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e36chick
07-27-2005, 12:00 PM
Today i was making a left turn, i guess I hit the gas a little harder than usual, and the car fishtailed across two lanes...the ground was a little wet from rain this morning...this is my first RWD car and experience with fishtailing so i have a question: the ABS and traction control system warning lights are on in my car. some ppl thought a sensor could be dirty, as opposed to the system not working...

so my question is, did the car fishtail b/c the traction control system isnt working properly? Or just combination of gas+wet ground?

Thx guys

Sharon

Justin e36
07-27-2005, 12:21 PM
The car fishtailed because of a combination of gas + wet ground. If the car is manual, as soon as you feel the car slipping hit the clutch. If it's auto, then release the gas.

Your car has 4 "speed sensors", one for each wheel. These sensors calculate how fast each wheel is turning. These sensors are fed into the car's computer which calculates when to pulse the brakes for ABS, and for Traction Control. When your car slipped, one (or more) of the wheels was spinning faster, or slower than the rest---outside of specifications. With one or more wheels out of spec, the computer was unable to calculate when to pulse the brakes, so the system shut down saying "I can't do my job, the numbers I'm getting doesn't make sense. Something's wrong.".. it said this by lighting up the ABS and Traction Control lights. When you turned the car off and back on again, the lights should have turned off as the system reset itself.

If while driving the lights come on again, then one (or more) of the speed sensors is damaged or not working and will need to be replaced. (not expensive at all.)

Also, you'd want to check a few things on your car just in case:

- tire pressures
- control arms OK?
- drive shaft is not damaged (if it's damaged, this can cause you to spin out easier than usual as well.)
- suspension components

you'd also want to go to an empty parking lot and kick it around a bit... make sure the car is working properly. if you find when making left turns the car slips a lot more than when making a right, then something is definately wrong.

J

Bill Gates
07-27-2005, 12:23 PM
e36chick,

when the traction control light is on, that means its disabled. when they are off, it means they are enabled. u mentioned yours are ON. at least with my 97 e36.

when i start to loose traction in wet conditions, i normally see my traction light flicker, which tells me i'm loosing traction.

with traction control turned enabled, its very difficult for me to spin the wheels.

e36chick
07-27-2005, 12:35 PM
Guys my ABS and ASC-T lights have been on for weeks now. I posted a while back and the general impression was that since the car is driving normally, the sensors must be dirty...

Justin how do i check all these things? Take it to BMW?

Justin e36
07-27-2005, 12:43 PM
Ok, so one or more of the sensors have likely went kaput. (that's the highly technical term for it.) Also possible for the traction control unit to have died as well. And the last possibility is a mechanical problem or one tire has greatly more tire wear than the other tires (making it spin faster), the rolling speed difference would be enough to throw the system off.

Do the lights come on as soon as you start the car, or only after driving for a bit?

e36chick
07-27-2005, 12:49 PM
as soon as i start the car, and stays on the entire time i drive...

bmdbley'sBro
07-27-2005, 01:14 PM
as soon as i start the car, and stays on the entire time i drive...

sounds like you need a hoist & some inspection

on my Jetta it was a freyed wire on the sensor leading to the front caliper
that caused my abs light to stay on..

My bro's camm'd & chipped E30 is a traction loss machine all the way into 3rd *love*

you could forget about it ( the abs/traction) go to a parking lot
& get used to the limitations of your vehicle were it like to step out, etc

I think abs/traction contrl is for people that can't properly control / modulate their own brake / throttle imputs *drink*

Justin e36
07-27-2005, 01:31 PM
try disconnecting the battery for a good 10 minutes to reset the lights.
then turn the car back on.

are the lights on? or do they turn on when you drive?

is they are already on still, then there's a short in the system or the computer needs replacing.

if they come on again and stay on after driving a bit, then the speed sensor is shot. cheap and quick to replace.

J

Blades
07-27-2005, 02:34 PM
Today i was making a left turn, i guess I hit the gas a little harder than usual, and the car fishtailed across two lanes...the ground was a little wet from rain this morning...this is my first RWD car and experience with fishtailing so i have a question: the ABS and traction control system warning lights are on in my car. some ppl thought a sensor could be dirty, as opposed to the system not working...

so my question is, did the car fishtail b/c the traction control system isnt working properly? Or just combination of gas+wet ground?

