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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 01-12-2012, 11:07 PM
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Trebbia Trebbia is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW E39 I6
Mine's acm from autohausaz and still working.
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  #52  
Old 01-13-2012, 03:36 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 120k
I just installed a Behr in my E39. $50 from AutoHauz.
I will update this thread if it fails.
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  #53  
Old 04-29-2012, 08:46 PM
MANGOSTENE MANGOSTENE is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 540i
Well. Resurrecting this thread as a result of "it happened to me" scenario. Replaced the FSU on my '02 540i with a Behr unit purchased from FCPGroton.

http://www.fcpgroton.com/product-exe...ge+Unit+(OEM)+

I replaced it Tuesday. After replacing it, the fan blew stronger than I remember it moving that much air since owning the car. The following day, it took about 5 minutes for it to decide to come on after dialing up the fan speed button to halfway. It worked til about Friday end of day. It is now Sunday. It has not worked at all today. At a time when the temperature outside necessitated the need for a working fan.

I'm not sure if I should send this back for warranty or go on a witch hunt for another possible culprit.


MANGO
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  #54  
Old 04-30-2012, 06:00 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 120k
I'd return it.
I have a $52 Behr FSU and it's been working fine since Jan.
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  #55  
Old 05-03-2012, 09:56 PM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 K1200 & 2001 525
I think I'm on my original FSR.

Can that possibly be?
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  #56  
Old 05-04-2012, 03:57 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaftdrive View Post
I think I'm on my original FSR.

Can that possibly be?
1+, My FSR is still original after 14 years and 130K miles....


MANGO, get the FSR from dealer, it is more expensive but it works.
Another brand is Siemens.
Behr has had a lot of problems lately.
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  #57  
Old 06-04-2012, 11:15 AM
tccurtis tccurtis is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 330i
I have an 01 330i I've had it for a year fsu went bad still the original but I did find a repair slip from 2001 saying ac stays on and goes out randomly the service slip billed them 900 dollars and didnt have the fsu replaced
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  #58  
Old 06-04-2012, 04:58 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaftdrive View Post
I think I'm on my original FSR.

Can that possibly be?
Sure it can. While FSRs are known to fail early, obviously not all of them do so. But the problem was bad enough that BMW went through several revisions on the part...I think there are at least four part numbers over the years...obviously use the latest.
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  #59  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:57 AM
Game-R Game-R is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 E39 M5 'Bertha'
Here's a new one for you guys:

I was refilling my car's AC gas with my father's equipment. I ran the AC using the MAX button for about a few minutes and then at lower speeds for 10 - 15 minutes tops while we topped up the gas. It was all fine and dandy.
Later on my drive home, the cosmic irony hit and my AC's fan refuses to spit anything out from the vents. It was completely dead. Tried again and again. Low speed, max speed, nothing. Not a single peep from the AC unit except for the vanes moving about when I change the recirculation & air direction settings. No squeaks from the motor or any bearing sounds. I knew my FSU was gone ... or so I thought.

After spending a good time working under the dashboard (and coming up with two new pages of profanity combinations in the process) I finally wrestled the FSU out from its wiring.
Going online to check its details, I was surprised to discover that its not he original faulty FSU component (metal encased GKR manufacturer). In fact, my FSU is the Sitronic/Valeo model recommended at the start of this thread. One of the previous owners of my car may have replaced it before.

Upon closer observation, I noticed that there was a tiny spot of melted plastic at the base of one of the contact pins on the FSU. Using a small screw driver I also scraped the little bit of melted plastic and what looked like metal oxidation stuff off that pin and returned to the car. Studying the wiring plug in the car, I too found a small portion to have melted plastic. Hinting at why it was so difficult to seperate them in the first place.
I checked the 2 hidden blower fuses under the dashboard and confirmed they are both in perfect condition before plugged the FSU unit back in and, lo and behold, my AC blower was up and running again.

