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6-Cylinder Engine Crankshaft Sensor Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

6-Cylinder Engine Crankshaft Sensor Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$130

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets, 5mm Allen bit, flathead screwdriver, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)

Parts Required:

Crankshaft position sensor, sealing O-ring, crankshaft sensor fastener

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will start and run well

Complementary Modification:

Repair oil leak from faulty crankshaft sensor sealing O-ring

The digital motor electronics (DME) engine management systems in BMW E60 vehicles use the engine control module (ECM) to control fuel injection, ignition and other important drivetrain functions. The ECM sequentially triggers the fuel injectors to spray fuel into the intake ports and then, a split-second later, triggers the ignition coils to fire the spark plugs. This sequence of events is timed by using the crankshaft position sensor. Using the signal from the crankshaft sensor, the ECM "knows" which cylinder is ready for fuel intake and then, later, for ignition.

The crankshaft position sensor is located near the starter motor, mounted in the engine block. The sensor reads a toothed reluctor wheel mounted to the end of the crankshaft. It then sends a signal to the DME used to identify cylinder location. If this signal is missing, for example from a faulty crankshaft sensor, then the engine will not start. You can consider the signal from the crankshaft sensor the RPM signal for the DME.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the crankshaft position sensor. You can access the sensor from below the vehicle, working on the left side. The photos in this article show the starter motor removed from the vehicle for clarity. You do not have to remove it to replace the crankshaft sensor.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Jack up the front of your vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle. Anytime you work under your BMW, make sure that you're wearing safety glasses or safety goggles.

Remove the engine plastic splash shields and reinforcement plate. See our tech article on engine splash shields removing.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working below the starter motor (yellow arrow) at the left side of the engine, disconnect the crankshaft sensor electrical connector (green arrow).
Figure 1

M54 6-cylinder engine: Working below the starter motor (yellow arrow) at the left side of the engine, disconnect the crankshaft sensor electrical connector (green arrow).

M54 6-cylinder engine:
M54 6-cylinder engine: Next, using a 5mm Allen bit, remove the crankshaft sensor mounting fastener.
Figure 2

M54 6-cylinder engine: Next, using a 5mm Allen bit, remove the crankshaft sensor mounting fastener. There is not a lot of room, so I use a short 5mm Allen bit with a one-inch extension on my 1/4-inch drive ratchet.

M54 6-cylinder engine: Once the Allen bolt is removed, pull the crankshaft out of the engine block.
Figure 3

M54 6-cylinder engine: Once the Allen bolt is removed, pull the crankshaft out of the engine block. Be sure that the sealing O-ring comes out with the sensor. If it stays in the block, retrieve it with a small pick (yellow arrow). Install the new sensor and sealing O-ring. Torque the sensor to the engine block 10Nm (7 ft-lb). Reconnect the electrical connector and install the engine splash shield. Start the vehicle and allow it to idle for about one minute. Check that the crankshaft sensor area is free of oil leaks. If your check engine light was on, now is the time to clear any fault codes, and you are done.

NG6 6-cylinder engine: 
NG6 6-cylinder engine: Working below the starter motor at the left side of the engine, disconnect the crankshaft sensor electrical connector (green arrow).
Figure 4

NG6 6-cylinder engine: Working below the starter motor at the left side of the engine, disconnect the crankshaft sensor electrical connector (green arrow).

NG6 6-cylinder engine: Next remove the crankshaft sensor E8 mounting fastener (green arrow).
Figure 5

NG6 6-cylinder engine: Next remove the crankshaft sensor E8 mounting fastener (green arrow). There is not a lot of room, so I use an extension with a swivel attached to the E8 socket on my 1/4-inch drive ratchet. Once the fastener is removed, throw it away. It has to be replaced.

