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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 03:10:20 PM   #1
nextelbuddy1
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Default What is this sensor on top of the valve cover? (PCV Solenoid- see post 26 for delete)



newer M3 engines have this sensor that look like the brake booster sucking jet. this sensor gets vacuum from the air rail and connects to the PCV tube. older S54 engines dont have it and instead have a plain long PCV single tube.

im only curious about it in regards to how to handle it with a carbon airbox install. what do you do with it?

my car doesnt have it so i had no problems with my carbon airbox install but another person I helped with did have it.

is it a sensor that does exist on older S54 but is relocated to the top on newer S54?
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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 03:14:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: What is this sensor on top of the valve cover?

It was added to newer S54's for emissions, I believe
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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 03:33:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: What is this sensor on top of the valve cover?

That's not a sensor. It's a solenoid valve for vacuum.
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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 03:34:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is this sensor on top of the valve cover?

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Originally Posted by Drewster View Post
It was added to newer S54's for emissions, I believe
im curious if people who go the carbon airbox route, if they just remove it completely? I left the sensor in place and plugged in to avoid a CEL (even though I flashed the CSL software to the DME i'm sure it doesn't look for it)

I left it in place plugged in but plugged up/capped off the vacuum line when i replaced the PCV tube with the CSL one.
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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 03:44:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is this sensor on top of the valve cover?

"The oil separator allows the crankcase to safely vent air and stop oil from escaping during the process. If your hoses have cracked due to heat and age, the resulting leak may cause your system to malfunction. Replace your cracked hoses as soon as you can to keep your car running smoothly."
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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 03:49:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is this sensor on top of the valve cover?

I removed it when I did the MAP rail, unwired it, and the car doesn't look for it because the CSL never had it (and I'm CSL based software).

The CSL software is the correct way to do the airbox, so it's kind of a self correcting problem.
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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 03:51:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: What is this sensor on top of the valve cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nextelbuddy1 View Post
im curious if people who go the carbon airbox route, if they just remove it completely? I left the sensor in place and plugged in to avoid a CEL (even though I flashed the CSL software to the DME i'm sure it doesn't look for it)

I left it in place plugged in but plugged up/capped off the vacuum line when i replaced the PCV tube with the CSL one.

If you cannot mate the stock setup to the CSL box, that's the route I would go, too.
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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 03:51:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: What is this sensor on top of the valve cover?

It's a solenoid, not a sensor. If you have it you don't want to leave it unplugged (since that solenoid is only closed when energized). If you have software that doesn't look for it (like the CSL and all non-HPs), then you'll want to delete it for the same reason. That solenoid being constantly open will result in a rather large vacuum leak
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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 03:53:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is this sensor on top of the valve cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
It's a solenoid, not a sensor. If you have it you don't want to leave it unplugged (since that solenoid is only closed when energized). If you have software that doesn't look for it (like the CSL and all non-HPs), then you'll want to delete it for the same reason. That solenoid being constantly open will result in a rather large vacuum leak
Good point - makes sense BMW would want it normally open to take advantage of the air rail's vacuum for crankcase gasses.
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Old Wed, May-23-2018, 05:59:59 PM   #10
nextelbuddy1
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Default Re: What is this sensor on top of the valve cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
It's a solenoid, not a sensor. If you have it you don't want to leave it unplugged (since that solenoid is only closed when energized). If you have software that doesn't look for it (like the CSL and all non-HPs), then you'll want to delete it for the same reason. That solenoid being constantly open will result in a rather large vacuum leak
ok good to know. I left it plugged in since I wasnt sure but I did flash CSL software to an HP DME for a local person when i installed their carbon airbox setup and map sensor. I left the solonoid in the stock location for now and simply plugged/capped the end of it to prevent the vacuum leak. the owner didnt like it missing because it looked empty with it gone so for now they have it just sitting in the stock location but it is plugged.

thats good to know that NON HP DMEs dont look for it but HP DMEs do look for it.

im curious how you would know what its DTC is to code it out manually? other than waiting for the CEL to trigger then using PASoft to read the DTC/Hex code.... otherwise i dont have a list of DTC codes matched with the name of the sensors they are mated with.

that's my method, i wait for the DTC to trigger then retrieve the code with PASoft then i can table look it up in the DTC PDF in the coding section but some others like yourself just know what the DTC/Hex value is and the address for any given sensor.
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Discussing What is this sensor on top of the valve cover? (PCV Solenoid- see post 26 for delete) in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)