R50/R53 :: Hatch Talk (2002-2006) Cooper (R50) and Cooper S (R53) hatchback discussion.

R50/53 - R50/53 How to disable warning lights

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Old 04-19-2019, 10:32 PM
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How to disable warning lights

My 2004 R53 is almost due for its 2-year mandatory inspection and I'd like to avoid any hassles.
My airbag warning light is on but I'm almost certain it's either due to the circuit or it's the passenger side and is not something I want or need to spend $1000 to fix right now.
Also, I've had (and posted about) the 2 warning lights associated with the wheel sensor on since I bought the car almost 2 years ago.
I've tried everything to get them turned off to no avail but am relatively certain it's related to the run flats being replaced with regular rubber and not an actual problem.
Is there any reasonably easy way to disable these lights without affecting the car's ability to operate normally?

Thanks in advance.



 
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:59 AM
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I had an air bag light on in my R53 for a while.....I got tired of looking at it......I could not clear the code by disconnecting the battery .......so until I bought the Schwaben scanner from ECSTuning.....what I did was remove the plastic gauge face from my speedometer and get a piece of black electrical tape and a pair of scissors to make a little black circle to go over the light that is on......take your time.....it worked great....after I finally got a circle cut out, installed, and the gauge clear face and ring put back on....you could not tell it from the other circles. Once I got the scanner and cleared the code, it never came back

Now, with that said.....are these inspection people smart enough to tell if the lights are supposed to come on when the key is turned to on and engine is not running?? If they don't see them come on, will they flag you??

Bryan (my two cents worth)

PS: Have you done the reset procedure for the TPMS light in the speedometer? The other yellow light in the tach is telling you that an ABS sensor may be bad
 

Last edited by A383Wing; 04-20-2019 at 04:51 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-20-2019, 03:41 PM
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The airbag situation was covered by a safety recall #15V-205 some time back. I had mine replaced with no problems since. It's worth checking in to, I can't verify any more than that. Contact your nearest dealership and provide your VIN number.
I'm +1 with A383 on the ABS sensor.
 
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:50 PM
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His car is an '04....not sure if they had the passenger side seat mat issue back then....I just had my '06 replaced under the recall, but at 'Brick says, give the dealer your VIN and see if there is a recall on your car for the air bag

Bryan
 
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:06 PM
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Thanks for the info! Yeah, I've tried all the tips and suggestions for the TPMS light. Nothing has worked. I even bought a cheap OBII diagnostics tool which didn't show anything. Now wondering if it's worth it to plop down $150 to get the NT510. I guess there's no real harm in trying to visit the local dealer and see if the airbag is under recall.

Not sure about how closely the shops check the lights. I've got a friend who is helping with the inspection so I'm hoping if I at least give him plausible deniability he'll let it slide. I've actually heard it's not that difficult to go through the inspection process on one's own, so I'm looking into that too.
 
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:31 PM
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The cheapo OBD II diagnostic tools will not read or reset any trouble codes or lights except the "check engine light". My Snap On scanner couldn't do it. I would strongly recommend the 510 scanner if you plan on working on your car yourself. I will admit, the scanner is a bit tough to figure out for the first few times you use it. There's no real "instruction" manual to guide you through the process of getting and clearing codes, but it does the job for the Mini

Let us know what happens with your inspection, if all else fails, try the little electric tape circles

Bryan
 
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by A383Wing View Post
PS: Have you done the reset procedure for the TPMS light in the speedometer? The other yellow light in the tach is telling you that an ABS sensor may be bad
In an R53, the wheel speed sensor is used for TPMS, ABS and DSC. A faulty sensor can trigger both of the warning lights.

Once an airbag warning has triggered, it will not reset by itself, even if the error condition has been fixed. An airbag warning must be reset using a diagnostic or airbag reset tool like a B200. You should try resetting it and see if it turns back on. If it comes back on, you need to read the error code for information.
 
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rkw View Post
In an R53, the wheel speed sensor is used for TPMS, ABS and DSC. A faulty sensor can trigger both of the warning lights.
Correct. And from what the previous owner told me, the problem first presented when he switched from run flats to regular tires. Apparently one of the sensors was damaged. The problem is how to determine which one (cheaply) and then fix it (also cheaply).
Remember, I'm in Japan where everything is more difficult to determine and much more expensive to repair.

As far as the airbag light, "you ought to try resetting it" is pretty common sense, but as I indicated, more difficult done here. Also, the B200 tool doesn't seem to be available from many of the obvious sites now, i.e. Amazon or eBay.
Is there a newer tool that does the same thing? Or if I got the NT510 scanner tool does that have the capability to reset it or do they each perform separate functions?
Again, thanks to everyone for the input. Growing up on a farm, I was always used to being able to suss things out and fix them myself, but living here has made that much more difficult. Homes don't have garages and most people do not DIY.
 
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ShizuokaMark View Post
the B200 tool doesn't seem to be available from many of the obvious sites now, i.e. Amazon or eBay.
The B200 has apparently been superseded by the B800, which appears to be readily available. Even if it isn't able to clear the error, it should retrieve a code. Don't know about the NT510 capabilities.
 

Last edited by rkw; 04-21-2019 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:10 PM
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Thanks! Yep, found it on Amazon.jp for $20. Ordered and on its way.
 
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:24 AM
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So, thanks for the tip on first the B200 and subsequently the newer B800.
Arrived today, follwed instructions, and voila! No more airbag light.
Now, wondering if I should drop $150 on the N510 to see if I can clear anything else and possibly get those 2 last nagging lights to go out.
 
