Rear Parking Sensor not working - any suggestions - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:07 PM
ccccdebbie ccccdebbie is offline
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Location: Maryland
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: BMW X5
Rear Parking Sensor not working - any suggestions

Hi everyone,

I have a 2004 X5 and had a X5 park aid installed (part number 82-11-0-021-343) when I purchased the car. It has been great until last week when it stopped working. Now when I put the car in reverse, I hear a loud beep for a second or two and the rear sensor doesn't work. Please don't tell me to just look into my rear view mirror....

I read in other Bimmerfest forums that the sensors are easy to replace yourself if you just order the sensors or whatever needs to be ordered. Another person said, no, you have to reprogram the piece and that only dealers can do that. I called the dealer today and they said they would charge me to determine where the problem lies.

So I am hoping we can fix this ourselves. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-07-2011, 09:28 AM
Nev Nev is offline
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Location: Scotland
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 19
Mein Auto: X5 3.0d
Hi there I have the same problem and have tried to fix it myself. X5 2005 3.0ds

Have swapped the sensors and checked that they are all clicking. Great fun ~ not !

Also ckecked the cables and all connections ~ still no joy. Suspect the PCD control unit might be US.

Will see if it improves with warmer weather, or will have to take it into local BMW dealer and loose my shirt.

Sorry cant help much but simpathise ~ try listening to the sensors and check if they are all clicking ?

Make sure your front number plate is not causing a false alarm by sticking out from the bumper too far. I took myne to the dealer once for this problem and it cost me $60 for the test and them to screw the plate back on properly.

If you come up with a cure please let me know !

Good luck


Last edited by Nev; 02-07-2011 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:50 AM
ccccdebbie ccccdebbie is offline
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Location: Maryland
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: BMW X5
Parking sensor

The BMW dealer didn't charge me to analyze the problem, but gave me a $875+ estimate to fix it. They were going to just replace it with a new one.

We are having multiple problems with the car unfortunately and every repair is so $$$. I got an estimate on the car from a wholesaler and a couple of dealers (trade-in) as is without repairing the sensor. They all gave me a ball park of between $14K USD and $16K. The lowest offer was from a BMW dealer who only offered $13K. My point is that when the sensor was working or not working, it didn't change what they were willing to offer on trade in. So we traded it in and bought a new car. We saved the $875 by not getting it fixed. I was really sad to let it go. I really love that car.

Lesson learned: You can't keep a BMW off-warrantly too long unless you can stomach the repair bills. Consumer Reports never recommends buying an extended warranty (NEVER), unless you have a BMW or Mercedes.

Good luck in fixing the parking sensor. Bimmerfest made it seem easy to repair so hopefully some other soul can help you figure out what might be wrong.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:01 AM
macbimmerfest macbimmerfest is offline
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Location: Oxfordshire
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: United Kingdom
Parking sensor

I've an X5 E53. My parking sensors stopped working (front & back).
They work a bit like Christmas tree lights, when one is broken it affects them all.
To locate which one is at fault turn the ignition key on but DONT start the engine.
Put the vehicle in reverse. (Ensure the PDC button is on)
Go to each separate sensor, place your thumb over the sensor and get you ear as close as possible to the sensor. The good ones will click, the bad one(s) wont. (Its a very quiet click!)
Get a replacement sensor (I bought one off eBay for 20!)
Although there are several comments on forums saying its easy to change the sensor, you need a bit of patience and not to be too heavy handed!
The sensor unit is made up of 4 things; the housing (the bit that sticks out), a plastic sheath that the sensor sits in, the sensor itself & the cable that fits into the back of it.
The way I changed mine was to jemmy off the housing (be very careful not to damage it or the inner parts), I removed the cable (small clip holding it in place), I removed the sheath from the housing . I removed the dud sensor from the sheath (tight fit!).
I did all this with extreme caution & patience as everything is plastic and easily broken if you try to force things too much. I placed the new sensor back into the sheath, the sheath into the housing, reconnected the cable and then fitted it back into the sensor slot. (Took few minutes getting if back in as its very fiddly!)
All done and working fine. No need for any 're-configuring' or 're-programming'.
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