.

-jeff
I had exactly the same problem on my 2002 for about 3 weekends in a row (didnít have time to ride during the week). Turned switch off/on, disappeared until the bike sat for awhile. Replaced the battery, never saw it again.

Justin Case
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post #14 of 17 Old Nov 29th, 2005, 10:35 pm
 
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Blinking ABS and rear brake fluid

Just bought my 2003 LTE. Been having the 1 mhz alternating warning ABS and ! lights. Has been intermitant and tend to go off after some driving and switching off by the key and restarting.

Front brake levels are fine...where is the back brake fluid check window?

Thanks....great site

GreekRPH
03 LTE
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post #15 of 17 Old Nov 30th, 2005, 12:52 am
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GreekRPH,

Look a little further up this thread for pics of the brake reservoirs. If you open the right saddlebag, you'll see a small window in the front edge. That was designed for the older single reservoir brakes so it's kinda hard to see, but a good flashlight helps.

But the two main causes for what you're seeing is either low battery voltage or low brake fluid levels. First make sure that your brake pads are not worn down to the minimum, (check all three calipers), then top off the brake fluid so that both rear reservoirs read all the way up to the maximum line. That should sort you out.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #16 of 17 Old Jan 20th, 2006, 8:59 am
 
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thanks thanks THANKS for thes pics!!!!
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post #17 of 17 Old Oct 28th, 2011, 9:59 am
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Re: ABS Warning Lights and Radio Indicator

Old thread here but wanted to thank meese for posting the pictures. Couldn't find anything in the operator's manual or repair manual where that rear reservoir was. I ride my bike well into the cold months and last year I got the flashing lights I couple times and now this year it is happening again.

THANKS!
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