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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 07-31-2010, 11:38 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Next person to replace coolant temperature sensor: Please measure the O-ring size!

Can someone tell us the specification for the coolant temperature sensor o-ring? (I think it's BMW part number 13.62.1.743.299).
UPDATE: I measured a new FAE temperature sensor o-ring at 0.330" ID by 0.115" thick (i.e., 8mmIDx3mmThick).

The reason I ask is that most say the sensor (which controls the electrical fan in front of the radiator) rarely fails, so, in theory, can be re-used; but the o-ring often fails after removal ... (it hardens with age and also fails before removal).

Normally you'd just buy a new o-ring and swap the old temperature sensor out of the old lower radiator hose into the new radiator hose ... but I asked today at the dealership and they said BMW doesn't SELL the o-ring separately, even though we think we have the right part number

But it's just an o-ring (right?). The closest I can find that E46'ers have reported success with is the 79¢ "BrassCraft 0567" from Lowes; but it's not a perfect fit (it's a tad fatter than the original).

If we had the specification for the E39 o-ring, we could try to find a more suitable metric replacement.

A typical O-ring specification is something like:
- OFH O-ring spec = 7.0x2.5 (i.e., 7mm ID & 2.5mm thick)
- Oil Filter O-ring spec = 91x4 (i.e., 91 mm ID & 4mm thick)

I see another report of a working Buna N size from Lowes being 5/16" ID 9/16" OD and 1/8" thick, but, that was for an E46 and maybe the E39 is different. Another E46 thread lists the 8mm ID x 3mm cross section $1 Viton (high temp / coolant resistant) O-rings from Macro Rubber as being more stable than Buna N .

But maybe the E39 coolant temperature sensor o ring is a different size.

It would be best to make original measurements on a known good E39 temperature sensor; if you have a new (green) BMW coolant temperature sensor O-ring handy, would you please measure it for the team?

What is the ID and thickness of a new E39 coolant temp sensor O-ring?



REFERENCES:
- Coolant Temp Sensor O-Ring is a BMW Part Number
- DIY - Temp. sensor coolant leak repair
- E46 Cooling system temperature sensor part number
- Replacing the coolant temperature sensor DIY
- Recommended parts list for a cooling system overhaul
- E46 lower radiator hose coolant temperature sensor
- BrassCraft 0567 replacement for coolant temperature sensor o ring
- BrassCraft and Viton replacements for coolant temperature sensor o-ring
- Coolant temperature sensor o-ring dimensions
- Replace coolant temperature sensor o-ring with viton from macro rubber
- History of the o-Ring
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Last edited by bluebee; 09-10-2010 at 09:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2010, 12:35 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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You might as well buy a new sensor. They're cheap. FAE brand from Pelican comes with an O-ring. If you need an O-ring right now, you can get the ones mentioned from Lowes but be careful about the OD as well or you may end up not able to remove the sensor later, should you need to replace it (or the hose).
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2010, 01:03 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
You might as well buy a new sensor. They're cheap.
I don't disagree. But, we should at least have the OPTION of buying just the O-ring should we want to re-use our old temperature sensors or if we want to fix a leak due to the old O-ring flattening on one side over time.

All I'm trying to do is find the right source and size to give us this option (as part of the complete cooling system overhaul parts list).

BTW, if it is BMW part number 13 62 1 743 299, then it's a $1.25 item that is available from the dealer since it's used for the air-temperature sensor as shown below (for my 2002 525i). That o-ring is 8mm ID and 3mm thick.

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  #4  
Old 08-05-2010, 09:49 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
FAE brand from Pelican comes with an O-ring
I measured a new FAE temperature sensor o-ring at approximately (it's rubber) 0.330" ID (8.382mm) and 0.115" thick (2.921mm).

That means the best-fit is indeed most likely BMW PN 13 62 1 743 299 (which is for the air temperature sensor in the intake manifold) which is known to be 8mm ID x 3mm Thickness.

It's so hard to find this information (I don't think it was ever published on the E39 forums; because I found it only on the E46 forums), that I am glad we finally got this resolved.

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  #5  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:28 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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In a recent thread, cn90 mentioned that a constantly running auxiliary fan might be due to a bad lower hose coolant temperature sensor.

