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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 03-12-2005, 11:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Alright this has been bugging me for a while! My climate control on my car is acting really screwy!

At first the backlight flickered a little, but nothing else was dimming and it shut off sporadically(sp?), I chalked it up to a failing bulb and figured I will fix it when I get around to it.

Now the unit no longer flickers it just goes through short phases of being off or on competely. Most of the time when the climate control screen shuts off the green lights on the vent direction and AC buttons will stay illuminated as if the unit was still on. However when the screen shuts off the fan also shuts off. Most of the time when I start the car the climate control will not come on, then when it feels like it usually after 5-10 minutes it will turn on for a couple of minutes and turn off randomly, sometimes the damn thing just won't turn on. At other times when the screen shuts off the buttons turn off as well, as if you were to just click the fan - button till it shut off normally.

The really strange thing is that I thought the light was failing, but when the screen goes dark, and the buttons stay on you can push all the buttons you want but it will not change, ie, if it is on auto, and you click the button for floor vents nothing will happen, the buttons don't change colors or anything.

I am really confused on this matter and have no idea where the hell to even start looking to fix this problem. Money is tight so just ditching this climate control unit and buying a new one at the stealership is a major hardship. I know it is not a fuse because the thing comes on and off. The cars says the check control is ok, so will the unit throw a code if it is freaking out? Any help is really really appreciated!

Please help!
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Common problem in almost all E36's with a digital climate control, I had mine fixed few years ago, got some guy off ebay to fix it, it works fine now and only cost me $35 plus shipping.
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah i was having the same problem, i thought it was the final stage unit and replaced that, but that wasnt it. So i found a guy off ebay fixes them for around 55 buck total iwth shipping and he does a great job. He's fixed over 500 i think or he sells new digital climate control units for 185.00. Heres one of the links: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAP...ssPageName=WDVW
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You can fix it for even less money than this.
You basically need to replace a capacitor.
It cost me a total of $15.25 ($0.25 for a new capacitor and $15 for an electrician to install it). I can't find the link with the detailed instructions (I'll see if I can find it later) but here is a different link I found:


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Old 03-13-2005, 07:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Even less than that if you do it yourself
http://www.macadamizer.com/bmwfix.html

This is a real good DIY, helped me out quite a bit.
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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that guy on ebay is good i heard....he was going to replace my analogue with a digital unit last summer but El Pres advised me against it because they analogue is much more simpler to use and won't give problems like this down the road
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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have to agree with the author of your link mech9T8, those 0.47 uF capacitors are hard to find making the e-bay guy a good option.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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SWEET!!! You guys rock. I was thinking for sure that I was going to have to drop two or three hundred bucks on a new computer and go to the stealership. I have a friend who is really talented with a soldering iron, I think I will just order the part and have him install it. That is awesome. By the way this sort of thing should be in the FAQs.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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www.digikey.com is a good place to get the cap.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I used fredo's link...that's the link I couldn't find.
I had no problem finding the capacitor.
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