Has anyone experienced this weird problem before? Is that pin supposed to run that hot till the plastics are at risk?
Do you think its a good idea to clean this unit's pins and continue using it or to get a brand new FSU?
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Last edited by Game-R; 09-09-2012 at 08:04 AM.
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  #60  
Old 11-07-2012, 10:08 AM
bimmerZ5 bimmerZ5 is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 3.0i Rdstr, E39 530i
so i too just installed the autohausAZ Behr, made in China unit. so far so good ... i'm glad to have my A/C blowing again in the recent hot weather. but, how many people actually have this unit and have had it fail? (and how long did it last?) how many people have installed this unit and still working and for how long?

failure rates always tend to be exaggerated on forums like these because only people who experience failures tend to report, while those who don't experience a failure stay silent. would like to see some responses from anyone who's replied to this thread or subscribed and used the Behr/China one to report back either success or failure.
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  #61  
Old 11-08-2012, 03:28 AM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 120k
I'm on 1 year of my $42 FSU from AutoHausAZ. So far, so good.
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  #62  
Old 11-08-2012, 03:21 PM
Mtnman42 Mtnman42 is offline
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Mein Auto: '98 528i/5, '02 525iA
More than a year and a half and all good.
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  #63  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:45 AM
bimmerZ5 bimmerZ5 is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 3.0i Rdstr, E39 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
I'm on 1 year of my $42 FSU from AutoHausAZ. So far, so good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnman42 View Post
More than a year and a half and all good.
thanks guys!

BTW, do you guys get a strange smell when you first turn on your A/C with the new FSU? I seem to get this strange scent when I first turn on, but goes away in seconds...
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  #64  
Old 11-11-2012, 05:51 AM
Mtnman42 Mtnman42 is offline
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Mein Auto: '98 528i/5, '02 525iA
I don't remember any different smell with the new FSU but the A/C in general has a smell that the heater does not.
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  #65  
Old 12-09-2012, 11:36 AM
sealbeach740 sealbeach740 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 740iS, 2003 540iS
Hi all you FSU enthusiasts.

I've been having battery drain issues, but no blower problems (that I've noticed - yet).
So, I pulled my FSU (such a fun task!), expecting to see an older FSU.

But, mine is just like the new FSU Bluebee put into her car, except the part number on the label is 29420000002 35 08 (35 08 instead of the 15 09).
Same Sitronic, Made in Germany, Valeo BMW part (except for the updated part number).

I'm not sure if this one has been replaced or not (may have been done before I purchased the 540 over 3 years ago).

My question is, since this looks like the proper replacement part (based on the first post in this thread, the pic of the new, replacement FSU), do these sistronic/made in germany/Valeo/BMW FSUs known to also go bad?

(Oh, and a big THANK YOU to Bluebee for collecting all the proper links that explain the problem, show the DIY on how to get the FSU out, and gathering the intel on which FSUs are good to use for replacements )


I'm currently re-charging my battery, then I'll let the 540 (a 2003) sit for a day or two & see if the battery shows any appreciable drainage. If the battery now stays charged OK, I'll be replacing the FSU. Originally I would be looking for the sistronic FSU as the replacement FSU, until I pulled mine & saw it was a sistronic!

Are the sistronic still the FSU of choice?

Thanks!!
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2003 540iS. MKIV, 16x9, PDC, CWP, TV tuner, backup camera with 'on demand' switch, paddle shifters, windows/sunroof close via remote, iPod video & audio.

Last edited by sealbeach740; 12-09-2012 at 11:43 AM.
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  #66  
Old 01-14-2013, 10:58 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this related thread was opened by someone today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > e39 FSU compatibility ( with pics )
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  #67  
Old 01-18-2013, 11:53 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This anecdotal information was posted today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregRay View Post
I can add to the list of which brand FSU NOT to use: ACM. My original unit failed at 6 years. Without doing any research at all, I ordered a replacment from AutoHausAZ, which lasted for 3 years (when I remove it after it failed, I discovered it was Sitronic/Valeo). Based on recommendations in other threads, I bought an ACM unit (labeled "Made in Germany") for about $60. The ACM unit has just failed after six months. Conclusions I've reached (and I could be completely wrong): (1) there is a basic design defect in the E39 electronic fan/blower system that causes this failure; and (2) many of the replacement FSUs are pieces of junk. I'm going to try to see if I can get a warranty replacement unit for the one that just failed. Also will visit my dealer and see if they'll show me the "OEM" part they stock to see what it is.
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  #68  
Old 02-05-2013, 08:39 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Q: Did we ever conclude which BRAND of FSU to buy (not supplier - but BRAND)?

