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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 07-09-2011, 06:13 AM   #1
Dan Rodriguez
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Help! Rollover Protection Issues!

My rollover protection system has been freaking out on me for over a week now. I have searched and have not found anybody with similar problems so hopefully somebody here can help me out.

It all started the day after two long drives in heavy rain. It activated first thing in the morning about 100 yards after leaving my house. (Surprised the crap out of me too!) I figured some moisture got in the system and triggered it. I reset it and it activated two more times that day. I do not think the rollover protection warning light on the dash was illuminated at this point. I drove home with the bars up and I think by the time I got home, the dash light was on. I pulled the fuse (it is not blown) and waited a few days to see if it would help. The system does not activate with the fuse pulled but the light has stayed on. When I put the fuse back in, the system activates randomly. I am pretty sure I do not have any leaks. I checked my trunk and convertible top storage compartment. They are all dry. I have disconnected the battery to no avail. I am not pulling any codes with a Peake reader.

Anyone have any experiences like this? The only think I can think of at this point is a bad sensor. They are like 400 bucks though so I'd like to exhaust any other possibilities first. Thanks.

I should mention that my airbag light has been on for about a month. I am waiting for a reset tool to come in the mail. I know what that is all about though. I disconnected the battery and removed my steering wheel. When I put the wheel back on and connected the battery the light was on. I took the wheel back off and realized that I did not put the plug all the way back in. So I am pretty sure that is why my airbag light is on. And I didn't think the airbags and the rollover protection system were connected anyway. But I thought I would mention it just in case I am mistaken.
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
cityjohn
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I think the sensor for deceleration and angle is near the rear center console. Maybe it or the wires to it are loose.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:52 PM   #3
Dan Rodriguez
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I definitely need to look at that sensor. The sensor that controls RPS is located behind the rear seat according to the Bentley manual (which is about useless on this system) and this awesome document that I found.

http://www.bmwtech.ru/pdf/e46/STO34%...%20Systems.pdf

I also found mention of a TSB for this issue. The TSB number is 670105. It was issued in July 2005. I am guessing the early year sensors have a tendency to go bad. Realoem.com lists a new part number for the sensor (67916918515) beginning in 4/02. And lucky me has a build date of 3/02. If anybody has a copy of this TSB, it would be greatly appreciated if you could send it to me.

Here is the link with the reference to the TSB:

http://www.aboutautomobile.com/Equip...ctrical+System

Last edited by Dan Rodriguez; 07-09-2011 at 11:53 PM. Reason: Added link to TSB
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:39 AM   #4
Dan Rodriguez
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So I got the PA Soft BMW Scanner in the mail yesterday. I used it to reset the SRS light and it has remained off. The RPS had two errors which were just a couple of numbers that made no sense to me. I think it was a couple of four digit numbers. I don't remember what they were. I attempted to clear the errors. The numbers disappeared but I still have an "unknown error" and the RPS light remains on.

Today I removed the RPS module/sensor. It is located behind the back seat on the passenger's side. It was easy to get to and took less than 30 minutes. Everything was dry in there even though it has been raining for over two weeks straight. I confirmed that my module has the discontinued part number (67916918833). It is a sealed unit so I haven't been able to look inside of it. There is a slight "rattle" inside but it seems to be a controlled rattle and whatever is rattling does not move very much so I think it is probably just part of the design. I will reinstall the module tomorrow and see if it fixes itself. I'm not holding my breath for that. I guess my next step will be to look for a used module with the new part number on it. There is no way I'm spending $400 on this thing.

I still haven't been able to track down the TSB. Apparently you can pay $30 for one day of access to the BMW TSB library. Another rip off... It seems like this information shouldn't be so guarded. It's obviously a safety issue. I'm sure it won't say much more than replace the module with the updated version, which is why I'm not paying the $30. But I am still curious.

It seems strange to me that nobody here has had this issue. I would think it would be rather widespread if there is a TSB for it. Anyway, I will update once I get a new module or my light disappears. Until then, I'll do what I can to keep all four wheels on the ground.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:40 PM   #5
Maester
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Hey, I'm posting here per your reply on the M3F. How does the PA Soft tool work? I'm not familiar with it... I'll have to tinker, I would just think the light would go off once the bars were re-set, but wasn't sure. Keep us posted if the replacement module works. Mine's a May 01 build so I'm sure the module isn't the updated version.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
Dan Rodriguez
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PA Soft is just another one of many diagnostic software packages for BMWs. Here's a couple of links for it: http://www.bmw-scanner.com/?page=bmw-scanner_v140 http://www.dealextreme.com/p/bmw-sca...on-1-4-0-51768
There seem to be better programs out there. I am in the process of obtaining some of them. It served its purpose though and has already paid for itself.

PA Soft was able to scan my RPS module and tell me that it has errors, it was just not specific about what the exact errors are. I am just guessing that I have a bad module because there are not many other components to the system, and there is an updated part number with a TSB to "replace the rollover sensor".

