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brake failure after pressure washing


jphurst36

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To the community

I am a new BMW owner and have had my 2004 r1150rt for about 3 months now. I bought it with 33k and have put another 3k on it. I have had zero issues with the bike until last weekend. The bike was getting dirty from all the riding so I decided to pressure wash it. I'm not sure if I damaged a sensor or what, but after washing the bike I rode it to work the next day. The brake failure light kept flashing app once per second on the way to work which is about 40 miles one way. Then on the way back it cont to do that and the general light below the brake failure light came on. I've seen multiple posts and responses for this similar issue, but my scenario/situation seems diff. The brakes never failed, never had any issues with them the entire time I was driving. I don't have the maint manual and I'm completely ignorant to where things are located on the bike. However I am mech inclined and typically do all maint/work on my bikes so if someone gives me some direction I'll have no problem following it. I've read some of the posts and they've said to replace brake pads..... they seem fine....i've read to replace battery...... its on trickle charger at almost 13V when charged....... and I've read to fill the brake reservoirs, but I have no idea where they are located or that any of these issues will fix my problem. Anyone know anything about where the ABS sensors are located and how to test if one went bad? Obviously any help would be greatly appreciated, as I stated, I'm a total Newby to BMWs.

Thanks

james

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The pattern of the lights blinking can direct you to a particular fault. There is a fast blink and a slow blink. Somewhere there is a troubleshooting chart for the lights. Maybe someone can help you out there.

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... The brake failure light kept flashing app once per second on the way to work which is about 40 miles one way. Then on the way back it cont to do that and the general light below the brake failure light came on.

 

The manual indicates that with a 1 Hz ABS flash and a solid general warning light...."At least one brake circuit is without ABS"

 

Perhaps check the ABS sensors at the front and rear to make sure the power washing didn't knock them loose or damage the wire.

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Hi James,

The Riders Manual cautions against using steam cleaning or high pressure cleaning stating that it can damage seals, the hydraulic brake system, the electrical system and the seat(?).

 

When my son took over one of my Oilheads he also used a pressure cleaner and I recall him having a problem with the ABS. Fortunately the problem he had "went away" after a week or two and no more pressure washing :>)

 

 

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Anyone know anything about where the ABS sensors are located and how to test if one went bad? Obviously any help would be greatly appreciated, as I stated, I'm a total Newby to BMWs.

 

Morning james

 

Wheel sensors are located on front & rear. To find front sensor just follow wire down L/H side of fork (sensor reads off of that toothed tone ring)

 

On the rear, same thing, just follow the wire back to the sensor on the final drive.

 

To test you can unplug both sensors (not easily though) then compare resistance readings, or use an AC voltmeter & look for AC voltage while spinning the wheels.

 

My guess is you now have some moisture in one of the ABS brake sensor connectors causing some signal cross talk.

 

You might leave the bike in the hot sun as much as possible for the next few days & CAUTIOUSLY ride it as that might dry the ABS wiring out.

 

Then NEVER power wash your bike again (personally I will never buy a bike that was EVER power washed) -- you might also change the gear oil in the final drive if you got high pressure water near the final drive top vent (might keep you from replacing the final drive bearing in the near future)

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