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Old 11-11-2013, 01:04 PM
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2001 e53 Speedometer Not Working

Hello. I have a 2001 x5 4.4. My 'service engine soon' light came on, and my speedometer stopped working. Along with it, my odometer and cruise control no longer works. I have read that when a speed sensor fails, the ABS, and traction control lights, will come on. This has not been my experience. I would like to order a new speed sensor, however I am not sure which one to replace. Could anyone point me in the right direction? Have there been any DIY's on how to actually go about replacing them?

Thank you in advance for the help!
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:45 PM
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I believe the speed sensors would be the Driver's Side rear. The wires sometimes get frayed or the sensor itself gets clogged with a lot of dirt and road grime. The sensor is located behind the wheel hub assembly.

To get at it, remove the wheel and look behind the Brake Dust Sheild - you should be able to trace the sensor cable to it's location. You will see a Black Plastic box in your wheel arch that houses the sensor's connector. Check in that first and clean it out. Then check that the wires are not pinched or frayed and exposed.

After that, remove the sensor from the mount (you'll need Allen Wrenches to do this) and clean out that hole. You can spray WD40 in there to clean it or similar. If you have compressed air - that helps.

Re-install and see how that goes. You may still need to order a new sensor, but try checking it out first.

The below diagram should give you an idea of where it is. It is Item #23.

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Old 11-11-2013, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquilaBMW View Post
I believe the speed sensors would be the Driver's Side rear. The wires sometimes get frayed or the sensor itself gets clogged with a lot of dirt and road grime. The sensor is located behind the wheel hub assembly.

To get at it, remove the wheel and look behind the Brake Dust Sheild - you should be able to trace the sensor cable to it's location. You will see a Black Plastic box in your wheel arch that houses the sensor's connector. Check in that first and clean it out. Then check that the wires are not pinched or frayed and exposed.

After that, remove the sensor from the mount (you'll need Allen Wrenches to do this) and clean out that hole. You can spray WD40 in there to clean it or similar. If you have compressed air - that helps.

Re-install and see how that goes. You may still need to order a new sensor, but try checking it out first.

The below diagram should give you an idea of where it is. It is Item #23.

Thank you very much for your help. I will just order a new sensor on eBay for $25, and replace it. I will report back,
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:53 PM
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Why I'm having a bad feeling when I saw "ebay"....

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Originally Posted by macmac80210 View Post
Thank you very much for your help. I will just order a new sensor on eBay for $25, and replace it. I will report back,
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:59 PM
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Sounds like possible bad battery versus a speed sensor. Service engine soon light doesn't trip with speed sensors.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:11 PM
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good luck with the ebay sensors, OE sensors are about 90 bucks and I wouldn't trust ebay for a sensor that is cheap aftermarket made in China junk and perhaps would cause more ABS module errors than the broken OE part.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:18 PM
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You should pull the error codes just to see what they are before ordering that sensor. Just out of curiosity I would check those first.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:52 PM
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there are total of 4 speed sensors, one in each wheel assembly, each one is responsible for certain portions of the car functions, all together working with the ABS module... none of the speed sensors will trip the service engine soon light, it would first trip the tranny failsafe mode and then it can trip the engine light - the cascading effect of one failing component triggering more events...

with this type of an issue, you should diagnose the car with a computer, as the check engine light has set errors in the memory that need to be read and rectified... while a speed sensor might be the original issue, without proper diagnostics you are shooting in the dark in the "under-the-bed-monsters" - you never know if there is a monster, and if there is one, if you hit it...

and a word on chinese speed sensors - it has been established on this forum, that certain items do not warrant buying chinese knock-offs, and the speed sensors fall into that category... too many folks bought the knock-offs, just to dump them and buy the OE...
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerminatorX5 View Post
there are total of 4 speed sensors, one in each wheel assembly, each one is responsible for certain portions of the car functions, all together working with the ABS module... none of the speed sensors will trip the service engine soon light, it would first trip the tranny failsafe mode and then it can trip the engine light - the cascading effect of one failing component triggering more events...

with this type of an issue, you should diagnose the car with a computer, as the check engine light has set errors in the memory that need to be read and rectified... while a speed sensor might be the original issue, without proper diagnostics you are shooting in the dark in the "under-the-bed-monsters" - you never know if there is a monster, and if there is one, if you hit it...

and a word on chinese speed sensors - it has been established on this forum, that certain items do not warrant buying chinese knock-offs, and the speed sensors fall into that category... too many folks bought the knock-offs, just to dump them and buy the OE...
Occasionally, if I haven't started the car for a while, when I go to start the car, I get a 'Trans Failsafe Prog' error. This is rectified by turning off the car and starting it again. It does not appear after that. This happens maybe once a month, if the car goes for longer than a couple says without starting. Could this maybe have something to do with it? The service engine soon light is always on. I have never seen any ABS or Traction control lights. I will avoid eBay. Any suggestions on where to buy a quality OEM speed sensor?
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmac80210 View Post
Occasionally, if I haven't started the car for a while, when I go to start the car, I get a 'Trans Failsafe Prog' error. This is rectified by turning off the car and starting it again. It does not appear after that. This happens maybe once a month, if the car goes for longer than a couple says without starting. Could this maybe have something to do with it? The service engine soon light is always on. I have never seen any ABS or Traction control lights. I will avoid eBay. Any suggestions on where to buy a quality OEM speed sensor?
There's a reason why the SES light is on. Read your owner manual.

As to where to buy a quality OEM speed sensor I think they can be obtained at any BMW Dealers.
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