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Dangerous YAW Rate Sensor Issue - 2001 Facelift 8L S3

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by AJD S3, May 29, 2012.

  1. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 29, 2012]
    Right so...

    Recently started having a strange and seemingly very dangerous problem with my Traction Control on my 2001 S3 8L (Facelift). I first noticed the issue when cruising at about 40 mph on the way home from work last Friday evening, when upon even lightly touching my accelerator pedal, the car would start flashing the ESP light repetitively, and produce a horrific grinding noise from the driver side footwell. The noise really was horrendous, and sounded mechanical - seeing that the ESP light was flashing, my hand shot straight for the 'ESP Off' button in my centre console, and as I'd hoped, instantly the noise disappeared, and all seemed well, just obviously, no Traction Control for the time being. I drove the rest of my journey home with my ESP switched off, until I reached my road, where I switched it back on just to see if it would do the same a second time. The car behaved herself, no problems whatsoever, and so the issue was put to bed as a one-off. How stupid I was to think like this...

    The next day, had a few errands to run. Didn't think twice about running with the ESP switched off, and so, left it on. The car ran absolutely fine for about an hour or so, and then when coming off probably the largest roundabout in my area joining a nice string of traffic, I went to hit my brakes, and the dreaded noise and flashing ESP light returned. The more worrying part though, I had next to no braking power, the ABS Pump was kicking in like mad completely unecessarily, to the point where my brakes were barely even working. I had to slam my handbrake on to avoid going into the back of a lorry, whilst frantically reaching for the ESP button. Really was a close one. Very dangerous.

    I drove the car home immediately, Traction Control off of course, and rang AMD Tuning in Essex to try and get an opinion on the issue and arrange a VCDS Scan. Using my somewhat basic to intermediate knowledge of my car and how it operates, my first thoughts were that the Lateral Acceleration Sensor could be knackered. After a scan at AMD, completely FOC I might add (thanks very much guys!), the following fault was returned:
    YAW Rate Sensor - Implausible Signal

    AMD did a few more tests, driving it around their car park, trying to replicate the issue with the VCDS connected at the same time, but the issue wouldn't occur - it'd only happen without the VCDS connected. AMD suggested that, as per the fault code produced, it is most likely to be the YAW Rate Sensor at fault. For the time being, they programmed the ESP out completely via VAG.com, to ensure that I physically cannot enable ESP at all and stop the issue from rearing it's ugly head again. After doing this, we tested to ensure the ABS was working correctly, and it was perfectly.

    So a breakdown of my issue:
    If ESP is enabled, under braking or acceleration, the ESP light on the dash flashes repeatedly, and the ABS Pump kicks in, causing a horrific grinding noise from the driver side footwell. Acceleration is slowed by the fault, and braking strengths are made dangerously weak. The only fix for the issue is to disable ESP completely.

    I've read a few threads on here talking about the Longitudinal and Lattitudinal Acceleration sensors on the car going faulty, and causing similar issues, but none quite like mine. Furthermore, the correct locations of these sensors seem to be somewhat disputed - some say they're both on the steering column, others say one is behind the glovebox, and a few are saying that there are three sensors as opposed to two, the third being the YAW Rate sensor as described in the VCDS fault code.

    To replace the YAW Sensor as shown up by VCDS, I've been quoted over £450.00 ex. VAT for the part alone, which seems to me, a rediculous price, and one that I can't really afford. Some people have been saying that the Longitudinal Sensor is exactly the same as the Lattitudinal Sensor, the only difference being that it is far cheaper! Is this even true?

    So really my question is - how do I fix this?
    All I really want to know is, which sensor do I need to replace? And is there any way at all of me avoiding having to pay stupid money?

    Sorry for the essay, but just wanted to provide as much information as possible from the word go.

    Thanks in advance for your help guys! :)
    #1
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  3. Schlaag
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    Schlaag Bwah

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    [May 29, 2012]
    Ouch sounds a nasty fault.

    I cant help with fixing but im near Marden in Tonbridge if the sensors are easy to remove then you're welcome to test with my sensors to try and isolate the faulty one.

    good luck
    #2
  4. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 29, 2012]
    It really is, scared the hell out of me!

    Ah really? That could be really helpful actually - do you have VCDS then?
    Nice to meet another local 8L enthusiast! :) I'm just up the hill in Southborough, near the Hand & Sceptre pub on the A26?

    Thanks for your help!
    #3
  5. Schlaag
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    Schlaag Bwah

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    [May 29, 2012]
    Yeah im about 11 - 12 miles from Southborough. I don't have VCDS no... just an S3 without this fault so as long as sensors are easy to get to, you could isolate perhaps?

