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Thread: Camshaft Position Sensor (540i M62)

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    98 540iA (Prd 11/97)

    Lightbulb Camshaft Position Sensor (540i M62)

    My car was throwing a camshaft position sensor (CPS) fault code, so I bought a replacement sensor with O ring and tackled the job myself. Here's a step by step with pics.

    Tools and Supplies
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______


    - 6mm socket
    - 10mm socket
    - Common screw driver
    - T-30 Torx wrench or 5mm Allen wrench (hex key)
    - Replacement Camshaft Position Sensor
    - Electrical tape
    - Peake scan tool or equivalent generic reader
    Time to completion
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________

    - Approx. 30 minutes

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______


    Make sure your ignition is off and remove the top engine cover.
    Then, disconnect the mass air flow (MAF) sensor.



    Disconnect the intake air temperature sensor.



    Remove the air filter housing mounting fastener (10mm socket).



    Loosen hose clamps (common screw driver or 6mm nut-driver). Notice the orientation of this clamp's screw, indicated by the yellow arrow, and it's proximity to the fan blades. I will address the obvious, potential problem later.





    Remove the air filter housing and MAF.
    The yellow arrow indicates the intake camshaft position sensor and the red arrow points to the air silencer box.



    There is some debate on using an allen wrench on a torx screw, but because I didn't have the correct size torx wrench and the torque value is quite low (3.5 ft-lb), I used a 5mm Allen wrench to remove the sensor and was careful not to strip the screw.



    Although the Bentley doesn't mention it (it does show it removed in the manual photo), I removed the air silencer box to make more room (10mm nut-driver).



    Disconnect the camshaft sensor harness from the cable duct above the right cylinder head.


    The way the sensor wire was threaded made it difficult for me to remove the old part without removing the oil dip stick tube, so I just cut the wire.



    Install the new sensor using a new O ring! Lightly coat the O ring with engine oil. While I was in there, I used electrical tape to seal the cracked portions of the protective sheath indicated by the yellow arrows.



    Installation is reverse of removal.


    I mentioned earlier that there was a potential problem with the positioning of this clamp. Even though the Bentley manual illustration shows the clamp in the position above (photo #5), it is dangerously close to the cooling fan blades......



    .......so I repositioned it.The final orientation I settled on has the screw pushed back behind the hose you see above it in this picture.



    Reinstall the air filter housing and MAF sensor in the reverse order of the removal.
    Next, plug your scan tool into the OBD port and clear the fault codes.




    Make sure you have reconnected all hoses, bolts and clamps. Check for any loose wires and gently rotate the cooling fan blades manually to check clearance.
    Start the engine and go for a test drive, then recheck later for fault codes.

    There is another DIY on this project here:

    Camshaft Position Sensor replacement
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 02-04-2013 at 06:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up Great Post

    Thanks for the info alot of stuff i need to do to the car just been lazy and i really dont wantto pay dealer price for ez fix, thanks one more time for the info

  3. #3
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    Thanks for a great post.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 03-11-2008 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Question from this post towed to e39 main forum

  4. #4
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    97' BMW 540i/6, 2003 VW GTI VR6
    Word to the wise - if you buy the sensor from Bavarian Auto MAKE SURE to take out the stupid rubber rectangular washer that is on the side that plugs in (not he sensor side)....3 wasted hours trying to figure out why the hell it wouldn't fit. Major dremel action as well just to find the dumbass washer in the bottom of it. Took it out and it snapped right in...
    Current: 2005 GMC Yukon SLT - AEM Brute Force Intake
    Current: 2003 Kia Sorento RAM Aire Intake
    SOLD: 1997 White 540i/6
    SOLD: 2003 VW GTI VR6
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  5. #5
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    dartmouth, nova scotia, canada
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    2000 540I BMW
    thanks for the awesome write up! my sensor should be here in a week or so, now iu have some good instructions to follows since i have no bentley manual.

  6. #6
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    I cant seem to find the part number anyone have it for 98+ 540s
    Doug (BMWCCA HPDE Instructor, Respect My Authoritay!)

    1999 Titanium Silver M3 track Rat
    2017 F250 Powerstroke
    2004 M3 Widebody, LS

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabimmer View Post
    i cant seem to find the part number anyone have it for 98+ 540s
    12 14 7 539 166
    "If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti"

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    89' 325i & 99' 540i/6
    There are 2 sensors for the 540i's right? Where is the other sensor located and is it as easy to replace?

