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My $0.02 Steering Angle Sensor Fix
Published by yikes98
04-22-2011
My $0.02 Steering Angle Sensor Fix

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 quoted me $1101.00 to RR the SAS including programming (what a deal huh?). Here is my $.02 fix for your enjoyment. Be very carefully as many components are small and fragile. PC type electronic component repair skills very helpful. Use this at your own risk as I guarantee nothing.

1. The dreaded DSC faults, pic#1 & 2.
2. Disconnect negative terminal on battery (in the trunk) and wait 10 minutes or so to let all caps discharge.
3. Remove airbag. On each side of the steering wheel at 4 & 7 o’clock position there are small slits on the surface, put a straight torx driver or allen key into. Feel for the spring and push to release the springs, pic#3 & #4.
4. Carefully pry connector tabs and pull upward to release locks and remove airbag connector’s, pic#5.
5. Remove the two connectors near the top of the steering wheel. Using a small screwdriver release both tab releases, they are on top of the connector, pic#6.
6. Remove steering wheel bolt. The torque spec is 46 lb-ft, pic#6.
7. Remove steering wheel, note the index marks at the bottom, pic#7.
8. Now comes the hard part, splitting the steering wheel cowling. Carefully pry the inside and outside of the cowling split to release the circular tabs, pic#8. I used my fingers and screwdriver. Remove the lower cowling and lift the upper one out of the way, pic#9.
9. Remove the 4 torx bolts that hold the switch assembly that houses the infamous SAS pic#9. Remove the two connectors from the back; one is a tab release the other a lever release.
10. With the switch unit steering column assembly removed pay a BMW dealership a crap load of money for a new one ($573.14 or more) and then pay more money to them to reprogramming the module. WTF I thought this was a $0.02 fix??? Just kidding on the BMW dealership thing….
11. Remove the clock spring assembly 2 tabs on the top and bottom and a tab release near the bottom of the connector. It will lift off as a whole assembly, pic #9. Don’t remove the clock spring cover tabs.
12. Put the assembly on an anti-static pad and attach yourself to an anti static strap. Note the indexing marks to the left of the unit, pic #10. Remove the SAS sensor housing cover, slowly working the tabs free. Now you should see the optical disc, pic #11.
13. Remove the IR LED cover using a t6 torx driver. Then remove the optical disc by squeezing the tabs on the back and slowly pulling the disc off the assembly. The optical disc on the face side looked like it was coated with a protective coating that deteriorated to form some crystal like stuff. This was not the problem but I clean it off with meguiars #10 clear plastic polish. Leave the back side alone as it is etched with the encoder information, pic #12.
14. Definitely do this at your very own risk. Remove the 3 torx screws on the pc board. Slowly lift up to expose the three ribbon cables underneath. Using a small needle nose pliers pull the black cable releases down and away from the connector. The cables should be free. Pull the pc board out of the assembly, pic #13 & 14.
15. The IR LED and sensor pickup is shown in pic#14.
16. Using an IC type tip soldering iron (very small tip pic#15) reflow the connections for the IR LED and sensor. I also did a bunch of components on both sides the board just for fun. Shotgun soldering to fix the cold solder joint problem. (Update: soldered the press fit pin connectors for the main wiring harness and jumper on the right side of the control board after the error came back after 6 months, cleaned and reassemble, no problem since. 10/11) This was the problem on my board and the solution to many intermittent electronic problems (i.e. the 3 red rings of death on my son’s XBOX360).
17. Reassemble in the reverse order note all index marks. BTW here is pic#16 of the IR LED on with the cover removed. Can’t see infrared light with the naked eye you say, hmmm my super sophisticated CCD digital camera can (pretty much any run of the mill digital camera can). Sorry for the fuzzy picture, it was hard trying to take the picture while holding a black garbage bag to block the sunlight.
18. No reprogramming the module, just keeping a grand or so in my pocket for other fun stuff. (Update: After reconnecting the battery, make sure wheel is centered, start car, turn full lock left, then turn full lock right, re-center steering wheel, SAS is re-calibrated).
19. It took me longer to write this and edit the pics than to actually troubleshoot and fix the problem. Now the turn signals turn off automatically again, cruise control works again, headlights tracks the steering wheel again, and start–off assistance works again. No fault codes on DSC/DTC. DSC/DTC works when I pull away from the car wash. Wife happy, life is good.
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  #1  
By Richwm on 04-22-2011, 09:30 PM
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I guess its worth a try I guess if you brake it the repair cost would be the same as if you didnt do it. What dealer quoted you $1100 mine quoted $1300.
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  #2  
By index1489 on 04-22-2011, 10:07 PM
Can't you find this on a crashed car?
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  #3  
By yikes98 on 04-23-2011, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richwm View Post
I guess its worth a try I guess if you brake it the repair cost would be the same as if you didnt do it. What dealer quoted you $1100 mine quoted $1300.
BMW Valencia, but they always seem to under quote over the phone and always have another number higher when you get there. So its probably at least 1300 all said and done.