I actually bought the software to reset my airbag light, not my RPS light. The RPS light cannot be reset like an airbag light or a SES light. Every time you turn the car on, the RPS runs a self test. If it fails the test, the RPS light will stay on. I think your light should have stayed off once you reset the bars unless something is wrong with the system.

I did receive my new/used sensor in the mail today. It is the updated part number and looks to be in good shape and out of an '05 model. It has the same rattle as my old one so that does appear to be part of the design. As long as it's not raining, I should be able to install this after work tonight. I'll report back once the new part is in.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:58 AM   #7
Dan Rodriguez
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Mission accomplished! I put the new sensor in and started the car. The RPS light went out for the first time in weeks!

I wish I could thank everybody for their help.

At least this will be here in case somebody experiences this problem in the future.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:03 PM   #8
Maester
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Excellent news! I'll probably go ahead and order one with the new part number then. Where did you end up sourcing yours?
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:44 PM   #9
Dan Rodriguez
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I got mine from ebay. It came from a guy in Europe so it took a bit longer to receive. But he came down to $120 shipped and offers a 10 day money back guarantee. There is one more for sale on ebay for $155 http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-E...#ht_1314wt_901 This guy would not come down in price for me though and actually wanted to change me $55 instead of the advertised free shipping when I requested USPS Priority mail. This is also an "as is" sale so if it doesn't work you are SOL. So maybe take that chance and try to get him to come down in price. I'd also look around for some convertible part outs. Just be sure to confirm the new part number. I hope you get yours fixed soon and don't have to pay full price for the new part. Good luck!
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
DTB
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My roll over protection light came on a few weeks ago on my 2005 325cic. I found a used replacement sensor on eBay with the newer part number, for $80.00. I have 3 questions before I start trying to replace the sensor...

Is the sensor's location behind the starboard rear passenger seat accessed by removing the seat, or is it from inside the trunk?

And after I replace the sensor, do I need a code reader/software to reset the fault code, or will the dash light go off once the new sensor is installed?

Do I need to disconnect the battery first, or just ensure the key is off?

Thanks!

DaveB

Last edited by DTB; 02-15-2013 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:13 PM   #11
Dan Rodriguez
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1. Access the sensor from the passenger compartment, not the trunk.

2. Programming should not be required. After replacing the sensor, my light went out on its own. The system runs a self test every time the car is started. As long as the test passes, the light should not come on.

3. I don't remember if I disconnected my battery for this or not. I think I probably did although sometimes I am lazy about doing so. The "textbook" answer would definitely tell you to disconnect it. And honestly, it's so easy that you probably should.

Good luck. Hope this helps fix your problem.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:03 PM   #12
DTB
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Thanks Dan for your quick reply. I was at the dealership today for an oil change, (they are almost cheaper than I can do them myself and they wash my car, and I don't have to fuss with disposing of waste oil, and they reset my mileage service interval). Anyway, while I was there I got a quote for the roll over module replacement. Thet quoted $650.00.

I told them I have a used replacement module, and asked if the light would go off after I replace the module, and the mechanic said, "no, and the new module will have to be "registered" using their software. And he said the code won't clear and the light won't go out until they clear it with their software...

I asked how much it would cost for them to perform the data updates after I install the module myself. And they told me its a flat fee of $300.00 to read the codes and clear them. Needless to say, I plan to install my replacement module myself, and see what happens.

The battery disconnect is a hassle. I replaced the battery a few months ago and had a problem resetting the "All Up" window button. I researched the reset sequence for the windows online, and performed the procedure several times before it finally started working again.

If you're not familiar, the convertables need to have the windows reset after the battery has been disconnected. The button that raises and lowers all 4 windows stops raising the windows until a reset sequence is performed. In my case, it didn't work the first several times I tried it.

Now I'm researching getting PC software and a wire that will allow me to trigger the roll over test and read and clear the codes, in case I need to do that after I replace the roll over module.

I'd be interested to learn what's the best software for the job and exactly what needs to be done to "register" a new roll over sensor module in my car, with the software.

Thanks again for your feedback. I'll have the back seat-back out tomorrow to replace the module.

-Dave
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:15 PM   #13
wildirish317
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You definitely need a scanner. PA Soft is used by a lot of members. There are some other softwares that have more functionality, and more associated risk of bricking a computer module. As far as which is best, that's like asking which is the best BMW. Depends on how you plan to use it. Search PA Soft. Lots of info here.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
sgoetz628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DTB View Post

The battery disconnect is a hassle. I replaced the battery a few months ago and had a problem resetting the "All Up" window button. I researched the reset sequence for the windows online, and performed the procedure several times before it finally started working again.

If you're not familiar, the convertables need to have the windows reset after the battery has been disconnected. The button that raises and lowers all 4 windows stops raising the windows until a reset sequence is performed. In my case, it didn't work the first several times I tried it.

-Dave

My vert is an '02, so older than yours, but within the last year I've replaced the battery and separately the master window "all up" switch, and neither time was reprogramming required. I'm no expert, but read a lot on this forum and don't ever recall anyone else saying that a reset sequence is required after disconnecting the battery.