    There is a guy in west malling that has VCDS though who I am thinking of using.. but then I may buy it myself as it seems quite useful!
    #4
  6. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [May 29, 2012]
    this is a good idea. will enable you to eliminate problems.

    as i've already told you, i think it is the lateral sensor, which as far as im aware is the same as longitudinal. hopefully someone can confirm that. but i paid £130 for mine and it fixed an abs issue i had.

    one thing id forgotten to tell you was to clean your abs sensors on your hubs, its worth a shot. mine have become clogged with metal fillings and made my abs go a bit mad before.
    #5
  7. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 29, 2012]
    Ah ok. Fairly near my work then - I work in Paddock Wood.

    Thanks for letting me know, I may need to get the guy's details off you, could be handy. The sensors are very easy to reach and take off aparently, however, the car's current setup has ESP cut out entirelly through VAG.com (AMD set the car up this way as a temporary fix), and so even if we did try and isolate, we wouldn't be able to try and replicate the problem unless we used VCDS to revert these changes first :(

    Thanks for your very kind offer though!
    #6
  8. Schlaag
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    Schlaag Bwah

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    [May 29, 2012]
    Yep i'm 5 mins from paddock wood. I'll PM you the VCDS guys details now.
    #7
  9. Chlippo
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    Chlippo Member

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    [May 29, 2012]
    wow glad you figured it out quickly. I had this problem two years ago. But i see no problems driving a quattro with esp off. Even with esp off you will have really to push it to make a mess. Just drive normal or a bit carefull
    #8
  10. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 29, 2012]
    So am I. It was a nightmare. How did you resolve it, did you have to go the whole hog and pay ridiculous amounts for the replacement sensor?

    I know I can get away with driving without ESP, but I'd still rather fix it.
    #9
  11. sideways steve
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    sideways steve Member

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    [May 30, 2012]
    Hi there,

    With regard to which sensor it is.... if VCDS is saying YAW rate sensor then the one you shoudl be replacing is the LONGITUDINAL sensor NOT the Latitudinal.

    Latitude is the position North to South (I.E Accleration)
    Longitude is the position East to West (I.E Left to Right or YAW)

    As your yaw rate sensor is showing as the fault on VCDS it points to the Longitudinal one.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
    #10
  12. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 30, 2012]
    Thanks for this, really helpful!

    So you reckon it's the Longitudinal Sensor that's knackered then? Surely there's still a chance that the YAW Rate Sensor itself could be damaged?
    From what I've been told, I'm under the impression that there are 3 sensors - Longitudinal, Lattitudinal and the YAW Rate Sensor itself.
    Aparently the YAW Rate Sensor and Lattitudinal are on the steering column, and the Longitudinal is behind the glove box?
    #11
  13. Reesy
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    Reesy Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 30, 2012]
    My old man has a caddy and it was a faulty abs sensor that caused his abs and traction light to stay on, the traction to be constantly cutting in and his brakes were also awful. Just another suggestion...

    I am 15 miles from Tunbridge Wells and have full vcds if you can't get to the other VCDS guy.
    #12
  14. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [May 30, 2012]
    Hi mate i had the same symptoms with my 2001 S3..it is freaky i must say u do loose the brakes acceleration and all... and mind you that grinding noise is the esp slamming your brakes FULLY hence why your pedal will feel stiff as F**uck..the yaw rate sensor would need to be changed sadly i still havent change mind you learn to adapt to it but it does catch you by surprise im due to change it soon.. i think the sensor is under the steering column... what helps is pressing the clutch down put the car in neutral take your leg of the throttle and manage the car.. your sort of luck it happen to me on peak hour traffic on a bloody hill lost all power until i slowed down to probably 10mph. and if im not mistaken the lateral and yaw rate sensor are one unit some of them have it separately if not mistaken.. the code it will throw out is implausible signal G202 or 01542 if you check it on ross tek website.
    #13
  15. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [May 30, 2012]
    done this yet?

    wrong.
    otherway round.

    look at your vcds values for long and lat sensors.
    obviously stationary you should have 0 values give or take .something.

    this is how i determined my fault and which was long or lat and where exactly it was in the car
    #14
  16. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 30, 2012]
    Hi Reesy, interesting point, and I originally thought this could be a cause too, but AMD checked these for me, and all seemed well.
    Might have to take you up on that offer, when I finally manage to find a fix!

    Superkarl,

    Yeah I've tried your suggestion, did it the evening you suggested it to me originall, and no joy unfortunately. The sensors were fairly clean, and even after a fair amount of scrubbing, no change whatsoever.

    I'm really confused now regarding Longitudinal and Lattitudinal? Don't know which information is correct? Obviously I don't want to go round replacing sensors that I don't need to... either way, I need to get things reset using VCDS before I can go any further with regard to extensive testing.
    #15
  17. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [May 30, 2012]
    use vcds to monitor the values, then remove the sensors and watch them change to see which is which, this is what i did.
    because i was always told longitude was under steering column, but upon moving it, my lateral values went, so the other (glovebox) had to be the long.

    process of elimination. find out for yourself
    #16
  18. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 30, 2012]
    I'll have to do that then I guess. Just got to book in a good couple of hours with someone who has VCDS now then!

