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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 04-23-2012, 12:46 PM   #1
1320ms
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E46 Steering Angle Sensor DIY.. finally.

Spent a couple hours searching all the forums for a good DIY on replacing the steering angle sensor on my 01 330ci, found one which laid out the steps but without pictures. This sounds far more intimidating than it is, I literally did this start to finish in under an hour and a half with having never done one before. I rely heavily on DIY's found here when it comes time to do a job I've never done before, so I figured I'd offer my contribution.

This is based off instructions from http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1601458

You may want to double check torque specs, I used the ones listed in the above thread. The steering shaft is designed to be collapsible in an accident, so do this at your own risk.

Tools needed:
Phillips screw driver
Needle nose pliers
Wrenches: 13mm, 10mm
Sockets: E10, 16mm, 17mm
Socket Driver, Torque Wrench, misc extensions/flex adapter
Loctite
6 pack of beer or liter of preferred spirits.
Friend with tools to code/calibrate the sensor

1) Remove the key from ignition and lock the steering wheel in the straight forward position

2) Lift the front end up

I used a jack on each side of the car as I removed the drivers/side wheel for easier access to steering column. You'll want both sides of the car off the ground as you need to get underneath to remove the torque plate

3) Remove drivers side wheel (17mm socket for lugnuts)

4) Remove torque plate (16mm socket for bolts)

5) Disconnect the steering shaft and place aside. (E10 socket for bolts)

Go inside the car and release the adjustment lever for the steering wheel, allowing it to move up/down/in/out

Remove the E10 bolt on the steering coupler/guibo

The steering shaft is telescopic so it will move up/down - with the bolt out, push the steering shaft towards the firewall up out of the coupler/guibo - Dont worry about marking it, with the steering wheel locked it can only go back on one way



With the lower portion of the shaft disconnected, now pull the shaft down away from the firewall, look up towards the firewall and you'll see the second E10 bolt you need to remove.



Remove that E10 bolt, slide the shaft (giggity) out and set it aside

6) Back inside the car, remove the cover on the bottom of the dash on the drivers side 3 screws and 2 plastic clips

Red indicates a screw (phillips head screwdriver)
Green indicates the plastic rivet (needle nose pliers)
Blue indicates a plastic tap you turn 90 degrees to release
Yellow indicates where you'll need to reach in and pull down



Once you have the panel down, disconnect the wiring at the light, speaker, and pull the obd2 connector out

7) Remove the crash ring pieces, a metal washer and plastic collar. The washer will simply pop up off the collar, slide it up out of the way for a moment. The collar has a slit in it that will allow you to slip it off the column



Next slide the shaft up into the column until you reveal the plastic bushing on the end, this simply slides off once you get a good grip on it



Now that the bushing is off, slide the crash ring washer off.



8) Remove the brake light switch. Unplug the wiring connector from the top, get a firm grip on the sensor and pull it out of the plastic collar it sits in

Now pop the plastic collar out of the metal bracket





9) Remove the bolt that holds the back end of the steering column up (13mm and 10mm wrenches). Careful not to lose the white guides. The bolt is shown in the picture below with a 13mm wrench on the left side, and a 10mm wrench on the right



With the bolt removed, you can now move the column down to allow for clearance to remove the steering angle sensor. Unplug the sensor wiring.



The sensor has 2 plastic tabs that protrude out the back side, you'll need to push these in and then the sensor will side off (one tab circled in following picture).



Be sure to take note of the positioning of the sensor when you pull it off, you want to match up the new one with the old one you removed to ensure it goes on properly





With the sensor alignment matched up, slide the new sensor back on the shaft, installation is the reverse of removal. When installing the steering shaft under the car, the top side is keyed and will only go back on one way. Once the top is attached, the bottom should go back in the exact way it came out (this is why you must lock the steering wheel)


On the 13mm bolt/10mm nut going through the steering column inside the car, use red loctite to ensure this does not loosen up. Torque spec is 9.5Nm

On the E10 bolts on the steering shaft - I used blue loctite and torqued to 22Nm

For the torque plate under the car, the only spec I could find was 43 ft-lbs + 90 degrees, so thats what I tightened it to.

