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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have a '05 3 with an odd cylindrical sensor which I discovered was hanging beneath the car a few days ago. You can find pictures of it here:Hanging Sensor - Imgur

Any idea what it is/if its important?

I also have issues with my power steering; if I turn the wheel quickly, such as when parallel parking, there is no steering assist at all. However, if I turn the wheel slowly, the power assist works just fine. The issue is not RPM dependent. I also have noted that when the sensor mentioned above is unplugged, the power steering warning light is constantly lit. No CELs thrown yet though (I have the sensor permanently unplugged in hopes of a CEL being thrown).

Thanks!
 

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I would try to figure out where the sensor was originally mounted, as it is a piece of the power steering system.

It won't bring a CEL because the power steering system is completely seperate from the ECU
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've tried to no avail. If someone would do me a huge favor and trace the sensor to its correct spot, that would be great. The connector for the sensor connects right underneath the coolant tank:
 

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Check if it goes to the power steering pump or power steering resevoir (bumper removal required) since those are both in that location
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How would I be able to find where it goes? Its just hanging loose in the bay.
 

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How would I be able to find where it goes? Its just hanging loose in the bay.
It looks like there is a screw that holds it in place ( since it has a hole ) so it probably fits somewhere exact where there is a hole for it to fit in, and a hole to screw it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have taken my front bumper off and can't for the life of me find any cylindrical impression with a screwhole on the PS assembly. Maybe it goes somewhere else in the engine bay?
 

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I'll be doing my front LCA on Monday, while im on the R/S I'll take a look and see whats cookin' over there.....I was skimming thru the Factory Service Manual and didn't notice a sensor like that in the Power steering section,but I'll scope around the car on Monday.
 

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that sensor is not at all part of the steering system, I still don't know what it is.

As far as weak power steering goes, when was the last time you replaced fluid?

Was it sudden change or just now noticing it isn't that great?

Anything happen between or did it just kind of happen?

Are you sure it isn't the pump?
If it is something that has slowly been happening over time, then welcome to a very common issue with the gen1 3. If you're lucky it's just the $250ish hydraulic pump.

If you're unlucky like me, it's the $500+ steering pump motor.

With that said.

My car doesn't even have any wiring near the coolant except that same ground point.

Someone put that there. Where does the other end of the wire go to? Inside the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
that sensor is not at all part of the steering system, I still don't know what it is.

As far as weak power steering goes, when was the last time you replaced fluid?

Was it sudden change or just now noticing it isn't that great?

Anything happen between or did it just kind of happen?

Are you sure it isn't the pump?
If it is something that has slowly been happening over time, then welcome to a very common issue with the gen1 3. If you're lucky it's just the $250ish hydraulic pump.

If you're unlucky like me, it's the $500+ steering pump motor.

With that said.

My car doesn't even have any wiring near the coolant except that same ground point.

Someone put that there. Where does the other end of the wire go to? Inside the car?
XCNuse, didn't know you were over here as well, thanks for all the help so far.

I just replaced the PS fluid about a month ago, so it shouldn't be that.

As for if it were a sudden change or not, I have no clue. I bought the car used, and noted it after driving around more frequently. I assume the problem has been there since I bought it.

I updated the thread over at M3F "Update: I was able to get the car on a lift and found where the sensor would attach to. It attaches to the bottom of the steering shaft (not really sure what you call this, maybe a steering box?). Only issue is the sensor doesn't fit at all, which leads me to believe that either the steering box was replaced, or the original sensor was replaced with one that didn't fit. Any ideas where I would find a replacement sensor, or what that sensor is even called? "

So it does appear that this sensor has at least something to do with the steering system. I wasn't able to get a picture of the mounting place, but it definitely looks like it matches up, or at the very least there is a spot for a sensor on the steering box which is not filled and is in the same shape as that of the loose sensor.

I can't trace the other end of the harness right at the moment as it is pouring out, but I'll probably be able to remove the bumper and see where the other end goes.

Thanks for all the help.
 

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I mean maybe you're on to something about the rack being different, maybe... maybe it got changed with an updated part or something different. I just have no clue man I'm sorry I can't really help :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So it looks like this whole thing has come to a conclusion. Called up the local parts department, and turns out it is a power steering pressure sensor, part number BP4L32J20. Also turns out its a $230 sensor. So looks like I'm probably going to try and dremel the socket where the sensor goes and just jb weld it in.
 
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