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Old 04-24-2013, 03:52 PM   #1
REDBIRDE46
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Steering angle bad - will it hurt car?

Diagnosed a bad LEW Steering Angle Sensor. DSC and Brake lights are yellow.

Can I drive like this forever or will something else eventually fail?

Had a mechanic say it could mess w/ABS module and cause car to go into limp mode and ruin tranny.

Isn't it the exact same function as pressing the DSC for 3-seconds and completely disabling them both like for a track day?
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by REDBIRDE46 View Post
Diagnosed a bad LEW Steering Angle Sensor. DSC and Brake lights are yellow.

Can I drive like this forever or will something else eventually fail?

Had a mechanic say it could mess w/ABS module and cause car to go into limp mode and ruin tranny.

Isn't it the exact same function as pressing the DSC for 3-seconds and completely disabling them both like for a track day?
AFAIK you'd be correct. Other than your stability control being disabled, I can't see that this would cause any mechanical harm to your car. Get that sensor fixed. BTW any recent tire installs or damage to suspension? Does it drive straight?
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
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Just bought the car w/112K miles and about 200 miles later it thru the lights.

Scanned the internet and would change myself or just pay the $488 for a new one @ AZBIMMERWERKS but that's a bit of $$ after just buying it.

I like to drive the old fashion way and rather have the choice of pulling the e-brake and drift or be able to skid if I wanted and not have the car say "no no".

Just don't want to hurt the tranny or confuse the computers.

No alignment that I know, but we did do a calibration and it has no digital values for the steering wheel turning right or left...probably brushes inside sensor are gone.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by REDBIRDE46 View Post
Just bought the car w/112K miles and about 200 miles later it thru the lights.

Scanned the internet and would change myself or just pay the $488 for a new one @ AZBIMMERWERKS but that's a bit of $$ after just buying it.

I like to drive the old fashion way and rather have the choice of pulling the e-brake and drift or be able to skid if I wanted and not have the car say "no no".

Just don't want to hurt the tranny or confuse the computers.

No alignment that I know, but we did do a calibration and it has no digital values for the steering wheel turning right or left...probably brushes inside sensor are gone.
p/o probably had the code cleared. I highly suggest replacing the sensor (if its indeed the culprit) it can save your life one day. no human being can fully duplicate the effectiveness of DSC. It's infinitely faster and more precise than you can ever be. Of course, no system can defy the laws of physics and always wear your safety belt.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:47 PM   #5
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Search for a used one, since they rarely go bad. I have a spare that I bought for $40 (BNIB) from someone who sold or totaled their e46, but there is no way I am selling it, considering the price of a new one. I love the Classifieds section! I also love buying expensive parts I may never need, but I like to have on hand, when I can get them dirt cheap.

BTW - a bad steering sensor should not cause your transmission to go into limp mode. It will affect your traction control, but even your ABS brakes should still function correctly. It just won't intervene properly to get you out of a serious loss of traction, like taking a curve too fast on wet pavement.

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Old 04-25-2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback.

In Phoenix, Arizona rain doesn't exist and there is no snow. Thats why an "xi" is not a wise choice.

I will test the ABS next time I see water on the road somewhere.

Hopefully you or another member is a mechanic and this or their opinion confirms my hopes.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by REDBIRDE46 View Post
Just bought the car w/112K miles and about 200 miles later it thru the lights.

Scanned the internet and would change myself or just pay the $488 for a new one @ AZBIMMERWERKS but that's a bit of $$ after just buying it.

I like to drive the old fashion way and rather have the choice of pulling the e-brake and drift or be able to skid if I wanted and not have the car say "no no".

Just don't want to hurt the tranny or confuse the computers.

No alignment that I know, but we did do a calibration and it has no digital values for the steering wheel turning right or left...probably brushes inside sensor are gone.
Funny. Don't know what applications a drift could ever have in any sort of avoidance or control maneuver. The DSC will react faster than you can. If you are trying to take turns fast and what not, it'll slow you down, but in terms of keeping the car under control in a road driving situation, it's better than you are.

BTW your mechanic is full of ****. The steering angle has nothing to do with ABS. Your DSC will not work though. The ABS is still functional. If in doubt, try it out.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
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Thanks.

Also hoping someone who is a mechanic out there please confirm it is not bad to the car.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:21 PM   #9
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Steering angle bad - will it hurt car?

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Thanks.

Also hoping someone who is a mechanic out there please confirm it is not bad to the car.
The car has disabled the dsc features. It's not actively doing anything and it won't hurt itself. Your mechanic is just trying to get you to do the repair.


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Old 04-29-2013, 10:25 PM   #10
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Last question:

Can a used part be coded to any car? Some mechanics & of course dealers say it's a one time only.

If I put in a used part and connect it back and drive to get coded will that work?
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:31 PM   #11
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LEW will only interfere with your stability control not ABS.
As you have only DSC and Brake lights in yellow I highly doubt ABS module is bad.

I had the same issue a couple of weeks ago, when I changed the RTAB and rear suspension. My alignment went out of whack and immediately got DSC and yellow brake lights. After a week I replaced my front suspension and got the alignment.

Recalibrated my steering angle sensor(LEW). After driving about 100 miles after the alignment and re-calibration both lights are gone and DSC works perfectly.

Dont go to that mechanic he is tying to suck your balls dry.

Get a 4 wheel alignment(replace anything suspension related you want to before you get the alignment). Drive it for some time. If the lights dont clear then read the codes again. Then only change the sensor if required. People have had success using a USED sensor. When re-calibrating, you are essentially writing your VIN info on the steering angle sensor. Some people say its one time write only, but some say they had succeeded with a used sensor. May be there is a set number of times you can re-code the sensor with different VINs, but thats no where documented.

Then buy a BMW scanner, INPA, DIS to get and clear codes.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:39 PM   #12
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p/o probably had the code cleared. I highly suggest replacing the sensor (if its indeed the culprit) it can save your life one day. no human being can fully duplicate the effectiveness of DSC. It's infinitely faster and more precise than you can ever be. Of course, no system can defy the laws of physics and always wear your safety belt.
Mango, if the alignment is out of whack or the sensor is bad. The codes will come back immediately(even with the key on Position II). I had the same issue, didnt matter how many times I cleared and re-calibrated my sensor. It would come up immediately. Infact, I was not even able to clear the codes but was able to recalibrate the LEW.
Once I got the alignment, recalibrated the LEW( I was able to clear the LEW code after alignment and recalibration), but was not able to clear the yellow DSC and brake lights(LEW error under ABS). I had to drive around 50~100 miles for the lights to go off.
Checked the codes again and no more errors.

OP's issue might be different(faulty sensor), but never hurts to check/do an alignment after you buy a car. It might drive straight but the slight change in the RTABs will throw a the steering angle sensor go whack.

My suggestion would be to get an alignment and re-calibrate the steering angle.
And buy the one of the code reader I mentioned in the above post. Those will save you a ton of money and your trips to balls sucking mechanics.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:29 AM   #13
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May I ask how you recalibrated your angle sensor? Mine is slightly off I think. DSC activates in left hand turns slightly more easily.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:19 AM   #14
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Steering angle bad - will it hurt car?

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May I ask how you recalibrated your angle sensor? Mine is slightly off I think. DSC activates in left hand turns slightly more easily.
Get alignment if you need to then make sure the steering wheel and the front wheels are straight.

In PA soft, go to LEW and I believe the option is called calibrate or resets or exactly sure what the option was but once you reach that screen it's self explanatory)

That should make he current position of the steering as the default straight position.


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