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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:
Haruna Comments: Hi,can you tell me where is the crankshaft position sensor located on 2005 BMW 2500D e61 Touring automatic transmission ?
February 19, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not too familiar with the Diesel engines. Let me post a note on our forums and see if another member can assist. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
JohnK Comments: I just replaced the crank sensor on my 2008 528xi, and removed the intake manifold as others have noted here. This solved the 'transmission failure' message, degraded mode driving, and crank sensor code, as expected.
Now, for the first time ever, the transmission is randomly 'hiccupping' in higher gears at steady speeds. Seeing a new code, P1 727. Google says this a 'coast clutch solenoid.'
I'm fearing a costly transmission job. Any chance these two issues are/were related? It does not seem like they should be, but it sure strikes me as a suspicious coincidence. Thanks for any thoughts.
February 15, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Make sure that the software in the trans is up to date. I think there was an update to the strategy of that solenoid. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Gallo Comments: The spark plugs get wet and won't star
February 11, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Wet with oil? Or wet with water? You can dry them out. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Husky390 Comments: I just posted and please read torx bolts not Tory bolts. Anyway, male torx bolts use E sockets or female torx sockets. I have seen E8 and E10 on BMW crank position sensor bolts. Check carefully before using an E10 socket on an E8 bolt or you could round it off!!! You must replace the bolt and it cannot be reused!!!
February 2, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Husky390 Comments: When installing a crankshaft position sensor on my 2007 328Xi with all-wheel drive, I removed my intake manifold. That was fairly easy but the hidden Tory bolts near the bottom hold a metal bracket that runs lengthwise and attaches in 2 places on the large round areas of the manifold. This pulls all those hoses off the manifold and allows you to pull the manifold up and away without get aching every hose. In fact the rear large plastic hose which is a bear to detach can be left on if you pull manifold up and onto top edge of motor. I used a tie down to hold the manifold as far as possible out of my way. Next, working from the front of the car lean toward firewall and stretch arm to reach cps. 1 Small male Tory bolt holds it in E8 or E10 socket. Next, wiggle it up and out of the hole. The o-ring often stays on the hole and must be pulled out with a small pick. Look on your old cps to see if it is still in the hole. It will be . Now or before now unplug the 2 wire connector. It is way back there very close to the bottom of the starter. You can barely see it but you can find it by finding the wires that go to it. Squeeze and pull apart.
You cannot reuse the bolt so order one or pick up at BMW dealer when you order your cps.
Installation goes like this. First squeeze the wiring connector onto the new cps. Keep struggling until it goes all the way on and clicks on. It is very very hard to get it all the way on. Do this before putting it back in the hole so you can verify that it is fully together. Now wiggle the cps onto the hole. If it won't go in look for another ring down in there. Keep pushing and rotating until it is in as far as you can get it. Finger start the new bolt. Torque to 6 foot pounds. If you have an inch-pound torque wrench, practice getting the feel for the torque by torquing a small 6 mm bolt then feeling it with your ratchet to sense what 72 inch-pounds feels like. Remember, the all wheel drove models must be done from the top. Rear wheel drive easier from the bottom. Driver side below the starter near the very back of the block. Starter is not at all in your way and can be left on unless you are an expert on starter removal, then go ahead and pull it for better access. You are working mostly by feel as you can barely see back in there. The Tory bolt head can be felt above and to the rear of the sensor. The sensor is very close to the starter under it and all the way rearward near the very back of the block. Find the 2 wires going.
February 2, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Stuck in hawaio Comments: If the diagnostics is reading that all my oxygen sensors are coming up is it possible that it's only a fuse that blew where would that fuse be if so?for a 535i BMW 2008.my check engine light is on tried to clear it but it keeps coming back on and is it OK to drive the car or not I worry about further damage?
January 28, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it is possible. I don't have fuse info for your model. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring and fuse info.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Stuck in hawaio Comments: If my crankshaft seal was replaced because of oil leak oh sorry on my 2008 535i after it was put back together my check engine light is on and the diagnostics are saying all four oxygen sensors are reading?what now
January 28, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if the sensors were left unplugged or damaged in the process. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Thomas Comments: Add to my last post: no error codes from scanner
January 6, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Thomas Comments: Hi have a US 2006 BMW 525i and the car will stale at random times. Example: after a 26 miles drove down the highway it stalled when slowing down off an on ramp. I am suspecting it's the crankshaft sensor. Could this be the cause? Any ideas if my suspicion is correct?
January 6, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, it can cause it. The hard part will be confirming it. You will need to see what is going away when the vehicle stalls, or wait until it stops starting, so it is easier to test. if the crank sensor is at fault, you will not have spark or fuel injector pulse when the problem is present. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cris Comments: hello, I have a 2007 525i e60 and I've concluded that it is the crank shaft sensor is the problem, but I've notice that their are two sensor's one in the front and by the starter. So, my question is which one should I change ?
December 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The crank sensor is near the starter. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
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 3/22/2017 02:42:23 AM