Do you have similar problem, my faults just showed up not tied to any event (i.e. hitting a pothole, curb, etc...)
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  #4  
By yikes98 on 04-23-2011, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by index1489 View Post
Can't you find this on a crashed car?
Yes, pay for a used part, then you still have to take it to the dealership to get the module reprogrammed and re-calibrated to your car. So not a real $0.02 fix.
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  #5  
By Hazzem on 04-23-2011, 04:56 AM
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Nice job! But still i don't really get it, how does this actually work? i mean what happend here? Is the DTC, DSC, DBC working now? will it be able to detect malfunctions again?

My prob. is that when i changed the slip ring, to retrofit multifunction buttons, those 3 lights came up, "traction control, yellow handbrake, and that yellow tire pressure light too" and yet the DTC isn't working.. So will this solve my problem? Thanks!
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  #6  
By Richwm on 04-23-2011, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yikes98 View Post
BMW Valencia, but they always seem to under quote over the phone and always have another number higher when you get there. So its probably at least 1300 all said and done.

Do you have similar problem, my faults just showed up not tied to any event (i.e. hitting a pothole, curb, etc...)
Mine intermittently faults out after about twenty miles of driving then resets the next time you drive the car. Mine also is not tied to any events. Valencia BMW tried to fix it, they recalibrated the Steering angle sensor and on my way back from the dealer it faulted again. After that they recomended replacing it. I have been driving it for six months and just turning off DSC before I drive it
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  #7  
By jlaforn on 04-24-2011, 09:20 AM
Great write up! Well Done!!!
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  #8  
By yikes98 on 04-24-2011, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazzem View Post
Nice job! But still i don't really get it, how does this actually work? i mean what happend here? Is the DTC, DSC, DBC working now? will it be able to detect malfunctions again?

My prob. is that when i changed the slip ring, to retrofit multifunction buttons, those 3 lights came up, "traction control, yellow handbrake, and that yellow tire pressure light too" and yet the DTC isn't working.. So will this solve my problem? Thanks!
DSC/DTC works just fine in my car, as it should. A cold or fracture solder joint was the culprit. It acts like a loose electrical connection and symptoms are usually intermittent electrical problems. They are really hard to see and sometimes microscopic. Ever see a LCD or LED display where the characters are missing stuff, then if you push it in the right spot it comes back?

Do you mean the clock spring assembly where the multi-function buttons plug into?
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  #9  
By yikes98 on 04-24-2011, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richwm View Post
Mine intermittently faults out after about twenty miles of driving then resets the next time you drive the car. Mine also is not tied to any events. Valencia BMW tried to fix it, they recalibrated the Steering angle sensor and on my way back from the dealer it faulted again. After that they recomended replacing it. I have been driving it for six months and just turning off DSC before I drive it
Do you know what fault its throwing? (94BE steering sensor internal) I think thats what it was. Once it faults, do your turn signals stop automatically turning off? I could drive about 2-3 miles then it would fault and I would lose turn signals, cruise and DSC/DTC. I think the computer is looking for a specific TTL signal. I counted 10 different pulse trains on the encoder wheel given a specific pattern of high and low signals. I think if it counts enough mistakes it throws a fault, maybe thats why it takes awhile.
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  #10  
By Hazzem on 04-25-2011, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yikes98 View Post
DSC/DTC works just fine in my car, as it should. A cold or fracture solder joint was the culprit. It acts like a loose electrical connection and symptoms are usually intermittent electrical problems. They are really hard to see and sometimes microscopic. Ever see a LCD or LED display where the characters are missing stuff, then if you push it in the right spot it comes back?

