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From: Satch Carlson <>
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 16:46:02 -0800
Subject: iX Intermittent ABS fault

<Subject: intermittent ABS problem

<I have a 1988 325iX with an intermittent fault in the ABS system.

<Often, some time after starting the car, the ABS light comes on. . .

Clyde: You ARE aware, I presume, that the iX (and ONLY the iX, I believe) has a centrifugal (is that how it's spelled?) switch to deactivate the system. . . I am not sure I follow the logic, but maybe it has to do with going down very steep hills on ice and snow. Anyway, BMW engineers are evidently quite aware that there are times when ABS is the LAST thing in the world you want, like slippery soft sand, snow, ice, or anything else that tends to let you coast merrily past a corner without slowing down a whit.

This here switch is actually either a mercury switch or a ball-and-ramp affair and can be found just ahead of the fuse box (with the broken-off crummy plastic hinges and latches) on the driver-side inner fender panel. The computer yawns and stretches every 20 seconds or so, checks this circuit, and if it finds an open condition, presto, your ABS is terminated.

The first time this happened to me was in the Stygian black of night on the AlCan Highway, driving (well, drifting) down a very long steep icy right-hand sweeper. Evidently the angle and the trajectory or the vector of the drift was enough to de-ABS the car. (Later, I learned how to do it by simply disconnecting the switch before any slippery event).

Any day now, I expect I'll get around to putting in a switch. . . sc

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