As I wrote in an August 2 post, my 2001 530 was having trouble with its AntiLock Braking System (ABS) and traction control. The codes were lighting up on the console, signaling the system was out. I had cleaned and replaced the front sensors, and that seemed to work at first. Read the original post here.
Unfortunately the problem returned. Apparently it’s a common one in the E39 series, and the dealer quoted me a cost of $1,230 for a replacement! Yes, you read that dollar figure correctly. Clearly another option needed to be found.
Thanks (as usual) to my online cohorts on bimmerforums and bimmerfest, I was able to find the best solution of all and keep this a Do It Yourself experience. By reading posts from fellow owners, I learned about an aftermarket that has developed around the repair of these units. That in itself is clear evidence these things almost always fail.
There are two main providers — Module Masters and BBA Remanufacturing. It’s very easy to remove the unit from the car, only need to remove six screws. Then you need to package securely and ship it away to be repaired. There is nothing unsafe about driving the car without the module, but it is strange to have no speedometer or odometer.
BBA repaired the module and had it back to me in eight days, for $255 including shipping and with a lifetime warranty. Saving almost a grand and doing it yourself — it doesn’t get much better than that! I highly recommend anyone having similar problems contact BBA. The web site is a bit confusing but will walk you through the process: http://www.bba-reman.com/
Some pictures below. It feels really good to have this issue resolved at last — just in time for weather that might require some ABS.
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