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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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  #1  
Old 07-19-2013, 12:47 AM
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Diagnostic hints requested for an FSU

OK. I bought an FSU from one of the best sponsors.
The FSU was put in, and, worked for five minutes. Then stopped.
Stopped car (at my destination); when shopping.
Back in car, the FSU works for five minutes. Then stops working.
Again. Same thing.
Again. And Again.

Hmmm.... makes no sense to me. Any diagnostic hints?

If the FSU were bad, why wouldn't it stay bad?
I can't imagine it's the blower motor (but I can check it again).

I realize the FSU overall is a flaky component - but - before I send it back - it would be nice to figure out if it's the FSU or something else.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2013, 02:23 AM
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Maybe it cuts out when it gets hot? It is a type of resistor after all.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2013, 07:13 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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return it and get one from dealer, only way to be sure, plus dealer one has two year warranty.

Last edited by jygesq; 07-19-2013 at 12:07 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2013, 10:50 AM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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+1

My understanding is that the consensus of the board recommends buying the FSU only from the dealer.
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2013, 12:09 AM
Chris J P Chris J P is offline
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I've just been down this track, having bought non dealer FSU's and then a genuine FSU from the dealer with the same result that it sometimes will work as it should and other times a short period of time after starting the car the fan blows full heat and non of the climate control buttons will work with a black screen for 20 minutes and then everything returns to normal, on a couple of occasions it has malfunctioned with the all the climate indicator controls flashing in like a christmas tree for about 20 miniutes before returning to normal. Does anyone know how these FSU's can be checked, I rang the dealer where I bought it to ask about the return policy and he asked if I'd had the climate control system checked.
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2013, 08:01 AM
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Blue -- I'm sure you already know this, but the proper replacement FSU is an updated version, shouldn't look the same as the original part.

Thought I had posted a side-by-side shot at one point, can't find via quick search. Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 07-20-2013, 03:23 PM
Mikes530 Mikes530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J P View Post
I've just been down this track, having bought non dealer FSU's and then a genuine FSU from the dealer with the same result that it sometimes will work as it should and other times a short period of time after starting the car the fan blows full heat and non of the climate control buttons will work with a black screen for 20 minutes and then everything returns to normal, on a couple of occasions it has malfunctioned with the all the climate indicator controls flashing in like a christmas tree for about 20 miniutes before returning to normal.
Your symptoms don't sound like an FSU issue. The FSU is just a rheostat that regulates fan speed, it should have no effect on your control buttons or screen. Sounds as if you have an intermittent short or ground problem somewhere else.
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2013, 06:29 PM
Chris J P Chris J P is offline
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Mike, that is what I figured, I wondered if anyone had any pointers on where to start looking - looks like I'll be pulling the panel out and starting there. I thought I'd try it by setting the climate control to manual to see what happened, but then it malfunctioned again in manual so it follows your theory is correct. Cheers..

Last edited by Chris J P; 07-20-2013 at 06:34 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2013, 01:20 AM
airegin airegin is offline
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Climate Control Black Screen

Chris, please post what you find out. I have a similar issue with the black screen and buttons lit but not working. I had to pull fuse #9, I think, to get the fan under the dash to stop blowing even with the car off and the key out.

I'm stuck as most posted issues seem to deal with FSU replacement. With my display behavior, I'm not sure if the FSU is the answer.

I did have the battery checked while the car was off. It read 12.6v

Last edited by airegin; 07-21-2013 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Battery info
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2013, 07:41 PM
Chris J P Chris J P is offline
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Sure thing Airegin, it's a mystery I've been down the fuse track too just in case when I got to work the fan wouldn't shut down. I could be a while trying to sort it, got a matter of being made redundant happening at the moment and winding up the division of the company I work for, just been away for the week around all of our equipment spread around the country - good fun!! Going back through many of the old threads there have been some instances of dust/dirt getting on the board behind the face panel causing a short accross tyhings that is where I will start to look and also have a word with my independant BMW expert to get his take. Cheers..
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2013, 08:22 PM
airegin airegin is offline
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Chris, Thank you for your reply and I'm sorry to hear of the redundancy. Unpleasant....unless you were looking for and ready for a change.

Just today I stopped by an independant shop. My friend has taken his wife's bimmer there for a number of years. The fellow at the shop apparently worked for a BMW dealership and knows his stuff, according to my friend. I described the symptoms and the few moments before the A/C panel went dead. The expert suggested that based on what I told him of the fan running with the key off and out, it sounds like the FSU. With regards to the IHKA black display, he said that perhaps it is caused by the faulty FSU. He further suggested that if I wanted to keep the car for a long time, I should also replace the ignition as those have been known to cause strange electrical issues. He wanted $140 to change out the FSU with an 18 month warranty and could do it tomorrow (Sat)

Germain BMW of Naples wanted nearly $180 for the FSU not including install.


