BMW E36 Blog

BMW E36 Sensors Explained

15th April 2012

BMW E36 Sensors Explained

posted in Engine, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized |

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Hi Guys,

I know this is one of the most confusing subjects about the BMW E36 cars. Too many sensors with complicated names. Hopefully, this list will help you figure out what the most common sensors in your cars are and what they actually do. Have fun O_o :-

Symbol Name Job Picture
CPS Crank Position Sensor Controls the timing of firing for the spark plugs. Crank Position Sensor
CMP Camshaft Position Sensor Controls the timing of injecting fuel. Camshaft Position Sensor
MAF Mass Air flow Sensor Reads the volume of air entering the engine intake. Mass Air flow Sensor
ICV Idle Control Value By controlling how much air is allowed to enter through the throttle plate, it controls the idle of the engine. In many cases where the BMW E36 is not idling perfectly, the Idle control valve is the reason behind this problem. Read about cleaning the ICV. Idle Control Value
IAT Air Intake Temp Sensor Measures incoming air temperature. If the air is cold (more dense), the engine will need more fuel. Air Intake Temp Sensor
O2 Oxygen Sensor (Precat, Postcat) Monitors the gas that’s coming out of exhaust and provides readings to the DME to help it mix air+fuel better. Oxygen Sensor
CTS Coolant Temp Sensor Measures temperature of the coolant. Coolant Temp Sensor
TPS Throttle Position Sensor Measures changes in the throttle position. Throttle Position Sensor

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  1. 1 On February 25th, 2013, sihle said:

    Hi Gents

    I’m driving an E36 318i, it doesn’t want to start the engine. When I turn the key the oil indicator on the dash is not showing only the battery indicator. What might be the problem? I have changed the petrol pump, releighs. I’m jst not sure wat might be now… Pls help

    Sihle ZA

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