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help troubleshooting electrical issues

Stock Problems/Issues Discussions related to warranty related issues and repairs, or other problems with the OEM parts and software for MINI Cooper (R50), Cabrio (R52), and Cooper S (R53) MINIs.
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help troubleshooting electrical issues

  #1  
Old 07-28-2018, 11:35 AM
JDM_
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help troubleshooting electrical issues

I have 2 electrical issues On my 2003 R53 to find and fix... before I start iím hoping to get some advice/guidance to point me in the right direction.

Issue 1 Warning lights:
After changing the head gasket and servicing the SC, I now have the following warning lights on...
ABS, TRACTION CONTROL, TIRE PRESSURE.
Iím sure this is just a connector that is loose or that didnít get reconnected when putting the car back together.. so I plan on checking them all... but, before I start randomly checking connectors... is there a specific one that would cause this trifecta of warning lights?

Issue 2 loss of electrical power:
this issue was here before I took it apart to fix the head gasket.
Car looses electrical power sometimes while ideling. When this happens all the gauges go dead and car stalls for a brief moment and then it all comes back on... I originally thought this could be a ground wire so when I had it apart I made sure to tighten the ground by the top engine mount and the ground on the altanator. I also made sure the battery terminals were clean and tight.... It is still doing it and Iím out of trouble shooting ideas. Does anyone have any ideas on how to trouble shoot an issue like this?..
 
  #2  
Old 07-28-2018, 12:14 PM
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Issue 1 - search on "trifecta" in this subforum. It is the best search key word. "trifokker" also should work know how smart google search is .

Issue 2 - have you checked the ground strap for the engine?
 

Last edited by pnwR53S; 07-28-2018 at 12:23 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2018, 04:33 PM
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Did you remove the subframe for any reason?

If not, come to a stop, hold the "!" button located in front of the parking brake handle till the TPMS light flashes, then drive above 15mph in a straight line for a few hundred feet and see if that fixes it.

The other issue I would check the passenger side ground strap and both batter terminals for tightness.
 
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  #4  
Old 07-28-2018, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JDM_ View Post
I have 2 electrical issues On my 2003 R53 to find and fix... before I start iím hoping to get some advice/guidance to point me in the right direction.

Issue 1 Warning lights:
After changing the head gasket and servicing the SC, I now have the following warning lights on...
ABS, TRACTION CONTROL, TIRE PRESSURE.
Iím sure this is just a connector that is loose or that didnít get reconnected when putting the car back together.. so I plan on checking them all... but, before I start randomly checking connectors... is there a specific one that would cause this trifecta of warning lights?

Issue 2 loss of electrical power:
this issue was here before I took it apart to fix the head gasket.
Car looses electrical power sometimes while ideling. When this happens all the gauges go dead and car stalls for a brief moment and then it all comes back on... I originally thought this could be a ground wire so when I had it apart I made sure to tighten the ground by the top engine mount and the ground on the altanator. I also made sure the battery terminals were clean and tight.... It is still doing it and Iím out of trouble shooting ideas. Does anyone have any ideas on how to trouble shoot an issue like this?..
Issue one: is most likely the the driver side abs sensor it corroded or the blue connector needs to be plugged in, or the sensor is shot. The lights will not go out, until this is fixed.

Issue 2: You battery may be at end of life. Mini Coopers need a good battery and 14.0 to 14.5 volts to keep everything running smoothly. Make sure the battery is good and high quality, as not all batteries are the same! Whith it running test to make sure you are getting at least 14 Volts.
 
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2018, 07:37 AM
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Thanks for all the replies..
Tonight I'm hoping to have time look at these issues.

Issue 1 Update:
This morning I noticed the trifecta of lights had turned off... Then I hit a bump and they all came back on... So I'm thinking loose connector??
Downshift1: I did not remove the subframe during these recent repairs..

Issue 2:
I will stop and have my battery tested today.
 
  #6  
Old 07-30-2018, 08:36 AM
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Make sure to test the voltage while the engine is running, as it needs to be at least 14.0 volts. BMW wants 14.2.(test with digital meter is best.
The alternator, could be headed towards end of life, or terminals may be dirty, if you do not have the 14 volts. (don't assume the battery is toast)
 
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:29 PM
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How is the brake level fluid in the master cylinder? If it's low, that could trigger the lights in the dash.....but the "brake" light should also come on if fluid is low

Your electrical issue could be a bad alternator as well....if a diode is out, it won't charge very well at idle

Bryan
 
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsmeWayne View Post
Make sure to test the voltage while the engine is running, as it needs to be at least 14.0 volts. BMW wants 14.2.(test with digital meter is best.
The alternator, could be headed towards end of life, or terminals may be dirty, if you do not have the 14 volts. (don't assume the battery is toast)
Issue 1:
I was able to get to the front passenger wheel speed connector (blue connector) I tapped and twisted it... As of now the warning lights have turned off! I'm thinking this is the guilty sensor connector.

Issue 2:
Stopped by Oreily's and had the battery and altanator checked.. They said both passed.. While there I noticed my + terminal was a little loose so I tightened it...

Then came home and tested it using a multimeter..
Battery 16v
Altanator 18v

I used the setting "V DC" Was the correct? My #'s seem much higher than the 14v you mentioned.

I let it idle for a while.. I did get an occasional low idle.. but I did not get the power flicker today.. That being said this is an intermittent problem that will not happen for a month then happen several times in a day... My fingers are crossed these issues are resolved.. I will update my progress... thanks for all your help

 
  #9  
Old 07-30-2018, 04:35 PM
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The 16 & 18 volts is too high.....I suspect a shorted cell in the battery with those numbers........
 
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2018, 04:38 PM
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Then came home and tested it using a multimeter..
Battery 16v
Altanator 18v

I used the setting "V DC" Was the correct? My #'s seem much higher than the 14v you mentioned.
I suggest you get a second opinion - another DMM that is. There is no reason to trust the accuracy of most consumer DMMs unless it it calibrated and traceable to NIST.

You can also do a sanity check by measuring a fresh alkaline battery.
 
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2018, 04:51 PM
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Was I using the correct multimeter setting? V DC 200 ?
 
  #12  
Old 07-30-2018, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JDM_ View Post
Was I using the correct multimeter setting? V DC 200 ?
I just got similar readings with V DC 20.. I'll call the local Mini repair shop and see if they can test it.
 
  #13  
Old 07-30-2018, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JDM_ View Post
I just got similar readings with V DC 20.. I'll call the local Mini repair shop and see if they can test it.
You would want to use the scale that max out the expected reading. In this case 20V is the range to use. But obviously your DMM is way off - reads about 30% too high. When the DMM is off, the % off typically will occur on all the ranges. Always know the limitation of your equipment. I use free to me cheapo Harborfreight DMM too, but just be aware of the limitations.
 
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:38 PM
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Update:
My multimeter had a low battery and was giving false readings..
My new readings are 14.4v-14.2v

And those dang warning lights came back on this morning on the way to work..
 
  #15  
Old 07-31-2018, 05:20 PM
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That is what you want to see!
 
  #16  
Old 08-07-2018, 05:02 PM
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Issue 1:
These lights have gone off and back on a few times.. Is there an affordable code reader that will tell me which wheel speed/ABS sensor to replace? I went the auto parts store and they said no code came up. I'm assuming this is BMW specific.

Issue 2 UPDATE:
After finding and tightening a loose + Positive battery cable.. I have not experienced this loss of power. I have my fingered crossed it was that easy of a fix.

Thanks for everyones help.. This forum has a great group of Mini enthusiasts in it.
 
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