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  1. #1
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    Member No: 103809 taongisurvivor is on a distinguished road taongisurvivor's Avatar
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    Help! - ABS Light On and Car Barely Moves

    1997 528i with 170K miles. I am currently in Afghanistan (will be home in 2 more weeks) so I am getting this second hand. The daughter was coming home late last night when she said the ABS light came on and the car would barely move. She managed to make it home, but the "car will just barely move". The Check Engine Light is NOT on but the ABS Light IS on. From what I have read on prior posts, it's either the ABS Module or one of the ABS Wheel Sensors, but none of the prior posts describe the car not wanting to move.

    I'm thinking that the module is telling the brakes to come on while the car is moving, thus the brakes are preventing the car from moving. I tried to ascertain from the girls if the engine was running properly, but could not get an answer that I could rely upon. The absence of the Check Engine Light being on tells me the engine is fine.

    What do you guys think??? Am I on the right track????

    p.s.: Afghanistan is dusty and cold.Gordon Jones
    1997 528i


  2. #2
    jimcash
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    Re: Help! - ABS Light On and Car Barely Moves

    Normally the ABS warning lamp (yellow with "ABS" lettering or with brake symbol) means that the ABS system has been deactivated - and yes that would be due to a fault with the wheel sensor circuits or the ABS module - or it can also be due to loss of communication with other systems.

    Therefore the brakes should not be on - although I suppose it is possible that something has gone wrong with the ABS system and it is applying the brakes it is not something that I have heard about before.

    Are you sure that it is the ABS warning lamp - as opposed to the ASC warning triangle in the centre of the cluster?

    Did you get any information about the driving circumstances when the lamp first came on?
    - when car started?
    - after applying brakes?
    - driving through water or hitting a bump, etc?

    Cheers
    Jim Cash




  3. #3
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    Jim, not having an auto what about this? (m)

    Assuming it's an auto aren't the wheel sensors used to also tell the tranny when to shift?
    It could be possible that the tranny is in 3rd or some other gear making it had for the car to get moving, just a guess.
    Gordon, stay safe, safe travels home. One of our's was in Iraq on a 4 month mission. I saw pics of a lot of places, the sand blows right into closed buildings thru any opening no matter how small it is.

  4. #4
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    Update

    I was able this morning to get a more coherent symptom from the daughter. The ABS light is on, not the ASC light. Second, the car did not want to go because the transmission was not shifting, and appeared to be stuck in first gear. From what I have read on other posts, this indicates one of the front ABS wheel sensors is defective - most likely the right front.

    Does anyone have any other thoughts?

    p.s.: Dust here is unbelievable - like brown graphite. Air pollution worse than any US city, period. Good deals on rugs and gems, though.Gordon Jones
    1997 528i

  5. #5
    BigRickMc50
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    Re: Update

    If your family has any gearhead members or friends, have them get on this site, and maybe the experts here (and I am definately not one of them) can get this solved for you. If you don't have to act as intermediary, maybe we can take some pressure off of you. You've got enough to be concerned about over there without worrying about the Bimmer at home.

    My younger son (after pulling two tours in Iraq) is undergoing Special Forces training at Ft. Bragg, NC right now, scheduled to graduate early next year. We figure (barring changes in the battle plan) he'll be going over there next summer. Keep yourself safe.

    Best wishes, and Hooah to Youah

  6. #6
    Registered Member
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    I'm a Govt. Civilian Contracting Officer

    and our third largest customer is the SF group at Camp Vose. I work all of the SF actions and give them top priority. Those guys are a different bunch of folks; quiet, reserved, in top physical condition (all of the girls in the office love to see the SF 'hotties' come in to see me!), and anyone with half a brain can tell at a glance that they are one bunch of bad-asses. Most here have beards (Afghans only respect men with beards), don't comply with military uniform requirements (they wear whatever they want to while everyone else frets over wearing cold weather jackets with warm weather shoes, etc.), and they get the best of everything - because they need it and deserve it. These guys are true warriors. If your son makes it, he will have accomplished quite a feat and you should be proud.Gordon Jones
    1997 528i

  7. #7
    BigRickMc50
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    Re: I'm a Govt. Civilian Contracting Officer

    Had he not wrecked his Yamaha R1 motorcycle a few months ago resulting in a broken thumb, shattered collarbone, and surgery to repair both, he would have graduated a few weeks ago. But with recuperation time etc, he's be moved back in the training cycle.

