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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 07-20-2006, 04:08 PM   #1
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Aftermarket PDC DIY - no drilling

Instead of paying 800euro for bmw PDC I decided to go for a cheaper aftermarket parking sensors - you can find plenty of them on ebay. I chose one with a LED display - just don’t worry I am not going to install it in the dashboard

First the pictures and if you like it you may read the rest.
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Nicely done
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I took me a while to decide where to put the LED display. It is almost not noticeable and it nicely composes with the interior.

Actually, I wanted to put the display in the interior of the rear mirror. The problem,however, is that the LEDs should not be visible from outside when they off but the light should still go tru the mirror from inside, so that I can see them when they are on. To do this, I need a one way mirror but I don’t know how to make one. If anyone knows it, please let me know.


The total cost of the install is around 100euro and 4 hours of work.

What you will need:
1. Any aftermarket parking 20mm sensor kit with/without display. I bought it for 40euro
2. Rear bumper protect plastic strip with wholes for PDC sensors; cost 40 euro. Unless you want to save some $$ and drill - I don’t recommend as the oem strip is nicely done. Normally, you don’t have to drill anything in the bumper itself, either. At least in my case, there is already place for the PDC sensors and any type (20mm) of them should fit. Sorry for those that have PDC in the bumper - this DIY is not for you.

Let’s start
1. Remove the old plastic strip; first the small ones aside -just pull them off
2. Put the sensors in the new strip - I think, most of them come in standard size and they should fit tight
3. Mount the new strip with the sensor and find a way to insert the cables in to the trunk. I used left breather covering (part 17). http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...30&hg=51&fg=15
You may find better way.
4. Connect the parking sensor to reverse light and to the ground. You will need to figure it out yourself. The cable is on battery side in the trunk - can't remember the color
5. You are almost done. The rest is just installation of the display. As you can see I put it in the 3rd stop lamp and I think, that is the only place where it looks good. If you dont like it just forget it and buy pdc with buzzer only
6. Rest was just masking the LED display with some piece of dark transparent plastic and it's done.
I had to remove the plastic cover of the display. It was just to big to fit it
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This does not have to be cut perfectly.
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Of course, if you have a choice to order your car with oem PDC just do it - it comes very hand in many situations.

Next mode = Sebring exhaust, just can't wait to mount it when it arrives
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:49 PM   #2
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that's pretty slick - like the little led display, however I like the audible signal of the OEM parking distance sensors myself.
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Old 07-20-2006, 06:08 PM   #3
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dude you are the man, i was just looking for something like this, only problem is i have a coupe with no molding around it.
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Old 07-20-2006, 06:08 PM   #4
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Nice work! i've always wanted PDC, but have come to find out that I'm not that bad of a parallel parker. if only bumpers could talk...
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:50 AM   #5
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You can use a piece of "venetian" (sp?) mirror. Go to any glass place and they can cut you a piece the same size as your oem mirror glass. The down size is you will loose the auto dimming, if equipped. Another option is to sandblast the reflective portion of the mirror off and mount it behind, Valentine 1 style.
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:00 PM   #6
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Bad ass! I didn't know this could be done for so cheap. er....how much in real money is 40 euros?
Because the B isn't for bling.
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:11 PM   #7
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email admin@e46fanatics.com and see if tom will put it in the DIY section of e46fanatics.com.....then it would be saved forever......

suscribing for later use

and nicely done.......
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** sig size and layout changed by tim330i to reduce side scroll ** sorry my monitor is 1680x1050 so there is no side scroll for me
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:15 PM   #8
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anyone know the part number for the center molding strip with the holes for the pdc?
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
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has anybody tried this?

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Old 04-16-2010, 04:18 AM   #10
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guys do you know where is located buzzer from the BMW original PDC?
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:46 AM   #11
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TTT For original location of buzzer
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:58 AM   #12
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Here is from BMW WDS on the OEM PDC:

Park Distance Control 2 (active PDC)

The Park Distance Control supports the driver on manouvring into and out of parking spaces. It helps to avoid damaging the vehicle when parking in tight or awkward spaces.

