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  My $0.02 Steering Angle Sensor Fix
yikes98
04-22-2011
BMW 07’ 328i e92
My $0.02 DIY Steering Angle Sensor (SAS) Repair

First, thanks to all who posted on their SAS problems and pics. Using all that info I was able to piece together how to attack my wife’s dreaded DSC faults on her 328i. The stealership, opps I meant dealership...
  #66  
By incantana on 11-26-2012, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aakrusen View Post
Feels good, doesn't it?!! I had this problem last year (14 months ago) and this thread saved me.
definitely. The problem started just last week when I changed the steering wheel to an m3 wheel. no idea why this initiated the issue...maybe it jolted some of the dried lubricant onto the disk. I did this in the dark by myself with no help. If i can do it then anyone can.
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  #67  
By CyGuardian on 12-10-2012, 09:44 AM
Just wanted to add another successful SAS fix to this thread. Thanks for the write-up and feedback comments everyone. I had a very hard time getting the airbag off, mainly because I was confused at what angle the flat screwdriver should be inserted in the two slits to push the spring. Once I got past that stage though i did the whole thing in like 1 hour

Got up to the stage of where I had to remove the lens with the torx6 and I couldn't find my screwdriver set so I just cleaned the disc (top side only) with alcohol. Note i still managed to remove the optical disc carefully and slide it out of the lens without touching. The dust on the disc was a crystal like dust which i'm not sure how it got there. It did not look like dried grease or anything similar. Maybe its just plastic shavings from something rubbing. Seriously couldn't figure out what it was.

Put it all back together, drove around the block for 2 mins, no more dreaded Christmas lights on my dashboard. I took all the precautionary measures which I read about, (battery disconnected, wheels straight, lights on on re-connection, clean hands, no rubbing of reverse side of disc, turned the wheel full left and full right couple of times after re-connection) and it all went ok.

Not sure how long this repair will last , but saved me from a huge bill from the dealer.

Also note, I accidentally closed the trunk whilst battery was disconnected, but I was able to re-open it with the key inside the key -fob. Not sure why people said here that you need to jump start the car if you do that, maybe i'm missing something.
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  #68  
By CyGuardian on 01-08-2013, 07:53 AM
quick update on my above write-up. The dreaded lights came back within 3 days... so I figured I would re-do the whole thing, and this time also cleaned the led lense, and the small plastic crystal on top with rubbing alcohol as I went out and bought new set of torx screw drivers. This happened last week, and lights have been off since. I guess I should have done it properly the first time round. Needless to say this time it took less than half hour to take it apart and re-mount.
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  #69  
By avusblue on 04-30-2013, 12:30 AM
I just did this procedure, and it fixed the 4x4 light, but my turn signals don't work now...any ideas what I might've done wrong?
thanks
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  #70  
By cne32507 on 05-21-2013, 01:52 PM
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Thanks for posting this fix. I did it today and the SAS error is gone. For now at least. I don't even own a socket set and I could do it (with borrowed tools)!!

avusblue: the ribbon cable sockets (3) on the circuit board do not lock properly. A ribbon cable has slipped out on reassembly, I think. One of mine did. Three stalks, three ribbon cables; one slips out, one of the stalks is disconnected.
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  #71  
By Richwm on 05-21-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richwm View Post
So after taking my car to the dealer and having them do the SAS Cal and clearing the faults my car is now fixed. It wasn't a $.02 fix for me but $120 is a lot better than $1300 to replace it. Oh and the BT tool can not do the Cal or clear steering angle plosibility faults I tried many times and it would not work and the dealership had no issues.

My fix is coming up on two years and no faults since. I am just waiting for it to come back. But at least I know what to do this time to fix it.
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  #72  
By Surly73 on 06-03-2013, 07:32 AM
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Just did this yesterday, will have to wait to see if the fix works for sure.

Thank you OP for possibly saving me $1600. I DIY pretty much everything, but I'm sure the Canada prices on the genuine part would have been substantially more than US prices based on my experience.

If I read INPA correctly, it appears as if one of the SAS outputs was pegged all the way to one direction (showing a "!" beside the value). This was even when the fault lights were clear. I haven't re-tested yet.