  9. #9
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    same spot on the head just the other head. You dont have to remove the airbox either, just remove the HFM and intake tube. Total job time for both sensors about 15 minutes. Just did mine last weekend
    Doug (BMWCCA HPDE Instructor, Respect My Authoritay!)

    1999 Titanium Silver M3 track Rat
    2017 F250 Powerstroke
    2004 M3 Widebody, LS

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    98 540iA (Prd 11/97)
    Quote Originally Posted by djaxis View Post
    There are 2 sensors for the 540i's right? Where is the other sensor located and is it as easy to replace?
    Quote Originally Posted by CABimmer View Post
    same spot on the head just the other head. You dont have to remove the airbox either, just remove the HFM and intake tube. Total job time for both sensors about 15 minutes. Just did mine last weekend
    It depends on the production year. My 98 only has an Intake CPS. Part #10.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 02-06-2009 at 07:40 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by djaxis View Post
    There are 2 sensors for the 540i's right? Where is the other sensor located and is it as easy to replace?
    Specifically, any 540i with a production date before 09/1998 will have only one CPS. 540is from 09/1998+ have two CPSs. So, it depends on your car's production date.
    You can see where the CPS (#12) seats in the upper timing cover. The diagram doesn't show the second CPS, but you can see where it goes on the other side of the timing case (#2 is pointing almost exactly at that point).




    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...47&hg=11&fg=10
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 02-27-2009 at 01:07 AM.

  12. #12
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    merc 560SEL,735i

    MAF removal/CPS

    Many thanks James for your informative post.
    -I ordered the cps from german imports -- and they are very good. #=$110 including shipping /2 days and no tax.
    -Installed the new sensor (the p0340 error code) on the exhaust (passenger) side and no errors observed yet.
    -I still insist that on my car there is a torx security screws on the MAF -- mr Horscht BMW really does not want us shade tree guys messing around.
    -I was able to rotate the whole air intake out of the way enough to get at things (except for dropping a frippin screw driver down onto the belly pan which cost me half an hour) and the job was uneventful.
    -I was concerned about feedback "bad non BMW sensors floating around" and mine was a "BMW" stamped part and it seems to work.

    Cheers!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cweeks View Post
    Many thanks James for your informative post.
    -I ordered the cps from german imports -- and they are very good. #=$110 including shipping /2 days and no tax.
    -Installed the new sensor (the p0340 error code) on the exhaust (passenger) side and no errors observed yet.
    -I still insist that on my car there is a torx security screws on the MAF -- mr Horscht BMW really does not want us shade tree guys messing around.
    -I was able to rotate the whole air intake out of the way enough to get at things (except for dropping a frippin screw driver down onto the belly pan which cost me half an hour) and the job was uneventful.
    -I was concerned about feedback "bad non BMW sensors floating around" and mine was a "BMW" stamped part and it seems to work.

    Cheers!
    Cheers to you, as well.
    I hope all is still good with the AM CPS.

    James

  14. #14
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    1999 BMW 528i

    problems changing the camshaft sensor on my 1999 528i

    Hello,
    I'm in the middle of changing the camshaft sensor on my 1999 528i and am running into . Let me start by describing the initial situation.

    I was intermittently getting a "check engine" light with a Peake code: Table 15, Code 41 - "camshaft sensor, intake cam". I also noticed that sometimes the car seemed sluggish when accelerating. I spoke with my local BMW shop and the owner asked if I had visually inspected the sensor to see if anything looked wrong. Although I told him "no", I went ahead and ordered a replacement anyway.

    Today I started work on the car and followed an online writeup (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ighlight=P0340). My engine is set up exactly the same, though mine is an e39. Anyway, the only parts I physically touched (at least I think...) are the VANOS solenoid and the sensor itself. I was getting ready to take off the old sensor when I saw that the insulation on the wire had split and the copper was exposed. I wrapped it in electrical tape and reinstalled. At this point, I hadn't touched the electrical connector on the underside of the engine. I put the solenoid back on and went to start the car. It woudn't start. The battery is fine and the starter motor was firing away, but the engine wouldn't take. Thinking it was something with the "bad" sensor, I took it off and installed the new one I got from S&G Imports - part #12147539165. I put everything back together and once again, the car wouldn't start.