Thx guys

Sharon

A chick drifting in a BMW on the streets ... thats so ****ing sexy *th-up*

ZiMMie
07-27-2005, 03:21 PM
^ not if she is scared :D

RumRogerz
07-27-2005, 03:33 PM
yea... my abs lights and my parking brake light are always on.
I live dangerously....
that and i don't like abs

Justin e36
07-27-2005, 03:53 PM
yea... my abs lights and my parking brake light are always on.
I live dangerously....
that and i don't like abs

you sure it's your e-brake light and not pad-wear light?... lift up your e-brake boot and check if it is still grounded even when the handle is down.

Storamin
07-27-2005, 09:58 PM
The first thing you need to so is find yourself a large empty parking lot in the rain or the snow and learn how to fishtail and how NOT to fishtail. It doesn't matter what electronics your car has, driver experience is extremely important.

With that said... who needs ABS. :) Give me a non ABS car and I will stop faster than an ABS equiped car. It's all about driver experience.

johnoz
07-27-2005, 10:22 PM
or you can always invest on good tires like Yokohama ES100 which will perform very well under wet conditions.

M50E30
07-27-2005, 10:45 PM
With that said... who needs ABS. :) Give me a non ABS car and I will stop faster than an ABS equiped car. It's all about driver experience.

:rolleyes:

I highly doubt that you can stop SAFELY in a car without ABS vs one equipped with ABS. Yes experience does play a factor but lets be realistic.

The puropose of the ABS system is so you don't lock the wheels and can steer away from objects in front of you. And you might want to check out this link about the of the advantages of the ABS system.........


http://www.abs-education.org/faqs/faqindex.htm

jeffrie
07-28-2005, 07:20 AM
^^ was going to say Storamin pretty special to stop quicker without it.
Maybe in an old ranger or something your better off without it but in that instance it's just in the rear diff (only for show IMO). 4 wheel independant computer controlled ABS stops you quicker, alot quicker in harsher conditions and in the dry. Disable it and you can compare for yourself as I did except I only relized how good it was once it broke.

Storamin
07-28-2005, 11:45 AM
:rolleyes:

I highly doubt that you can stop SAFELY in a car without ABS vs one equipped with ABS. Yes experience does play a factor but lets be realistic.

The puropose of the ABS system is so you don't lock the wheels and can steer away from objects in front of you. And you might want to check out this link about the of the advantages of the ABS system.........


http://www.abs-education.org/faqs/faqindex.htm

Most race drivers turn off the ABS system. As long as you don't panic and slam on the brakes, and modulate the pedal, you will stop sooner most of the time. You just have to treat the car like a motorcylce, don't be on the brakes hard when you're steering.

Besides, ABS is another thing that goes in between you and the road. *sleep*

EDIT: You could be right about the independent 4 wheel abs sensors making the abs better. I'm guessing the cars I did a test on did not include it (Police Package Capris). Never tried the ABS off on the beemer.

M50E30
07-28-2005, 12:12 PM
The main purpose of the ABS system is to prevent lock up so you can steer away from hitting a potential object in front of you. ABS some times increases the length of stopping (read the 6th section in this link... http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/Equipment/absbrakes/page1.html ).

I never said anything about the distance....I said safely. Hell look at F1 drivers! Even they go off the track when they brake too late. There are too many variables that have an effect on stopping distance/control with or without ABS...... IE: condition of the road, condition of the tires, weather, etc.....

And my E30 wasn't equipped with ABS and there were times where I wish the car did because in the long run.....ABS is alot SAFER!

BTW what do you mean by this?

Besides, ABS is another thing that goes in between you and the road.

Are you talking about a potential failure of the ABS?

-or-

ABS taking a feel away from the driver?

Well I think that the idea of safety severly out weighs either or.

bmdbley'sBro
07-28-2005, 12:34 PM
Reading all these posts i have to agree with some things but not others.

