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2003 BMW Z4 - CEL/ABS/ESC Lights

Dear Car Talk:

As you can see I own a 2003 Z4, the only one in Canada (at least to my knowledge) in Toledo Blue with 44k miles on it, unbelievable but true. I was trying out the car last week and I went a “bit fast” (130 mph) and my ABS light, my check engine and my ESC light came on when I slowed down to around 25 mph. I drove slowly to the nearest mechanic so he could take a look at it and he suggested I pay $300 for him to get rid of the lights. However, I turned the engine off and back on and the lights were nowhere to be seen. What could it be?

The engine computer recognized an error code. That likely caused the ESC and ABS lights. When you restarted, the error thst caused the code went away. The code, is likely still there to be read. If all the lights stay off, don’t worry about it.

If you are curious, you might be able to have the codes read for free at a local auto parts store. Most US stores will do this, don’t know about CA. Post the code they retrieve here and we will tell you what it is. Post the P1234 format code, not just what the counter guy tells you.

And if you are hitting 130 on public roads, stop it. It endangers you and everyone around you. If you want to go fast, take the car to a track day.


It’s possible the high speed test drive maxed out the ABS wheel speed sensors or their circuity. If the computer gets conflicting data from the wheel speed sensors it may disable the ABS and traction/stability control etc, with the turning on of the associated warning lights.

So it’s not that bad?

In the absence of data - the error codes - it is impossible to draw that conclusion.