1A Auto Video Library
Our how-to videos have helped repair over 100 million vehicles.

How to Replace Ambient Air Temp Sensor 97-06 BMW 325Xi

Share on:

How to Replace Ambient Air Temp Sensor 97-06 BMW 325Xi

Created on: 2019-09-13

Watch this video to learn how to replace the ambient air temperature sensor on your 97-06 BMW 3 series vehicle.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the 17 mm lug bolts
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug bolts
    • Remove the wheel
  2. step 2 :Removing the Ambient Air Temperature Sensor
    • Remove the four lower corner panel 8 mm screws inside the wheel well
    • Remove the two lower 8 mm screws
    • Remove the lower corner panel
    • Disconnect the sensor electrical connector
    • Twist the sensor to slide it out
  3. step 3 :Replacing the Electrical connector (optional)
    • Cut off any damaged or exposed wiring
    • Strip the wire ends of the replacement connector and crimp a butt connector on each wire end
    • Slide shrink tube over each wire
    • Strip each existing wire end
    • Insert the existing wire end into each corresponding butt connector and crimp it
    • With the connector facing you, and the locking clip on top, the right wire will connect to the brown/blue wire
    • Heat the shrink tubes to tighten them
    • You may optionally wrap the wire in electrical tape or wire conduit
  4. step 4 :Installing the Ambient Air Temperature Sensor
    • Insert the sensor into the lower corner panel and twist it to lock it in place
    • Connect the electrical connector
    • Position the lower corner panel
    • Install the two lower 8 mm screws
    • Install the four wheel well 8 mm screws
  5. step 5 :Installing the Wheel
    • Lift the wheel onto the wheel hub
    • Install the five 17 mm lug bolts
    • Tighten the 17 mm lug bolts by hand
    • Lower the vehicle with minimal weight on the wheel
    • Torque the 17 mm lug bolts to 95 ft-lb in a star pattern

Tools needed for replacement

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Wire Butt Connectors

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

    Wire Cutters

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions

    Torque Wrench


    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

    17mm Socket

    8mm Socket

Installation Video
Watch video

What's up, guys. I'm Andy from 1AAuto. In this video, I'm going to show you how to replace the outside air temp sensor, also known as an abient air temp sensor, on this 2001 BMW 325xi. If your air conditioning isn't working properly, or the gauge on your dash is not accurate, this may be your problem. If you need this part, or other parts for your vehicle, click the link in the description and head over to

I'm going to loosen up the lug bolts. I'm going to use a 17-mm socket and a breaker bar. Loosen them up. Now, I'm going to raise and support the vehicle. We're using a two-post lift. If you're doing this at your house, you can use a jack and jack stands.

Now, I'll take these lug bolts out. Just use the socket to help you get them out. I'm going to just hold the wheel with my other hand so it doesn't fall. Take the last one out. Then I can grab the wheel and slide it off.

With the wheel off, I'm going to take these screws off right here. There's three of those. I can take this extra fourth one out for the top cover if I need a little more room. I'm just going to use an 8-mm socket and an electric ratchet. If you don't have an electric ratchet, you can use a regular ratchet. Oops. Need an extension for that. For this one, I just used an extension. It's a little bit easier. I'm just going to take this one out just because. Then I have more room to play with.

Now, there's two screws right here. Same 8-mm socket and ratchet to take those out. Now I should be able to just grab this. There is a little clip that was holding that in right there. There is a clip over here. Slide that out like that. This slides right out just like that, and you can disconnect the connector right there. Push down on the tab, slide it out.

To take this off the panel, I'm just going to go behind the panel, put my finger there, just rotate this a little bit and then just slide it up. Now you can pull it through just like that. That's how I got the old one out.

Here's the old sensor. Here's the new ambient air temp sensor from It has the same shape, has the same connector. The new sensor actually comes with a wire connector. If your wire connector broke or if the vehicle got in an accident, a lot of time that shield gets ripped off and then the wire will get ripped out, so it's good to have that. Get yours at and you'll be ready to rock and roll.