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:34 AM
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I'm needing to do this on my 05 , the B800 says it will only work up to 03 ..
 
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ShizuokaMark View Post
So, thanks for the tip on first the B200 and subsequently the newer B800.
Arrived today, follwed instructions, and voila! No more airbag light.
Now, wondering if I should drop $150 on the N510 to see if I can clear anything else and possibly get those 2 last nagging lights to go out.
Hopefully it will stay off, but it may come back on again if your airbag still has a problem. The airbag light is unique in the way it "sticks" once it turns on. For your other warning lights, they would have turned off by themselves if a problem was no longer detected. It's unlikely that you can simply clear the warnings but you can get an error code.

Originally Posted by ChanceyR53 View Post
I'm needing to do this on my 05 , the B800 says it will only work up to 03 ..
'03 only refers to BMW models. The same electronics continued to be used on MINI through the 1st generation.
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ml#post3986286
If the overhead passenger occupancy light is also on (a common problem with the passenger sensor mat — see this), the tool won't clear it.
 
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rkw View Post
Hopefully it will stay off, but it may come back on again if your airbag still has a problem. The airbag light is unique in the way it "sticks" once it turns on. For your other warning lights, they would have turned off by themselves if a problem was no longer detected. It's unlikely that you can simply clear the warnings but you can get an error code.
Yeah, as far as the airbag, I'm really only concerned about it being off long enough to pass the inspection.
Regarding the other 2 lights, I think one or more of the TPMS sensors are faulty. It probably occurred when the run flats were being swapped for regular rubber.
The previous owner said he was able to get it passed even with the warning lights on since it is easy to determine if the tire pressure is correct. He had to equip the car with a flat repair kit but he claims that was all that was required. Fingers crossed.
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:43 AM
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a GEN1 car does not have TPMS sensors (as used today) unless cars for your location are different.

the pressure monitor uses wheel speed as the input, aka the ABS sensor. You are seeing ABS and TPMS warnings because a wheel speed sensor is not working.

IF the problem WAS a TPMS sensor, these are easily defeated by cutting the sensor off, splicing the two wires together and resetting the system. Not so with a wheel speed / ABS sensor ..... this must be replaced.
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Capt_bj View Post
a GEN1 car does not have TPMS sensors (as used today) unless cars for your location are different.

the pressure monitor uses wheel speed as the input, aka the ABS sensor. You are seeing ABS and TPMS warnings because a wheel speed sensor is not working.

IF the problem WAS a TPMS sensor, these are easily defeated by cutting the sensor off, splicing the two wires together and resetting the system. Not so with a wheel speed / ABS sensor ..... this must be replaced.
Gotcha. Sorry, I'm sure I was told that awhile back but my memory failed me again. So.....wheel speed / ABS sensor.....where is it located and how easy/difficult/expensive is it to replace? And I guess I would need a decent diagnostics device (NT510?) to determine which is/are faulty?
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:59 AM
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I guess this is what I need? Can I replace these myself? Difficulty level? Required tools?

 
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:31 AM
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There should only be two sensors, left front and right rear, at least that's what is on my car. The front is easy, rear is a bit of a pain to get to the electrical connector. It's located in front of the wheel up in the body opening. You will need to remove tire and then follow the wire from sensor to connection. You will probably end up breaking the plastic clip that holds the connector to the body as I did, part is about $5 from dealer. A couple wire ties will be needed also.

Bryan
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by A383Wing View Post
There should only be two sensors, left front and right rear, at least that's what is on my car. The front is easy, rear is a bit of a pain to get to the electrical connector. It's located in front of the wheel up in the body opening. You will need to remove tire and then follow the wire from sensor to connection. You will probably end up breaking the plastic clip that holds the connector to the body as I did, part is about $5 from dealer. A couple wire ties will be needed also.
And if they're both replaced the lights should go out I guess. For $20 it seems like a no-brainer. I'll order both and see how it goes. I'll replace the front first and hope that does the trick. Doesn't look like there's any difference between them but I'll check to be sure. Thanks!

Cheers!
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:35 AM
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Yes. Easy to replace. Just need a wrench.
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tgriffithjr View Post
Yes. Easy to replace. Just need a wrench.
Oh I'm good at wrenching.
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:30 AM
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OK, my bad...I was thinking about the brake pad sensors to turn the warning lights on when the pads are worn down, there are two of those.....there are 4 ABS sensors on the car, one at each wheel....the biggest issue is after you take the little bolt out and then the sensor may be stuck in the hole that it goes into.....some penetrating oil may help here....I had one on my '06 that I could not get out when I was changing the front hub.....so I had to be careful as not to break it

The sensor connectors for the rear wires are still a pain to get to.....so just be prepared for that

Bryan
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:12 AM
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The front sensors are in a well where debris and water can sit, it causes rust around the sensor. I had to drill mine out- If you need to do so, be sure that you don't drill any farther through than is necessary (I used the new sensor as a gauge and put a drill stop onto it), as you can ding the back of the Hub and cause THAT to throw a wheel speed sensor light as well. My Schwaben diagnostic was able to read which wheel sensor was inactive making it easier.
Another tip was to grease the new sensor length (not the end of it) when you put it in to keep water from causing rust again.
HTH,
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:32 PM
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So I also used to have those two lights on. When I got a wheel alignment, it went away! maybe it might be that...
 
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:42 PM
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wait... i also did took the brake pad sensor out of the brake caliper and zip-tied it to the side... So basically, it is connected to nothing! Both on my front left and rear right... try this first... maybe it work...
 

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