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Thread: Steering Angle Sensor issues - 2006 525xi

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    2001 M5; 2006 525xi

    Steering Angle Sensor issues - 2006 525xi

    Having steering angle sensor issues with my wife's 2006 (built late 2005) 525xi E60. This has the analog sensor.

    For the last couple years we had occasional issues with this. The 'DSC' and 4WD warnings would appear, along with the yellow BRAKE light. Turning the wheel stop to stop several times would make it go away. No more.

    At this point I thought I had the optical sensor that needed cleaning. I removed the sensor. Found the analog version, with pretty good gouges in the disk... like my Zeppelin album in high school. The whiskers on the brushes were gone, and maybe the copper tabs had been digging into the disk. Dunno.

    By some miracle, found some replacement brushes on ebay for $10. You solder them onto the copper tabs. Brilliant!

    But no joy - the sensor seems not to be talking to the rest of the car. my Autel says "steering angle implausible" and the live data says "minus 1440 degrees". No change as I move the wheel.

    Inpa has the arrow in the middle at zero, but it doesn't move with the wheel, either. There are some error messages somewhere, but I can't read German, and Inpa won't allow cut and paste for Google Translate.

    I bought a sensor on eBay. First one was the wrong one. Close... but not quite. Found the right one in eBay. This behaves the same as mine. Then I tried the 'not quite the right one'. Same. Unresponsive.

    Unlikely (but not impossible) that I have three duds. More likely it's something else. But everything else on the steering column works - wipers, turn signals (except that they don't cancel since the SAS isn't reporting), volume control, etc. So it's not power...

    I have read elsewhere about using Tool32 to re-initialize. But that thread was based on an E39, using DSC_57.prg . I don't know which .prg I should use on this car. I'm reluctant to hunt and peck for fear of bricking the entire car.

    Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Boston
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    My Cars
    2001 M5; 2006 525xi
    Getting a little closer... I found that I needed to use DXC8_P.PRG in Tool32. That loads up and talks to the car. But there is no line item in there for LENKWINKEL (steering wheel) the way someone else did this on an E39. I used Google Translate on my phone to review the choices. There was only one line item that contained anything referring to LENKWINKEL, and that was for reading the sensor. Also in there was a 'reset sensors'. But the 'reset' option looked like it could apply to EVERYTHING in DSC, not just the LENKWINKEL sensor, so I was reluctant to hit that button.

    Does anyone have any recommendation as to what to do in Tool32 to reinitialize my steering angle sensor using DXC8_P.PRG ?

    This kind of thing is a big PITA. I don't understand why BMW insists on coding a sensor to the VIN of the car other than, of course, to increase traffic at the dealer repair shop. But this kind of thing is ridiculous. It's a sensor. It's not the alarm system. I'm surprised that BMW hasn't figured out a way to code the radiator hoses and the thermostat to the VIN, wiper blades, washer fluid, too...

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Location
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    2001 M5; 2006 525xi
    Bummed that I'm the only one responding to this thread... but will keep going as I struggle through this.

    Just got back from my local indy shop. Not a BMW specialist. They connected their snap-on and one other sensor gizmo to the car. They can't see the SAS either. Just like my little $200 Autel, it's reporting -1440 degrees. Tried to 'initialize' it but it's not responding, so there's nothing to initialize.

    Unlikely that I have three dud SASs. That leaves wiring, or the DxC controller.

    Wiring unlikely, since everything else on the steering column works OK.

    That leaves the DxC ABS controller. A very likely suspect. I have rebuilt these things on every Volvo I've ever owned, and every BMW I've ever owned except this one. Because somebody beat me to it. I can see the line of silicone around the top of the controller.

    A rebuild of this one would be $300. Found one on eBay pretty cheap. Will install when it arrives next week. Fingers crossed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Chestermere, Alberta, Can
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    2008 BMW 535xi
    I feel your pain. This forum is pretty much crickets.

    I did a wiper fix on my E53's SAS 3 years ago or more using wipers I pulled from some scrap potentiometers and that one worked (and continues to work) perfectly. 'Before' pic included, I didn't take an 'after'. Hope you figure it out.

    ACD_7615.jpg

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by interalian View Post
    I feel your pain. This forum is pretty much crickets.

    I did a wiper fix on my E53's SAS 3 years ago or more using wipers I pulled from some scrap potentiometers and that one worked (and continues to work) perfectly. 'Before' pic included, I didn't take an 'after'. Hope you figure it out.

    ACD_7615.jpg
    On mine, the 'whiskers' were gone on 3 of the 4. But that doesn't seem to be the issue now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    2001 M5; 2006 525xi
    FIXED IT.

    I was right the first time. It was the brushes in the SAS in the SZL. Seems that when I soldered the eBay replacement brushes, one was misaligned and sneaking over into the other lane.

    I cannibalized one of the other SZLs I'd bought to use the brush assembly, including the bearing. Reassembled and.. .voila! Back in business.

    Cancelled my dealership appointment for a diagnosis.... saved $185.

    So the key is to check the alignment of the brushes. If you have the clock spring removed but the brush rotator thing still installed, you can see where the brushes contact the plate.

    And - there were no grooves carved into the disc. Those were the voids between the three 'lanes' of the disc. One brush contact the outer and center ring, the other contacts the center and inner ring.

    The other two SZL / SAS were not reporting to the car, perhaps due to not being coded to the vin. Now that the original SZL is back in the car, it's happy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Chestermere, Alberta, Can
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    2008 BMW 535xi
    Well done. Hope you put some 'fader lube' on the potentiometer tracks.

    There's little more satisfying than cheating the stealership out of $$. And true even though it cost far more in your personal time than you would have spent there.
    Last edited by interalian; 12-04-2022 at 01:04 PM.

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