I me, I didn't see the LED as having a solder problem. I did note that my encoder wheel was really dirty with those droplets that look like overspray. I had to use a real cream polish (i.e. from a tube) to get it off.

What I did notice was that the two pinned connectors (not the ribbon connectors) didn't appear to be soldered AT ALL. They were mechanically sound, so there was probably a little bit of solder, but it was not visible to the naked eye. I soldered up both connectors to be more what I'm used to seeing, and touched up the SMT soldering on the IR LED and the ribbon connectors. I cleaned the ribbons themselves with a Stabiliant-22 clone.

Physically, I would have been in trouble if I had an electric steering wheel adjustment. I needed the column pushed in for airbag and wheel removal, extended and down for top cover removal, extended and up for bottom cover removal.

I'll note that it works best to take your time with the column covers and find the plastic catches which snap around the metal post. Gentle prying in the right way for removal makes it a snap and you'll save a lot of fruitless bashing on reassembly to just press in exactly the right spot and direction.

I have an 02/2007 production 328i E90 6MT.

Thanks again!
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  #73  
By statelax3 on 07-05-2013, 09:02 PM
Another one works! Thanks OP. I do not own a soldering iron so I did a good cleaning and now no lights, turn signals work, and adaptave head lights are a go! Really pumped. Thanks! Ps took a total of 1 hour start to finish. Easy to do.
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  #74  
By statelax3 on 07-08-2013, 07:21 PM
Back on again! Damnit.
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  #75  
By Surly73 on 07-09-2013, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by statelax3 View Post
Back on again! Damnit.
Is the "cleaning" you did the polishing of the plastic disc or something else?
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  #76  
By statelax3 on 07-09-2013, 09:35 PM
I cleaned the plastic wheel, no reading side. The clear plastic piece the ir shines through, and the ir piece below the clear part. Did I miss something important? NOT an electronics guy!
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  #77  
By Surly73 on 07-10-2013, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by statelax3 View Post
I cleaned the plastic wheel, no reading side. The clear plastic piece the ir shines through, and the ir piece below the clear part. Did I miss something important? NOT an electronics guy!
When I had my SZL apart, the encoder (plastic wheel) was so gunked up with that junk I was of the opinion that that alone might be all that's wrong with these failing SZLs. I have no idea how any kind of decent readings could have been obtained through all that mess.

Nevertheless I did some soldering as well.

Now, the OP spoke about touching up the solder joints on the emitter only. Frankly, from the way mine threw errors if there was a solder joint problem in the IR portion of the system I would have expected it to be in the receiver which is an array with lots of surface mount soldering. Both the emitter and receiver soldering looked just fine on my SZL but I touched up the emitter anywhere.

As I mentioned in my thread, I found the "soldering" job on the main connector (where the pins are through-mounted in the PCB and then extend outside of the case to mate to one of the locking connectors from the car harness) was suspect. They seemed mechanically sound but looked like the pins were just jammed in the holes and held mechanically.

If cleaning the disc didn't fix your problem may you do have an actual soldering issue and should go back in there. If you lack experience see if you have a friend or colleague who has some decent soldering experience. One little whisker of solder in the wrong place and you can fry a critical component when it's powered back up. Teaching good soldering technique is pretty hard in a car forum thread
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  #78  
By ThatGuyMikee on 07-22-2013, 10:13 AM
Im goin to bump this, had that code happen to me, took it apart, cleaned it quick put it back, did the reset , pulled out the driveway, bam codes cleard( only drove it around the block) parked it for a few days , started it today and codes came back as soon as i pulled away, so now i know what the problem is and foing to take it apart again clean it better and reaolder the board and try again
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  #79  
By glachhman on 08-05-2013, 10:59 PM
Weird story but I took my car into the dealer for a dead water pump last week. They changed the water pump, t stat, and both turbos. Upon their road test they said a steering angle sensor error popped up. So they reset the module and road tested the vehicle again and the error did not return. However when I went to pick up the car my steering wheel controls no longer worked.

I brought my car back to the dealer the next morning and my SA had a tech look at it right away. They said my SAS was faulty/failing which caused the steering wheel controls to stop working.