NG6 6-cylinder engine: Once the fastener is removed, pull the crankshaft out of the engine block.
Figure 6

NG6 6-cylinder engine: Once the fastener is removed, pull the crankshaft out of the engine block. Be sure that the sealing O-ring comes out with the sensor. If it stays in the block, retrieve it with a small pick. If the sensor gives you trouble coming out, gently lever between the sensor retaining bracket and engine block. Be very careful not to damage the engine block. Install the new sensor and sealing O-ring. Torque the sensor to the engine block 8Nm (6 ft-lb). Reconnect the electrical connector and install the engine splash shield. Start the vehicle and allow it to idle for about one minute. Check that the crankshaft sensor area is free of oil leaks. If your check engine light was on, now is the time to clear any fault codes, and you are done.



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Comments and Suggestions:
IP Comments: Thanks. I think 2007 530i has a NG6 engine and from the pictures in the article you referred to the sensor can be removed only after the starter had been removed first, is this correct?
November 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can get it to it without removing the starter. Taking the starter out makes it easier, but it is not necessary. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
IP Comments: Where is the CrankShaft sensor located on my 2007 BMW 530i? Can I replace it from bottom? Thanks
November 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it is shown here, ion the article you commented on.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/105-FUEL-6_Cylinder_Crankshaft_Sensor_Replacement/105-FUEL-6_Cylinder_Crankshaft_Sensor_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
matt Comments: I am trying to replace the crankshaft sensor on a 2008 535i.

Is the location the same on the N54 as the M54? Thanks.
September 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Start at step 4 for your vehicle.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Csaba Comments: I'm just wondering that is this article applies only for petrol engines? I have a 525d 2006 with M57N engine. Where should I find the sensor on that? Thanks!
August 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Only US gas engines. We don't have your model in the US, so I don't have info for it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Al Comments: I have a 530xi so I'm assuming I will have to go from above like mentioned by previous comment. Is there a tutorial for that?
April 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can use the intake manifold removal article.

Otherwise, We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ECB Comments: I just confirmed this with my BMW dealer. I have the N52 motor and because of the AWD components you must go from above, which requires removing the intake manifold.
March 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ECB Comments: I think this is on a 528i RWD not a 528xi AWD. On the xi there is a front differential in the way and I don't see any way to get at the sensor from below. The only option i see it to go from above which requires removal of the intake manifold. Am I wrong?
March 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, you are correct. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Eli Comments: Where does the small red senor plug into? I attempted to replace the starter and have two left to plug in...red and green.
December 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Can you share of photos of the connectors? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
John Comments: On a 2008 528xi, you stated that it is "in" the crankcase near the starter motor. Does that mean it's inside a case that I have to access before I get to it or is it on the side of the engine next to the starter motor which can be easily accessed from under the vehicle after removing the undercarriage cover?

Thanks,
December 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, it mounts in the crankcase. Use the tech article you comments on to locate it. There are photos. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ben Comments: what other part to you have to take off to get to the crank shaft sensor having a very hard time getting to it
October 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
OscarOrtega100114 Comments: Hello i have a bmw 535i sports package where is the crankshaft position sensor located cant find i went under the car and no luck do i have to remove any parts to locate the sensor?
September 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is mounted in the crankcase, near the starter motor. The article you comments on covers it:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/105-FUEL-6_Cylinder_Crankshaft_Sensor_Replacement/105-FUEL-6_Cylinder_Crankshaft_Sensor_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
sonny Comments: hi i try to replace a stater and broke the green crankshaft sensor connector, i call bmw dealer they only sell the hole set for $1500, you where i can buy just the connetor. thank you
August 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A repair connector should be available from Pelican.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.


If not, try a salvage yard. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
K Comments: Hi,can you tell me where is the crankshaft position sensor located on 2005 BMW 545i? thank you
August 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Its on the right side of the crankcase, just above the right rear corner of the oil pan. Serviced from below. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RossR Comments: Where is the crankshaft positioning sensor located on the 528BMW 2008?
Had someone replece crank an I think they replace the wrong sensors.
August 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: see fig 5 in this tech article. Behind the starter. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
B Comments: I can't find the crankshaft sensor on my 2008 528 xi please help. I am looking from top and bottom
July 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is in the crankcase, near the starter motor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bose Comments: thank you
February 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: you're welcome. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bose Comments: what side of the car is the crank shaft sensor on, on a 2008 535i BMW. thank you.?
February 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Left side of the engine. When sitting in the driver seat. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:42:28 AM