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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:42 PM   #1
Sakebomb
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Traction control light and brake light on

Intermittently the traction control light and brake light will beep and turn on.
The car drives fine and when i turn off the car the lights go away and may or may not return. I tried looking for codes with PA Soft and the Torque app but no codes are being stored even when the lights are on.

My guess is its probably the ABS/Wheel sensor going bad.

Is there a sensor on each wheel?

Last edited by Sakebomb; 06-14-2016 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:18 PM   #2
joegr
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The red brake light? Check your brake fluid level.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:36 PM   #3
Sakebomb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegr View Post
The red brake light? Check your brake fluid level.
Its a yellow hand brake light.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sakebomb View Post
Its a yellow hand brake light.
?
On mine, the brake warning light is red. It lights up if the hand brake is on, or if the brake fluid level is low. If the hand brake is on, then there is a series of chimes if you try to drive. If the brake fluid level is low, then there is one beep. Also if the brake fluid level is low, the yellow DSC light (triangle with "!" inside) comes on. There is also a yellow ABS light. I am unaware of any yellow hand brake light. Maybe different E46s have different clusters?

BTW, each wheel has its own wheel speed sensor. A problem with any on them should also turn on the yellow (on mine, anyway) ABS light.

Last edited by joegr; 06-14-2016 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:56 PM   #5
brea
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Yes, there is a speed sensor on each wheel. You can try removing and cleaning them, they're basically tiny magnets that get caked with brake dust and road debris over time. Torque app won't pull ABS/DSC codes, but PA Soft should. Check your battery voltage first. If there is a problem with a wheel speed sensor is should be registering in PA Soft.
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Old 06-15-2016, 06:55 PM   #6
Delineation
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It could be a tire issue. My rear tires where looking bad. Got new ones the lights went out.
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:39 PM   #7
05SMG
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Originally Posted by brea View Post
Yes, there is a speed sensor on each wheel. You can try removing and cleaning them, they're basically tiny magnets that get caked with brake dust and road debris over time. Torque app won't pull ABS/DSC codes, but PA Soft should. Check your battery voltage first. If there is a problem with a wheel speed sensor is should be registering in PA Soft.
True. Mine came on as well intermittently with the yellow brake light which means the culprit is the rear wheel speed sensors. I had less than 70k on my 330ci and they looked pretty dirty without a good connection. Remove them and clean them off with brake clean and make sure the mating surface is clean so the sensor has a good ground. When the mating surface is this clean I haven't had the DSC/yellow light on for over 3000 Miles.
I hope this helps.
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:12 PM   #8
BKMrSteel
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I have taken mine out, and cleaned the massive amount of metal that builds up on the magnetic sensor. I could see this creating an intermittent problem, but you probably have a bad sensor. Edit: or connection somewhere. Check the wheel wells and the health of the wires.

Last edited by BKMrSteel; 06-15-2016 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:45 AM   #9
Sakebomb
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Originally Posted by 05SMG View Post
True. Mine came on as well intermittently with the yellow brake light which means the culprit is the rear wheel speed sensors. I had less than 70k on my 330ci and they looked pretty dirty without a good connection. Remove them and clean them off with brake clean and make sure the mating surface is clean so the sensor has a good ground. When the mating surface is this clean I haven't had the DSC/yellow light on for over 3000 Miles.
I hope this helps.
So yellow light means rear and if its red it means front?
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:25 PM   #10
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Any update on this? I have a VERY similar problem. This happened right after I did pads and rotors. I'm about ready to post my data from my PA Soft scan.

Thanks

Good Luck!!!
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:04 PM   #11
05SMG
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Originally Posted by Sakebomb View Post
So yellow light means rear and if its red it means front?
I'm probably wrong but I think I read a post on this topic (still looking for the post) that mentioned the yellow light was associated with the rear handbrake. Basically my particular situation was this:

When I started the car I had a Red brake light illuminated with the DSC light on only when the E brake was on. Releasing the E brake the Brake light turned yellow. Cleaned the sensors and everything cleared up.
I hope that helps.

Last edited by 05SMG; 07-06-2016 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:31 PM   #12
Sakebomb
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Originally Posted by briggsk1 View Post
Any update on this? I have a VERY similar problem. This happened right after I did pads and rotors. I'm about ready to post my data from my PA Soft scan.

Thanks

Good Luck!!!
Still having the issue. I tried cleaning the sensors but the lights still come on intermittently.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:25 PM   #13
05SMG
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Could very well be a bad sensor. Before buying parts I would suggest more advanced BMW scan tools to read codes for DSC, ABS faults. I use OBD Fusion basically for reading/ diagnosing engine parameters.

Last edited by 05SMG; 07-07-2016 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sakebomb View Post
So yellow light means rear and if its red it means front?
Does no one bother to read the owner's manual?

If the hand brake is not set, red "BRAKE" means your brake fluid level is low, or at least the car thinks it is.

Yellow "BRAKE" comes on in combination with DSC and/or ABS light(s). It does not indicate whether the fault is front or rear. You'll need one of the BMW code readers to get that specific.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:02 PM   #15
Fajah
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old post and I am new to forum and BMW autos

Hey, just picked up my first BMW car, been a bike owner for 12 years.

My car will be humming along and without any warning the front left tire will kind of pull and make a noise for the breifest of time and the traction light and yellow brake will come on. Did this with old tires and new tires I just added.

Does not do it if I disengage the Traction control manually.

Any clues?


I just ordered the pa soft package today....this is my 3rd day with the car.
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