Thoughts on this? I'm trying to get the dealer to pay for the new SAS since the steering wheel controls worked perfectly prior to servicing.
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  #80  
By statelax3 on 08-18-2013, 12:10 PM
Update on my last post. Had some cool weather so I took the sas back apart to clean. This time I took the board out and heated it with a hair dryer to try and reflow the solder. I am 48 hours in and all is working well now. I watched some playstation videos on reflowing with a hair dryer so I tried it. So far so good. Last time it went 2 start ups befor I had the Same problems again. I am 4 trips and 48 hours good so far.
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  #81  
By RogerRamjet on 09-16-2013, 09:58 AM
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Cleaning Disk Worked For Me

Many thanks to the OP!! Cleaning the optical disk worked for me. Several minor comments to add...

On step 3, removing airbag: Keep the tool in the plane of the steering wheel and push straight in at 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock.

On step 8, splitting the steering wheel cowling: It's pretty easy if you pry in the right place. Don't pry on the sides near the split between the upper and lower cowling. Use a plastic tool to pry the upper cowling upward closer to the center of the upper cowling. To remove the lower cowling, put gloves on and use your thumbs to pull outward on the tops of the two clips.

Because it's unlikely that two distinct failures would occur simultaneously, if your optical disk has an obvious issue, it's unlikely that you also have a solder issue.

I found it very easy to clean the gunk off the optical disk with 70% isopropyl alcohol and a Q-tip. Scrubbing wasn't necessary; just a very light touch with the Q-tip. I didn't need to remove the disk or the IR waveguide (the clear plastic piece that sits above the disk). I rotated the disk so the portion I was cleaning was away from the waveguide and PC board. After the gunk was gone, about 20% of the optical issues remained; looking through the disk, the image was slightly distorted but it wasn't occluded like it was when the gunk was present. The top surface of the disk appeared to be smooth under magnification so I decided not to go after it more aggressively with a plastic polish. The 80% optical solution was enough to get my car steering angle sensor working again.

Because this problem shows up over time, it must be the result of some progressive condition. Therefore, it's likely that the problem will reoccur eventually so save a link to this thread.

And finally, one major comment: Shame on BMW for not addressing this serious safety issue free of charge. This optical disk issue should've been a safety recall. I love my car but I've lost a lot of respect for BMW on this one.
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  #82  
By fix_bks on 10-14-2013, 02:21 PM
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Thumbs up Success!

I was a bit skeptical of this seemingly "too good to be true" repair, but figured it was worth a shot.

Following the instructions very carefully, I also did everything short of the resoldering and used only an alcohol swab. What worried me a little is that I didn't see a speck of dust or "gunk" which most other posters had noted. I did remove the disk completely and the IR waveguide just to be on the safe side and wiped everything down thoroughly.

Reinstallation was a snap and sure enough my warnings are gone. I drove the first hour or so cringing, waiting for them to come back but after several more miles than what would've normally triggered the faults, I've got nothin'!

Thanks yet again to the OP...I'll sleep a little more soundly tonight!
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  #83  
By jimmy tran on 10-29-2013, 07:19 PM
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hi

my car got a warning light like your but i do not know how to soldering the steering angel sensor can you detail about soldering and a part replace is the steering sensor yeah?how about if you disconnect the battery how do you restore the memory thanks
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  #84  
By jimmy tran on 10-31-2013, 04:29 AM
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i take it off and clean it but it does not work,you guy know some where in melbourne to send steering wheel sensor to fix?except bmw dealer
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  #85  
By FirstBMWLA on 11-11-2013, 09:09 AM
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Been getting these errors lately. It's in an odd manner for me though.

I only see the errors if i turn on the ignition prior to starting the car.
I'll get DSC, DBC, and start off assist error.
As soon as I crank the car they are gone.
Turn signals working fine and turning off as they should.

If I start car straight away without turning ignition on first I don't get errors.
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  #86  
By bchuong58 on 11-18-2013, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richwm View Post
My fix is coming up on two years and no faults since. I am just waiting for it to come back. But at least I know what to do this time to fix it.
Check my record, my fix date on 6/7/2011, 29 months passed, working fine.
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  #87  
By Richwm on 11-19-2013, 04:21 PM
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Two years and 25k miles later, mine is still working as well .
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