MINI Cooper MINI Cooper specs
 

Go Back   North American Motoring > 1st Generation MINIs > Stock Problems/Issues
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?


Welcome to North American Motoring !
Welcome to North American Motoring,

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!


» Latest Main Topics
MINI Fault Codes
by Mab01uk
4 Replies, 7,571 Views
NCSExpert DIY(do it yourself)
by GTECKO
546 Replies, 94,620 Views
Advertisement

Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 06-12-2009, 09:25 AM
MisterCooper's Avatar
MisterCooper MisterCooper is offline
2nd Gear
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Burminham, AL
Posts: 125
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
The Dreaded Wheel Sensor-How to Fix it.

Chances are, if you have ABS and DSC lights on in your car (sometimes a flat tire warning in with the mix too), it's a problem with your wheel speed sensor. Don't take my word for it though, get your local mechanic/autozone/napa to read the codes that your car has thrown.

If it is indeed the wheel speed sensor, there is hope. While you may not be able to just clean the sensors to fix the problem, replacing them is easy.

Read This:
I will put a disclaimer on this and say that I took my car to an experienced mechanic (Stephen's Garage here in Birmingham, AL who specializes in Mini's). He used a fancy and very expensive diagnostic computer with a touch screen like BMW dealerships have and was able to narrow my speed sensor problem down to the driver's side front tire. I recommend getting your own car tested by a diagnostic computer of this caliber because then you know where the problem is and don't have to play trial and error.

Since I had heard that cleaning these sensors fixes the problem, I thought I'd give that a try first. It worked for a week...lights went away, all was well. As soon as I thought the problem was fixed, it was back again. I'll also take this opportunity to say that if a wheel speed sensor goes bad, you DO lose DSC and ABS to some degree. I don't know if that is completely or if you just lose some functionality. While my sensor was bad and all of these lights were on, I braked rather firmly one day and ended up locking up my brakes and skidding through two construction barrels. Not pleasant. Anyway, on to fixing the problem.

Tools Needed:
Jack (I used the OEM Jack that Mini gives you to change flats)
Lug Nut Wrench (Also OEM)
Phillips Head Screwdriver (ONE THAT FITS)
5mm? Allen Wrench (I used a 3/4 inch allen wrench but you're probably better off with the 5mm. 3/4 doesn't fit quite perfectly. I think 5mm is the actual size but this is just a guess)

Step 1:
Identify the tire with the defective speed sensor...here is mine.
http://profile.imageshack.us/user/mi...31/dsc3815.jpg

Step 2: Loosen the lug nuts just 1 turn, jack up the car at the jack point nearest the wheel with the defective speed sensor and then loosen the bolts all the way and remove the wheel. Make sure you don't rotate the rotor too much. With the passenger side front wheel on the ground, rotating the driver's side front without a differential isn't good.
http://profile.imageshack.us/user/mi...31/dsc3817.jpg
Click the image to open in full size.
Step 3: With the wheel removed, you can now see the lines leading to your rotor. The one on top is your wheel speed sensor, the line running to your caliper is of course your brake/abs line.
Click the image to open in full size.http://profile.imageshack.us/user/mi...26/dsc3828.jpg

Step 4:
Look behind the rotor on top (I believe it may be in a different location for the rear wheels...let me know) and you will see a screw requiring the 5mm allen wrench. Remove the screw. You can now grip the part where the screw was inserted and twist it back and forth while pulling upward.
Click the image to open in full size.http://profile.imageshack.us/user/mi...10/dsc3827.jpg

Step 5:
With the sensor removed, you can clean it if you choose. It's deceiving. They do look really dirty...but i cleaned the sensor and the slot that it came out of very thoroughly and it was only a temporary fix.

This concludes the cleaning procedure. Like I said...it didn't work for me. I ended up having to replace mine. Should you choose to replace it, read on.