    At this point, I'm throwing my hands up in the air and hoping that someone can chime in with a thought. I'm wondering if maybe I was supposed to clean the VANOS solenoid before putting it back together or something. Other than that, I have no clue...

    I went ahead and checked the codes again and it threw some others in addition to the original. The new codes were: F2 Misfire detected, Cyl #5 and 76 Motorized Throttle Valve (MDK) feedback plausibility. Anyone have an answer???

    Thanks!
    Matt
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 07-11-2009 at 02:08 AM.

  15. #15
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    98 540iA (Prd 11/97)
    Quote Originally Posted by mcmill45 View Post
    Hello,
    I'm in the middle of changing the camshaft sensor on my 1999 528i and am running into problems. Let me start by describing the initial situation.

    I was intermittently getting a "check engine" light with a Peake code: Table 15, Code 41 - "camshaft sensor, intake cam". I also noticed that sometimes the car seemed sluggish when accelerating. I spoke with my local BMW shop and the owner asked if I had visually inspected the sensor to see if anything looked wrong. Although I told him "no", I went ahead and ordered a replacement anyway.

    Today I started work on the car and followed an online writeup (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ighlight=P0340). My engine is set up exactly the same, though mine is an e39. Anyway, the only parts I physically touched (at least I think...) are the VANOS solenoid and the sensor itself. I was getting ready to take off the old sensor when I saw that the insulation on the wire had split and the copper was exposed. I wrapped it in electrical tape and reinstalled. At this point, I hadn't touched the electrical connector on the underside of the engine. I put the solenoid back on and went to start the car. It woudn't start. The battery is fine and the starter motor was firing away, but the engine wouldn't take. Thinking it was something with the "bad" sensor, I took it off and installed the new one I got from S&G Imports - part #12147539165. I put everything back together and once again, the car wouldn't start.

    At this point, I'm throwing my hands up in the air and hoping that someone can chime in with a thought. I'm wondering if maybe I was supposed to clean the VANOS solenoid before putting it back together or something. Other than that, I have no clue...

    I went ahead and checked the codes again and it threw some others in addition to the original. The new codes were: F2 Misfire detected, Cyl #5 and 76 Motorized Throttle Valve (MDK) feedback plausibility. Anyone have an answer???

    Thanks!
    Matt
    Matt,
    Welcome to the forums.

    You should copy and paste this post into a new thread in the main E39 forum, 1996 - 2003 (E39), (if you haven't already). You are more likely to get responses in the main forum than here in the DIY section.

    Regards,

    Jamie
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 07-11-2009 at 02:03 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    1999 528i wagon
    Excellent detail. I would have had the job done in record time had we not dropped a bolt into that oval hole in the frame! We didn't know where it went; only that it didn't hit the floor! My suggestion is duct tape over that hole before staring the project.
    Last edited by dwivan; 08-16-2010 at 02:02 PM. Reason: misspelling

  17. #17
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    Jamie, thanks for this write up. It was extremely helpful in doing this job.

  18. #18
    Join Date
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    1999 540i-6
    I need help...Are there 2 types of camshaft position sensors for the e39? I ordered this one http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/sk...EC1800458.html for my 99 540 and my mechanic is saying its the wrong part...I went to look at other sensors and I notice that they have wires attached to them

    Whats the difference between the two besides the wiring?

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    E39 Common Problems and DIY Fixes

    I think you purchased the wrong sensor. Look at the diagram few posts before yours and check out the sensor. Does not look like the one you got. I tend to get my parts from www.bavauto.com

    PD

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    98 540iA (Prd 11/97)
    Quote Originally Posted by MyTeamSupreme View Post
    I need help...Are there 2 types of camshaft position sensors for the e39? I ordered this one http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/sk...EC1800458.html for my 99 540 and my mechanic is saying its the wrong part...I went to look at other sensors and I notice that they have wires attached to them

    Whats the difference between the two besides the wiring?
    To get the correct parts for your car, go to realoem.com and enter the first seven digits of your VIN. Then tunnel down to the sensors for your car. You can also use the production date (not the model year) of your vehicle.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 07-14-2012 at 11:01 PM.