My ACM Germany FSU, that I had replaced on 2/2/2009, apparently suddenly died yesterday (gory details over here):
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > In progress: Step by step diagnostic DIY ... dead battery ... parasitic battery drain

I called a few of the BMW dealers nearest me to figure out what brand Final Stage Resitor they currently sell for my 2002 525i:
  • BMW Fremont 888-208-9746x3
    • Spoke to Troy: He sells the Valeo (which was in stock for $160.04)
  • BMW Mountainview 877-845-1713x3
    • Spoke to Phil: He sells the Valeo (which was in stock for $167.11)
  • BMW East Bay 888-201-2549
    • Spoke to Todd: He sells the Valeo (which was in stock for $144.46)
  • BMW Monterey 866-748-5449 (aka BMW Seaside 831-899-8467)
    • Spoke to Steve: He sells the Valeo (which was in stock for $154.68)
    • He said it lists as Valeo but it says BMW, Sitronic, & Valeo & made in Germany, on the package
  • BMW San Francisco 415-863-9000x1x3x1
    • Spoke to Able: He sells the Valeo (which was in stock for $142.39)
  • BMW Berkeley 800-974-2269
    • Spoke to Guy: He sells the Valeo (which was in stock for $141.22)
  • BMW San Jose 800-298-1501x5x1
    • As usual, the incompetence of BMW of San Jose shined in spades.
    • I won't mention names because they didn't even know what a "final stage resistor" was
    • And, they said they have no way of knowing the brand
    • Whatever it is they sell is $152.98 and they had it in stock.
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Last edited by bluebee; 02-06-2013 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Added data from hone calls
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  #69  
Old 03-25-2013, 10:00 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, I researched how to build a test jig for the FSU over here:
- How to build a test jig for fsu parasitic battery drain and HVAC anomaly diagnostics (1)
And, I put all the autopsy photos together (including mine) over here:
- How to repair your own final stage resistor including an autopsy & wiring diagram schematic (1)
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  #70  
Old 06-18-2013, 01:20 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Hey guys,

Just curious what is the update on the FSR brand name status?

- Valeo $60
- BMW dealer $95
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  #71  
Old 06-18-2013, 02:01 PM
Mtnman42 Mtnman42 is offline
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Mein Auto: '98 528i/5, '02 525iA
What is the right brand of FSU (aka FSR) final stage resistor/unit to buy for t

Still no issues with my AutohausAZ.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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  #72  
Old 08-10-2013, 08:48 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Just curious what is the update on the FSR brand name status?
I only can provide this single datapoint, that this brand-new FSU shown below worked for five minutes in my bimmer, then cut off. Each time I start the car cold, it works for the first five minutes. And then shuts off. Right out of the box.
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  #73  
Old 08-10-2013, 10:06 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I only can provide this single datapoint, that this brand-new FSU shown below worked for five minutes in my bimmer, then cut off. Each time I start the car cold, it works for the first five minutes. And then shuts off. Right out of the box.
Where did you source this? Obviously there seems to be a lot of reported failures of the ACM/Sitronic/Valeo....versus the Valeo sold by BMW dealers. I can tell you I purchased mine at the BMW dealer in 2005 and have had no further problems. The one removed from my car was a previous replacement dated (IIRC) 2002, so a warranty replacement. The one I bought from the dealer, was the final revision (#4 IIRC).
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  #74  
Old 08-11-2013, 05:40 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
there seems to be a lot of reported failures of the ACM/Sitronic/Valeo....versus the Valeo sold by BMW dealers.
I bought it from one of our recommended suppliers & bimmerfest sponsor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
The one I bought from the dealer, was the final revision (#4 IIRC).
Hmm... this could be very important information!

I had thought Valeo is Valeo, but, you are intimating that BMW Valeo is different than aftermarket Valeo?

Do we have more details? (A picture maybe?).
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  #75  
Old 08-11-2013, 10:54 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 103K miles
My FSR finally joined the club at 15y/140K!

Luckily I pulled another FSR from a junkyard recently (I had it in my garage) and swapped it right away.

There is another thread on rebuilding the FSR using Mosfet chips etc. However, nobody has posted detail on the exact procedure, i.e., how successful it is etc.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=309399&page=5


I fix virtually everything and does not like to waste stuff, but my philosophy is....if my factory FSR lasts some 15y/140K, it is good.
At $90 (at dealer), it is about $6/year!

Until I see better DIY on rebuilding, I'd buy a new FSR from dealer for $90.
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