BMW E60 Front Oxygen Sensors Replacement – 2 Hours
BMW E60 front oxygen sensors should be replaced every 100,000 miles to avoid an “Increased Emmisions” iDrive warning and a “Service Engine” light on your dashboard.
The BMW E60 front oxygen sensors (also known as O2 sensors or lambda sensors) are an important part of the vehicle’s emissions system, but are often ignored during regular maintenance intervals due to their cost. A pair of Genuine (factory) BMW E60 front oxygen sensors will cost about $550…and that’s just for the two sensors. Add in the labor charged to install them by your local repair shop or dealership, and you will be staring at a bill exceeding $750. This is a discernible reason why many BMW owners elect not to replace their O2 sensors and just live with the irritating dash light and iDrive warning message.
If you need to replace the front (pre-cat) oxygen sensors on your BMW, there is good news. Even if you have a just a basic mechanical knowledge, you can easily replace your pre-cat sensors. Unlike your rear (post-cat) sensors, you do not need to jack and support your vehicle. Your front pre-cat O2 sensors are easily accessed in the engine compartment.
Purchasing the correct oxygen sensor
There is a lot of discussion online as to what brand of part you should use when performing an oxygen sensor replacement on your BMW. The BMW Repair Guide strongly recommends that you only use Genuine BMW or OEM Bosch sensors when doing a BMW E60 oxygen sensor replacement. Sensors other than Genuine BMW or Bosch have been known to fail or may not be compatible on the BMW E60 5 series.
Save yourself a lot of time and frustration…don’t try and save a few bucks purchasing “generic” O2 sensors for your car. We know from experience that they fail…trust our guidance on this issue.
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Choose your BMW E60 oxygen sensors from one of the two options.
Option #1 – Genuine BMW parts – Best choice, guaranteed fitment, most expensive option.
|Oxygen sensor – precat front 23434||1||11787523434||M54 engine – Genuine BMW – front position on exhaust manifold|
|Oxygen sensor – precat rear 23435||1||11787523435||M54 engine – Genuine BMW – rear position on exhaust manifold|
|Oxygen sensor – precat front 58055||1||11787558055||N52 engine – Genuine BMW – front position on exhaust manifold|
|Oxygen sensor – precat rear 58073||1||11787558073||N52 engine – Genuine BMW – rear position on exhaust manifold|
Option #2 – OEM Bosch – Great alternative to Genuine BMW, least expensive option.
|Oxygen sensor – precat front 23434B||1||11787523434||M54 engine – OEM Bosch – front position on exhaust manifold|
|Oxygen sensor – precat rear 23435B||1||11787523435||M54 engine – OEM Bosch – rear position on exhaust manifold|
|Oxygen sensor – precat front 58055B||1||11787558055||N52 engine – OEM Bosch – front position on exhaust manifold|
|Oxygen sensor – precat rear 58073B||1||11787558073||N52 engine – OEM Bosch – rear position on exhaust manifold|
- Use a socket wrench to disconnect the negative terminal from the battery before starting this repair. Always cover the terminal with a clean rag to avoid accidental contact during the repair. If working on a vehicle with 2 batteries (8 series), disconnect the negative terminal from both batteries. ALWAYS disconnect the battery(s) before performing any type of repair that includes disconnecting electronics, especially in the engine compartment.
- You will need to begin the BMW E60 oxygen sensor replacement by removing the cabin filter containers from the back side of the engine. The cabin filter containers must be removed to gain access to the oxygen sensor wires.
- Start by removing the rubber engine gasket.
- Remove the cabin filter cover by pressing the side tab and sliding the cover off.
- Starting with the right cabin filter, use a flat blade screwdriver to remove the metal retaining clip securing the cabin filter container.
- Disconnect the hood sensor switch located on the front of right cabin filter container.
- Using an 13mm socket, turn the plastic nut counterclockwise 1/2 turn to release the cabin filter container from the right air inlet. Remove the cabin filter container from vehicle.
- Starting at the center, continue loosening the rest of the plastic nuts (1/2 turn only) that anchor the right air inlet to the engine compartment.
- Use an 8mm nut driver to remove screw anchoring the right air inlet to engine compartment. Note – this screw may be a T20 torx on certain model vehicles.
- Remove the right air inlet from vehicle.
- Repeat the above steps to remove the left cabin filter container and air inlet. The only difference is there are no electrical connections on left side that need to be disconnected.
Front oxygen sensor removal and replacement
- Remove the wiring harness from it’s plastic mounting tray at the back of the engine compartment. Remove the plastic tray by simply pulling it off of the strut supports. Tuck the wiring harness back out of the way.
- Use a metal pick to remove left engine cover caps. Use a 10mm nut driver to remove cover bolts. Remove left cover from engine compartment.
- Identify the electrical connections for the two front oxygen sensors on top of the intake manifold.
- Pull the connections loose from their brackets.
- The oxygen sensor wires run behind the engine block to the exhaust manifold on right side of engine. Carefully pull the wires loose.
- Pull the wires out of the clips anchoring them to the side of the cylinder head cover. If the clips pull loose from the cylinder head cover, do not lose them! They are very important. Remove them from the old oxygen sensor wire. See step 14 below on how to correctly reinstall them with new wires.
- Identify the two oxygen sensors in the exhaust manifold. Use a piece of tape to mark the front and rear oxygen sensor connections for future identification. This will keep you from getting confused and connecting them backwards.
- Disconnect the oxygen sensor connectors.
- Using a special 22mm oxygen sensor removal socket, remove the two oxygen sensors from the intake manifold.
- Add a little bit of anti-seize lubricant to the threads of the new sensors, being extremely careful not to get any on the sensor itself. Anti-seize lubricant on the sensor will most likely cause an error code and you will be taking the engine back apart again to cure it. Note – Genuine BMW E60 front oxygen sensors usually have anti-seize lubricant already applied.
- Install the new oxygen sensors. Try and get them as tight as possible by hand before torquing with the 22mm oxygen sensor socket. Torque sensors to 47Nm (35 ft-lb).
- Reinstall the oxygen sensor wires around the back of the cylinder head and back to their connectors. Take your time, paying close attention to the labels placed on the oxygen sensor connections in step 4 above.
- Make sure the new oxygen sensor wires are correctly clipped to the side of the cylinder head cover. The clips are very confusing and are often installed incorrectly. The following image shows how to correctly reinstall the BMW E60 front oxygen sensor clips. Note that there are square cut outs in the lip of the cylinder head cover that the clips engage into.
- Reassemble vehicle following above steps in reverse.
BMW E60 front oxygen sensor replacement completed
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. And congratulations for Doing It Yourself!