How to Change the Parking Sensors on a BMW E46

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Parking sensors notify you with a beep how far you are from a wall or obstruction when parking, usually the other way around. If you have problems with these sensors you are in the right place, keep reading until the end and learn how to change the parking sensors on a BMW E46.

Replacing one of these sensors on a BMW E46 is fairly easy but tedious because you have to remove the bumper.

How to Change the Parking Sensors on a BMW E46

Change Parking Sensors On A BMW E46
BMW E46 Red

If you have the proper tools to remove the bumper (a torque wrench and an 8mm socket), you can remove and replace the sensor in an afternoon. The steps you must follow to change the parking sensors on a BMW E46 are as follows:

  1. Remove the fasteners inside the rear wheel wells.. There are four fasteners on each side, which can be accessed by pulling on a plastic liner inside the wheel well. It will be dirty, so have a rag and soap nearby.
  1. Loosen the bumper cover from the lower quarter panel by pressing down on a clip that holds the two together.. On pre-2001 models, you’ll need to remove a screw in addition to the clip.
  1. Remove the bumper trim by pulling on it.
  1. Remove the two 8mm or Torx bolts that hold the bumper cover to the bumper. Use an 8mm socket or Torx 50 tool on the torque wrench to remove them.
  1. bumper strip, but do not loosen it completely because the parking sensor wires may be connected. If so, unplug them and place the bumper on a nearby blanket. Putting the bumper directly on the ground, especially pavement, will scratch it.
  1. Remove the parts of the old parking sensors: the power supply, display, cables, display panel, and sensors. The sensors must be attached to the bumper with adhesive tape. As you remove the old sensors, note their location so you can put the new sensors in the right place.
  1. Make sure the sensors power supply is off when you remove it so you don’t get an electric shock when you remove the wires. The wires will feed through a hole in the rear of the vehicle that the taillight wires also feed through. Make sure when you remove these wires you do so carefully so you don’t damage the light wires.
  1. Tape the new sensors where the old sensors were on the inside of the bumper. Run the sensor wires through the holes in the car in the same way as the previous wires, unless you’re using a wireless system, in which case there are no wires to power the dashboard. If that’s the case, make sure the antenna is attached to the bumper according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, you’ll need a friend to help you route the wires through the body of the car, as you’ll need to reposition the bumper. Although the bumper only weighs about 9.07 kg, it is easiest to attach it to the car with the help of a friend.
  1. Connect the cables of the new system to the power supply located in the rear of the car. This power supply also powers the rear lights and should be the same as the previous parking sensor system used. The parking sensor kit should come with wire nuts to tie the new wires to the power supply.
  1. Test the new sensor system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  1. Replace the bolts, clips, trims, and fasteners that had been holding the bumper in place.

Advice

As you may have noticed, changing the parking sensors on a BMW E46 is quite simple, the most tedious part is removing the bumper. In this case you may require the help of someone else.

Parking sensors notify you with a beep how far you are from a wall or obstruction when parking, usually the other way around. If you have problems with these sensors you are in the right place, keep reading until the end and learn how to change the parking sensors on a BMW E46.

Replacing one of these sensors on a BMW E46 is fairly easy but tedious because you have to remove the bumper.

How to Change the Parking Sensors on a BMW E46

Change Parking Sensors On A BMW E46
BMW E46 Red

If you have the proper tools to remove the bumper (a torque wrench and an 8mm socket), you can remove and replace the sensor in an afternoon. The steps you must follow to change the parking sensors on a BMW E46 are as follows:

  1. Remove the fasteners inside the rear wheel wells.. There are four fasteners on each side, which can be accessed by pulling on a plastic liner inside the wheel well. It will be dirty, so have a rag and soap nearby.
  1. Loosen the bumper cover from the lower quarter panel by pressing down on a clip that holds the two together.. On pre-2001 models, you’ll need to remove a screw in addition to the clip.
  1. Remove the bumper trim by pulling on it.
  1. Remove the two 8mm or Torx bolts that hold the bumper cover to the bumper. Use an 8mm socket or Torx 50 tool on the torque wrench to remove them.
  1. bumper strip, but do not loosen it completely because the parking sensor wires may be connected. If so, unplug them and place the bumper on a nearby blanket. Putting the bumper directly on the ground, especially pavement, will scratch it.
  1. Remove the parts of the old parking sensors: the power supply, display, cables, display panel, and sensors. The sensors must be attached to the bumper with adhesive tape. As you remove the old sensors, note their location so you can put the new sensors in the right place.
  1. Make sure the sensors power supply is off when you remove it so you don’t get an electric shock when you remove the wires. The wires will feed through a hole in the rear of the vehicle that the taillight wires also feed through. Make sure when you remove these wires you do so carefully so you don’t damage the light wires.
  1. Tape the new sensors where the old sensors were on the inside of the bumper. Run the sensor wires through the holes in the car in the same way as the previous wires, unless you’re using a wireless system, in which case there are no wires to power the dashboard. If that’s the case, make sure the antenna is attached to the bumper according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, you’ll need a friend to help you route the wires through the body of the car, as you’ll need to reposition the bumper. Although the bumper only weighs about 9.07 kg, it is easiest to attach it to the car with the help of a friend.
  1. Connect the cables of the new system to the power supply located in the rear of the car. This power supply also powers the rear lights and should be the same as the previous parking sensor system used. The parking sensor kit should come with wire nuts to tie the new wires to the power supply.
  1. Test the new sensor system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  1. Replace the bolts, clips, trims, and fasteners that had been holding the bumper in place.

Advice

As you may have noticed, changing the parking sensors on a BMW E46 is quite simple, the most tedious part is removing the bumper. In this case you may require the help of someone else.

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