I ordered and purchased the part from NAPA Auto Parts. I will pick it up tomorrow and install it. I should've planned better and ordered from a sponsor online store. The price and quality would have been better I'm sure. I'll keep you posted...
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  #12  
Old 07-27-2013, 02:45 PM
airegin airegin is offline
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Unhappy New FSU install, no change

I installed the FSU replacement today. As soon as I plugged it in the blower fan kicked on full force from under the dash. This shows no change that I can see from the old FSU.
I don't know what else to look for. I may start hunting for a new Climate Control Unit ( IHKA ).

I wanted to also add that I didn't need any tools to change this other than a Phillips to remove the carpeted panel. I had read that a Torx #20 was needed so I popped back into NAPA to buy one so I could complete the parking lot install right there. When I got situated under the FSU I could see Torx heads but soon realized that they were not part of the FSU. Two plastic guides (pins?) and a molded plastic clip are all that hold my FSU in place. The guides fit into the FSU screw holes as I seated the FSU and the clip clipped itself to the edge of the FSU.

Last edited by airegin; 07-27-2013 at 02:57 PM. Reason: tools
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2013, 10:22 PM
Dannoraz Dannoraz is offline
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Diagnostic hints requested for an FSU

Having the same issues as well. Fan blows for 20 min after the car is off and fan kicks on when you open the door. Then out of nowhere, the ac panel comes to life and everything works great for a couple of days and then it's right back to hot air and no control panel. Replaced FSU and no change. Really need this fixed. Texas heat is making me belligerent!


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  #14  
Old 08-16-2013, 10:22 AM
airegin airegin is offline
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Re: Diagnostic hints requested for an FSU

I was able to find an IHKA of a similar vintage, REST button instead of MAX, and my air started working with the original FSU. I will exchange the unit when they get another with the MAX button in. Right now the REST button doesn't do anything. I figure it would need programming but I'd prefer to have MAX anyway.
Quarry Motors in Naples, Fl is where I got this and some other parts. They are on eBay too. Super nice/easy to deal with. Also the price was better for the part than what I found on CL.

Hope this helps!
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  #15  
Old 08-17-2013, 05:54 AM
Dackelone Dackelone is offline
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I replaced my e39's FSU last year. I bought the new FSU from my bmw zentrum. It worked fine for a year. But now it works 95% of the time. Sometimes the AC/blower will just stop for a few seconds or a min or two. Then it all works again. I think the wire/connectors at the FSU are loose - bc once when the FSU quite working... I pull on the wires up under the pass side dash and all was working for many weeks. I am about to do a parts warranty on my FSU since BMW has a two year(unlimited) warranty. I suspect it is a broken solder joint inside the FSU or a bad connector on the car FSU harness. I guess I will find out when I go to replace this sucker.
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  #16  
Old 08-17-2013, 11:09 AM
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I received the replacement FSU, but, mine has been out so long, I can't remember WHERE exactly it goes back in.

I can clip the fsu into it's 5-pin harness connector easily; but then the whole assembly is supposed to clip onto something under the dash.
Anyone have a good picture of the bracket that the FSU hangs on for support?
Note to self: I should have marked where it goes, while it was still installed.

Note: I'm going to look in these threads for a picture of the FSU in situ, so I can figure out where the bracket is!
- What is the canonical thread on the BMW E39 FSU/FSR/Blower Motor Resistor (1) and what is the right brand FSR to purchase (1) (2) when your interior heating & air conditioning HVAC/IHKA blower motor goes haywire (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & how to test the FSU (1) (2) (3) & how to repair your own final stage resistor including an autopsy & wiring diagram schematic (1) (2) and why a bad final stage unit will cause the battery to drain overnight (1) (2) (3) & how to isolate and replace the E39 blower motor (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & how not to replace the FSU (1)

PS: I wonder what those two little motors do with respect to the HVAC:
- T5 Valeo 0765018712 02 (under center console on passenger side)
- S2 Valeo 6501741202 (under glove box)

EDIT: The two little motors appear to have various names, e.g.,
- HVAC AC Blend Door Flap Actuator Motor
- Heat Regulator Motor
- Värme Reglermotor
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Last edited by bluebee; 08-17-2013 at 11:23 AM.
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  #17  
Old 08-17-2013, 11:38 AM
airegin airegin is offline
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Re: Diagnostic hints requested for an FSU

I don't have a picture but if you have the old one removed it should be easy to see where the new one goes. It only fits in its whole one way. You can see the spot when on your back looking up. As I mentioned above, the FSU just clips in. Mine didn't use any screws or tools.
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  #18  
Old 08-17-2013, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airegin View Post
it should be easy to see where the new one goes
You'd think I would see the bracket it goes on - but I stared for fifteen minutes upside down and didn't see it.