We're going to look at our connector and it comes with a new connector because a lot of times this shield will get knocked off and then it'll cut the wires. If the vehicle's in an accident or if you hit a curb or something, so it's kind of nice that this kit comes with this if you need it. This vehicle doesn't need it. What you can do is just check your old wires. Just go along here and see if there's any parts that seem like brittle. If you peel back on the electrical tape, and just take a look and just see if you see any corrosion or anything. These wires are good, so we're not going to have to replace these.

When you are replacing these, if this connector is missing, then when you're looking at the connector with the lock on the top side, these blue and brown wire is going to be on the right side. You're going to want to hook that wire to that blue and brown wire and then the other wire, the red and blue wire, is going to go to the left side when you're looking at the connector. It may not make a difference, but it's always good to match what's in the vehicle as it is.

When you want to connect the wires together, what you want to do is have a fresh piece of wire on here. Now, that's a little bit on the smaller side, so what you can do is take some wire strippers and just strip a little bit more off. I know it's size. Pull the wire, and it's almost a little bit too much, but you can also take some of these style connectors. They do make these style connectors that actually have shrink wrap on them. That would be ideal. Twist these wires a little bit, and you're going to want to do this to both sides. You do it on the connector side, and then you do it on the vehicle harness side. Slide this on just like that, and then you could crimp this down.

Now, if you had this kind, this is not a weather sealed connector, so you're going to want to take a little bit of shrink wrap and slide that over first. Then you can put this connector on with that in the right position, and then with these, wire strippers actually have this crimper right here. I'll pick the appropriate color and you just squeeze real tight. That's good. That crimps it. Then I just grab the connector and just wiggle it and make sure it's tight. If it's not that tight, go back and tighten it down a little bit more. Then you can take the shrink wrap, slide it over, and then you connect the other wire in over there, and then use a heat gun and shrink wrap this down to the wire. Then it's a good idea to take electrical tape and tape it all up. Ideal would be using solder and shrink wrap, but sometimes that's not always accessible. These generally work pretty good just as long as you have them weathered using the shrink wrap so that the weather stays out of them. Then they won't corrode and stuff.

All right, so our wires are good, so I'm not going to replace this connector on this vehicle. I did cut the electrical tape that I pulled back a little bit. I'm just going to replace that. What I want do is just hold the wire tight, as tight as possible. You could actually have a friend hold that for you and then just tape this up. Try to make it look factory as much as possible. We'll just cut the end off. That's good.

Now, we'll take the cover, slide the new sensor into the cover, lock it in place. Just like that. Now, you just take the connector and we're going to plug it into the ambient air temp sensor. Just switch this around so that lines up, lock that in place, make sure it's tight. Then reinstall the cover. Now, you could probably do this job without taking the cover off. There's a little slit right here, that needs to slide in over here. Lock that in place. Then this has to go underneath this other cover. It probably would be easier to slide that in first. Just like that. All right. That's in position.

I'm going to take these two screws from underneath, get these started. That one there, and right here. Take my electric ratchet and 8-mm socket and tighten these up. Just snug. That's good. All right. Then I'm going to reinstall these screws. I'll just get them all started first and then I'll tighten them down. Take that same 8-mm socket and electric ratchet and tighten them down. It's good to go.

Now, I'm going to install wheel. Line it up with the lug holes. I'm going to hold the wheel on. Grab a socket with my lug bolt, get that started. All right. Now, I can lower the vehicle and torque the lug nuts.

Now, I'm going to use a 17-mm socket and this torque wrench that we sell at I'm going to torque lug bolts to 95 foot pounds in a star pattern so that it torques the wheel down evenly. I'll just go around again.

Thanks for watching. Visit for quality auto parts shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. If you enjoyed this video, please click the subscribe button.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Wire Butt Connectors

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Wire Cutters

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 17mm Socket
  • 8mm Socket

How to Use an AC Recharge Canister Correctly

How to Use an AC Recharge Canister Correctly

In this video, 1A Auto shows you how to correctly use an air conditioning recharge can.

Search Videos
Go To Top

Same Day Shipping

Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.

Guaranteed To Fit

Highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts enforced to the strictest product standards.

USA Customer Support

Exceeding customers' expectations, our team of passionate auto enthusiasts are here to help.

Instructional Video Library

Thousands of how-to auto repair videos to guide you step-by-step through your repair.