EWS error after antenna replacement

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by brianstanfill, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. brianstanfill

    brianstanfill has adventure

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    A few days ago, my 2008 R1200 GS was stolen in Viña del Mar, Chile. The bandits abandoned the bike after an unsuccessful attempt to start it by cutting the ignition wires. The Chilean Carabineros recovered the bike, but of course it doesn't start with the wires cut.

    After disconnecting the battery, I reconnected the two (red, green) wires to the ignition switch and the four (white/yellow, brown/yellow, brown/green, blue/white) wires to the antenna ring with temporary splices and electrical tape. The connections are solid.

    I reconnected the battery. All the lights work. The dashboard display seems to function and show correct information. But the bike doesn't start and displays an EWS error.

    I bought a new antenna ring at the BMW dealer today and plugged it into the CANBUS. But even with a key inside the new ring, the bike displays the same EWS error and won't start.

    The ignition wires were so mangled and smashed together when I received the bike, that I fear something more important than the antenna ring was shorted in the process.

    Does anyone have experience with this problem or have a suggestion for what I should try next?

    I'd like to attempt as much as I can myself before paying to haul the bike to Santiago BMW.

    Thank you!

    RESOLUTION: BMW diagnosed the bike and confirmed that the BMS-KP control module (ECU) was damaged by the hot wiring attempt. The antenna ring was not damaged. Others in the thread suspected this because in addition to the EWS error, the mode buttons were not functioning and the starter would not engage.
    #1
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Your ignition wires still have a short in them, or an open, at some point. You will need to go digging more carefully and check each wire and connection.
    #2
  3. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    Make sure the battery is fully charged before you go too deep into the wiring. A low cranking voltage will cause an EWS error on an otherwise good bike.

    Seen it many times.

    Good luck.
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  4. brianstanfill

    brianstanfill has adventure

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    Which ones, Jim? The wires to the key switch or the wires to the antenna?

    Also, the battery is fully charged.
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  5. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Depends, it seems the wires after the connection to the antenna were damaged, so I would start there. But EWS could be either.
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  6. brianstanfill

    brianstanfill has adventure

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    Okay. Thanks. I'm off to buy the tools I need to go digging under the tank. Is it possible to test continuity to the ECU on these wires... or voltage... or must I unwrap and visually inspect the wires all the way to the computer?
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  7. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Best way is to carefully unwrap the wiring back until you are confident they are in good shape. Visual checks are usually good enough, but you can check continuity with a cheap multi-meter. Also check to make sure the pins in the connectors have not been pulled out part way. They can look good but not be making contact.
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  8. bobbybob

    bobbybob Long timer

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    Since the engine won't turn over, how do you *know* for sure the battery is fully charged? Putting it on a charger might not have done it--whats the voltage at the terminals?
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  9. brianstanfill

    brianstanfill has adventure

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    I have a volt meter on the dash wired through an accessory switch. And the bike has a solar panel and charge controller wired to the battery. The volt meter shows 12.7v and upwards of 13v while the solar panel is in the sun. I'll check the battery at the terminals as soon as I buy a multimeter. Thanks for the continued help :)
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  10. Taunt

    Taunt Been here awhile

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    It is good to hear you got her back. Pulling for you to be able to continue the tour.
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  11. brianstanfill

    brianstanfill has adventure

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    Thanks, Taunt. I'm hoping!

    I removed the tank for better access to the wiring harness and inspected the ignition cable set. If I dig any further, I'll be cutting into the wrapped wiring harness.

    The cables look great. No damage. No burn marks. Nada. The plugs look great. No damage or burn marks either. I was able to test continuity between the cut and the plugs. All is well. I've twisted the wires together and taped the ends.

    Is there a test I can perform at the plug for the antenna? Such as voltage across two pins?

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1420668930.313822.jpg
    #11
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Try this, jumper the plug on the starter with the main battery cable and see what happens. Make sure the bike is put together, key on and tank in place. It is possible the starter button is bad, or wiring going to it. Since everything looks good except the EWS and the bike will not turn over, you may be looking in the wrong place.

    [​IMG]

    Little tab with the red wire, to the top post on the starter. The bike will turn over, so make sure it is in neutral and side stand up.
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  13. brianstanfill

    brianstanfill has adventure

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    My post posted before I was ready... to say that the EWS error persists with the new antenna and the wires connected securely. The lamps flash when I turn the key. The instrument panel goes through Check and then shows the EWS error. Also my fuel gauge is bad and the tiny lamp beneath the low beam needs replacing. The instrument panel shows a strange Service message I haven't seen before.

