Trifecta of lights and an electrical burning smell

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by buttonbag, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. buttonbag

    buttonbag Active Member

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    One ABS sensor was replaced and now I'm getting a burning smell and the trifecta lights that many people here seem to get so I'm guessing it's a common issue in r53s? I took the front and rear wheels off the side where the smell is strongest and can't see any issues with burnt wires or anything and I can't pinpoint exactly where the smell is coming from.

    Any ideas where to start looking?
     
  2. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I would start with the wheel sensor that was replaced. Make sure that the wire is not chafing on anything and it is plugged in good. Check to see if any codes are showing. Sense you are smelling burnt wires check the fuses.
     
  3. buttonbag

    buttonbag Active Member

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    Thanks! Sensor is good, it's not rubbing on anything. I don't have a scanner, just a Scanguage2 which I suspect is not very good at detecting these things. I drove it a little today and the lights went away and felt the car "letting go" so I think it was a stuck brake.
     
  4. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Ok great. If all the sensor are good it does self clear. Hope the lights stay out. I had to replace my ABS unit a few weeks ago.
     
  5. buttonbag

    buttonbag Active Member

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    Yeah I was afraid it might be the ABS module, I did NOT want to spend $300+ on another part. Let's see if light stays off after today.
     
  6. buttonbag

    buttonbag Active Member

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    Welp, as soon as I started it up, the lights are on again and there's light squealing from the rear driver's side so I'll see if I can take off the caliper and check it out. Know what else I should look for? I figured probably the piston is stuck. Any quick fixes that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?
     
  7. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    I had problems with the rear calipers on my R53. I used some rebuilt calipers & they didn't last. They were replaced under warranty & they didn't last. In the end a couple of new calipers worked & kept working.

    Check that the e-brake is releasing. If not check the cables & calipers. Not sure why you are getting the trifecta.

    Call eMINIparts 603-637-2900 they give a nice M/A discount. Good people there & a site sponsor..
     
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  8. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    Agree - for OEM parts eMINI parts is great. For me if the caliper is sticking, I would probably go with a new one if they aren’t stupid expensive... or use it as an excuse the upgrade.. :D
     
  9. buttonbag

    buttonbag Active Member

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    Well, I have always liked the big brake kit...
     
  10. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    I can see adding a BBK to the front. In the rear it seems wasted money to me. Justa this guys .02.
     
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  11. buttonbag

    buttonbag Active Member

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    But but red calipers!
     
  12. buttonbag

    buttonbag Active Member

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    Yeah, I'm guessing that one wheel is dragging so that's why my first inclination is the calipers. I do hope it's a e-brake cable issue now that you mentioned it, that would be a cheaper/easier fix. What's the best/easiest way to test that out based on your experience?
     
  13. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    There is always red paint. ;)

    Jack up the car one side at a time & safely support it. Turn the wheels & see which one drags. Once you find that compare the right to the left. You should see the difference. For my money it is going to be the e-brake hanging up. This could be caused by the caliper or e-brake cable. Yes it could be both too.

    Does your e-brake release all the way. Or does it seem to not lower all the way when off?
     
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  14. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Do you have a coat reader that reads BMW/MINI codes? If so you should be able to see if one of the wheel sensors are bad. I have a Foxwell it is well worth the money.
     
  15. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    Thinking two problems are happening here. The dragging brake I believe is not making the lights show up. Separate issue.

    The wheel speed sensor you installed could be bad. Or one of the others is. Code reader is needed to keep you from chasing your tail.

    Where do you live buttonbag? Maybe we can point you to someone who has a reader.
     
  16. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    It does make sense that this two fold problem.
     
  17. buttonbag

    buttonbag Active Member

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    Here's what happened last night. I started to drive home, the lights still on. Halfway through, trifecta shut off and no more faint squeal. I parked and did not engage the e-brake but I felt each of the rotors both rear sides are hotter than the front. I raised them and with the handbrake disengaged, I hand spun each side and noticed a bit of resistance. Shouldn't it take very little effort to spin it? Like closer to freewheeling? The e-brake is working as intended as far as I can tell, it clamps down when needed and releases when needed.

    It's looking like I may need that scanner now but I'm so cheap! I'm in Chicago, there's a dealer and a ton of shops around me I'm thinking about getting the closest one to scan. I might try the scanguage that I have again first to see if it throws anything, I doubt it will.

    Side note, what do you all think about this set? https://www.ecstuning.com/b-schwaben-parts/schwaben-46-piece-1-4-drive-set/010747sch01a~sch/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw5J_mBRDVARIsAGqGLZCgmW0SmipNf_gtcAq87HkQfu42MfQ3js8plFBTbwTMwZloeg6l2BMaAo84EALw_wcB I don't have any of those hex sockets and I quickly found out last night that I wasn't gonna go any further without them.
     
  18. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    There will always be a bit of drag. The pads are always touching the rotor. It shouldn't be much, but it isn't going to freewheel. IMO the rear rotors shouldn't be hotter than the front.

    That is a nice set of tools, but 1/4" drive is pretty wimpy. I prefer 3/8" drive myself. There are times a 1/4" drive is what you need, but it isn't often.

    Your scanner will pick up generic OBD II codes. The wheel speed sensors may be a BMW specific code although I don't know that for sure.

    If you go to the dealer it may cost you half of what a BMW code reader does. Sorry I don't know which one you should buy.

    One more thing, how old is the battery in your car? These cars get nuts when the battery is failing & often show lots of lights on the dash. Grasping at straws here.
     
  19. buttonbag

    buttonbag Active Member

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    I ordered a proper scanner, one that is highly recommended by MINI owners and it's on its way now. I'll check out the battery, though I think it's fairly new. I just picked her up from the dealer and she's only 20 days old to me. Unless they thought it wasn't necessary to change out to a new battery before the sale (I sure hope not). I may also stop somewhere to pick up a 3/8 drive torx socket so I can check the caliper pistons.

    Thank you guys for taking the time to help me btw, things seem more frustrating when you feel like you're by yourself. I don't have any experience working on cars but now that I have my own garage, I can finally start getting my hands dirty so expect more rookie questions from this weekend mechanic. As they say, there are no dumb questions, right?
     
  20. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Not to long ago the subject of code readers came up and as MCS02 stated the Foxwell was one unit that was well thought of.
     

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