E39 (1997 - 2003) The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released.
Then the summer temps start up here and all of a sudden the sensor started going haywire reading up and down the temp range eventually dying at -40F. Sometimes my outside temp seems all wrong- when I have parked overnight underneath the deck, my car's sensor will be a few degrees different than the actual temperature outside. When I am driving downtown- an asphalt street surrounded by buildings, the temperature my car reads is always higher than when I drive home- an asphalt street surrounded by trees and grass, and not as much traffic. From your description sounds like a wiring problem, that would explain why it dropped back to the default -40F indication.
I moved my temp sensor up a bit in the same compartment as the Air Pump since 2006, not a single problem.
I question whether their really is a "calibration procedure", but it is really a moot point. The "high" reading when stopped or in stop and go traffic are a result of engine heat pooling at the front of the car.
The readout diving back down to -40 is a clear indication of either a bad sensor or problems with the wiring.
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Help!About a month ago I inherited a 1997 Crown Victoria 109,000 miles 4.6L Single exhaust. Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions. AlvinC answered a question about my Ford truck that only someone with an in-depth knowledge of his subject would have known what was going on.
Because of your expertise, you armed me with enough ammunition to win the battle with the dealer. Here you will find Technical Information and help about automotive and electronic producs and services.
Do you know or have any information that you think would be helpful to the community and would like to share it in this blog?You are welcome to post it if you would like to! After publishing our article about IAT resistors, many people have been requesting related information not included in the mentioned post. We don’t have the info on the Toyota Corolla handy at this moment, but below you will find how to identify the connection of the iat from the maf sensor.
The BMW manual for the IAT sensor location is very simple and do not provide location pictures. The MAF sensor is located in the incoming air path at the left side (driver’s side) of the engine compartment.
The MAF has 5 wires on its connector and the IAT is directly wired to the wire #5, which color is YELLOW with GREEN. The resistor can be wired from that wire #5 to any of the two black wires in the same connector, which are #3 and #6 (Yes, it has 5 wires, but for some reason they are numbered 2,3,4,5 and 6). Please remember, one lead of the resistor is wired to one of the black wires, but the black wire is NOT cut or disconnected from the MAF sensor. The other resistor lead is wired to the #5, and the wire must be cut from the MAF, leaving enough length on the wire that goes to the MAF, so it can be reconnected in any future time you wish to do so. The incoming air temperature read by the ecu, will be altered (fooled) by the resistor replacing the IAT and this false registered temperature will depend on the amount of the resistance. In this case, the connection must be done by opening (cutting) wire #1 and connecting one lead of the resistor to the part of the cut wire that goes to the ecu and the other resistor lead must be connected to wire #5, without cutting it from the MAF.
As you may have noticed, it will take one three way switch and two resistors, not just one.