In that case, of course, you'd replace the old temperature sensor.

One question I have: If you do replace the temperature sensor, can the OLD one be jury rigged as a TEST tool for the temperature sensor?

That is, can we cut or open wires and at least get the two hot/cold end temperature set points in order to test whether the existing temperature sensor is good or bad?

I realize these things are inexpensive ... but I enjoy diagnosing more than just unthinkingly throwing parts at a problem.

Any thoughts on how to convert the old temperature sensor into a "test instrument" for the auxiliary fan circuit?

Last edited by bluebee; 08-20-2010 at 10:33 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2010, 09:04 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If you do replace the temperature sensor, can the OLD one be jury rigged as a TEST tool ... ... can we cut or open wires and at least get the two hot/cold end temperature set points
Nobody gave an answer to that ...

But I just ran into this thread which shows the importance of replacing the o-ring if you re-use your existing lower radiator hose coolant temperature sensor.

Also, you can see a similar experience in this thread and in this thread ... and in this BMW temperature sensor Q&A. (For a temporary fix, this post says to remove the old o-ring, wrap some teflon tape in the groove, and put the old o-ring back on.)

To summarize what they said, if your lower hose sensor leaks:
a) It could be the o-ring (they say it's a standard #31 o-ring)
b) It could be you didn't seat the temperature sensor properly
c) Or it could by you broke some of the fragile plastic when reinserting

Note: Can someone explain the sizing on the #31 o-ring which is 9/16 x 5/16 x 1/8 (considering the BMW o-ring is 8mm OD x 3mm thick)?

One caveat I'd mention is that the BMW Q&A above says to use Vaseline but any pool store will tell you to never use that on rubber o-rings (which pools have plenty of). They all say to buy the expensive pool stuff (which is said to not eat rubber).

If you know more about that topic ... (like where to get the pool lubricant cheap) ... please let me know!


Note: Pics below are from the aforementioned threads in case they go away in time.

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Last edited by bluebee; 09-10-2010 at 09:13 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2010, 09:21 PM
carmanah carmanah is offline
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Thanks bluebee for digging into this.
It looks like the cheap $20 FAE sensor comes with a black o-ring, not green (Viton).
Q: before I run to the stealership for the o-ring part # you give, do you know if it is is Viton?

(Yes, this o-ring or sensor should be on anyone's coolant overhaul list. Three years ago I replaced everything, except this, and sure enough the old $1 o-ring leaked. So I wrapped it with teflon tape and shoved it back in. But now I have a slight loss going on and it looks like its this sensor again.)
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2010, 09:30 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Note: Can someone explain the sizing on the #31 o-ring which is 9/16 x 5/16 x 1/8 (considering the BMW o-ring is 8mm OD x 3mm thick)?
They are the same converting inches to mm BUt you have OD and ID reversed

9/16= OD
5/16=ID
1/8=Thickness (9/16" minus 5/16"=4/16" which is the same as 1/8")

9/16=.5625in=14.3mm OD
5/16=.3125in=7.937mm ID
1/8"=3.175mm

while 3.175mm is slightly bigger than 3mm, it's no big deal as it gets compressed inside the seal and probably a tiny bit tighter in fitment.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2010, 12:57 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmanah View Post
before I run to the stealership for the o-ring part # you give, do you know if it is is Viton?
That's a great question.

I do not know if the exhaust sensor o-ring BMW P/N 13 62 1 743 299 is Viton or not.

I do see that my (brand new FAE sensor with o-ring) has a BLACK 0-ring, not green.

So I echo the question:
- How do we find what MATERIAL the BMW exhaust sensor o-ring is made of?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
They are the same converting inches to mm BUt you have OD and ID reversed
You are smarter than I Gene!
I couldn't figure out why they had more numbers and why they didn't make any sense.

Thanks for deciphering that enigma for us!

If we keep digging, we'll have this o-ring thing all figured out for the next guy, who will benefit from all our efforts.
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2010, 03:10 PM
Acz4 Acz4 is offline
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Looks like the o-ring has begun to leak on mine. I noticed a smell and recently noticed antifreeze on the under pan. I just took a look at it and I'm almost sure that is the problem. So you guys recommend replacing the sensor. I haven't had any problems with the sensor but I'd hate to use the wrong o-ring and have it crack that plastic.