I'm going to go through all the pictures (some of which are mine) of the FSU when it was in place.

Then I'm gonna MARK that spot where it goes!

EDIT: I found this picture of mine from this thread in 2009 when I replaced my FSU for the first time:
It looks like the FSU was bolted to something - but I don't remember what.

Here's another of my own pictures from 2009:

And another:

This is another FSU in place, posted over here:

And, another sequence from here:


This photo below is from this thread - and it also shows it bolted in to something:

There's apparently a black tab that I'm forgetting about that is hidden up there:

This picture also shows it bolted and clipped:

This is the next shot in that sequence above:

And this is the new FSU, clipped into that same spot:

Here's another from here:

and here is another shot of that same FSU as above:

With a view of the socket from here:

and
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Last edited by bluebee; 08-18-2013 at 05:26 AM.
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  #19  
Old 08-17-2013, 02:35 PM
airegin airegin is offline
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Re: Diagnostic hints requested for an FSU

Actually I think that is just what it looks like. I can see the clip that hooks over the edge of the FSU near the torx screw that is not part of the mounting process...at least not on my car. This photo was taken without removing the carpet panel. The white fuzz at the bottom of the pic is the top edge of that carpet panel. I did slide the under glovebox panel out of the way to get a good view. The unit just fits the hole with the fins facing the center or left of the car while the plug end faces the right

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Last edited by airegin; 08-17-2013 at 02:39 PM.
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  #20  
Old 09-08-2013, 03:40 PM
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These tests, written up elsewhere, may be useful for this thread:
  1. Final Stage Resistor (final stage unit), blower motor resistor (1) (2) (3)
  2. Fuse F76 = 40A, Heater blower (yellow) [cn90 says it should have 12V when HVAC is turned on][QSilver7 says the heater blower controls the air velocity for the cabin/interior HVAC system.]
  3. Fuse F46 = 15A, Blower relay/Parked Car ventilation/Receiver, parked car ventilation (1)
  4. HVAC controller (see tests) by cn90)
  5. K4 = interior heater blower motor relay (1)
  6. Blower motor (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
  7. F9 = 15A, Air conditioner, Heated washer jets [JimLev says it handles the heated washer jets and the Check Control Module panel]
  8. F20 = 7.5A, Air conditioner, Heated rear window, Heater, Tyre pressure control system [JimLev says F20 and F105 power relay K201, which itself gets power from F75]
  9. Are there any other related fuses or relays? (1)
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #21  
Old 02-01-2014, 04:42 AM
Chris J P Chris J P is offline
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Well people, here I am again 6 months down the track, life back in order, working again but commuting on a weekly basis Melbourne to Sydney Monday and return Friday - frequent flyer points coming in handy. I would appear to have fixed my problem at the fourth attempt and just in time we have had some mid 40 C. weather here the last few weeks. Back to the fix, back when I started on this thread I have bought 2 FSU's off the nett, 1 FSU from a main dealer genuine BMW part and all to no avail, fortunately the winter months weren't difficult to handle, once life was back in order and in desperation as the hot weather was coming back just after Christmas as a last ditch attempt I pulled the HIVAC unit out of the dash and blew it out with compressed air, surprising how much dust came out of it, at the same time I ordered another FSU from Turner Motorsport from a link on this forum which incidentally is a Hella/Behr unit made in China and lo and behold the system works again as it should.
I found that by turning the whole system off, which meant no air of any description it saved the discomfort of the malfunction and the only other way is to pull the fuse which will reset the system, but that is only a very temporary fix - being a right hand drive car it is an awkward little b----r to replace but after several times it does get easier even if no less awkward - however I am still very wary of it having had so many replacements!!
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:40 PM
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See also:
- How to troubleshoot a bad FSU final stage unit (1) and how to build a test jig for your FSR final stage resistor (1) & how to autopsy or repair solder cracks in your blower motor resistor (1) & how to replace your HVAC blower resistor (1) (E46) & what FSU is the right one to buy (1)
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