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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-24-2013, 10:50 PM
sjbmw328i sjbmw328i is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 328i
Talking DIY AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR (EBAY SENSOR) 2000 328i

Hey Guys!!! Since everytime I run into problems with my car, I always find myself on bimmerfest.com & e46fanatics.com for any help. I just wanted to say THANKS to everyone that took their time on helping me and other festers & fanatics with whatever problems they run into with their bmw cars. I wanted to do the same too and help out anyone the best i can with this DIY. This is MY FIRST DIY POST, so bare with me people! So ever since I bought my first bmw car at around 146,XXX mileage, I've noticed my outside temperature reading +122 F, but i always have ignored it until recently i decided i wanted to fix that issue. I ordered an aftermarket ambient temp sensor on EBAY for $9.95 plus $3.95 shipping. Here is the link, http://www.ebay.com/itm/251207324683...84.m1439.l2649 Seller has 100% positive feedbacks. Here is what he said in his listing "- Works on all E39, E38, E46, E90's from 1995-present.
- Easy install - DIY - instructions included
- 10 year manufacture warranty
- "OEM+" Better than OEM unit
- Made in the USA
- Includes FREE mounting hardware.

- This is the only sensor on ebay that comes with a 10 year warranty

Now, if you are anything like me, it's embarrassing to have something broken on your car that is so easy to fix.
Until now, the cost of a new OBC temp sensor (about $80) kept all of us from doing it. This unit is far superior to the OEM unit.
Encased in ABS plastic, and sealed with marine grade epoxy, unlike the oem unit, this sensor is virtually indestructible."
(NOTE: You Guys Will Probably Do A Better Job Than I Did In This DIY, And Have A Better Location For The Sensor, This Is Just The Way I Did It For Now And It Worked For Me, LOL) Anyways, lets get straight to the DIY WITH PICS

HERE IS THE PROBLEM (NOTE: The reading was +122 F until i cut off the 2 wires attached to the connector, now it reads -40 F.


THESE IS WHAT I USED TO FIX THE PROBLEM (Soldering Iron BUTANE STYLE, Solder, Wire Cutter/Stripper, Heat Shrink Tubes, Lighter, Electrical Tape & Zip Ties (not in the picture) See my old temp sensor cut off.

FIRST, If you want more space for you to work at, Remove your tire, whether your sensor is on the driver's side or passenger side. Mine is on the "Driver's Side". Make sure you use a jack stand to be safe or what i did is used the jack that came with the car, and once i took off the tire i put it under laying flat next to the jack just in case (SAFETY ALWAYS FIRST ). Okay, Cut off the 2 wires of your old sensor (NOTE: The 2 wires, One is BLUE/RED and the other is BLUE/GOLD). You won't be needing the connector (plug) that's attached to the sensor. RECYCLE IT, LOL



OLD OEM AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR VS NEW AFTERMARKET AMBIENT SENSOR (NOTE: Comparing those 2 together, see how the new one doesn't have a connector (plug) attached to it? Here is what the seller said, "This sensor comes with about 12" of wire - it's designed to bypass the often missing, or corroded OEM plug. No plugs are included. Soldering and heat-shrink are recommended(not included)".

NEXT, Use you crimp tool or whatever tool you got to strip the left over wires from the old sensor and also your 2 new wires from the new sensor. My regular crimp tool stripper only goes from 10 AWG - 20 AWG, those wires were way more thin for that, so I bought another Wire Cutter/Stripper (THE ONE IN PREVIOUS PICTURE I POSTED ABOVE) that goes between 20 AWG - 30 AWG i think, i forgot LOL, but it got the job done, from RADIO SHACK around $8 or $9.

NOW, depending on the length of the wires you stripped, cut off 2 heat shrink tube at least long enough to cover the exposed wires that you've stripped off and slide one on each wire, THEN grab one of the new wire and one of the old wire, make an "X" and twist them together, Do the same with the other pairs.

GRAB your soldering iron whether electrical or butane type, just make sure you also have your solder ready when your "tip is hot" to solder the wires. Also make sure you have some sort of damp sponge or iron tip cleaner and cleaned the tip everytime you solder the wires or else the tip will be "CAKED" this iron tip cleaner works very well, http://www.frys.com/product/1563526?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG at FRYS ELECTRONICS for $8.99. SORRY, This is actually my first time "soldering" i think i did a bad job, but in the end, the result still end up good. This is Recommended for better protection i guess, but you could also use "BUTT CONNECTORS" too, i had some but i think i bought the wrong size for the wires, so that's why i ended up not using them.

NOW, Cover the soldered wires with your Heat Shrink Tube. Find a lighter or any heat source and apply under, all around the heat shrink tube until it shrinks to a good contact with the wires for good protection. I also put some electrical tape over the heat shrink tube. DON'T MIND THE PINK COLOR, LOL

FINALLY, Find a spot to put your new sensor, make sure you put it at a safe spot, for me, I put mine where my old one used to be, the old was zip tied through a small hole, I also used a zip tie and some electrical tape at this location. I zip tied the new sensor with the other wires too because the other wires were just hanging and dangling around too. You guys probably have a better and safer spot to put at, but i guess you can say mine is working just fine where its at right now.



LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Put your key into ignition 2, or start the car, either way, haha, and hopefully your Outside Temperature Reading Is Correct, Some BMW Cars, you to drive a certain miles before it starts going back to the correct temperature, but mine went straight to the correct temperature. HERE IS MY END RESULT



NOW THAT YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVED YOUR GOAL, SCREAM OUT "I DID IT, BIMMERFEST & E46FANATICS FOR LIFE!!" TO THE WORLD as people around you are giving you the "WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THIS PERSON" LOL Anyways, Thanks Again festers and fanatics, couldn't have done this DIY without your guys knowledges and experiences, , I hope this DIY will help any other bmw owners with this exact same problem. Looking forward to more DIY on my CAR PS: SORRY FOR THE LARGE PICTURES, I WAS TOO LAZY TO RESIZE THEM DOWN, HOPEFULLY YOU GUYS CAN SEE ALL OF THE PICTURES ON THIS DIY THREAD.
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CHECK OUT MY DIY FOR AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR (EBAY SENSOR) -40F/+122F PROBLEM FIX
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=672225

Last edited by sjbmw328i; 01-26-2013 at 11:54 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2013, 05:15 AM
heztheone heztheone is offline
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there's a place in the lower part of the bumper that the temp sensor goes, and not duck-taped to the chassis plus all those loose wires everywhere will cause a disaster the first sign of water breaks through (wouldn't wanna be in ur shoes when that happens )
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:12 AM
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P_T P_T is offline
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Good job, nice write up. Another possible improvement I would make would be to coat the shrink wrap with liquid tape to abosolutely seal the wires.
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:24 AM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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Nice write-up!
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:33 AM
sjbmw328i sjbmw328i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heztheone View Post
there's a place in the lower part of the bumper that the temp sensor goes, and not duck-taped to the chassis plus all those loose wires everywhere will cause a disaster the first sign of water breaks through (wouldn't wanna be in ur shoes when that happens )
thanks for the input, you are right, where is the lower part location of the bumper the temp sensor goes too? it has been raining the past couple of days and when im driving everywhere, highway, freeway, all seems good . No problems or anything to where its at right now. i zip tie all those wires with the sensor high enough so when it rains, hopefully it doesn't reach to where they are all at. worst case scenario, if anything, wrap all the wires with more electrical tape.
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CHECK OUT MY DIY FOR AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR (EBAY SENSOR) -40F/+122F PROBLEM FIX
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=672225
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:36 AM
sjbmw328i sjbmw328i is offline
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Location: San Jose
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P_T View Post
Good job, nice write up. Another possible improvement I would make would be to coat the shrink wrap with liquid tape to abosolutely seal the wires.
thanks for the advice, i never knew they have liquid tape to seal wires. This was my first time and I'm still learning as i go. As i posted during my diy, after i heat shrink the tubes, i did put regular electrical tape all around shrink tubes, assuming for more extra protection.
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CHECK OUT MY DIY FOR AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR (EBAY SENSOR) -40F/+122F PROBLEM FIX
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=672225
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:41 AM
sjbmw328i sjbmw328i is offline
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Location: San Jose
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Nice write-up!
THANKS SOLIDJAKE! I have to be honest with you, couple of your diy videos "ICV, checking the coolant level (i think that was your vid, lol) has helped me also. I just wanted to say thanks for helping me out and others. I always wanted to contribute on helping other festers and fanatics if they ever have a problem with their ambient temp sensor, so that is why i decided to do a DIY with PICTURES ( cause i know everybody likes it when there's pictures during the diy. haha , i know i do.
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CHECK OUT MY DIY FOR AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR (EBAY SENSOR) -40F/+122F PROBLEM FIX
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=672225
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2013, 06:26 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Thanks for your effort, but I'd really be remiss if I didn't try to give some extra tips so those tuning in here don't do so many things wrong. We always recommend buying oem electronic parts rather than discount parts. Way too many failures that makes it not worth the savings. This one in particular won't result in a breakdown, but could leave you without A/C in sweltering weather. That's bad enough for me.
Too bad you didn't have someone who knew how to solder to get one lesson from. It's really very simple when you know how, but your solder connections look less than proper. There are some decent tutorials floating around on the internet so as to teach you what to avoid.
Wnenever I splice wires or use butt connectors, I always try to stagger the connections so as to minimize the possibility of shorts if the unlikely failure of insulation happens. Cuts down on the huge bulge effect at one point in the wiring too.
Sensor end should be completely in free air rather than taped against any other object which might affect the accuracy of a true temperature reading.
After decades of experience, electrical tape has very little application in real life for me. I've seen very few instances where it didn't ooze and unwrap to look pretty messy and unprofessional. Especially unsatisfactory in wrapping around strands of wires.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2013, 08:14 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Location: Southeastern U.S.
 