Thank,
Andy
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2010, 03:34 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acz4 View Post
So you guys recommend replacing the sensor.
I think the recommendation is to try to determine WHERE it's leaking and fix THAT!

- If it's the plastic area on the hose around the sensor opening, then replace the hose.
- Even if it's not the plastic around the hose, if the hose is old, replace it (and the entire cooling system).

- If your leak is somewhere on the sensor itself, then replace the sensor (which comes with a new o-ring).
- But most of the time, it's the o-ring, not the sensor or the hose, so, in that case, just replace the o-ring.

Again, if your cooling system is original, replace the entire cooling system (you generally can get away with not replacing the sensor but you MUST replace the o-ring).

Do us a favor whatever you do ... take a photograph of the old and the new and post the results here for us all to benefit.

Last edited by bluebee; 10-31-2010 at 03:36 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2010, 10:29 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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cn90, just today, found this nice $1.00 set of Brass-Craft o-rings that should fit the temperature sensor for anyone reading this thread in the future who can't find the BMW o-ring in stock.

ID = 5/16"
OD = 9/16"
Thickness = 1/8"

On the L side is new hardware-store O-ring (in Black), On the R side is the BMW broken O-ring (in Green):

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  #13  
Old 11-16-2010, 11:20 AM
gumbi4u gumbi4u is offline
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As much as I love these diy threads and info threads, there is way too much fuss and over all drama with this o-ring? Why is this such a big deal? Especially for a temp sensor o-ring? You find a ring that is similar or slightly bigger and it will do the job just fine. As far as material, its honestly does not matter as its not a "mission critical" item. Its really not a big deal. Its a rubber o-ring. Nothing more. Usually a fuel injector assortment will have the proper sizes.
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:34 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbi4u View Post
way too much fuss and over all drama with this o-ring? Why is this such a big deal?
I think, once we know the size, it's not a big deal at all.

The problem "was" (no longer is) that people didn't realize their cooling system would leak because they re-used the temperature sensor and the temperature sensor o-ring.

Then, the problem was compounded when people had leaks but found BMW doesn't specifically sell that particular temperature sensor o-ring.

Since the o-ring must be replaced, yet, in the entire E39 forums the size was never listed (I know, I searched far and wide before I posted this thread), one didn't know what size to get. Compound that by the fact that the old o-ring was worn so it wasn't a good size reference; and then add the complication that it's a hot wet environment.

Anyway, now we know the size, in metric and SAE, and we have a whole slew of sources, from BMW themselves (manifold temperature sensor o-ring) to Home Depot (e.g., Brasscraft).

So, now it's not a big deal. But, before this thread, there was nowhere in the E39 forums the size listed.

BTW, here is what plieades had to say about the BrassCraft o-ring just today:
"The BrassCraft O-rings that have been mentioned elsewhere will work but they can also be a very tight fit, depending. I tried one on my existing sensor when I did my cooling system overhaul. (I thought I could use the existing sensor, but as others have experienced, the existing O-ring doesn't always seal when you insert the sensor into a new rad hose).

With the aftermarket O-ring, things were quite tough going back in (had to use some lubricant) and impossible in my case to get out when I wanted to install a new sensor (FAE) that came with its own O-ring."


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  #15  
Old 12-11-2010, 01:08 PM
Acz4 Acz4 is offline
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I finally got the parts and replaced the sensor - I did order extra o-rings too. When I removed the original sensor the o-ring looked OK at first glance. I checked it and there was no damaged or nicks in it, just slightly flattened on the outer diameter.
After the replacement I started the car - no coolant leak So that was the problem.
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  #16  
Old 04-23-2011, 09:42 PM
Brandon540/6M Brandon540/6M is offline
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Damn, I got fuxored by this today... I'm very happy to see this thread though! I actually knew from a high end replair place that you could just replace the o-ring, but I didn't know the model # and just winged it today and thought some liquid RTV would let me re-use the old o-ring without issue.. FAIL. Do not go that route...