    There is no doubt in my mind that he'll earn his Green Beret. He lives for a challenge, and was one of the youngest to ever become a Ranger. Thank you for helping our men and women over there, and let us know how the car problem works out.

  8. #8
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    Member No: 67632 bilbmw is an unknown quantity at this point bilbmw's Avatar
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    Just as a...

    ...suggestion, I wonder if one of your brake calipers is dragging, i.e., not releasing all the way. I don't know if a bad caliper would cause the ABS to de-activate or cause it to malfunction but that sticks in my mind as it was reported to you that the car barely moves. Are their other warning lights, such the little "gear (cog)" indicator lamp lit up on the instrument cluster?

    Stay Safe!

    '00 M5
    -Carbon Black
    -Blk/Blu interior
    -Rogue short shift kit
    -Dice iPod integration kit

    '97 528i
    -'99 Double VANOS motor
    -Jet Black
    -Sand Beige interior
    -Black Dashboard (upper/lower) and Center Console
    -Black all leather shift handle
    -Debadged
    -Mr. MPL lower mesh grille
    -Shadowline (diy) ext. trim
    -Frenched high beams
    -Clear front turn signals
    -Red/clear taillights
    -Clear side markers
    -Amber fr. fog lamps
    -Rear fog lamps
    -In-dash CD player (CD53 Business)
    -Dice iPod integration kit
    -CMT5000VR cell phone (old tech.)
    -Bav. Autosport mats w/ B/A icon (blue)
    -Burlwood e-brake handle
    -///M dead pedal
    -Rear view mirror w/ compass
    -Chrome instr. rings
    -...and a rebuilt GM 4L30E transmission!!

    '86 528e

    '87 Chrysler Conquest TSi w/5spd.

    '89 Merc. Grand Marquis

    BMWCCA member since 1998

  9. #9
    Registered Member
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    Sorry, I meant "there".

    '00 M5
    -Carbon Black
    -Blk/Blu interior
    -Rogue short shift kit
    -Dice iPod integration kit

    '97 528i
    -'99 Double VANOS motor
    -Jet Black
    -Sand Beige interior
    -Black Dashboard (upper/lower) and Center Console
    -Black all leather shift handle
    -Debadged
    -Mr. MPL lower mesh grille
    -Shadowline (diy) ext. trim
    -Frenched high beams
    -Clear front turn signals
    -Red/clear taillights
    -Clear side markers
    -Amber fr. fog lamps
    -Rear fog lamps
    -In-dash CD player (CD53 Business)
    -Dice iPod integration kit
    -CMT5000VR cell phone (old tech.)
    -Bav. Autosport mats w/ B/A icon (blue)
    -Burlwood e-brake handle
    -///M dead pedal
    -Rear view mirror w/ compass
    -Chrome instr. rings
    -...and a rebuilt GM 4L30E transmission!!

    '86 528e

    '87 Chrysler Conquest TSi w/5spd.

    '89 Merc. Grand Marquis

    BMWCCA member since 1998

  10. #10
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    or a bad MAF sensor... check for both



    1997 BMW 840CiA
    1990 BMW Z1
    1999 BMW 528iT (Hauler mobile)
    2002 Astro Van AWD
    2003 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast Package
    1987 BMW 535i with 5spd manual (for sale)
    1992 BMW 735iL (needs head and interior)
    1977 BMW 320i (project racecar)
    2007 Mazda CX9 AWD (Wife mobile)
    1998 Yamaha Blaster+Breeze

    1995 850CSI CD00177 (SOLD)

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