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Yesterday I got a "Tire Defect" alert on the dashboard readout. I pulled over, inspected the tires, and everything was fine. Today, I got a "Reifenpanne" reading on the dashboard readout. This was especially disconcerting because I don't speak German. I had not changed any of the system settings from English to German, and all other controls continued to display in English. I looked on the internet and it seems that "Reifenpanne" translates to "flat" in English. There continued to be no visible problem with the tires today. My car is a 2000 with about 10,000 miles.

Two questions. First, has anyone had similar problems with inaccurate tire warnings? Or, is it likely that someting is about to fail on a tire?

Second, has anyone else had the car start communicating in German with them. Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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The reifenpanne message means the same thing as "tire defect warning" - and it is a known "brain fart" in the M5 that sometimes the message comes up in german.

However, you should heed the warning. Trust me, I know this from personal experience - a visual inspection is NOT enough. You can have a very slow leak. The system will warn you at between 5 and 10 lbs under the point at which it was calibrated. If your tire was calibrated at 40 and is now at 28, you will not be able to see anything wrong. You MUST use a tire pressure gauge. Remember, you must always measure the tires COLD. Heat increases the pressure in the tire, and a low tire will generate MORE heat - which can partially or completely mask the problem if you measure them hot.

If your pressures are fine, you should recalibrate the system, because this could also be caused simply by tire wear, especially uneven wear. Set the proper tire pressures, COLD, and double check with your gauge. Then, turn the key to position 2, press and hold the tire pressure warning system button (on the dash to the right of your steering wheel) and hold it until it sys "Set Tire Pressure" in the display below the instuments. Then, go drive a minimum of 4 miles or 10 minutes, whichever comes later. I think it is a good idea to get on the freeway so you don't confuse the system with a lot of turns.

I'm willing to bet the message won't re-appear unless you're losing air. Please DO try this and let us know.....
 

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Since this concern has been brought up before, and once again Greg is right on the money with his diagnosis, I will type out word for word, what the Service Tech manual says about this system (courtesy of my super friendly service advisor)

"The RDW system must be initialized to allow the control module to adopt the wheel speed signals and set the rolling circumferences in its memory. Initialization must be carried out when :

*Tire inflation pressures changes
* New tires are installed
* The control mod. or wheel speed sensors are changed

" The initalization process is started by pressing the push button >4 seconds (Tire Pressure Set will be displayed in the matrix). The system is now in the learn mode and after driving off, the control module will start to store the values for the rolling circumferences of the tires based on the road speed."
"For leakage detection, three different speed ranges are taken into account and must be recognized by the control module to complete a full initialization process. The control module must receive useable speed signals for a cumulative total of 4 to 15 minutes depending on the speed range. " There is a graph showing for speeds from 9-62 mph the initialization period is 15 minutes, for speeds >62mph the initialization period is 4 minutes.
"Once a speed range is set, the control module will then monitor that speed range for pressure losses. The system can only display a pressure loss warning, it can not display the exact tire with the pressure loss. All tires need to be checked when the warning is displayed in the matrix.

"NOTE: Not all speed ranges need be set for the system to function properly."

"Under certain driving conditions the control module will not evaluate the wheel speed sensors as false warnings could be triggered. These include:
* Initialization in a speed range that has not been COMPLETE
* During rapid acceleration
* Severe(heavy) braking
* High speed cornering
* Road speeds < 7mph
* High slip differentials between individual wheels
"The system can NOT detect the following:
* Natural diffusion that occurs on all tires equally
* A tire blow out
* Pressure loss at the rear axle at speeds > 90 mph."

The above was typed word for word from the tech manual. I think the last point is very important: No tire monitoring at speeds > 90mph at the rear.

Hope this helps,

RezF
 
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RezF - great info! That's more than I knew, for sure. wish we could have that manual - on line!

Is it possible to buy this manual, or must you be a dealer?
 

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Greg, I don't think this manual is readily available for public viewing. This is part of the manual the technicians refer to for troubleshooting. I pretty much typed everything for you guys. There are two more pages of just graphs showing what kind of wiring, the module uses, where the kbus inteface and grounds are, and other very technical items. Perhaps, I can scan the pages and e-mail them to someone to post it if you like!

RezF
 

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The reifenpanne message means the same thing as "tire defect warning" - and it is a known "brain fart" in the M5 that sometimes the message comes up in german.

However, you should heed the warning. Trust me, I know this from personal experience - a visual inspection is NOT enough. You can have a very slow leak. The system will warn you at between 5 and 10 lbs under the point at which it was calibrated. If your tire was calibrated at 40 and is now at 28, you will not be able to see anything wrong. You MUST use a tire pressure gauge. Remember, you must always measure the tires COLD. Heat increases the pressure in the tire, and a low tire will generate MORE heat - which can partially or completely mask the problem if you measure them hot.

If your pressures are fine, you should recalibrate the system, because this could also be caused simply by tire wear, especially uneven wear. Set the proper tire pressures, COLD, and double check with your gauge. Then, turn the key to position 2, press and hold the tire pressure warning system button (on the dash to the right of your steering wheel) and hold it until it sys "Set Tire Pressure" in the display below the instuments. Then, go drive a minimum of 4 miles or 10 minutes, whichever comes later. I think it is a good idea to get on the freeway so you don't confuse the system with a lot of turns.

I'm willing to bet the message won't re-appear unless you're losing air. Please DO try this and let us know.....
Marking this for myself from doing a search
 
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