I will be shopping for an o-ring tomorrow.. what was the final determined size from a hardware store again?
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  #17  
Old 10-03-2011, 04:30 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon540/6M View Post
what was the final determined size from a hardware store again?
It's in the thread above (which is why nobody answered this).

BTW, today, someone in the E46 team (same engine as our E39 M54) accidentally put the intake manifold air temperature sensor into the lower hose coolant temperature sensor slot.

Predictably, it lasted only about 4 months before it blew out (causing grill damage) because it doesn't clip in the same.

Let's not make the same mistake!

Details here:
- E46 (1999 - 2006) > Damnit...I was driving and my air charge temp sensor "exploded"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikes007 View Post
Ok so this morning (10minutes ago), I was going to work when all of a sudden I started smelling coolant. At first I thought it was the car in front of me, but a few seconds later a lot of white smoke were coming out of my hood...F**k. Because of the traffic, I had to drive for about another 1-2minutes to found a safe place to park. So anyway, I opened the hood. Coolant EVERYWHERE. It was obvious that it was coming from a hose and it wasn't a small leak. I start checking when I found that my air temp sensor (this) wasn't at its place anymore.

The sensor isn't damaged but the plastic grill around it is a little messed up. I have to buy a new one. But still, how the heck this can happen? I know I changed it about 4 months ago, but I don't remember how to put it. I mean is just sliding in the hole in the hose? I thought I had to turn it to lock it in position but it seems that it doesn't move. Anyway I am glade that I had premixed coolant in my trunk and it was only that, but still I want to know how this can happen. I was on idle so the pressure of the coolant should not have been that important to make it pop.

After 5 minutes I was back on the road and not even late for work.
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  #18  
Old 10-16-2011, 12:10 PM
ericono ericono is offline
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Question, if I pull this sensor out does coolant continue running out the entire time the sensor is out (which would result in the need to add coolant and bleed the system, I assume), or does it stop flowing?

Thanks,

Eric
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:59 PM
ericono ericono is offline
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I answered my own question, after letting the car cool down I went ahead and pulled the sensor and coolant did not continue running out.
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  #20  
Old 10-28-2011, 11:57 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Bearing in mine that the o-ring for the intake manifold temperature sensor is a part that 'can' be ordered, here is a picture of the intake manifold temperature sensor location on the 528i from this thread:
- Detailed DIY for Crankcase Ventilation Valve Overhaul for the M52TU Motor

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  #21  
Old 12-17-2011, 01:11 PM
TeeDubya TeeDubya is offline
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Inexpensive solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Can someone tell us the specification for the coolant temperature sensor o-ring? (I think it's BMW part number 13.62.1.743.299).
UPDATE: I measured a new FAE temperature sensor o-ring at 0.330" ID by 0.115" thick (i.e., 8mmIDx3mmThick).

The reason I ask is that most say the sensor (which controls the electrical fan in front of the radiator) rarely fails, so, in theory, can be re-used; but the o-ring often fails after removal ... (it hardens with age and also fails before removal).

Normally you'd just buy a new o-ring and swap the old temperature sensor out of the old lower radiator hose into the new radiator hose ... but I asked today at the dealership and they said BMW doesn't SELL the o-ring separately, even though we think we have the right part number

But it's just an o-ring (right?). The closest I can find that E46'ers have reported success with is the 79¢ "BrassCraft 0567" from Lowes; but it's not a perfect fit (it's a tad fatter than the original).

If we had the specification for the E39 o-ring, we could try to find a more suitable metric replacement.

A typical O-ring specification is something like:
- OFH O-ring spec = 7.0x2.5 (i.e., 7mm ID & 2.5mm thick)
- Oil Filter O-ring spec = 91x4 (i.e., 91 mm ID & 4mm thick)

I see another report of a working Buna N size from Lowes being 5/16" ID 9/16" OD and 1/8" thick, but, that was for an E46 and maybe the E39 is different. Another E46 thread lists the 8mm ID x 3mm cross section $1 Viton (high temp / coolant resistant) O-rings from Macro Rubber as being more stable than Buna N .

But maybe the E39 coolant temperature sensor o ring is a different size.

