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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 02-14-2015, 04:46 PM   #1
76m2002
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Can't get PDC sensor out of trim

The PDC sensor on the driver's side rear corner on my car died. I can get access to this sensor by removing the muffler hangers and letting the muffler sag, but I can't get it out of the plastic housing. My understanding is that I should spread the tab in the pic (yellow arrow) and pull the sensor out from the back. However, I can't get the sensor to budge either pushing or pulling. There does not appear to be a second tab on the holder, so is there a trick to getting the sensor out of the black trim? Twisting doesn't seem to have an effect either. Before I break something with more force, I thought I'd see if I was missing something.

Last edited by 76m2002; 02-14-2015 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:47 PM   #2
shockandAWD
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It looks like it comes loose from the trim (outiside) side. Check this video out. It's on an M5 but I'm sure BMW has it the same way on your car. I hope... BMW E38, E39 Ultrasonic PDC Sensor Replacement:
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:09 AM   #3
76m2002
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Yes, that video gave me hope. My trim is a little more firmly attached, so I'd like to remove the sensor with the trim in place. I can reach the sensor, but I can't figure out how to get it out of the trim piece. The only difference is my sensor housing only has one of the tabs shown in the video to release the sensor. From the video I could not tell if you twist the sensor, or just pull, and I'd like to confirm how the sensor releases before I exert more force.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:53 AM   #4
shockandAWD
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I think that's the problem though. It can only be pulled from the other side. I think that is why you're stuck.
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:23 PM   #5
76m2002
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The mystery is answered! A couple hours with two halogen work lamps shining on the sensor and it came out without too much trouble. With this cold spell in the northeast, my garage is averaging 20 degrees during the warmest part of the day, so I think the accumulated water and road crap froze the sensor into the housing.
Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:24 PM   #6
76m2002
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Mystery solved. It seems with the recent cold weather in the northeast, my garage has been seeing high temps of only 20 degrees. I pointed a couple of halogen work lamps at the sensor/bumper for a couple of hours, and the accumulated ice and road grunge melted, and the sensor came right out. There was only one tab to release on my car (e46 touring). New sensor installed, and all is right once again. Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:59 PM   #7
shockandAWD
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Awesome news!! Good to hear and know!!
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:00 PM   #8
shockandAWD
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Now move to Florida. ;-)
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:48 AM   #9
76m2002
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Ironically, we moved up here from Miami
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:51 AM   #10
76m2002
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Except I seem to have received a bad replacement sensor. I plugged it in to two different sensor connectors, and no clicking
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:28 AM   #11
76m2002
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It turns out my car had two bad sensors. I replaced one and all is well, but the wiring is broken on the connector for the second sensor. It broke right at the base of the blue insert (yellow arrow in pic). How do I repair this break? Does the blue insert come out, to allow the receiving pins to be replaced?
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:46 PM   #12
Guy Prince
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76m2002..

If you have pdc issues again just stick a trim tool in above the black plastic trim and release it from the car this gives you easy access without even having to get under the car. it will allow you to see exactly what you are doing when releasing the sensors.
turn a twenty minute job into a two minute one. pop all the sensors back into the trim and just pop the trim back into the bumper.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:51 PM   #13
Guy Prince
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 76m2002 View Post
It turns out my car had two bad sensors. I replaced one and all is well, but the wiring is broken on the connector for the second sensor. It broke right at the base of the blue insert (yellow arrow in pic). How do I repair this break? Does the blue insert come out, to allow the receiving pins to be replaced?

Yes they push out from the connector side. use the appropriate electrical connector tool which looks like a very fine tuning fork.
insert from the front and itll pop out allowing you to fashion a repair with your soldering iron and shrink wrap.
If this fails then I have seen pdc looms sell on ebay for sheckles.
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