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'02 E46 330ci SMG
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

2002 E46 330ci SMG (SSG?) with 117k on it.

Got the 3 lights on the dash (ABS/DSC/h-brake), so I try to scan the car to find out the issue:
  1. Hmm... strange... a generic OBD cannot read the car?
  2. Goes to a local garage to use his LAUNCH system... no connection.
  3. Visit BMW specialists (Prestige German Cars)...no connection.
  4. Visits an auto-electrician (Car Electrical)... no connection
  5. I buy Carly OBD as that's apparently BMW-specific? No luck.
  6. I buy INPA/cable from Cable-shack and AGAIN.... nothing... see my tweet here for a video of the errors I get.
  7. Checked ALL fuses in the glove box. They're good
  8. Removed and checked OBD port and that's good too.
  9. I even took the car to BMW for it's airbag recall in a hope they'd scan the car for me... and although when I got the car back the lights were gone... they came back the second I pulled away, and the "30-point check-list" sheet thing I got didn't even mention it had lights on the dash.
Yesterday I replaced all 4 wheel sensors + cleaned the housings. The lights DID go away!... for one day. And now they're back on.

Car wont pass MOT with those 3 lights?

Speak soon,
Liam.
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Edit: 31/07/2020:
I visited Cable-shack (the creator of INPA) and even he was shocked and didn't have a clue what to do next other than remove each module one-by-one.
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Edit: 01/08/2020:
I have since unplugged the:
  • ABS (MK60) module
  • EWS
  • GM5
  • Steering angle sensors
  • Instrument cluster
and STILL cannot connect to my OBD port.
 

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2004 330Ci 85k miles
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11,596 Posts
First thing is to find out why no scanner can talk to your car. Check fuses, remove and inspect OBD connector and its pins, etc. Edit: I see you already checked fuses and OBD connector. Next step would be to check wiring with continuity tests.
You do have the ignition key in position 2 (run) while trying to connect, right?

Then start troubleshooting the ABS module issues. I’m gonna guess you need a new (actually used) MK60 ABS module. The 2002 ones seem to go bad quite often.

I’ll also mention that there are many ECUs in your E46, not just one, probably like 12.
908415
 

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'02 E46 330ci SMG
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Discussion Starter #3
First thing is to find out why no scanner can talk to your car. Check fuses, remove and inspect OBD connector and its pins, etc.

Then start troubleshooting the ABS module issues. I’m gonna guess you need a new (actually used) MK60 ABS module. The 2002 ones seem to go bad quite often.
I've edited my OP to reflect this, but yeah.. unfortunately I've already checked all fuses and the OBD port, and nothing out of the ordinary.

I also fear its the ABS module too, but why would a faulty module stop the OBD port is my main concern?

I'm tempted to unplug the ABS module and then try scan the car, see if it'll at least connect and read.
 

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'02 E46 330ci SMG
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Discussion Starter #4
Can anyone recommend an MK60 ABS Module that will absolutely fit my 2002 E46, even if it's a newer module that is backwards compatible.
 

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'02 E46 330ci SMG
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Discussion Starter #5
Turns out I'm off to visit cable-shack tomorrow as he's only a roughly 1hr drive from me, he says he MIGHT be able to help me diagnose my OBD port issue.
 

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2004 330Ci 85k miles
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Can anyone recommend an MK60 ABS Module that will absolutely fit my 2002 E46, even if it's a newer module that is backwards compatible.
Don’t assume the two problems are related. The diagnostics bus should not get affected by the ABS module working or not, but you never know.

If you end up finding that the ABS module is bad, search for the MK60 ABS module replacement threads on here. Several in the past few months.
Get an MK60 from a 2004+ E46, the newer the better. There were many improvements over its production run, so you want the latest and greatest.
Physically replacing it is a pain, but the coding part I can help you with.
 

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2000 E46 323i, 3.0L and 2.0L Z3's
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Turns out I'm off to visit cable-shack tomorrow as he's only a roughly 1hr drive from me, he says he MIGHT be able to help me diagnose my OBD port issue.
Good luck with the visit to Cable-shack. Hope it is fixed.

After two posts on the problem in two E46 forums, you have received about as much good advice for fault finding the problem as there is.
 

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I would also try a battery reset. It works sometimes and costs nothing.
 

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Hi all,

2002 E46 330ci SMG (SSG?) with ~120k on it.

One random morning I get the 3 lights (ABS/DSC/h-brake) that typically means one of the wheel/abs sensors, BUT... being the sensible person I am, I try to scan the car to find out WHICH sensor it is... but this is where the fun begins:

  1. Hmm... strange... a generic OBD cannot read the car?
  2. Goes to a local garage to use his LAUNCH system... same again... no connection.
  3. Visit BMW specialists (Prestige German Cars)... you guessed it.... can't connect to the ECU.
  4. Visits an auto-electrician (Car Electrical)... he cannot get anything from it either.
  5. I buy Carly OBD as that's apparently BMW-specific? No luck.
  6. I buy INPA/cable from Cable-shack and AGAIN.... nothing... see my tweet here for a video of the errors I get.
  7. Checked ALL fuses in the glove box. They're good
  8. Removed and checked OBD port and that's good too.
  9. I even took the car to BMW for it's airbag recall in a hope they'd scan the car for me... and although when I got the car back the lights were gone... they came back the second I pulled away, and the "30-point check-list" sheet thing I got didn't even mention it had lights on the dash.
Yesterday I just went ahead and replaced all 4 wheel sensors as well as gave each of the housing a really good clean of all dirt & rust, and the lights DID go away!... for one day. And now they're back on.

Then... this afternoon, in the scorching heat... the lights have gone away again? I swear I'm not going crazy and this issue is related to the ambient temperature!?