  21. #21
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    Fooled by Code P0340

    Fooled by code P0340. 1997 540i M62. Symptoms: Engine would die immediately after starting; initially the check engine light did not illuminate. However, after starting the car many times during diagnosis (e.g., replaced fuel filter and then restarted engine), check engine light illuminated with code P0340. Cleared code and restarted the engine several times; code P0340 recurred consistently immediately when engine died each time. Purchased OEM Cam Position Sensor (CPS) from BMW dealer ($120) and installed (this detailed thread was very helpful, thanks). However, to my chagrin, the symptoms were exactly the same and still code P0340 was thrown. This was the only code. In the end, I discovered the problem was a vacuum leak at the intake manifold/idle air control O-ring (the rubber mount for the IAC is broken and simply allowed the IAC to pull part way out of the manifold). Correction of the air leak corrected the symptoms and stopped the check engine light/DTC code occurence.

    Here's the point. There was nothing wrong with the CPS. It is clear that DTC code P0340 can be triggered on this car by something unrelated to the CPS; I suspect just by the erratic engine running and dying. I've read many posts here, and see that for some folks replacing the CPS is the answer to fixing their car and clearing code P0340. But it appears that at least half of the time, people replace the CPS only to discover (like me) that this was not the problem. I suspect that lots of people wind up replacing an expensive CPS unnecessarily, and most dealers and auto parts stores will not take returns on electrical parts. Also, I have a used Camshaft Position Sensor PN 12 14 1 742 185 that is in excellent condition, send me a PM I'll sell it for half price of new ($60) plus $5 Priority Mail shipping...I accept PayPal.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkitt View Post
    Fooled by code P0340. 1997 540i M62. Symptoms: Engine would die immediately after starting; initially the check engine light did not illuminate. However, after starting the car many times during diagnosis (e.g., replaced fuel filter and then restarted engine), check engine light illuminated with code P0340. Cleared code and restarted the engine several times; code P0340 recurred consistently immediately when engine died each time. Purchased OEM Cam Position Sensor (CPS) from BMW dealer ($120) and installed (this detailed thread was very helpful, thanks). However, to my chagrin, the symptoms were exactly the same and still code P0340 was thrown. This was the only code. In the end, I discovered the problem was a vacuum leak at the intake manifold/idle air control O-ring (the rubber mount for the IAC is broken and simply allowed the IAC to pull part way out of the manifold). Correction of the air leak corrected the symptoms and stopped the check engine light/DTC code occurence.

    Here's the point. There was nothing wrong with the CPS. It is clear that DTC code P0340 can be triggered on this car by something unrelated to the CPS; I suspect just by the erratic engine running and dying. I've read many posts here, and see that for some folks replacing the CPS is the answer to fixing their car and clearing code P0340. But it appears that at least half of the time, people replace the CPS only to discover (like me) that this was not the problem. I suspect that lots of people wind up replacing an expensive CPS unnecessarily, and most dealers and auto parts stores will not take returns on electrical parts. Also, I have a used Camshaft Position Sensor PN 12 14 1 742 185 that is in excellent condition, send me a PM I'll sell it for half price of new ($60) plus $5 Priority Mail shipping...I accept PayPal.
    Welcome to the forums and thanks for the added info.. Also, if you want to sell your used CPS, please list it in the Bimmerforums classified section.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdc4 View Post
    Welcome to the forums and thanks for the added info.. Also, if you want to sell your used CPS, please list it in the Bimmerforums classified section.
    Thank you. At present I am not allowed to post new threads. Could you give some directions as how to change this status, as I would like to post the CPS sensor and another part in the classifieds.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkitt View Post
    Thank you. At present I am not allowed to post new threads. Could you give some directions as how to change this status, as I would like to post the CPS sensor and another part in the classifieds.
    You can post new threads, but you may be trying to include a feature that is restricted by post quota. The 15 post requirement is the most likely one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post
    10 posts and 7 days of registration = PM option becomes available.
    15 posts - they get the ability to use images, smilies & URLs
    10 days - they get off-topic access
    25 posts - something else happens
    > 100 posts - you get an avatar (image under username) option

    Useless posting to acquire added features will probably result in posting restrictions and post count starting over from 0, or close to it.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 07-18-2012 at 05:48 PM.

  25. #25
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    1998 BMW 540i

    Confused

    Hello.
    I read your post above concerning Production date. For my 98 540i Production date is 11/97. so I have one Camshaft position sensor.
    But when I took it in for diagnose it say both camshaft position sensor.

    sorry if the question seems silly, but I can not afford to take my car in to be fixed. I am doing it myself.

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