I wish I had come across your information before wasting the time and money for that resistor sold to me on ebay as a fuel performance chip.
But I do have the chip, and know where the MAF is, but do not know which of the wires to hook it to. Unfortunately, I don’t have the information on the 2010 model, but if like it is been happening so far, the MAF from a prior model might have the same configuration. In a note apart from the topic, eBay buyers like you should take action and leave a negative feedback to these sellers as this is dishonest business and sellers know it. I think that the word should be spread and tell people about this article so they don’t get fooled.
I bought one of these off ebay for 25 bucks, he said it was a chip, got it in the mail 7 days later. The other resistor lead, must be connected to wire #5 (Brown), without disconnecting it from the MAF. The first wire should be cut and the side that goes to the ecu is to be connected to one of the resistor’s leads and the other lead should be connected to the second wire (GND), whithout disconnecting it (No cutting) from the Flow Meter sensor. About your 1995 Hyundai Elantra, the IAT is embedded with the MAF sensor which has 6 wires. I am looking for color code used for the wire which sends the temperature signal to ECU from IAT in 2007 Suzuki SX4 1.6 Petrol.
We don’t have the information about the color code on that model, but we do have a picture of its configuration.
After reading all the info, I’m confused as to your final opinion of these resistors. The reason I put the information and even help people find the facts for their cars, is for those who won’t just take my words and would like to try it anyway. I am pretty sure that most of those who have tried so far, have realized that it is not worth it. I invite all of them to leave their comments about this, as I am generalizing and may be it was worth doing for someone. I hope that with the new FTC laws, those scammers with their fake testimonials are taken down, out of business, if that can be called a business. Yes, is does take a while for your sensor to sync with your computer, but it should do that within 50-100 miles. And, on the street, realize that ambient temp, (stopped, on a street surface of black asphalt) will be different than if you are driving (ambient air is rushing over your temp sensor) BMW has put the air sensor away from your engine, but it is still influenced by the temperature of the pavement.
Maybe my car say's 50 in the garage, I put it outside it reads 50 for a few minutes, my cars computer is confused. The sensor itself is nothing more than a resistor that varies in resistance to temperature changes. I do not know how you repaired it, but it should be soldered as even a small change in resistance in the wiring is no difference than if the sensor changes resistance itself. As soon as the air stream is restored by forward motion, the temperature will drop to the ambient, or at least the ambient about a foot off the road surface. On some vehicles, the info of this sensor is very relevant, making considerable changes depending on the value present on this sensor, while in other vehicles it will cause very small changes. That should be enough for doing some simple temperature tests as described in the first published article about this. This is because the reference is taken from the harness connector terminal and not from the MAF connector terminal. I am amazed that many people still have success selling such a rip off and they don’t even send installing instructions. Otherwise you will cut an important ground connection needed by this sensor, making possible erratic behavior of the vehicle.

You can use a toggle switch, putting its common terminal to the IAT wire that goes to the ecu and then select any of the three possible positions, being them, (1) one connector to the normal IAT on the MAF, and the other two to a couple of resistor values, (2) one for rich and (3) one for lean. If you are getting any change in performance, consumption, fueling or ignition, then you are on your way.
In this case, the hook up must be done like in the last drawing above, by cutting wire #4 (MAF side) and attaching one lead of the resistor on that same wire at ECU side. On one hand, you seem to be giving lots of advise for people to DIY their own but on the the other hand, you call them a “scam”? That is an intelligent way of thinking and I am in favor of that, so the least I can do, having the knowledge, experience and information on hand, is to help them do it them selves without paying a dime to those scammers. However, I'm curious to know if it takes several days to calibrate itself after plugging it in or do I just have an exposed wire somewhere?
I'm not convinced that even the ECU must adjust to the replaced temp sensor as the ECU has no means to determine on its own what the correct value should be! A functioning sensor should take between 10 minutes and an hour to stabilize, and as long as it's not disconnected, should remain stable. The dealer is correct, there is the Engine Coolant Temperature Sender for the gauge and the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor for the PCM.
You may change between economy and power or just go back to stock (factory) settings any time. I mean, be mentally prepared as we are just giving away this information in an attempt to stop people scamming on eBay and now beyond eBay. What it is been proved so far is the placebo effect, that with the mere fact that something has been installed on the engine, people think they feel some gain at least.
In my experience, this process takes no more driving time than one would encounter in a "regular day's worth of driving".
After it is in place, turn the key to the "on" position, while still on, remove the wire and plug in the sensor. Or, your old wiring is bad and you have one lead that is broken most of the way through and is making and then losing the connection. Proper sealing of intake manifold and components attached to intake air (such as EGR valve or IAC valve).
This is provided as an option for people who want to try the IAT resistor modification anyway, so they can do it without paying a pennie to those scammers. I plan to look at the wiring again after work today, however, beginning yesterday the temps would start reading properly but then fluctuate all over the place.
Replace the connector and the wiring as far back as you can and the solder the new pigtail and connector to the remaining old wiring ad you will be all set.
You can use crimp connectors, but in time they will oxidize and you will start getting erratic readings again. 7-12 CHECK MASS AIR FLOW (MAF) SENSOR Go to Section 5A, Pinpoint Test Step DC25 to check the MAF sensor.
7-15 CHECK FUEL DELIVERY SYSTEM For Natural Gas applications: Go to Section 5A, Pinpoint Test Step HB1 .
7-22 CHECK TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEM (Continental with Traction Control option only) For Continental with optional Traction Control, go to Section 5A, Pinpoint Test Step HT50 to check Traction Control.

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