Some cars have Shyte ABS sytems (like my VR6 jetta) car is literally safer
without abs.
b.stein sports struts & n.speed sport springs "can" cause the abs to kick on
while braking upto a stop going over bumps.
I actually feel the car speed up it actually is that weak!
had a bad sensor abs was off... no false kick in of the sytem
Plus the pedal was way way firmer!

My 93 318is Im very happy with it's not a shyte sytem.
even though their both single piston calipers !?

safety sytems.... in my opinion some are good some are just there
to aid "weaker" skilled drivers

Storamin
07-28-2005, 01:51 PM
Are you talking about a potential failure of the ABS?

-or-

ABS taking a feel away from the driver?

Well I think that the idea of safety severly out weighs either or.

Mainly the feel. I don't really like the pulsing in the pedal. Personal thing, I guess.

Axxe
07-28-2005, 02:10 PM
If you are "good" then you can drive an ABS equipped car in the winter without ever needing to use it. However, if you have to brake hard and turn in a short period of time (someone runs a red, debris on the road, etc.) then you will be thankful you have ABS. During the winter I learned the braking threshold when ABS kicks in. I rarely had the ABS engage, however it did come in handy a few times. Mind you I think T/C DSC and all those electronic "bandaids" are there to hide the fact that car manufactures are skimping out and using trickery to substitute a rear LSD. I never had any issues in the winter with my LSD equipped E30, any slide was easily controlled, almost slow-motion compared to open-diff slides, where the car just does what it wants.

jeffrie
07-28-2005, 02:18 PM
^^^ what he said hence the reason I spent 2g's to get a LSD for my car, way more dangerous without one in the snow with nothing but the breaks to controll you when conditions are hazardos.
Even with ABS had to drive past (and look like an idiot) many corners I could have made with a LSD instead of my open diff while onlookers look in discuss as I give bmw a bad name for driving too fast in bad weather not turning were my flasher is telling everyone where I wanted to go.

spooner_dee
07-28-2005, 04:17 PM
I love how original topics in forums just kinda stray off onto an argumental discussion about which is better lol. I read a study once on ABS equipped cars and whether or not they were really better. In most cases it came out it was the same with or with out because most people dont know what to do when put in situations like that, so things like ABS just didnt matter.

Anywho back on topic, I know when i first bought my car, my ASC disabled light was on all the time, would not work when button pushed, but after taking it back to the dealer to have my ICV cleaned, it came back with my ASC disabled light off meaning my traction control was on. And it fully worked now, i push the button it goes on and off. But i also found one thing odd, when i adjusted my idle control u know adjust how high the engine ran while sitting, the asc light would come on. turn off the car, turn it back on and it would be fine.... weirdest thing. So when my asc is on, when i start to lose traction my asc light flashes in my dash telling me that its being activated and the back wheels lose power till it can grip again or till i let off the pedal. With your case it sounds like either the sensors are bad or the asc unit. Your abs sensors might be shot too, id say start from the ground up and track from the wheels to the ecu visual inspection of the seonsors to look for wear, and go from there, best of luck

e36chick
07-28-2005, 04:53 PM
ok thanks for all the input guys. think its time someone takes a look at my car b/c i dont know what to look for. :)

and the parking lot ideas are good, b/c before winter comes i need to know how to drive this car properly...

Storamin
07-29-2005, 09:46 AM
Definitely, it should be required that everyone find themselves an empty parking lot in the winter. Not only are you learning, you can have immense fun.
If you can get the traction control to work again, it can be very good at slowing the car when things go bad. I know on mine the only way I could get the rear end to switch with the front was to start a turn and then dump the clutch.

e36chick
07-29-2005, 05:33 PM
You know what else...i dont know how suspension-related this is, but i think the car needs an alignment too...if u take your hands off the wheel for even a few seconds it starts leaning to the left. maybe time to get this checked out...

Justin e36
07-29-2005, 06:15 PM
1st check tire pressure, less tire pressure on the front left tire will cause the car to pull to the left.

if tire pressure is fine, then you likely just need an alignment done.

if you recently got an alignment done then one of your balljoints can be wonky.