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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-13-2005, 01:42 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Diagram where ambient temperature sensor assembly attaches to the E39

Does anyone have a photograph or diagram showing the ambient temperature sensor assembly attachment point to the E39 body?

It's not in my Bentleys (which have a diagram of the tampon-like temperature sensor itself); nor in the ETK (which, likewise, simply has a diagram of the ambient temperature sensor itself).

I ended up wrapping my ambient temperature sensor assembly around and around the wires shown below ... but it would be nice to locate WHERE EXACTLY the assembly plugs into the BMW underbumper panels.
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Last edited by shaftdrive; 06-13-2005 at 08:54 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2005, 02:10 PM
rtw_travel rtw_travel is offline
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No diagram but you should see it if you look under the front of the car. Look at the splash guard just in front of the wheel on the passenger side. Go from the inner edge of the splash guard half way to the bumper. That it where it attachs. There is only one spot there for it.

If you can't see it, take a picture of that area and I can point it out

Edit
It does not stick straight down - it is installed at a steep angle (almost flat) pointing forward , inside a small depression. This gves it some protection from curbs etc.

Last edited by rtw_travel; 06-13-2005 at 02:14 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2005, 03:04 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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If you lift the car and stick your head in the general area, I don't see how you can miss it. There will be an obvious spot in front of the passenger-side tire.
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Last edited by Ågent99; 06-13-2005 at 03:07 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2005, 05:00 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ågent99
If you lift the car and stick your head in the general area, I don't see how you can miss it.
Well, in my defense, I'm not the only one who is looking in al the wrong places for the ambient temperature sensor mount point ...

o Alex Baumann (site moderator): "Does anyone know where the sensor for the outside temperature is?" (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=286)

o steel540i: "I found a loose wire hanging by the front bumper passenger side , but still cant find where it connects. where does it connect , by the fog lights?" (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90159 )

o russell444: "I can't find this stupid thing. Is it better to go in through the fender well or under the bumper cover? I am having some time finding it." (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=101274)

o LilEccentric: "I can't find it in the Bentley manual. I remebered mine hanging there after the wreck said -40 degrees once broken." http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=286

o Lansing: "Does anyone know where the sensor's located?" http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43884

o Crete: "I'm interested in knowing just where is the temp sensor located" http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50623

It seems the confusion stems from the fact that I (and others) apparently looked in all the wrong places; so, when I get a chance, I'll stick my head (and camera) in front of the passenger front tire so as to snap upskirt shots into the front bumper to post so someone can then circle where the sensor attaches to the bumper (or at least where it should have attached itself).

All we have so far on bimmerfest by way of photos is this 3-series TIS snapshot included in one of the threads above:

And this seems to be one of the more detailed descriptions:

"The temp sensor is located in the right front corner of the car. It's attached to the plastic underbody panel which is shaped like a triangle. This panel actually extends back and up into the front of the wheel well. If you reach your hand under the car right at the passenger's side lowbeam (outboard) headlight, the sensor is mounted 10" back from the leading edge of the bumper. It is facing backwards and angled downward at about a 30 degree angle."

When I snap my photos I'll find out (with your help) if this hidden triangle is actually still there (maybe it broke off or sumphun').

Last edited by shaftdrive; 06-13-2005 at 08:55 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2005, 08:34 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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I rode the beemer to work today so now that I'm back home, here are some quick shots of the passenger-side wheel well and underskirt showing my temperature sensor in situ.

Can someone who knows what he's doing circle the spot where the sensor is supposed to be bracketed to the bimmer?
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Last edited by shaftdrive; 06-13-2005 at 08:51 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2005, 08:36 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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I'm not sure if I'm looking in the right place, so here are shots taken closer of the general location where we think the temperature sensor is supposed to attach to the BMW body.

If someone who knows can circle the location where it goes, that would help many of us.

Note: I left the photos kinda' big without shrinking so as to provide as much detail as possible to those in the know to help us who don't.
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Last edited by shaftdrive; 06-13-2005 at 08:57 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2005, 08:01 AM
rtw_travel rtw_travel is offline
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Don't see it, but it's hard to figure out where some of the pictures are taken.

Can you take one underneath the car from the front of the car pointing back at the passenger side front tire. Have the camera on the ground and try and catch the area between the bumper and the tire.
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2005, 02:52 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtw_travel
Can you take one underneath the car from the front of the car pointing back at the passenger side front tire. Have the camera on the ground and try and catch the area between the bumper and the tire.
Here are the requested shots looking up from the front underside at the passenger tire & underskirt bumper.

Can anyone show us in these photos WHERE the temperature sensor is supposed to mount?
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2005, 04:32 PM
rtw_travel rtw_travel is offline
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I think I took a picture of my neighbours car by mistake - mine is nowhere near that dirty or scratched!