Do you mean the clock spring assembly where the multi-function buttons plug into?
Well, yes the clock spring assembly, plus the part under it, the one that has the turn signals, wiper arms, control board. once i changed them, the 3 lights came on, and a professional BMW coding mechanic told me that it only needs to be coded. so, would doing this DIY do the trick? instead of coding it? will it be able to detect malfunctions again?
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  #11  
By Hazzem on 04-25-2011, 05:15 AM
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Oh, and everything is working fine, except the DTC and the DSC.
turn signals and so are functioning pretty well
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  #12  
By yikes98 on 04-25-2011, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazzem View Post
Well, yes the clock spring assembly, plus the part under it, the one that has the turn signals, wiper arms, control board. once i changed them, the 3 lights came on, and a professional BMW coding mechanic told me that it only needs to be coded. so, would doing this DIY do the trick? instead of coding it? will it be able to detect malfunctions again?
If you change the switch assembly you will have to get it recoded to the car, i.e. new control board. Sorry this won't work for you.
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  #13  
By Hazzem on 04-25-2011, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yikes98 View Post
If you change the switch assembly you will have to get it recoded to the car, i.e. new control board. Sorry this won't work for you.
Thought so.. Well thanks anyway!
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  #14  
By ska///235i on 04-28-2011, 08:32 PM
you can just buy a cartridge...i just bought one, its $125

my steering wheel buttons no longer work so my mechanic use a voltsge meter and found out that the cartridge was bad
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  #15  
By yikes98 on 05-05-2011, 10:02 PM
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Anyone else tried this? Just wondering if this was a common problem or an outlier.
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  #16  
By bchuong58 on 06-07-2011, 09:12 PM
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by yikes98 View Post
Anyone else tried this? Just wondering if this was a common problem or an outlier.
I did try this, works like a Champ, should not replace it, just clean up the IN LINE IR CAMERA which receives the signal from the IR Optical path. it is just the IN Line IR Camera is dirty which misread the steering wheel disc encoding signal, Clean it up, if we are convinced by Stealer and replace the whole signal cluster module. Thanks for your Good Work and I save a bundle of $$$$$$. This is the most expensive clean up we can mange to do ourselves...
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  #17  
By Richwm on 06-08-2011, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchuong58 View Post
I did try this, works like a Champ, should not replace it, just clean up the IN LINE IR CAMERA which receives the signal from the IR Optical path. it is just the IN Line IR Camera is dirty which misread the steering wheel disc encoding signal, Clean it up, if we are convinced by Stealer and replace the whole signal cluster module. Thanks for your Good Work and I save a bundle of $$$$$$. This is the most expensive clean up we can mange to do ourselves...
So what did you use to clean the encoding disk and the optical sensor?
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  #18  
By bchuong58 on 06-08-2011, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richwm View Post
So what did you use to clean the encoding disk and the optical sensor?
I used 99% ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL, be careful with the Encoding disk which I cleaned the top side but did not cleaned or touched the bottom side painted with encoding pattern.
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  #19  
By Richwm on 07-10-2011, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ydol25 View Post
BMW Genuine Part Number: 61 31 9 123 049
Supersedes expired part numbers: 61316958297, 61316962449, 61316962676, 61316965290, 61316989580, 61319110887, 61319121901

I fixed the problem on my 06 325I using this tutorial and did not need to change the part that I already order.

Please e-mail lody_boy@hotmail.com if you interested on the part.
So what did you do to fix yours just clean it or did you re-solder the sensor?
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  #20  
By rosskie on 09-10-2011, 01:19 AM
wish someone was close by that knew how to do this.
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  #21  
By blackedout335i on 09-11-2011, 08:41 PM
who has did this before and lives in florida ??
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