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ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, 5mm Allen bit, drive ratchet with 4" extension

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

ABS wheel speed sensor, Molykote Longterm 2 grease

Hot Tip:

Check for fault codes before replacing

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty ABS sensor

Complementary Modification:

Properly route wiring and use new clips if needed

The ABS wheel speed sensor monitors road wheel movement and sends an electronic signal to the ABS/DSC module. This signal is used to calculate road wheel speed to help with ABS braking and stability control features. Sensors are bolted to each wheel hub and are therefore susceptible to damage from impacts, road grime and brake dust.

BMW E60 models utilize magneto resistive style wheel speed sensors. This style of sensor allows accurate wheel speed reporting as soon as the wheel moves, unlike older style inductive sensors that required a speed of about 7 MPH to start working. This allows greater dynamic system control at lower vehicle speeds. This sensor type creates a high to low signal. The low signal is just above zero volts (around 1 volt), and the high about 4 volts. It is important to use a lab scope when testing these sensors, as this is the best way to display the digital signal created by the sensor.

When an ABS wheel speed sensor fails, the ABS/DSC module loses road wheel speed for the corresponding wheel and sets a fault code for the ABS wheel speed signal. When a fault code is set, the ABS/DSC warning light will illuminate. You will have to scan the module and read the fault codes to determine which speed sensor is the problem. Keep in mind that other problems can illuminate the ABS/DSC warning light. Be sure to scan and read fault codes before replacing parts.

You can use a scan tool while monitoring wheel speed signals to check for a slower or faster wheel. This can help to pinpoint a faulty sensor. Compare all four wheel speed signals together and look for one that doesn't match the others.

In this tech article, I will go over how to replace the front and rear wheel speed sensors.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Lift the axle of the vehicle you are replacing the ABS sensor on. See our tech article on lifting your vehicle safely.

Front sensor:
Front sensor: Working behind the front strut (yellow arrow), open the plastic door (green arrow) for the ABS sensor electrical connector.
Figure 1

Front sensor: Working behind the front strut (yellow arrow), open the plastic door (green arrow) for the ABS sensor electrical connector.

Front sensor: Pull the ABS sensor electrical connector out of the holder.
Figure 2

Front sensor: Pull the ABS sensor electrical connector out of the holder. Disconnect it by pressing the release tab and pulling it apart. Be careful. These connectors become brittle over time and can crack if squeezed too hard. 

Front sensor: Then remove the sensor wiring harness from the mounts (green arrows) on the strut by pulling them straight out (inset).
Figure 3

Front sensor: Then remove the sensor wiring harness from the mounts (green arrows) on the strut by pulling them straight out (inset).

Front sensor: Working at the steering knuckle, remove the ABS sensor 5mm Allen fastener (green arrow).
Figure 4

Front sensor: Working at the steering knuckle, remove the ABS sensor 5mm Allen fastener (green arrow).

Front sensor: Pull the ABS sensor out of the steering knuckle.
Figure 5

Front sensor: Pull the ABS sensor out of the steering knuckle. Then remove it from the vehicle. If the sensor does not slide out easily, lever it out using a flathead screwdriver. Lever it close to the sensor and wiggle it out slowly. Install a new sensor with a thin coating of Molykote Longterm 2 or similar grease to the ABS sensor and housing. Install the fastener and tighten. Then route the wiring harness as it was before and reconnect it at the housing.

Rear sensor:
Rear sensor: Working behind the rear strut (yellow arrow), open the plastic door (green arrow) for the ABS sensor electrical connector.
Figure 6

Rear sensor: Working behind the rear strut (yellow arrow), open the plastic door (green arrow) for the ABS sensor electrical connector.

Rear sensor: Pull the ABS sensor electrical connector out of its holder.
Figure 7

Rear sensor: Pull the ABS sensor electrical connector out of its holder. Disconnect it by pressing the release tab and pulling it apart. Be careful, as these connectors become brittle over time and can crack if they are squeezed too hard. 

Rear sensor: Then remove the sensor wiring harness from the mounts (green arrows) on the control arm by pulling them straight out.
Figure 8

Rear sensor: Then remove the sensor wiring harness from the mounts (green arrows) on the control arm by pulling them straight out. Then unclip the wiring harness from the plastic shield (yellow arrow).

Rear sensor: Working at the rear wheel bearing carrier, remove the ABS sensor 5mm Allen fastener (green arrow).
Figure 9

Rear sensor: Working at the rear wheel bearing carrier, remove the ABS sensor 5mm Allen fastener (green arrow). Using a 1/4-inch drive ratchet with a 4-inch extension makes it easier to get to the fastener.

Rear sensor: Pull the ABS sensor out of the wheel bearing carrier.
Figure 10

Rear sensor: Pull the ABS sensor out of the wheel bearing carrier. If the sensor does not slide out easily, lever it out using a flathead screwdriver. Lever close to the sensor and wiggle it out slowly. Install the new sensor with a thin coating of Molykote Longterm 2 or similar grease to the ABS sensor and housing. Install the fastener and tighten. Then route the wiring harness as it was before.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Zahoor Comments: After Having changed the sensor the light went away the. I drove one second pressed the brake. And the abs kicked in. Right after abs kicked in the lights turned on again do I have to let the sensor calibrate?
September 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, the sensor may be installed incorrectly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Earl Comments: What I need are the MALE? connectors plastic bluerunning from the from the wheel sensor to the car side electronics. Mine have become so brittle that attempting to unplug the wheel sensors results in total destructionm of the plastic.
Any help finding these parts would be greatly appreciated. I can not find them in the RealOEM search. Numbers on the part are 4-962717-1 and BMW 1393748. Thanks
October 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may need a harness, however I recall them being available. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:41:07 AM