Step 6: Remove all plastic screws that holds your wheel well trim on. There are also two metal screws on the top and one hiding under the front bumper/air splitter. PLEASE believe me when I say use a screwdriver that fits. The plastic screws strip more easily than a stripper at a night club. I RUINED at least 3 in order to do this writeup because I was trying to do it fast and used a power tool. Huge mistake. Unscrew the plastic screw and then remove the "nut" that it was threaded through. These should come out easily...you just have to get your fingers behind them. They will not however come out easily if you have stripped the screws...so don't mess it up. I mean it.
http://profile.imageshack.us/user/mi...26/dsc3829.jpg
Click the image to open in full size.
Step 7: With the screws all out you can slowly peel away the wheel well cover. After it is removed, you can follow the speed sensor line to a blue connector. This connector has a clip that you must depress before pulling it out. Make sure to undo all of the rubber ties to remove it.
http://profile.imageshack.us/user/mi...31/dsc3838.jpg

Step 8: Put it all back together. If you need help doing this...you probably shouldn't have done this project. Just playin.

Send me an email for clarification or if you have any more questions. I'm happy to help.

David Butler
dsbutle1@samford.edu
__________________

"Mini" (Yeah, real original...I know) 2004 MCS CR/Checkers: 15% Pulley, JCW Intake, Borla Street, MTH Tuner, Redline Boots, 35% Tint
http://www.myspace.com/45424110
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-08-2010, 10:57 PM
RF1 RF1 is offline
1st Gear
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Thanks for the detailed write up on this! The light trifecta hit me over the weekend and I've been trying to research what it could be. Plenty of people are saying it's the wheel speed sensor, so that's what I'm going with. I'm hoping that they just need a good cleaning!

PS. The pictures are extremely helpful!

Last edited by RF1; 04-08-2010 at 11:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-15-2010, 01:40 AM
RF1 RF1 is offline
1st Gear
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Well, I just did all the work cleaning the sensors and their seats but alas, I still have all three lights lit on the dash. I'm guessing this can only mean that one of the sensors has failed?

The sensors on the rear are in fact in a different location, but once you find the sensors on the front, finding the rears are easy. I took a photo just to give some extra reference.
Click the image to open in full size.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-15-2010, 12:11 PM
godzilla's Avatar
godzilla godzilla is offline
3rd Gear
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: GA
Posts: 253
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Gallery
Do you know if you have to reset something after replacing the wheel speed sensor on the mini?
I was not sure which sensor was faulty so I jacked up the front left side and replaced the sensor and started the car while it was still jacked up.
The sensor lights were still on.
So I replaced everything and tried the new sensor on the front right side with the same results.
Should the lights immediately go off?
__________________


Last edited by godzilla; 04-15-2010 at 05:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-15-2010, 11:24 PM
RF1 RF1 is offline
1st Gear
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
I would think that once the sensor was replaced the lights should go off. Perhaps being a speed sensor though, the wheel needs to rotate a bit so the car can begin receiving signals from the newly replaced sensor?

I do know that I cleaned all mine then went for a drive around the neighborhood just to be sure and my lights were still on.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-16-2010, 07:08 AM
MiniMacPR's Avatar
MiniMacPR MiniMacPR is offline
5th Gear
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: San Juan, PR
Posts: 620
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Looks like I'm on a countdown to replacing the front driver's side speed sensor. I get the light trifecta once every couple of weeks, and I scanned the codes at a local mechanic with the BMW diagnostic tool. Eventually they just go away in my case, but come back every so often.

How much does a replacement sensor cost (more or less)?
__________________
8 Years of kick-*** FUN
Then: 2005 DS/B MCS w/OEM LSD, Mods: almost none (link)
Now: 2011 AW 1-Series M-Coupe, Stock for Now
Still don't understand why I am on moderated posting, thank MotorOn!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-16-2010, 08:37 AM
BlimeyCabrio BlimeyCabrio is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Posts: 8,768
Feedback Score: 5 reviews
Gallery
They cost about $130 each.

Make sure you both clean the sensor, AND unplug it and clean the plug with electrical contact cleaner and reassemble with dielectric grease (on the plug, not on the sensor itself).

Mine was intermittent like yours for quite a while... after doing the above, no issues in the past year.
__________________
I'm Paul, The car is Blimey--- BlimeyCabrio's Blog--- 2006 MCSCa w/a few mods and Union Jacks

Thirteen-time Dragon Veteran with Switchback Sixth Sense, hasn't looked like that in a while...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-26-2010, 07:46 PM
godzilla's Avatar
godzilla godzilla is offline
3rd Gear
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: GA
Posts: 253
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Gallery
The nearest MINI dealer is hours away from me.