I'm at a lose for what to do or where to go next. My car wont pass an MOT with those 3 lights and I kinda need the car for work/transport.

Speak soon,
Liam.
Liam,
I have been battling the “trifecta of lights” on my 99 e39 for awhile. After changing sensors, and a sensor in the distribution block, we’ve diagnosed a ” loss of signal” from one of the sensors. Take car to independent mechanic who has an understanding of the system. I’m lucky, as my mechanic is a 30yr.+ BMW Lead Tech.
good luck, hope this helps.
 

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'02 E46 330ci SMG
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Discussion Starter #10
Don’t assume the two problems are related. The diagnostics bus should not get affected by the ABS module working or not, but you never know.

If you end up finding that the ABS module is bad, search for the MK60 ABS module replacement threads on here. Several in the past few months.
Get an MK60 from a 2004+ E46, the newer the better. There were many improvements over its production run, so you want the latest and greatest.
Physically replacing it is a pain, but the coding part I can help you with.
Problem I have is I can't buy a new one because I can't connect to the car to re-code the new one.

Good luck with the visit to Cable-shack. Hope it is fixed.

After two posts on the problem in two E46 forums, you have received about as much good advice for fault finding the problem as there is.
Was worth a try. Unfortunately he couldn't work it out either without doing a continuity test on each wire of every module in the car to find out which one is firing off the d-bus, as apparently if the voltage or whatever is low it disabled the whole d-bus(?) system.

I would also try a battery reset. It works sometimes and costs nothing.
I think this is what I'm gonna have to do just before an MOT.

Liam,
I have been battling the “trifecta of lights” on my 99 e39 for awhile. After changing sensors, and a sensor in the distribution block, we’ve diagnosed a ” loss of signal” from one of the sensors. Take car to independent mechanic who has an understanding of the system. I’m lucky, as my mechanic is a 30yr.+ BMW Lead Tech.
good luck, hope this helps.
I've already had the car at a BMW specialist, they were no use. Unfortunately there is a problem with the d-bus(?) system and the only way I'll get the OBD port back is checking every wire in the whole OBD system... No fun when you've no idea, and will cost a fortune if I have to pay someone.
 

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2004 330Ci 85k miles
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Need someone with experience diagnosing and fixing BMW electrical systems to sort out the D-bus/OBD-bus issue. That is first and foremost to fix.
They would look at its wiring diagrams on newtis.info and do electrical/signal/continuity tests to find the fault. Unplugging each control module one-at-a-time can narrow it down quickly. Most common causes are bad fuses, damaged pins or wires on connectors, damaged wires (heat, cut, rodent chewage), defective control module causing the bus to no longer pass messages.
 

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'02 E46 330ci SMG
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Discussion Starter #12
Need someone with experience diagnosing and fixing BMW electrical systems to sort out the D-bus/OBD-bus issue. That is first and foremost to fix.
They would look at its wiring diagrams on newtis.info and do electrical/signal/continuity tests to find the fault. Unplugging each control module one-at-a-time can narrow it down quickly. Most common causes are bad fuses, damaged pins or wires on connectors, damaged wires (heat, cut, rodent chewage), defective control module causing the bus to no longer pass messages.
I've tried using that and honestly can't make head nor tail of it. I am so mechanically illiterate it hurts, lol. I've tried unplugged the ABS module, and I now know where the EWS module is, but unsure if I can unplug that.
 

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I'm at a loss regarding the OBD not working but chiming only to say I've had the trifecta of lights for a faulty brake pressure sensor at the master cylinder. Without diagnostics you can't tell it's that, of course, and there are two pressure sensors it could be (if it is one at all).
 

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Just a thought on the OBD though. My cable has an LED that lights when it's plugged in to the car. It just confirms there's power to the OBD port. Was there an LED on the INPA cable you bought?

Disregard. I just clicked your link and saw from the vid that INPA was connected to the car - the dots for battery and power had gone black - so the port's got power at least
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So far I've disconnected the EWS, GM5, and ABS modules, and Carly still won't read my OBD. I don't know what else to disconnect next.

Just a thought on the OBD though. My cable has an LED that lights when it's plugged in to the car. It just confirms there's power to the OBD port. Was there an LED on the INPA cable you bought?
Yeah the OBD is getting power, just not outputting anything.
 

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What's your Edibas version? I had problems connected a second laptop with the Edibas I downloaded for it, getting similar errors. It was only when I realised I had an older version on my first laptop and copied the folder from that over that I got it to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What's your Edibas version? I had problems connected a second laptop with the Edibas I downloaded for it, getting similar errors. It was only when I realised I had an older version on my first laptop and copied the folder from that over that I got it to work.
You mean INPA? That's not the problem, my OBD port won't connect to ANYTHING.
 

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Edibas is the conduit INPA and NCS Expert use to connect. If that's not set up right, you won't be able to connect. I'm only mentioning it mind because I spent half a day last week thinking I suddenly had a faulty port when it was my Edibas version.

Carly etc I've never tried, I'm afraid. But I agree, if you can't get anything to talk to any of your modules you have to suspect the car rather than all the tools
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Does anyone know of any of the other major modules other than GM5, EWS, or ABS? I've tried unplugging all those then scanning the car, but still nothing.

Also, with all those unplugged, can I physically still start the car? As I only have th Carly app and that asks me to start the car, not the typical position 2, but I haven't done that yet.

Literally the only other problem on the car is the drivers seat electrics no longer work for forwards and backwards, but I can't unplug that and scan the car, as then it'll throw up an airbag light? Catch 22.
 

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2004 330Ci 85k miles
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For using Carly and testing OBD connectitivty, you don’t need to start the car. Just have the ignition switch in position 2 (run).

I would read through all the threads regarding the OBD port not working to see what others found.
obd port not working

OBD connector wiring diagram.
 
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