ABS & Window Regulator Repairs BMW 325i 2005 - Pawlik Automotive Repair, Vancouver BC (2023)

Mark: Hi, this is Mark from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best car service experience. 22-time winner of the Best Auto Repair in Vancouver award as voted on by their customers. They have been selected and voted for 22 times, which is quite amazing. So they do a good job. How are you Bernie?

Bernie: I'm doing good. I am doing very well today.

Mark: So a 2005 BMW 325 that had problems with the windows and brakes. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Yeah, so the owner of the vehicle had mentioned that he had rolled down the left rear window, and there was this horrible clunk. Something seemed to move or fall, and he was able to roll the window back up. But it seemed that there was something not quite right with that window. There was also a service due, a maintenance service and the ABS brake warning light was also on.

Mark: Were these problems related?

Bernie: No. All, all separate issues. And we're going to talk about the window regulator and the ABS thing, both in this podcast, but yeah, not related. Completely separate issues.

Mark: So what was going on with the window?

Bernie: Yeah, so the window, as I mentioned, he rolled it down, there was a clunk, and you know, the window didn't come up quite straight when he was able to get it up and he couldn't. leave it again, but it wasn't, you know, it wasn't working properly. So that was basically the problem with the window in the left rear.

Mark: And what did you do to repair it?

Bernie: Basically the first step of course is a diagnosis. And we remove the left rear door panel and look inside. We can see that the window lifter wire was all loose on one side, indicating that the regulator is faulty. We tested the engine and it seemed to run fine. So our recommendation was to basically replace the window regulator.

We'll take a look at some images right now while we're at it. There is our vehicle of the series 05 325 E46. And as for images, let's go to the window regulator.

These are the two window regulators. This is the new one we installed. This is the old man here. You can see a clear difference between this part and this part and it's a plastic pulley that is no longer in place on this particular one here. So that's basically what happened. The plastic pulley broke. The cable came loose. There was enough tension on the cable to go up and down, but obviously it wouldn't work as well as it should and would have failed for sure eventually.

This is a view of the new window regulator with the motor installed. We were able to transfer the motor, which worked fine, but you can see the cable is tight. This is a piece that sticks to the window. This moves up and down and is mounted vertically inside the door. Is that how it works.

Mark: That basically keeps the window square in the frame and basically rolls up and down, pulling the window up and down.

Bernie: It does exactly. And the squareness of the frame is also due to the fact that the actual window sits on the supports. Yes. This too, if not positioned correctly, will cause the window to sit at an angle or move up and down at an angle. Again, it depends on the design of the vehicle. This is a nice simple design and it actually works quite well. There are many vehicles that have these wired designed regulators. Some of them are really complicated. They have cables and pulleys on both sides of the window. And those are even more nightmares when something breaks because the window twists and turns. This is a pretty good and fairly reliable simple design for the cable dimmer.

Mark: So what caused the pulley to break?

Bernie: Old age. You know it's plastic. We love plastic in this business, like I said. You know, plastic doesn't last forever. In the end, it somehow wore out and broke. And you know, it's a 2005. That's right, a 14-year-old car, then a 15-year-old car now. It's not unexpected for things to break at some point.

Mark: And was this a repair that took a long time?

Bernie: Not really. Actually, it's not too difficult. And it's actually pretty well built to repair. Some windows, some power windows, can be an absolute nightmare. And this one is actually pretty well built. So BMWs are pretty good in this regard. At least in this type of model.

Mark: And what about the ABS system?

Bernie: Yeah, so the ABS. So that's a separate concern. So the warning light on the dash was on and there was no real problem as far as the way the car stopped. But what happens is that when an ABS warning light comes on, it basically normally shuts down the ABS system because the system detects a fault. So your brakes work normally. And the only time you'll really notice anything is when you stop in a panic. And then the ABS system would not be there.

Mark: And what procedures did you perform to diagnose what the problem might be?

Bernie: Yeah, again, for the ABS system, it's basically a scan tool diagnostic, that's where we start. So we scan the system. Look for trouble codes. We found some. Most were related to the right front wheel speed sensor. So you know, from there, road test. We can road test a vehicle and we can, in our scan tool, look at the data and see what the wheel speed sensor readings are. It will actually tell us the speed of each wheel. The right front gave us no reading. This is usually an indication of the sensor or something wrong with the wheel speed sensor or sometimes a sensor ring is broken on certain car models. But in the case of this vehicle, we did some more testing and found that the sensor itself was faulty.

I have a picture of the wheel speed sensor. That is the vehicle's wheel speed sensor, the right front wheel. I mean they all look similar but actually on this vehicle they are specific to each wheel and this is the part with the red arrow. This is the actual sensor that bolts to the wheel. It's a little dark in here, but there's lightning going through this piece. This piece of plastic fits and the sensor, there is a ring, a toothed ring on the axle shaft. And as the teeth pass, the sensor can tell how fast the wheel is going, whether it's speeding up or slowing down.

Actually, the amount of extremely sensitive data is calculated from this particular item. In many BMWs, the tire pressure monitoring system also works with the wheel speed sensors. So that could be a conversation for future podcasts. But, you know, that's how sensitive this whole system is. So this wire, you know, it's well shielded and the connector that connects to the rest of the wire harness.

Mark: So do the wheel speed sensors fail frequently, like regularly?

Bernie: Yeah. I think I have every ABS problem that we fix, and I'm talking about a wide spectrum of cars, the wheel speed sensor would be the most common item that we fix. It's in a harsh environment, you know, with moisture, rain, snow, salt, rust, and, you know, anything you can throw at it. Also, on the front wheels, of course, the wheels rotate, you know, there was always movement and rotation. So these wires are under tension all the time. So in the rear they're definitely more stressed, but sorry, in the front they're more stressed, but we replaced the rears as well. I mean they all go wrong.

Mark: And is this a difficult repair?

Bernie: Well this one wasn't too bad and surprisingly I'll be back to the photo again. The way the sensor was designed, a lot of these things fit into a very narrow hole like, you know, the hole in the actual wheel hub is very narrow compared to the size of the sensor. And over time, rust and corrosion can build up and cause a sensor to get stuck inside the hole, making it difficult to function. But this one here has a lot of space around it. It basically just unscrewed and came right off which is really a real godsend because sometimes they can be a real nightmare to repair especially when they stick to the hole and you have to drill them out and then have to clean the hole to get the new one to fit properly . That adds a lot of extra time and of course it's hard to do. But, for this BMW, it's nice and easy. Well thought. And indeed in terms of replacement.

Mark: And how did everything work after the repair?

Bernie: Oh, that was good. Good window. ABS brake light off. The system worked correctly. Just the way we like it.

Mark: Another satisfied Pawlik Automotive customer.

Bernie: Exactly.

Mark: So if you want repairs or service for your BMW in Vancouver, the people to see are Pawlik Automotive, you can contact them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call and book in advance. They are busy. Or check out the pawlikautomotive.com website where you will find many articles. Pawlik Auto Repair YouTube channel. If you're enjoying the podcast, please leave us a review on the Apple Podcast. That would be fantastic and thanks so much for looking. Thank you Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening and we always appreciate it.


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