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The BoatMan 11-09-2012 02:14 PM

Fellow GT owners: Rear passenger ventilation question
2012 550 GT without rear climate package.

Do you get heat out of your rear passenger vents? I only get cool air. Asked the dealer and they said you only get heat in the rear via the floor vents?

Seems odd to me but Im constantly surprised by some of the "features" on this 80k vehicle.

Thanks for the help.

jadnashuanh 11-09-2012 02:36 PM

Have you tried turning the thumbwheels under the vent? That is supposed to change the temp.

The BoatMan 11-09-2012 02:50 PM

Unforutnately this GT doesnt have the blue-red thumbwheels in the rear as the manual indicates it should. Only thumbwheels are for closing-opening vents. And in the front there is only 1 thumbwheel blue-red for temp adjustment even though in the manual it shows there should be two.

Rear passengers have to bring a poratble space heater for heat in this ride since I didnt splurge on the rear climate package. Go figure.

Missing our previous x5 and lowly 3 series vehicles where at least you were provided heat.

Fish23 11-10-2012 11:26 AM

Heated rear seats (a separate option available for $500 in Canada) would have been helpful for you I think (though I understand that heated seats are not retrofitable). That option came with my 2011 535 GT (a BMW Canada, executive CPO vehicle with the same ventilation thumbwheels as you described) though I rarely have any rear seat passengers.

jadnashuanh 11-10-2012 12:46 PM

FWIW, when I have my rare rear seat passenger(s), they really like their heated seats! I've not had any complaints on the air flow - guess I need to look at mine and see if it actually has the temp control knob shown in the manual.

Fish23 11-13-2012 03:46 PM

There are floor vents pointed rearward under the front seats. Are you sure they aren't blocked in your vehicle with anything stored there?

The BoatMan 11-14-2012 01:44 PM

Thanks. There is heat that comes out of the floor vents, that was never my issue. Surprised that only cool air comes out of rear console vents. As noted, no thumbwheels to control temp, only to block air. Anyway, lesson learned, need to opt for rear climate package next time.

mpress 11-14-2012 01:48 PM

odd makes no sense..without rear climate your back seats should receive same air flow as front seat settings minus the upper windshield vents...if u have front chest level vents set to blow air the vents in he back should receive same temp air.. if u have ur front climate setting to floor only then only rear floor vents will receive air and also should be same temp as front...

same situation even with rear climate package if you set climate control to rear same as driver setting in the climate control (this takes control away from rear seat passengers).. i do that sometimes if we go out with another couple and both wives sit in the back to keep them from turning the rear heat up to 85.....

call your ca

Fish23 11-14-2012 02:10 PM

I would have to agree with mp. The rear air temp should be the same as the front.

Is it possible that the one front Red/Blue thumbwheel is connected to separate baffle mechanisms that are supposed to control the temperature for the front and the rear ducts separately yet,for some reason, in your GT, affect the front air ducts only. In other words, the rear baffle , if there is one, is stuck in the 'Cold' position and never moves to let anyb warm air into the mix.

I am guessing here not knowing the exact HVAC configuration in the GT but mp is correct in suggesting a talk with a service advisor. Then again, I learned a few things from some of your responses to others' questions for which I did not get a correct answer from an advisor at my dealer.

A diagram and description of the HVAC system would be helpful to understand how the system is supposed to work to possibly determine why your symptom is ocurring. That would not be easy to obtain.

The BoatMan 11-15-2012 10:12 AM

MP, I agree it makes no sense. All of our previous 8 BMWs were able to achieve heat through the rear console even when equipped without a rear climate package.

I tell you it becomes tiresome arguing with the service nonstop. I gave up on the pulling to the right. And am about to give up on this. For our most expensive BMW to date this is the most disappointing of them.

I tried twice with the dealership. But in NJ there are 3 others within 30 minutes of me. I guess its time to try another.

Here is the write up from their expert diagnosis:


Fish23 11-15-2012 02:33 PM

Boatman, your advisor is wrong. Futther to my last post, it was a few degrees below zero this morning so I waited for the car to warm up and then put on the fan. While waiting at a light I put my bare hand over a vent at the rear of the centre console. I felt warm air, the same warm air coming from the dashboard vents at the same rate according to fan speed. Thus if you are getting cold air or no air from the console vents something is definitely wrong. Is there another BMW dealer close enough for you to get the proverbial second opinion (or have you tried that already)?

The BoatMan 11-16-2012 08:54 AM

Fish, Thanks for testing it out for me.

