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ABS Diagnostics: Self and Pro

Written by maryp posted on Saturday, July 17th, 2010

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Your BMW or MINI is doing a self diagnostic every time you turn on the ignition. Of course you see those lights illuminate on the instrument cluster/panel upon start up and bulb check. Then the “self checking” begins and if all is OK, the lights turn off.

The units such as your ABS (which basically has a computer processor) are all going through a dynamic circuit check for you! It is monitoring the input circuits for any incorrect voltages and is also checking the output controls or messages. If there is a problem the computer will activate the warning light to you. If all of the hundreds of tests are passed, the indicator goes out.

If you do have an error or fault in one of the systems, the light stays illuminated. For example, the (ABS warning) is an indicator to the driver that the ABS is not working properly. At that point you need a trusted, independent BMW or MINI specialist, or a BMW dealership. The function of the ABS is safety related, as it is designed to slow down your BMW as fast as possible by maintaining traction between tires and the road. Anyone who has ever had one of those dreaded “close calls” in your BMW understand that this ABS is awesome. But, then again, because it is BMW, you may not have noticed it exactly, because it is so subtle, but spot on and you get used to the unparalleled driving experience of your BMW. . . .ahhh we could go on and on.

Of course, you want your ABS to work as it is designed and at its optimum. The diagnosis may be complex depending upon the problem. It could be a wheel speed sensor failure, a brake switch, a solenoid, a ABS Brake Hydraulic pump, the ABS control unit or a wiring issue to name a few possibilities. All of these items and additional components may or may not vary by year and model of your BMW or MINI, also.

If a warning light becomes illuminated, get it checked, get it fixed, and enjoy the road!

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