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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 Thu, Apr-11-2019, 09:04:31 PM   #1
terraphantm
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Default Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

Car's in the body shop in need of a replacement rear bumper, so I figured this is a great time to finish my PDC retrofit and have them order a PDC bumper. Trouble is, new OE carbon black sensors are > $200 a piece.

I do have a set of OE jet black (or maybe black sapphire... not carbon black for sure) sensors, though I'm not sure they can be repainted carbon black without messing things up. I can also get a set carbon black sensors that probably started life as a set of generic Chinese knockoffs for a lot less money... but if they don't work, there's not much point.
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Old Thu, Apr-11-2019, 09:25:58 PM   #2
Texaz3
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Default Re: Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

I would think that black and carbon black would be close enough to not be all that noticeable. Plus, they are technically just sonars, so can be re-painted.
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Old Fri, Apr-12-2019, 09:15:22 PM   #3
_dietz
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Default Re: Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

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Plus, they are technically just sonars, so can be re-painted.
Yep, my bumper, including the sensors, was resprayed last year and they still work great.
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Old Fri, Apr-12-2019, 10:11:13 PM   #4
usdmej
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Default Re: Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

i thought PDC uses simple radio waves to gauge distance, nothing a coat of paint over the sensors would be effected by
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Old Fri, Apr-12-2019, 10:33:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

My car has factory paint over the sensors. You can hear the ticking if you put your ear close to the sonar/ultrasonic sensor when sensors are powered up in reverse.
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Old Fri, Apr-12-2019, 11:16:35 PM   #6
terraphantm
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Default Re: Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

Yeah I know factory painted sensors exist, but BMW's instructions have always mentioned that paint not applied at the factory can mess the sensors up. But seems like enough people have had luck with repainting them that I'll try to get the shop to do that
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Old Wed, Apr-17-2019, 06:23:49 AM   #7
02blueru
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Default Re: Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

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Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
Yeah I know factory painted sensors exist, but BMW's instructions have always mentioned that paint not applied at the factory can mess the sensors up. But seems like enough people have had luck with repainting them that I'll try to get the shop to do that
I was able to find a used sensor in my color (midnight blue) fairly easily on eBay for around $40. I had actually bought a brand new (unpainted) one beforehand thinking I’d paint it myself but realized that would probably be be a huge pain in the ass.
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Old Wed, Apr-17-2019, 07:13:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

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Originally Posted by rovert604 View Post
My car has factory paint over the sensors. You can hear the ticking if you put your ear close to the sonar/ultrasonic sensor when sensors are powered up in reverse.
I wish I could hear outside of the 20-20,000hz range human beings are capable of hearing.

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Old Wed, Apr-17-2019, 03:41:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

Before I did the m3 rear bumper... When I had the zhp bumper with pdc sensors in the impact strip . They were originally blue... I tried sanding and using acetone but the paint remained. I just painted over them with black paint and they workedfine still.

My m3 bumper had red sensors already but body shop painted over them again with the repaint since the red was a different shade. Those sensors still work fine too.

I think you will be just fine.
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Old Thu, Apr-18-2019, 12:56:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Any experience with repainting PDC sensors or using aftermarket PDC sensors?

On amazon, the PDC sensors are $30 for a 4 pack, does anyone know if these are any good? They're significantly cheaper than anything close to OEM...
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Discussing E46 M3 Diff (my journey)... 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)