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Great comments from P_T and GoForthFast.

As an alternative to liquid electrical tape, you can also use adhesive-lined heat shrink. The adhesive lining melts as you heat the piece of heat shrink tubing and seals the splice against moisture. You can get an assortment from places such as McMaster-Carr. Look carefully at the temperature and chemical resistance ratings.

Adhesive-lined heat shrink is my wrap of choice; these days, I only reach for electrical tape as a last resort. Those strips of black tape holding up the wire harness will fall off in no time.

sjbmw328i - It looks like you are missing the center splash panel and some other plastic bits under the front end. You might want to consider installing them, even if you do have an aftermarket front bumper cover. In addition to providing a proper mounting location for the OE ambient temperature sensor and heated washer nozzle temperature switch (if installed), they help protect the bottom of the engine against dust, water splashes, and small road debris.
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:16 AM
sjbmw328i sjbmw328i is offline
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Location: San Jose
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G. P. Burdell View Post
Adhesive-lined heat shrink is my wrap of choice; these days, I only reach for electrical tape as a last resort. Those strips of black tape holding up the wire harness will fall off in no time.

sjbmw328i - It looks like you are missing the center splash panel and some other plastic bits under the front end. You might want to consider installing them, even if you do have an aftermarket front bumper cover. In addition to providing a proper mounting location for the OE ambient temperature sensor and heated washer nozzle temperature switch (if installed), they help protect the bottom of the engine against dust, water splashes, and small road debris.
M last OEM temp sensor was in the exact same spot zip tied in the hole when i found it. I didn't know where to put mine at, so I just put it in that same spot. Are you referring to the "Engine Splash Shield?" Yeah I am missing that part. I bought the car and it was already like that.
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CHECK OUT MY DIY FOR AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR (EBAY SENSOR) -40F/+122F PROBLEM FIX
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=672225
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:30 AM
sjbmw328i sjbmw328i is offline
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Location: San Jose
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Thanks for your effort, but I'd really be remiss if I didn't try to give some extra tips so those tuning in here don't do so many things wrong. We always recommend buying oem electronic parts rather than discount parts. Way too many failures that makes it not worth the savings. This one in particular won't result in a breakdown, but could leave you without A/C in sweltering weather. That's bad enough for me.
Too bad you didn't have someone who knew how to solder to get one lesson from. It's really very simple when you know how, but your solder connections look less than proper. There are some decent tutorials floating around on the internet so as to teach you what to avoid.
Wnenever I splice wires or use butt connectors, I always try to stagger the connections so as to minimize the possibility of shorts if the unlikely failure of insulation happens. Cuts down on the huge bulge effect at one point in the wiring too.
Sensor end should be completely in free air rather than taped against any other object which might affect the accuracy of a true temperature reading.
After decades of experience, electrical tape has very little application in real life for me. I've seen very few instances where it didn't ooze and unwrap to look pretty messy and unprofessional. Especially unsatisfactory in wrapping around strands of wires.
Thanks for the input. Sorry, I probably didn't do a good job on this DIY. I was just trying to do my best on this DIY. The soldering part, I know i didn't do a good job. In my head, I was like "Am I doing this right?", haha. The spot where I put the new temp sensor at, I didn't know where else to put it. Anyways, reason why I bought that sensor from ebay instead of the oem sensor is because the seller said in his listing
"- Works on all E39, E38, E46, E90's from 1995-present.
- Easy install - DIY - instructions included
- 10 year manufacture warranty
- "OEM+" Better than OEM unit
- Made in the USA
- Includes FREE mounting hardware.

- This is the only sensor on ebay that comes with a 10 year warranty


Now, if you are anything like me, itís embarrassing to have something broken on your car that is so easy to fix.
Until now, the cost of a new OBC temp sensor (about $80) kept all of us from doing it. This unit is far superior to the OEM unit.
Encased in ABS plastic, and sealed with marine grade epoxy, unlike the oem unit, this sensor is virtually indestructible."
He has 100% feedbacks and I reading the reviews on the buyers, and they all said it worked great. They probably did a better installation of the sensor than i did for sure. LOL
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CHECK OUT MY DIY FOR AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR (EBAY SENSOR) -40F/+122F PROBLEM FIX
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=672225
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2013, 10:30 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Your contribution gets everyone thinking. And that's great by itself.
We always appreciate the effort it takes to give something to others here.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:49 AM
sjbmw328i sjbmw328i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Your contribution gets everyone thinking. And that's great by itself.
We always appreciate the effort it takes to give something to others here.
Thanks! I really appreciate that.
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CHECK OUT MY DIY FOR AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR (EBAY SENSOR) -40F/+122F PROBLEM FIX
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=672225
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