So either I'm misunderstanding your statement or the master window control reset requirement is unique to your car or other later model ones.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:31 PM   #15
DTB
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Quote:
don't ever recall anyone else saying that a reset sequence is required after disconnecting the battery.
Well you got me to research it again. Here's the procedure. Its just my luck that the only time I ever disconnected the battery, I needed this procedure. And it's enough of an annoyance when the one touch "All Up" button won't work to want to fix it. It also affects the windows all going up after closing the convertable roof, when you keep holding the roof-up button. Usually, in that case, the windows will all go up too. This procedure fixes that as well as the one touch down feature on the driver's window.

-DaveB

The Official Reset Proceedure
Copied from another forum, ...with thanks.


Initialization is performed on the power window switch of the relevant door.
Requirements for correct initialization:
• Initialization with engine running
• Convertible top, doors and windows closed

Initialization comprises:
• Erasure of initialization
• Reinitialization

An initialization must be performed:
• In the event of malfunctions, e.g. no one-touch control function, no opening or if available no comfort function is possible
• After the power window drive has been replaced
• After work is carried out on the power window mechanism
• After a power supply interruption, e.g. disconnection of the battery or disconnection of the power supply to the door
• After the door window glass has been removed and installed or replaced
• After adjustment work on the door window glass
• After adjustment work on the convertible top
• After replacement of seals

Erasure of initialization:
• Open door window glass fully
• Operate power window switch in "Open" position four times within 10 seconds

This erases initialization of the power window, anti-trapping protection and toll function are inactive.
Check whether one-touch control (toll) function is inactive, otherwise repeat procedure.

Reinitialization:
Avoid a break between the two steps!
• Open door window glass fully
• Operate and hold power window switch in "Close" position (second switch stage)
• Once the upper end position has been reached, hold power window switch in "Close" position for approx. 2 seconds longer
• Open door window glass fully
• Operate and hold power window switch in "Close" position (second switch stage)
• Once the upper end position has been reached, hold power window switch in "Close" position for approx. 2 seconds longer
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:38 PM   #16
DTB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildirish317 View Post
You definitely need a scanner. PA Soft is used by a lot of members. There are some other softwares that have more functionality, and more associated risk of bricking a computer module. As far as which is best, that's like asking which is the best BMW. Depends on how you plan to use it. Search PA Soft. Lots of info here.
When I saw, "bricking a computer module" you got my attention... I just downloaded a program called, "BMW INPA 5.0.2" from some Russian web site. Has anyone here used it? I'm reading cases from around the internet that seem to say it can do what I want and more. But bricking the brains in my 2005 325CIC would be a bad thing...

I work with computers for a living, but clearly more research is indicated before I go hacking around in my car's "central personality unit".
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:54 PM   #17
wildirish317
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I don't work with computers for a living. I started researching DIY for reflashing my DME after becoming convinced that's what I need to solve my 2,800 rpm stutter problem. BMW came up with a revised tuning map to solve the O2 sensor adaptations (which were too narrow). The dealer charges $120, and the local indy $100 for this. The parts I need to do it myself are less than $50, so I became interested.

However, the more I read, the more I'm convinced that I should let the dealer do this. If they screw it up, they can replace the DME. I'm too much of a "let's try it and see how it works" kind of person to go tearing into DME programming. Especially since I'm much more mechanically inclined than eletrically.

There is more information on bmwforums.com regarding this software than there is here. Search and read until you become confident before you proceed. I'm not there yet. You'll find a few members here that seem to know what they are doing. TerraPhantm and ac_2007 are two that seem to know what they are doing. You might PM them for advice.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:29 AM   #18
sgoetz628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DTB View Post

An initialization must be performed:

• After a power supply interruption, e.g. disconnection of the battery or disconnection of the power supply to the door

Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. All I can say is... I didn't need to do it when I disconnected my battery. And, of course, this is the first time seeing this or anything remotely like it. Also, this is great information to have and I thank you for sharing.

I did a little googling, which led me to this thread from 2004 - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=205414. If you scroll to Comment 20, you'll see your question asked and answered. Basically, it says put your new battery in and be on your way. So maybe it is a date thing. Maybe from '05 on you need to reset the windows. Seems odd, but as a non-expert, that's the best I can come up with.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:24 AM   #19
Max'd out
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Well, you guys made me go to the garage and check. I changed my battery a month ago or so and didn't reset anything except the clock. I dont' drive the car much in winter so you made me curious. The all-up switch worked fine and mine is an 04 so maybe it was a date thing..

Max
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:57 AM   #20
sgoetz628
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Originally Posted by Max'd out View Post
Well, you guys made me go to the garage and check. I changed my battery a month ago or so and didn't reset anything except the clock. I dont' drive the car much in winter so you made me curious. The all-up switch worked fine and mine is an 04 so maybe it was a date thing..

Max

I rode most of 219 a couple of years ago, on my way back from Tennessee. Dang, that is a beautiful road!
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