It would be best to make original measurements on a known good E39 temperature sensor; if you have a new (green) BMW coolant temperature sensor O-ring handy, would you please measure it for the team?

What is the ID and thickness of a new E39 coolant temp sensor O-ring?



REFERENCES:
- Coolant Temp Sensor O-Ring is a BMW Part Number
- DIY - Temp. sensor coolant leak repair
- E46 Cooling system temperature sensor part number
- Replacing the coolant temperature sensor DIY
- Recommended parts list for a cooling system overhaul
- E46 lower radiator hose coolant temperature sensor
- BrassCraft 0567 replacement for coolant temperature sensor o ring
- BrassCraft and Viton replacements for coolant temperature sensor o-ring
- Coolant temperature sensor o-ring dimensions
- Replace coolant temperature sensor o-ring with viton from macro rubber
- History of the o-Ring
I just put a -011 buna o-ring underneath the green Viton worn out-o-ring. It lifts it up and doesn't allow it to flatten out so much. It's working fine. A -011 has about the same ID per the chart here:
http://www.marcorubber.com/sizingchart.htm

You can get size -011 anywhere including this kit at Harbor Freight of 180 Viton o-rings for $19.99
http://www.harborfreight.com/180-pie...kit-67525.html
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  #22  
Old 01-25-2012, 12:08 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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People are still looking for the aux sensor O ring apparently:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Cooling ovehaul - source of a sensor o-ring?

And, they're still getting the wrong answers mixed in with the right and new answers ... sigh ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARX3 View Post
I'm looking for part number of the green o-ring that goes on the temperature sensor (13 62 1 433 077). Dealer says I need to replace the entire sensor at $40... Doesn't seem to make sense. Has anyone found a source of the correct size o-ring
Quote:
Originally Posted by oembimmerparts View Post
bmw only sells it with the sensor, If you take the old one into a napa or other parts store you can match it up with one of the ones they have.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebox View Post
I would just replace the sensor. It will not be possible to get an EXACT match for that o-ring, and the result will be a leak from the coolant temp sensor housing. I found this out out the hard way a few years back. My parts guy at the dealer parts counter told me this, but I did not listen. Turns out he was right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
I can't see why it'd be impossible to find an exact match to an O-Ring….it's not like they're rare.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonamatt View Post
Found a good source for the O-ring. It is a standard AS568-203 size, found them at www.oringwarehouse.com for 5 cents a piece.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vatoman View Post
BMW PN 13621743299 worked for me no problems since replacing and I have a spare in trunk just in case.

Read this for further proof
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...t=#post4182085
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcbp14 View Post
I used Danco #33 orings to hold me over untill my sensor arrived. When I tried to pull the old sensor out it would not budge, it must have expanded. I had to remove the lower radiator hose and push from the inside, even then it was a struggle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blz456 View Post
Ordered mine from ecs tuning.
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  #23  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:41 PM
coopster530 coopster530 is offline
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Mein Auto: 03 530
Temp sensor O-ring

Hiya Bluebee.

FWIW, I'm currently doing the cooling system and other things, and noticed today that the sensor I bought has the green oring. Now I forget, but I know it came from probably Pelican (or maybe Bavarian).
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2012, 11:40 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by coopster530 View Post
noticed today that the sensor I bought has the green oring
Here's the M54 engine coolant temperature sensor from this new DIY today:
- The Best of Bimmerfest! > Do-It-Yourself H.Q. > DIY: Water Pump, Thermostat, Hoses & Coolant Flush : X5 3.0 Auto

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  #25  
Old 02-27-2012, 08:24 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the cross-linked record, this somewhat predictable experience posted today illustrates why the o-ring matters:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Coolant Temperature sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by willow creek View Post
I just completed my coolant system overhaul on our '02 530i. The only problem I ran into was a leak at the coolant temperature sensor. Coolant was leaking from around the sensor. Come to find out it's fit was not tight in the new lower hose. I ended up putting back on the old hose and the leak stopped. I cannot decide if the opening in the hose for the sensor is defective, the o ring is worn, or the the sensor and o ring need to be replaced. Has anyone else had this problem?
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