With mine the air flow rate corresponds in the rear to what the front is set at as well. Just the temperature doesnt match, always cool no matter if the front is at max 84 and blowing out hot air.

Fish23 11-16-2012 10:02 AM

Happy to do it. It should confirm that there must be a problem in mixing the air that goes out the console vents. Do the floor vents also blow cold at the same time? If so, that would imply that the temperature mixing should occur 'up the line' from the console and floor vent ducts and clearly isn't.

Isn't there a Service Manager at your dealer with whom you can consult? I would ask him for access to documentation that describes the vehicle's HVAC system to determine how it supposed to work that should lead to an idea of why it isn't in your case. There has to be a reason.

mpress 11-16-2012 06:22 PM

where in jersey are you...if you are not to far check out Orange county BMW i really like their service dept...and recently westchester BMW was purchased by ray cantena and their service dept has been kicked up a bunch of notches because of it... i have found both good but orange county's diagnostics pretty great....
if you are close enough and decide to go there pm me for contact pp and numbers


Fish23 11-16-2012 06:39 PM

I agree with mp who is essentially recommending a second opinion from a 'doctor' he knows. There is an explanation and it just has to be repairable.

The BoatMan 11-19-2012 12:58 PM

Thanks for the offer MP. That's about 90 minutes from me. I have a couple closer to me that I've used on previous cars.

tturedraider 11-19-2012 03:05 PM


Originally Posted by The BoatMan (Post 7186038)
2012 550 GT without rear climate package.

Do you get heat out of your rear passenger vents? I only get cool air. Asked the dealer and they said you only get heat in the rear via the floor vents?

Seems odd to me but Im constantly surprised by some of the "features" on this 80k vehicle.

Thanks for the help.

The upper rear vents should mirror exactly the type of air and proportion of air delivery as that of the front dashboard vents. They deliver air from the same source.

The BoatMan 11-19-2012 05:55 PM

Thanks again for another vote of what should be. But again....this is what the reponse is from the ultimate dealer experience....


You would think you'd get better but not so. It's tiring arguing and convincing the dealer of what should be correct. I tried with the pulling to the right issue. I tried with this issue.

It's a lease and they can have it back. I'm moving on to another brand. They don't care and to be honest either do I. Sorry to say but enjoyed the previous rides and ED's. But im tired of the fight. They win.

Time to move on and spend the money where its appreciated. At some point you realize after spending money on 8 BMW's they really don't care. My 22k golf tdi gives me more pleasure than this 80k luxury vehicle.

Sorry for the rant...move on.

tturedraider 11-19-2012 06:17 PM

Curious, have you ever turned off the air conditioning, manually set the air to only come out of the dash vents, made it really warm and then checked the temp of the air from the rear vents?

mpress 11-21-2012 06:41 PM


ive owned many brands of luxury cars/sports cars.. i find all the same not as much about the brand as the dealership....always sorry to see a fester go...there are so many non enthusiastic bimmer drivers out there....



razorback 11-24-2012 02:57 AM

here what I've found out:

Mine is a 530d Model 2013 (manufactured 10/30/2012) with 2-Zone climate.

- the manual describes only the features (front and rear vents) which come with the 4-Zone.
- means for the 2-zone there is only one wheel in the dash with red/blue marking
- and this only works for the front vents
- the rear vents (no red/blue wheels, only open/close regulation) when open always blow at the temperature the AC is set to even if the wheel on the dash is set to blue (cold).

I've tested this with A/C set to AUTO, Temp to 22 C (ca. 72 F) @ outside 5 C (41 F)
and it works like this no matter if the button ALL is pressed or not.

hope this helps a bit.....


Fish23 11-26-2012 06:24 PM

I was experimenting yesterday with the car warnmed up, the AC off and the temperature and fan speed set to 'max' and had the same results as Razorback, I also closed both the centre dash vents leaving the side dash vents open. I was hoping to force air to the console vents. When I checked there was definitely hot air coming from those rear vents at the same volume and temperature as the side dash vents. The entire car felt confortable. I also observed that varying the centre 'red/blue' thumbwheel had no effect on the air temperature but I am satisfied that my rear passengers, should I have any, would not be freezing like the BoatMan's (even if they did not use the heated rear seats that I have). I also have no doubt that as an executive-driven GT in the Montreal area (and its often-miserable winters), that executive would not settle for rear-seat heating only coming from the floor vents as erroneously stated by BoatMan's dealer.

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