E46Fanatics - View Single Post - DIY AMBIENT TEMP SENSOR (EBAY SENSOR) 2000 328i
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:17 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Jose
Posts: 83
My Ride: 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 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, 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 every time 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.


Last edited by sjbmw328i; 01-26-2013 at 02:16 PM.
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