spartacus68
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:07 am

PMA error code

It seems I spend my life chasing error codes on this car. Park Distance Control error, highlighted in cabin. When I dealt with this before it was down to one of the front parking sensors.

I've scanned the car with ISTA D and the following errors came back. https://ibb.co/Mgr2cfN

It does say Ultrasonic sensor for PMA, front side right, short circuit, no response from sensor, etc.

Now I just need to determine if it's the PDC sensors or the PMA sensors? On the front of the i3 on the fenders/wheel arch are Park Manouvre Assistant sensors, one on each side. On the front of the fender/bumper are four Park Distance Control sensors. Do you think this is definitely the the PMA?

Codes from Hubauer Shop are PMA (66 20 9 311 256) in Solar Orange. PDC sensors are (66 20 9 318 691) again in Solar Orange. I may try and find second hand units first. New and painted, these sensors are 200 Euro each or ($230)! :shock:

Any help appreciated.
2015 i3 REx, 60ah, solar orange. Reversing camera, leather interior, sunroof, park assist, professional navigation.
frictioncircle
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: PMA error code

Having owned i3s since 2014, the only time I noticed a problem with PDC was when one sensor fell behind its body panel and then delivered a distance reading of less than an inch, regardless of where the car was positioned relative to its surroundings.

BMW saved weight and Euros by mounting i3 PDC sensors with double-sided tape, not physical mounting brackets.

Do a visual check of your PDC sensors... have any of them shifted from their original mounting positions?
spartacus68
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:07 am

Re: PMA error code

Thanks frictioncircle - they are definitely there. I've replaced a sensor before so the mounting brackets are pretty sturdy. These things are subject to water ingress I suppose and they just fail. I'm thinking they are the PDC (front outside right) sensors as it communicates with the PMA module.

I'm looking at the possibility of just buying standard Valeo sensors and painting them myself.

https://ibb.co/wwkv4jJ
https://ibb.co/sC3yFZ9
https://ibb.co/Kj715fy
2015 i3 REx, 60ah, solar orange. Reversing camera, leather interior, sunroof, park assist, professional navigation.
frictioncircle
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: PMA error code

spartacus68 –

I've only just now noticed the distinction of your issue of PDC sensors (Park Distance Control) sensors as opposed to PMA sensors (Park Manouvre Assistant) sensors.

My 2014 BEV was Solar Orange (respect) and had fender-mounted ultrasonic sensors. My new 2021 BEV i3s doesn't have fender-mounted ultrasonic sensors. I've wondered if BMW eliminated them because the i3S has flared wheel arches and they didn't want to deal with recalibrating their sensor logic. Perhaps BMW realized that they can determine the car's proximity to a wall by doing some clever signal processing of the bumper's front-mounted ultrasonic sensors?

One way you could check the ultrasonic sensors is to put your i3 into reverse and have someone stand in front of each ultrasonic sensor location. If they're standing right next to a particular sensor and the PDC display shows no detected obstacles then you may have found your defective sensor!
spartacus68
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:07 am

Re: PMA error code

I've tested the sensors frictioncircle. You can sit in the passenger seat, put the seat-belt on the driver's side and engage drive by pressing the brake, then hop out and test.

With a wet finger, don't ask me why, you can feel the pulses coming through the sensors. All the PDC and PMA sensors seem to pulse, but my money is on the outside right (of which there are four sensors) on the front bumper/fender. I've bought a genuine BMW sensor from Ebay - they are all made by Valeo, finished in black, and have ordered 1K Solar Orange paint. I've painted before and feel comfortable to undertake the work. I'll probably use a plastic bumper undercoat with the surface flattened, few passes of the orange colour coat, then two to three passes with clear-coat to flash off, then pop it in the oven at 50 degrees to bake.
2015 i3 REx, 60ah, solar orange. Reversing camera, leather interior, sunroof, park assist, professional navigation.
frictioncircle
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: PMA error code

spartacus68 –

If you've not yet ordered new PDC sensors... thoughts about swapping sensors from one side to the other?
spartacus68
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:07 am

Re: PMA error code

The new PDC sensor is here frictioncircle. I'll swap it out first to check, leave for a few days, scan the car, then if all good paint it.
2015 i3 REx, 60ah, solar orange. Reversing camera, leather interior, sunroof, park assist, professional navigation.
spartacus68
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:07 am

Re: PMA error code

Just closing off this thread, hopefully that's it fixed.

As mentioned the i3 has 10 parking sensors in total. 8 are PDC sensors and 2 are PMA sensors (park manoeuvre assistant) if the car is equipped with this technology fitted on the front wings/fenders. It's a bit of a gimmick if I'm honest. My wife rarely uses the tech, but the irritating thing is, if one of the PMA sensors is defective the whole lot is down, and the park PDC error chimes up on start-up, in some cases you look park distance control too.

So it's been a bit trial and error. I purchased a new PMA sensor (Valeo) and prior to fitting it - I scanned the car. The error showed it was front outer right. To check, I swapped the sensor with the other side and the fault followed when it was scanned again, so I was certain the PMA sensor was defective.

I painted the sensor with a card template, alcohol wipe, two coats of plastic primer, two coats of colour and three coats of lacquer once it flashed off. All fitted and rescanned. The error came back. I checked the wiring, used contact cleaner and plugged and unplugged the union where the wiring connects with the PDC sensors.

That got me thinking, that if one PMA sensor was defective, then as it effectively uses the other to complete the circuit, there was a good chance the other could be failing too. The car is 2015, so not unreasonable.

I purchased another Valeo PMA sensor and installed this on the other side. I rescanned the car and all the codes are gone in ISTA.

Anyway - hopefully that helps if you encounter the same issue. It's very frustrating, but worth it in the end.
2015 i3 REx, 60ah, solar orange. Reversing camera, leather interior, sunroof, park assist, professional navigation.

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