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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 11-08-2004, 01:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello everyone:

I currently own a 1998 BMW 3.28i for just a little over 2 years now. I have recently been having problems with my climate control console. It seems to turn on or off as it pleases. Normally when the car is turned on the console will be on, however, now the console does not even light up (so no heat no fan). Today, the console was working so no problems. But I'm sure when I go home from work it will not work. Could someone please offer any suggestions or solutions?

David
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very strange, ever since I posted the original message I haven't been having any more problems with my climate console turning on. Really strange?? Could this be because of the weather change? I live in Toronto Canada and we just started getting low temperatures.
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Old 11-09-2004, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Turning off and on is easily fixed by the DIY listed in the FAQs section. If you're not comfortable doing the DIY, there are a couple of people who will fix it for you. They usually auction off their service on ebay. I think they both charge about $40.
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Old 11-09-2004, 04:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you have the automatic climate control module (11 buttons), then your final stage resistor is starting to fail. Your system may be working today, but tomorrow it will "play games" again.
This resistor is easily replaced and it's $127 CDN at the dealer.
Don't buy a used one as it will end up failing anyway. This is one of the weak points on the E36.
To replace the resistor remove the footwell plastic cover on the driver's side.
Look at the back of the new resistor as the existing one is hard to see when in place, just to the right of the accelerator pedal. Remove the 2 screws and unplug the resistor.

Good luck
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No need to shell out hundreds of dollars, you only need to spend around 47 cents...

http://www.macadamizer.com/bmwfix.html

I need to do this for myself but havn't gotten around to it. I'll probably wind up doing it this weekend unless I go to ELON univiersity and party with my friends.
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Old 11-09-2004, 07:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I believe the problem described points to the resistor and not the capacitor in the control board.
If you do decide to go the 47 cent route I recommend you take great care in taking the existing capacitor out, as the control circuit board is easily damaged.
In that case I would pay a shop to take it out and put the new capacitor in for you.
It was worth the $20 I paid.
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Old 11-10-2004, 10:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Great knowledgable responses. I do appreciate everyone's advice. At this moment I will keep a close watch on my climate control unit as it hasn't been "playing around" in the last 2 days. At least, I know now what the problems may be. As far as repairing the final stage resistor or even the capacitor in the unit, I'll probably let the experts do it as I'm not handy with the tools. Again, I thank you and I'm going to make my self more familar with "DYI?"
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Old 11-10-2004, 10:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 11-10-2004, 11:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Could someone please explain what the final stage resistor does?
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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controls the blower speed. Is the fan turning off/on, or is the display on the climate control turning off/on?

If the fan is turning off and on, it's the final stage unit. If the climate control display is turning off and on, the DIY will fix it.
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Old 11-10-2004, 07:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quick question does anyone know how or where I can get the bulbs replaced in my climate control they seem to have gone out?
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