    Why does it always have to be me that gets these sort of issues? :( (just going on my previous experiences with past cars)

    Thanks for all your help.
    #17
  19. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [May 30, 2012]
    lol mate if you check my thread youll see what im replacing not to mention i just spent another 200 pounds on more "parts" youre not alone you can add me to your list :p
    #18
  20. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 30, 2012]
    I'm glad I'm not alone! To be quite honest, I'm considering just leaving ESP permanently disabled through VCDS. Car drives nicer with it off anyway!

    Just like AMD said, ESP isn't even necessary if you're a fairly decent driver!
    #19
  21. Sevv
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    Sevv Pushing the limits..

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    [May 31, 2012]

    well i would agree and disagree at the same time.. as enthusiasts i would say fix it to make the car the car perfect, u know everything is running just fine.. money wise i would say dont do it as 450pounds is a hell lot of money to be honest maybe collect for it.

    though it will be interested if used ones can be bought possible but not sure if its worth it or whether the sensor would give me a few months later
    #20
  22. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    [May 31, 2012]
    Sideways Steve definitely had Latitude and Longitude defined correctly, if that's what you were saying was wrong, as opposed to which sensor was wrong?

    Sailors had known for a long time how to work out where they were North to South on the planet using a sextant at Midday and measuring the height of the sun. What they could never work out before accurate sea clocks were invented was their Longitude, or where they were East to West. Many a ship ran aground in the Caribbean on voyages from the UK due to not knowing accurately how far West they were.

    Anyway, back on topic, I did once have a permanent ESP light on my A3 8L TDI quattro, and that turned out to be one of these sensors. It was the one behind the glovebox (not sure which one that is) and the replacement was £180 from the dealer if my memory serves. I wasn't getting ABS errors though, just the light.

    If your fault is with the ABS and slowing down, I would suggest the Lateral sensor is the culprit. It's like your car thinks its still hurtling forward when you're braking, thus applies the ABS or similar? Having said that, if de-activating the ESP has made the fault go away, maybe it isnt?

    It does sound like one of those try replacing it from a scrapped car jobs....
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
    #21
    sideways steve likes this.
  23. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 31, 2012]
    Definitely seems like the car thinks it's still flying forward, hence the ESP going mental and kicking the ABS pump on the whole time as if it thinks it can't stop. And yes, switching ESP off completely fixes the issue. Since it's been disabled, no problems whatsoever, just obviously, no ESP. As much as I'd love to fix it, I really can't justify spending stupid money on bloomin' sensor! The car feels nicer to drive without the ESP anyway to be completely honest.

    I'm sure I'll fix it eventually mind you, I'm that perfectionist about my car that it will need to be working purely for me to actually get some sleep at night.
    #22
  24. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 31, 2012]
    Just had another thought...

    If anyone knows of anyone breaking an S3 like my model, please put me in touch - I will snatch the sensors off them quite literally... :)
    #23
  25. Reesy
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    Reesy Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 31, 2012]
    Pretty sure I have the under steering wheel one spare.
    #24
  26. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 31, 2012]
    Really? How come?

    Didn't think you were breaking an S3? Would that be the whole combi sensor including YAW Rate and Lateral, or just Lateral?
    #25
  27. Reesy
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    Reesy Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 31, 2012]
    I broke my old a3 quattro around xmas time and I still have the one by the wheel lurking around, the one behind the glovebox went a while ago. Can't remember if it's both mate, I'll have a look tonight.
    #26
  28. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 31, 2012]
    Ahh ok I see. Definitely the same sensors on the A3 as the S3 though? I mean I'm literally just throwing ideas out here - I don't even know if there are actually 3 sensors on my model at all? Just going on what I've heard.

    I've PM'd you about this by the way.
    #27
  29. Reesy
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    Reesy Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 31, 2012]
    If you can get a part number of yours I can double check against it when I get home.
    #28
  30. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 31, 2012]
    The part number that came up after the error on VCDS was for the YAW Rate Sensor itself - 1J0 907 657 A
    But this is the whole issue, really not sure if it is the YAW Rate sensor that's the issue here, hence why we'd need to do some testing with VCDS to try and work out what is actually causing the fault.
    #29
  31. brasiliangringo
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    brasiliangringo Member

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    [May 31, 2012]
    Think i have one of these, price 85 + postage. (I will confirm if you are interested. Send me a PM)

    EDIT : I have this confirmed.
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
    #30
  32. AJD S3
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    AJD S3 2nd Gear

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    [May 31, 2012]
    Which part is it that you have? Which of the three sensors?
    #31
  33. brasiliangringo
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    brasiliangringo Member

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    [May 31, 2012]
    Price is for 1J0 907 657 A and 1J2 907 637 A.
    #32
  34. mat white
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    mat white Member

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    [May 31, 2012]
    i have vagcom im in horsmonden just down the road:cool:
    #33

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