    Should I still jump the starter?

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1420671308.124900.jpg
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  14. paladinwest

    paladinwest Been Around

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    Just to clarify, does the bike turn over when you press the starter button (ignition on) and not start or does it not spin the starter at all?
    I have attached part of the schematic for the ignition switch and the key antenna. The ignition switch simply supplies power from the battery (red wire) to the ZFE (green wire). If stuff is lighting up it is pretty safe to assume that the connection is good on that plug (although long term you should do something better than twisting the wires together and covering with electrical tape).
    The other four wires for the key antenna go to the BMS K module (the engine computer). This is where there is a high possibility of damage by stupid thieves. The BMS K module reads the key code through the antenna and this connection and allows ignition to take place, if the read fails for any reason like wrong key chip (even if the mechanical part of the key is correct i.e. the ignition switch is turned on) or an antenna failure or the battery voltage is too low for the read to complete then the bike will not start.
    The EWS on the display means that the key code didn't pass the test (likely for one of the reasons above). If the thieves were randomly connecting wires to the +12 volt point in the hope that they could hot wire it in two seconds like it happens in the movies they may have burned up the antenna amp circuit in the BMS K. Can't be sure that happened but it is possible.
    The antenna signal is probably pretty low voltage make sure those connections are real good. Also two of the antenna wires look to be shielded, make sure that you haven't got the shield wrapped into the signal wires shorting everything together. The yellow/brown and the yellow/white wires should be the ones with shields.
    The service indication is the date that it needs service, looks like something got reset. That should not in itself cause any problems.
    Hope this helps and that the BMS K is fine.

    Attached Files:

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  15. Wallowa

    Wallowa Diver Down

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    While wiring issues are very possible, KISS; even if the battery was "charged" that does not verify the condition of the battery, I would start there by using a new battery [borrow one?] and see if the "EWS" goes away...

    As mentioned "EWS" can be security system...ring antenna...OR, the battery is not up to specs. Two different problems with one warning: "EWS".

    Good luck...

    Phil
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  16. paladinwest

    paladinwest Been Around

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    Absolutely right, got stuck on a backroad when the battery went dead flat (after starting the bike perfectly 20 miles earlier). I initially made the mistake of trying to start the bike with the starter before trying to bump start. The engine would spin nicely on the bump start but wouldn't start until I realized that the battery had enough juice to let the BMS K do its thing as long as I didn't foul up the process with the starter draw on the battery from the attempted start. I too believe in the KISS principle but when someone has hacked up the wire harness you might as well get that cleaned up properly first because if you don't it is likely going to be problems down the road (and how many times do you want to take the tank off during your trip).
    One of the big problems with electronics, no electrons, no work - if the battery voltage isn't stable and sufficient all kinds of funny things start to happen.
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  17. brianstanfill

    brianstanfill has adventure

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    Jim, thanks for the clarification and schematic. The ignition button does not engage the starter. Also, the Info button does not cycle through the info. Nor does the trip button cycle the odometer.

    Wallowa, I haven't tested the battery at an auto shop and will feel ignorant and unappreciative of your advice if that is ultimately the problem. I'll try to find a shop to test the battery. However, the battery voltage IS equal to before the thieves took the bike. It's also strong enough to power the PIAAs and high beam of the bike -- no problem. I don't rank the battery high as a possibility for the error.

    I think Jim has the answer -- a fried or partially fucked ECU.

    There's not much else I can do. My next step is to find a grua to haul me and the bike three hours to Santiago BMW and plead with the shop manager to help out a traveler.
    #17
  18. paladinwest

    paladinwest Been Around

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    I am not Jim but before you write off the ECU do make sure that the two yellow wires from the ring antenna don't have the shield wrapped into the conductor because that will short out the output from the ring antenna and give the EWS failure.
    It is fiddly to fix a shielded wire and twisting the two together (as it is in your picture) is not the best way. They need to be soldered and covered with heat shrink (or at the very least good tape). Make sure the shield is completely clear and electrically isolated from the centre conductor.

    I have some friends that I am doing tech support for headed your way in about a week. They are north of Punta Arenas today.
    Mark
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  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    I was wondering about that myself, but was not sure if the antenna ring wires were shielded. It would make sense if they were.
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  20. brianstanfill

    brianstanfill has adventure

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    This is excellent information. Thank you! I will evaluate in the morning!
    #20