This is looking from the front under the bumper pointing towards the back. Maybe you're missing some body pieces or the I-6 is different?
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Last edited by rtw_travel; 06-14-2005 at 04:40 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2005, 05:38 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtw_travel
This is looking from the front under the bumper pointing towards the back.
I'm not sure I understand your photograph.
Is my arrow pointing to your temperature sensor?
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Last edited by shaftdrive; 06-14-2005 at 05:43 PM.
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  #11  
Old 06-14-2005, 05:55 PM
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ketchup ketchup is offline
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circled the sensor and I put a rectangle around the location it's supposed to be sitting in. It goes right on that underbody panel that's hanging down right now on my car. Please excuse my broken underbody panel. From what I see in your pictures, looks like your missing the panel.
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Last edited by ketchup; 06-14-2005 at 07:11 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-14-2005, 07:14 PM
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ketchup ketchup is offline
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yea, your missing the underbody panel . it's supposed to be in the space right where your arrow went thru and where you made the comment in the picture. No wonder anyone could make out the pics let me know how much the part costs, I need to replace mine as you can see.

my sensor got stuck at -40 F today too!! I didn't notice any changes in my A/C while driving but now I do notice that it's getting warmer a bit, dammit !!. I'm going to check the wires and what-not. Hopefully I can fix it before my long drive tomorrow morning . The picture I posted above was taken today after -40 F hit in this 100 degree weather that we're enjoying here in NY
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Last edited by ketchup; 06-14-2005 at 07:27 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-14-2005, 10:49 PM
rtw_travel rtw_travel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaftdrive
I'm not sure I understand your photograph.
Is my arrow pointing to your temperature sensor?
Yup, that's it.

Most of that white haze in the picture is dried car wax - does anyone clean under there? Obviously I haven't in the almost 6 years I've owned the car.
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  #14  
Old 06-14-2005, 11:25 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Quote:
... You're missing the underbody panel ...
Case solved!

I've been about as obsessed with finding the ambient temperature sensor bracket as Henry Hudson's was in discovering the supposititious warm-water northwest passage to the Orient.

No wonder neither I nor anyone else could see the sensor bracket.
It just 'ain't there! At least not as we envisioned finding it.

Here are some shots from a couple of different buddy's 5-series E39s clearly showing the location of their outside air temperature sensor ensconced in its own little well dished out of the black plastic underside panel (which I now know I don't have on my bimmer).

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  #15  
Old 06-15-2005, 05:15 AM
rtw_travel rtw_travel is offline
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This has got to be the worst ETK drawing I;ve seen... but I think this is the one that shows the underpanels (for my car anyway).
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...27&hg=51&fg=75

What makes it confusing is that they seem to have not drawn many of the parts that they refer to. While the prices on the site are not claimed to be accurate, they at least indicate that the panel should not be that expensive tp replace.
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  #16  
Old 06-15-2005, 04:15 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtw_travel
What makes it confusing is that they seem to have not drawn many of the parts that they refer to.
My computer crashed last week and I haven't put the ETK or TIS back in but when I do I'll try to see what it looks like and post if it adds value.

I'm mostly just happy the conundrum is over.

The problem was we couldn't see what wasn't there.
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  #17  
Old 06-15-2005, 07:19 PM
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I went to BMW to have the temp sensor/gauge fixed. Seems to have been a faulty wire/connection in the high cluster. While I was at BMW, I had the tech replace the broken "air duct" a.k.a. the underbody panel we've been looking for. 14 bucks

Orange County BMW has THE BEST SERVICE
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2005, 06:46 PM
528it 528it is offline
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does the outside (ambient) temp sensor control the air conditioning?

mine seems to be faulty - flashes, goes to -40, +9, 0, correct reading, ...repeat sequence. when the sensor is working correctly (giving the correect reading), the a/c blows cold. when giving a false reading, +15 when its +90 out, the a/c blows out hot air.

this just started a couple of days ago.
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  #19  
Old 07-01-2005, 04:43 AM
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From what I understand - the outside air temperature sensor does not "control" the A/C ... however, it "affects" the A/C ... the effect being your A/C may not work properly in hot weather without a functioning ambient air temperature sensor.

I suspect one could run a test simply by placing a known resistance across the terminals for the ambient air temperature sensor. For example, if 50 ohms indicated 50 degrees of temperature, then the A/C would be "fooled" into thinking it was a stable 50 degrees outside.

Has anyone tried this shunting method to test the operation of the A/C at various simulated outside temperatures? Do you know the appropriate resistance range (I suspect a 1/4 watt resistor would handle the power requirements).

Last edited by Ahem; 07-01-2005 at 04:46 AM.
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  #20  
Old 07-01-2005, 04:33 PM
528it 528it is offline
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bought a new sensor at the dealer for $36. put it in, let it self-calibrate. so far, so good...correct reading and cold air. good stuff. thanks for the help.
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  #21  
Old 03-05-2006, 02:18 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Quote:
Does anyone have a photograph or diagram showing the ambient temperature sensor assembly attachment point to the E39 body?
So others reading this thread benefit, there is an excellent web page discussing how to do this job on an E39 (with part numbers, pricing, & pictures) at:
http://www.alisons.us/bmw/tempsensor
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  #22  
Old 12-07-2007, 12:31 AM
scorpE39 scorpE39 is offline
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thanks bro for your informations.. could you please tell me where can I fine the plastic panel where I can put the sensor in... 'cause mine has been smashed and there is no place to fix the sensor
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  #23  
Old 12-07-2007, 06:58 AM
armysweitzer armysweitzer is offline
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bav auto has them under exterior-bumper components- front bumper- should be the 2nd item. Sells for 12.95.
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:02 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Hide the temp sensor elsewhere!

Here is my write-up, I moved the sensor to a different location a few inches inward.

http://bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/181335/

It is in the lower air intake tunnel. Safe from curbside damage and not affected by engine heat. One year later so far so good.
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  #25  
Old 12-07-2007, 01:07 PM
scorpE39 scorpE39 is offline
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thanks armysweitzer, and cn90 for your responses... I'll check both, the website and the link...
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