The control unit measures cyclically the distances between each converter and a possible obstruction.

On approach, the distance between the vehicle and the nearest object is signalled to the driver proportionally by means of a tone signal generator. The shorter the distance to the obstruction, the faster the tone sequence. A distance below approx. 25 cm is signalled by a continuous sound.

The acoustic signal is switched on when driving alongside a wall in order to avoid a long continuous sound. The distance warning is reactivated if the vehicle moves closer to the obstruction.

While driving, the electronic control unit monitors correct operation of all ultrasonic converters.

Diagnosis takes place via the I-bus/K-bus.

The reversing gong is controlled by the PDC control unit.

PDC2 control unit
The PDC2 control unit activates the ultrasonic converters and evaluates the received echoes. It monitors the converters to ensure they are functioning correctly and controls the tone signal generator.

Active ultrasonic converters
In the PDC2 system, the converters are active, i.e. an electronic module is fitted in each converter. Each converter has its own power supply and its own additional data link to the PDC control unit.

The converters operate both as transmitters as well as receivers. The received echoes care converted into a digital signal in the converter which is then sent via the data link to the PDC2 control unit.

All converters are electrically and mechanically identical. Special retaining fixtures at the mounting locations ensure the converters are properly adapted to the bumper.

If the minimum detectable distance increases impermissibly, a fault code is stored in the fault code memory. This may also be attributed to dirt, water, ice, snow.


Particular care must be taken before starting extensive troubleshooting to ensure that the converters are fitted correctly in their retaining fixtures and are free of dirt. During troubleshooting there should be no obstruction closer than 40 cm to the converter.


On vehicles e.g. R50 with automatic transmission, the status of the reverse gear is not transferred via the bus in the emergency driving program. This means that the PDC is not automatically activated on reversing. Before troubleshooting, check the automatic transmission.

Tone signal generator
The tone signal generator signals the distance to the driver acoustically and provides a warning if faults occur.

Series E38/39/53: Speaker

Series E46: Gong

Reversing gong
An acoustic signal is output via the gong (Japanese version) for as long as reverse gear is engaged. This signal is interrupted immediately if the PDC detects an obstruction within its measuring range and issues a distance warning.

Vehicle signals
The control unit receives the following information on the current status of the vehicle via the I-bus/K-bus: Vehicle speed, reverse and trailer operation.

System-related characteristics

For this reason, the assessment of obstacles, even with PDC, is the responsibility of the driver, particularly when detection of objects approaches the physical limits of ultrasonic measurement.

System-related problems may arise even under optimum preconditions. It is possible that a non-existent obstruction is signalled or an existing obstruction is not signalled.

In the following situations it is possible that the PDC signals an obstruction although one does not exist:
•heavy rain

•converters extremely dirty, iced up or when they are covered with snow

•In the case of ground echoes from extremely rough road surfaces, grasses

•in large closed rectangular rooms with smooth walls (e.g. underground car parks)

•when the converters are not fitted correctly in their support brackets

In the following situations it is possible that the PDC does not signal an obstruction:
•low objects with corners and sharp edges

•When the acoustic signal is switched off while driving alongside a wall while parking. This also applies when the vehicle approaches an obstruction - but further away - at a different angle.

The schematics of the PDC are in there too just reviewing where the gong is. I thought it was integrated into my friends HU through the bus, but I guess it's not. Give me a min and I'll check it out further

Rain Sensor Retrofit: Here
Coupe Headline Replacement: Here
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:02 AM   #13
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Yeah it's the same gong that beeps when you leave the door open and key in the ign

Rain Sensor Retrofit: Here
Coupe Headline Replacement: Here
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:13 AM   #14
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And I found this:
Using a Phillips-head screwdriver, remove the 3 screws holding the driver's side footwell cover. There is also one pop-rivet on the center console and two clips under the steering column .As you are removing it, unplug the chime, lamp, and the ODB-II connector.

Read more: http://www.************.com/computer...#ixzz0o6r5qAa1
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Rain Sensor Retrofit: Here
Coupe Headline Replacement: Here
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:54 AM   #15
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Very nice job
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