Is there another option besides the MINI dealer for getting this scanned to tell me which sensor(s) are faulty?
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-28-2010, 11:14 PM
RF1 RF1 is offline
1st Gear
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 28
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
I'm in the same situation. The nearest dealer is a few hours away, and there is only one MINI certified shop in town, so they're basically running a monopoly. They want $110 just to hook up to the diagnostics computer! I haven't been able to find any other place that can read the MINI.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-05-2010, 09:53 AM
ZippyNH ZippyNH is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 10,486
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Gallery
Quote:
Originally Posted by RF1 View Post
I'm in the same situation. The nearest dealer is a few hours away, and there is only one MINI certified shop in town, so they're basically running a monopoly. They want $110 just to hook up to the diagnostics computer! I haven't been able to find any other place that can read the MINI.
MOST BMW specialist can do it no problem....the computer and the software is the same (for gen1 anyway, but I would assume the newer cars are too).
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-05-2010, 10:20 AM
J_'09s's Avatar
J_'09s J_'09s is offline
5th Gear
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bama
Posts: 671
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Gallery
I'm from Birmingham too. Its good to know there is a mechanic there that specializes in minis! I have an r56 and currently have 2 codes popping (only at start up.)

1. the low tire sensor pops up on the tach computer screen but doesnt on the center stack spot where it should as if there is a flat tire.

2. The emergency brake light on the tach stays lit at all times. It throws the symbol showing a car on a lift.

The suspension is heavily modded, so i wouldnt dare take it to the dealer. Any suggestions?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-11-2010, 09:01 PM
godzilla's Avatar
godzilla godzilla is offline
3rd Gear
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: GA
Posts: 253
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Gallery
Anybody know which OBD software will tell specifically which sensor is faulty?
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-10-2011, 02:17 PM
Fly'n Brick Fly'n Brick is offline
6th Gear
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: In the here and now, for now.
Posts: 2,290
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlimeyCabrio View Post
They cost about $130 each.

Make sure you both clean the sensor, AND unplug it and clean the plug with electrical contact cleaner and reassemble with dielectric grease (on the plug, not on the sensor itself).

Mine was intermittent like yours for quite a while... after doing the above, no issues in the past year.
Before spending the big bucks, take Blimey's advice and give it a go. I did and all is well. It is a very easy DIY.
__________________
“It's not the destination, it's the journey."
'06 PS/B MCSc - Premium, Cold Wx & Deluxe Silly Grin Packages.
Alta 19mm adjustable sway bar, KONI FSD struts and a few other fiddly bits
MITM, MITO X3, '13 Olpe Chicken Run, Elk Falls Outhouse Tour X5
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-10-2011, 02:18 PM
MiniMacPR's Avatar
MiniMacPR MiniMacPR is offline
5th Gear
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: San Juan, PR
Posts: 620
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Gallery
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly'n Brick View Post
Before spending the big bucks, take Blimey's advice and give it a go. I did and all is well. It is a very easy DIY.
Ditto
__________________
8 Years of kick-*** FUN
Then: 2005 DS/B MCS w/OEM LSD, Mods: almost none (link)
Now: 2011 AW 1-Series M-Coupe, Stock for Now
Still don't understand why I am on moderated posting, thank MotorOn!
Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2011, 02:18 PM
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


MINI CooperMINI Cooper PrivacyMINI Cooper Terms of UseMINI Cooper Guidelines MINI Cooper Advertising The North American MINI Cooper Community
  MINI Cooper news, forums, FAQs, and reviews for enthusiasts and owners of the North American MINI Cooper
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:27 AM.
 Copyright © 2002-2008 North American Motoring. All Rights Reserved.     Powered by vBulletin and vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:27 AM.



Powered by vBulletin and vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.
North American Motoring is an independently operated web site supporting MINI owners and enthusiastsworldwide. As such it has no official relationship with MINI USA, BMW AG, or BMW of North America.All original artwork and design is Copyright © 2002-2004 North American Motoring.
Admin Account Passwords