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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-14-2013, 03:35 AM   #1
phatjap
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Same old - camshaft sensor gone - again!!

OK, flame me now, I used a pattern part thinking I'd get away with it!

My car was playing up so I replaced the camshaft sensor with a cheap one off eBay, one week later it packed up!!

OK so I've learnt my lesson and now on the hunt for an original one.

Having a bit of trouble here telling if the companies selling them are original BMW parts, some say they are but turn out to be 40 or so making me think they are still copies as I believe BMW sell them for 90 or so?

Can anyone point me in the right direction please where they got their original BMW cam sensor from in the UK?

I've looked at BMWparts online and they don't list one for my car, C3 list one for 55 'sourced from VDO'? Does that mean it is original? I thought BMW made them?

Any help please!!
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:54 AM   #2
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OK, you copped a plea so you're off the hook, but for others: Do pay very close attention to sourcing your parts accurately. If you drop your guard, all roads lead to cheap Chinese crap! Avoid cheap Chinese crap parts for your e46 in any way shape or form. Almost every time you will come to regret springing for the savings. Parts will fail.
The Chinese do not have the words 'quality control' built into their culture. They pollute and harm their own people. Why would you think they would lose any sleep over you being stranded by the side of the road. Want further evidence, search youtube for their Cherry car crash tests. You'd be safer riding around in a tuna fish can!

Especially electronic parts try to remember Bosch or Siemans/VDO. When in doubt, go to a dealer and pay BMW prices.
Here in the USA we are fortunate to have so much competition that you can get top tier parts for great discount prices.
So many of the vendors here can supply what you need: www.furiousmethod.com

Last edited by Stinger9; 04-14-2013 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
phatjap
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Hey Stinger, I hear ya!!

Can't help feeling a little flamed and ashamed still though!! I know the Chinese are responsible for a lot of plastic junk but didn't know they made these parts too. Should be illegal!!

OK, so VDO are recommended?

55 (84 dollars) is bearable for something that will last.

I emailed the person who sold the dodgy sensor and they've agreed to replace it for nothing and sending it in the post. Anyone want a cam sensor? Free! Anyone?!
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
Stinger9
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Originally Posted by phatjap View Post
I emailed the person who sold the dodgy sensor and they've agreed to replace it for nothing and sending it in the post. Anyone want a cam sensor? Free! Anyone?!
You make the point well. Even free not worth it.



http://www.turnermotorsport.com/BMW-...es-relays.aspx

Last edited by Stinger9; 04-14-2013 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
jdstrickland
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Put the replacement part in and see if it fixes the trouble. All chinese parts are not bad, and if they are bad they will be bad pretty much immediately. The Cam Sensor is not prone to failure, so when one goes bad out of box, it was made poorly. If the next one works, odds favor it working a long time.

I agree with the idea that cheap chinese parts are cheap and unreliable, but they are unreliable on the first day. If they work on the first day, they should work for years.

Why did you feel compelled to replace the Cam Sensor, and did you replace the correct cam sensor? (There are two of them, you know that right?)
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:47 PM   #6
Stinger9
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Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
All chinese parts are not bad, and if they are bad they will be bad pretty much immediately. The Cam Sensor is not prone to failure, so when one goes bad out of box, it was made poorly. If the next one works, odds favor it working a long time.
Thinking Turner Motorsports the alarmist?

Here is from their site today:
This is a Genuine BMW Intake cam position sensor that fits BMW M52 M54 6 cylinder E46 E39 E60 X3 X5 Z3 Z4 models. This item is a common failure item and often triggers the following fault code "CAMSHAFT ANGLE PULSE GENERATOR". Price includes 12147539165 and required o-ring #12141748398.

Using statistics and probability theory, if you use one suspect part it's just a small chance. But if you 'chain' together multiple bad parts you build toward certainty of failure. My personal choice is not to start down this path. PM keeps me busy enough as it is, but to each their own.
Over the nine years of reading e46 forums, I've read lots of feedback about Chinese crap failing at all stages of life. I've got a Victor Reinz VCG if you want to buy one cheap!
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:10 AM   #7
phatjap
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I replaced the cam sensor because when I bought the car there were two error codes, MAF and CPS. I already had a MAF from my GF's Z3, the intake sensor seemed the easiest to change and most prone to need changing (based on forum reading) and deffinately deffinately sorted out the lag, rough idle and stalling at lights etc issue. They ceased when I first put in the new CPS and felt like a new car butit all came back after a week. I checked the code again (I have a reader from past) and it read P3044 again.

So VDO are OK and recomeded?
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:34 AM   #8
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If VDO makes one, I'd use it. Quality company.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:15 AM   #9
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a buddy of mine, who happens to be chinese got offended when i had used the term cheap chinese crap. lol. anyways, we got into this large debate (a friendly argument you could say) about this whole cheap chinese crap. in the end, i came away thinking he made quite a bit of sense.

1, yes, chinese good are crap (i just inputted this in, although this isn't what we came up with at the end of our discussion)
2, the chinese don't actually produce crappy stuff. It is the person/company who wanted to save money and make a ton of it by replicating a part in every way possible, using the least amount and cheapest material they could, and paying the chinese to produce it under those specific parameters.
3, everybody knows that almost everything is made in china yet not everything that came from china is crap. its all due to the guy who runs sh!t and tells them he wants it built like this, even if its made in an inferior manner.

So what did I come away with from all of this? apple products come from china, such as the itouch and iphones yet why do they not fall apart when I've dropped my itouch numerous amounts of time? they also don't feel cheap in your hands either? It's because apple demanded that certain building critieria be followed in order to not cheap out on components.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:17 AM   #10
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also, go to realoem.com that's where most of us go.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #11
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i had used the term cheap chinese crap. lol.
As in all of life, there are details. Chinese companies make chinese crap. Goods subcontracted to Chinese factories is mostly chinese crap. Quality companies that have assembly plants in China (examples: Apple and Sony among many) get quality because they manage the component part suppliers and assembly process.
So chinese crap does not refer to all coming out of China. Just that where the standards are set by the Chinese. They have a very low regard for the end user.
Please present exceptions if you think there are any?
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:10 PM   #12
NumbaOneNewb
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no, I'd go with the statement I made in number 1, which was what got my buddy and I into our debate. they make crap but funny thing is, people love buying crap. They love eating that stuff up. some people don't care if it breaks down, that's why there's walmart. so we can all go to a place and crap together. I just wonder if the chinese will ever be able to pull themselves away from this stereo type that is benefiting them at the moment, but may come to haunt them later on, as they are now known for having crappy products. cheap goods go hand to hand with chinese.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by NumbaOneNewb View Post
I just wonder if the chinese will ever be able to pull themselves away from this stereo type that is benefiting them at the moment, but may come to haunt them later on, as they are now known for having crappy products. cheap goods go hand to hand with chinese.
Interesting. Did you know Japan started out the same way? Their stuff was literally made from used tin cans from food products. I remember seeing the labels on the inside of toys. Look at Honda and Sony now, among many others.
But then again there is a different mindset among the two cultures.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:33 PM   #14
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yeah, that's true. Japan is now known for its technological advances, and it helps that they don't have to worry about supporting a military. china want to do both so I'm sure even if their economy is growing, it'll still be hard to afford both, while having that stereo type follow them everywhere they go.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:40 PM   #15
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I bought a Bosch relay from the dealer once, said "Made in China" stamped right on the part.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:05 PM   #16
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At least they weren't trying to hide their crap
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:08 PM   #17
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I bought a Bosch relay from the dealer once, said "Made in China" stamped right on the part.
Refer back to post #11 for clarity on this issue.
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