Lugnuts are listed at 85ft-lbs most places

With everything buttoned up its now time to get the new sensor coded/calibrated - Drive over to your friends house, place the 6-pack of beer or liter of liquor outside the front door in plain view, ring the door bell and retreat to bushes. When door opens, jump out, capture and force friend to code sensor in exchange for alcohol.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:45 AM   #2
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Did a code come up stating that the sensor was faulty?
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamine View Post
Did a code come up stating that the sensor was faulty?
DSC light and brake light both on solid yellow, had a friend pull the codes
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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Thanks, I might have to do this on my car soon. I will pull the codes tomorrow. Were your lights on all the time, or just came back after driving a few miles? Mine reset at every start-up.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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Good Job! The only thing I will add is that it is possible to do this w/o taking the front wheel off or putting it in the air.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:03 PM   #6
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What did your friend use to pull the codes?
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting this! I found the same DIY you used, I think (BimmerForums, right?), but the pictures make all the difference in the world. I believe that I am going to have to do this fairly soon.
One question - since you were already there, why did you re-use the steering guibo, rather than replace it? You were right there, with it off of the car! I know that they do wear out, and that they make a big difference with the feel of the steering, and I have read about several people who replaced it as a last resort, to fix a sloppy feel in the steering. Many of them mentioned that the part did not look like it was very worn, but it was the source of their problem. Apparently, it does not always show obvious signs of wear, even when it is worn enough to affect the steering.
Considering the fact that it was already completely off, personally, I would have changed it, since it is a wear item, and it takes a bit of effort to get it out of there. Of course, not everyone sees things the way I do sometimes.
But, don't let my last observation take anything away from the good work you did expanding on and adding pictures to the earlier DIY. You have definitely made this a lot clearer. Thanks!
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:44 PM   #8
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Nice job with the pictures
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for the DIY

Did you use Gt1 or Inpa or other to calibrate it?

Can anyone provide step by step on the calibration of it (assuming one has the software) and explain what the calibration entails?
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by andrewboi View Post
Thanks for the DIY

Did you use Gt1 or Inpa or other to calibrate it?

Can anyone provide step by step on the calibration of it (assuming one has the software) and explain what the calibration entails?
that will be really helpful
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:54 AM   #11
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this can be such a pain in the butt...
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #12
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awesome DIY .. anyone know if this is the same in the e46 M3?
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:06 AM   #13
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used your DIY... great wright up... what car did you do it on??? 4 door???
I did it on 330cic and that top bolt was a pain in the @$$ to reach.. plus my engine was hot .
Up side is that the replacement was used, so i got in it, drove it for a min and didn't even have to calibrate it
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dreyo27 View Post
used your DIY... great wright up... what car did you do it on??? 4 door???
I did it on 330cic and that top bolt was a pain in the @$$ to reach.. plus my engine was hot .
Up side is that the replacement was used, so i got in it, drove it for a min and didn't even have to calibrate it
BMW told me that I would need to purchase the steering angle sensor new because it is a "1 time use" safety item that gets coded to 1 car only.

However, it looks like you were able to successfully do it without having issues. Did anybody else replace their steering angle sensor with a used part and had no issues with re-calibrating the steering it and re-coding it to the car?

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:23 AM   #15
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I have to do this on my wifey's 04 x5....was able get a used part from eBay for $99....I will update once install is completed!
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:13 AM   #16
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i dont understand why the steering angle sensor is a one time use thing. in the autologic, there is no coding involved for the sensor. there is a calibration though

you just try and put it in the middle and hit reset angle and it goes to 0 degrees. the end. no coding no counter or anything. BMW might have been blowing smoke. the only problem i see with getting a used part is that you have a high probability that its bad or on its way bad. 3 years technician, and ive seen enough codes of those things gone bad. hell even mine is bad sometimes
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ms328i View Post
I have to do this on my wifey's 04 x5....was able get a used part from eBay for $99....I will update once install is completed!
Please do update! I am curious to know what steps are REALLY involved after the physical install of the sensor

Quote:
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i dont understand why the steering angle sensor is a one time use thing. in the autologic, there is no coding involved for the sensor. there is a calibration though

you just try and put it in the middle and hit reset angle and it goes to 0 degrees. the end. no coding no counter or anything. BMW might have been blowing smoke. the only problem i see with getting a used part is that you have a high probability that its bad or on its way bad. 3 years technician, and ive seen enough codes of those things gone bad. hell even mine is bad sometimes
Good thinking - it could be that BMW just wants you to go back to them and buy new parts.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:52 PM   #18
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Rotha is right. They'll probably hook it up to DIS, hit reset. No reason to buy the sensor unless it is physically damaged.

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Old 01-11-2013, 09:05 PM   #19
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I took my old one apart, and there are little brushes in there that were totally worn out. It is almost impossible to know for sure whether or not it is on its way to going out.

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Old 01-28-2013, 02:17 AM   #20
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Rotha is right. They'll probably hook it up to DIS, hit reset. No reason to buy the sensor unless it is physically damaged.

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Great thanks

Can anyone who has actually done this replacement confirm please? I don't want to buy one and find out otherwise after.

Thanks!
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