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Knock Sensor Replacement
 

Pelican Technical Article:

Knock Sensor Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

30 minutes30 mins

Tab:

$20 to $50

Talent:

**

Tools:

13mm socket, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

R53 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2002-06)

Parts Required:

Knock sensor

Hot Tip:

Use care handling the fins on the intercooler

Performance Gain:

Horse power

Complementary Modification:

Coolant flush

The knock sensor on the Mini R53 plays an important part of the engine management system. The sensor detects knocks or pings in the motor, which is pre detonation and can cause serious and expensive damage to the motor. If a knock is detected, the sensor will tell the management system of the engine to severely retard the ignition. If the sensor has failed, other than an error code you will notice a lack of power and throttle response, especially when on boost.

The sensors are easy to replace once you get access to them, which in the case of the R53 involves removing most of the front of the car. Note: you will need a torque wrench to properly torque the sensors.

Over the years your car may have been serviced by multiple people including previous owners and this can lead to parts replaced with different size fasteners and hardware. 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. If something is different on your vehicle please let us know and share your info to help other users. If you have any questions or comments or even a different procedure you would like to share please leave it below and please leave your vehicle information. 

First disconnect the knock sensor plug by squeezing the metal clip and pulling the wiring connections apart (red arrow); now remove most of the front of the vehicle.
Figure 1

First disconnect the knock sensor plug by squeezing the metal clip and pulling the wiring connections apart (red arrow); now remove most of the front of the vehicle.

Begin by removing the front clip, please see our article on radiator replacement for step by step instructions.
Figure 2

Begin by removing the front clip, please see our article on radiator replacement for step by step instructions:  http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI/21-WATER-Thermostat_Replacement/21-WATER-Thermostat_Replacement.htm

Next you will need to remove the inter-cooler; please see our article on intercooler replacement for additional assistance.
Figure 3

Next you will need to remove the inter-cooler; please see our article on intercooler replacement for additional assistance:  http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI//70-ENGINE-Intercooler_Replacement/70-ENGINE-Intercooler_Replacement.htm

Remove the throttle body; please see our article on throttle body replacement for additional assistance.
Figure 4

Remove the throttle body; please see our article on throttle body replacement for additional assistance: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI//71-FUEL-Throttle_Body_Cleaning_Replacement/71-FUEL-Throttle_Body_Cleaning_Replacement.htm

Water pump is next; please see our article on water pump removal.
Figure 5

Water pump is next; please see our article on water pump removal: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI//77-WATER-Water_Pump_Replacement/77-WATER-Water_Pump_Replacement.htm

And the supercharger, again please see our article on supercharger removal for step by step instructions.
Figure 6

And the supercharger, again please see our article on supercharger removal for step by step instructions: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MINI//74-ENGINE-Supercharger_Replacement/74-ENGINE-Supercharger_Replacement.htm

Well look what we find under most of the major components on the engine, the knock sensor (red arrow)!ÃÆ'ÂÆ'ÆÂ'ÃÆ'‚ÆÂ'ÃÆ'ÂÆ'¢ÃÆ'‚€ÃÆ'‚Ã...¡ÃÆ'ÂÆ'ÆÂ'ÃÆ'‚â€ÂÃ...¡ÃƒÆ'ÂÆ'â€ÂÃ...¡ÃƒÆ'‚ From here is it simple, use a 13mm socket and remove it.
Figure 7

Well look what we find under most of the major components on the engine, the knock sensor (red arrow)! From here is it simple, use a 13mm socket and remove it.

The new knock sensor does not come with a bolt so don't lose the old one.
Figure 8

The new knock sensor does not come with a bolt so don't lose the old one. Knock sensors are basically small acoustic speakers listening for the knock and need to be torqued to a specific value. Make sure to verify the torque value on your sensor and tighten it to that. Installation is the reverse of removal.

Comments and Suggestions:
JT Comments: Needless to say, this is a serious PITA, especially since mine looked like it was chewed by a rodent. I would also suggest you replace everything you take off that's run with the serpentine belt, i.e., alternator and water pump. You don't want to have to go back in there in a couple of months.
October 29, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JT Comments: This looks like a total overkill to get to the knock sensor. Are there any short cuts and/or anything else I should replace while I'm at it. I have an 03 S with 110,000 miles.
July 29, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Coolant hoses would be a good idea. aand the coolant blocking plate. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Visitor Comments: does the new knock sensor have to face a specific direction? I read somewhere else that it was Subaru only that does it, but I want to confirm
July 6, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They have the face how they came out, for wiring orientation and proper clearance. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/13/2017 03:13:30 AM