German engineering equals complexity, and a BMW is no exception. You may find many electrical and mechanical issues popping up on your BMW during the course of your ownership. Chassis stabilization is one of them. Today, we break down the causes of chassis stabilization problems in a BMW and its fixes to get you back on the road!
Unlike Japanese automobiles, the German ones are more electronically complex, with sensors employed all over the car, connected to its mechanicals. These connections can wear out over time, triggering them to send malfunction signals to the car’s dashboard. If you spot one on your BMW, driving to the nearest service station is always better before the car runs into major trouble.
What is chassis stabilization?
Chassis stabilization on your BMW is a feature that helps to maintain its stability, handling, and control. This is done through inputs and actions from the various sensors and actuators placed across the vehicle, which adjust the suspension, braking, and steering systems to ensure a comfortable ride.
Furthermore, it aids the vehicle’s stability in sharp corners and on wet roads, lowering the risk of an accident and thereby instilling confidence in the driver.
Chassis Stabilization-Drive Moderately indication: Causes
Chassis Stabilization malfunction on a BMW can pop up due to various causes. In most cases, this is due to a fault in the car’s Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).
Faulty DSC System
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is BMW’s version of traction control. This system picks data from various sensors to identify if the vehicle is losing stability or traction. It automatically adjusts the braking and engine power to regain stability. A faulty DSC can cause the ‘Chassis Stabilization’ error to pop up on the screen.
Similarly, a fault in the DSC’s Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) can also cause this error.
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Sensors are those components that collect all data like wheel speed, steering angle, yaw rate, latitudinal and longitudinal acceleration, etc. The DSC system may not be able to function properly if sensors like accelerometers, gyroscopes, etc., are not functioning properly, resulting in an error message.
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The battery on your BMW must have enough juice to power the DSC System. Once there’s no charge, the screen will display a ‘Chassis Stabilization Malfunction.’ So, it is always better to recharge or replace your car’s battery before it runs into a big problem.
As you may be aware, an alternator generates electricity, which helps to power a car’s electrical. A flawless alternator is required for the DSC system to function properly.
Wiring kit damage
A wiring kit is analogous to the nervous system of the human body. It connects all the sensors to the car’s computer. A damaged wiring harness can give rise to a short circuit, which can also affect the smooth functioning of the DSC. This triggers the Chassis Stabilization indication to turn on.
Broken suspension system
Damaged parts in the suspension system, like ball joints, control arms, bushings, sway bars, etc., can affect the stability and maneuverability of the vehicle.
Symptoms of Chassis Stabilization Malfunction
- The car goes into Limp Mode.
- Illumination of the check engine light.
- Drop in engine power.
- Drop in car’s speed.
- Illumination of DSC light on the dashboard.
- Cabin vibration and engine shaking.
- Parking Brake Limited message
The first step in diagnosing a Chassis Stabilization error code would be scanning for error codes using a BMW-specific OBD-II scanner. You can follow these steps to identify the codes corresponding to a specific problem.
- Plug in the BMW scanner to the OBD-II port.
- Turn on the ignition.
- Press the start/stop button twice without depressing the brake pedal
- Power on the scanner, select the chassis code, and the auto-scan option.
- Now, the scanner would display the Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) associated with the vehicle.
- You can also read fault codes from your BMW’s Digital Motor Electronics (DME) and Electronic Gearbox System (EGS) modules.
- Write down all these codes that say ‘PRESENT’ OR ‘CURRENT.’
Reading these codes will give the mechanic a clear idea regarding what component is at fault. Repairing or replacing this part will fix the problem and thus will eliminate the Chassis Stabilization malfunction notification.
However, if the issue persists even after you’ve performed all repairs, chances are that the warning lights are faulty. Make sure to replace them right away.
Chassis Stabilization Malfunction: How to fix
If you find a Chassis Stabilization Malfunction error while driving, it is always better to reduce the speed and pull over to a safe spot. After this, you can turn off the ignition, wait for ten minutes, and restart the vehicle. By the time you turned off the car, the system might’ve performed a reset, which would temporarily eliminate the warning light.
However, note that this is just a temporary fix to help you drive comfortably to the nearest service station for a thorough diagnosis and repair.
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