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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 12-07-2014, 01:42 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: UCLA/Bay Area
Posts: 50
My Ride: carbon black e46 m3
DIY: E46 M3 Crank shaft position speed sensor


If you're getting the following codes, and your car is having starting problems and rough idle, then it is time to replace the crank shaft position speed sensor:

"The crankshaft sensor outputs the engine speed in the form of a square-wave signal.
If the crankshaft position/rpm sensor is faulty, a corresponding fault code "crankshaft position/rpm sensor" is stored in the fault code memory of the engine control unit. The camshaft sensor signal is then used as the engine speed signal (emergency operation).
Possible effect: Misfiring and poor starting characteristics
It is located in the rear of engine left side under intake pipe connected to a 3-pin black connector.
During cases where the crankshaft sensor is faulty, the camshaft sensor signal is used in-place of the crankshaft sensor signal. That's the reason why you're still able to start the engine. If both are inoperative you'll be up the sh__creek.
failed crankshaft position sensor would cause the DME to not know the position of the pistons/crankshaft, it would not know when to fire the injectors or ignition." -collected quotes from these forums.

This DIY will take around an hour.

These are the tools you will need to remove the crank shaft position speed sensor:

Size 5mm allen hex key. You can use either of the first two tools pictured: allen key hand wrench or small sized ratchet with bendable neck (last socket wrench used for size comparison).

Remove the air intake arm and the filter:

Stick your arm through the clearing:

Shine light down this area.

This is the sensor.

After you undo the 5mm allen hex bolt, then wear some sturdy gloves, and yank out the sensor. Replace the sensor with the new sensor.

Afterwards, you will have to go underneath the car in order to unplug the old sensor from the wiring harness, then you can plug the new sensor into the wiring harness.

Jack up car, so you can unplug the other end of the sensor from the electrical harness and also plug in the new sensor:

Plug the other end of the crank shaft position speed sensor into the green harness.

Here is the comparison of the old and new crank shaft position speed sensors:

You can get the sensor from here:

All the best.


Last edited by mrpinstripsuits; 12-07-2014 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:53 AM   #2
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Location: Boca Raton, FL or Salisbury, NC
Posts: 1,001
My Ride: DD is a 2001 325i
Thanks for the post and taking the time to shoot the photos!
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