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5 Series DIY
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  #226  
Old 01-08-2009, 06:35 PM
jdelsesto jdelsesto is offline
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Location: Rhode Island
 
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Mein Auto: 740i
I own a 2000 740i (e38) and my blower quits whenever it feels neglected. I was told it is probably the blower motor which is an animal to get at as i think you have to remove practically the whole dash to get at it. I suspect it is the fsu as the cars are almost identical except for the body. Many of the posts for the e39 have worked for my car. Thanks for this post i am going to try it asap. Oh quick stealership story: While in the car was the other day the small grill near my windshield blew off, the plastic pins holding it down must have come out. I went to the dealership to buy these plastic pins, 1/4 the size of a penny thinking they would be $1.00 each at the most. Bmw sold them to me for $4.00 each !!! I found them online for $0.88 each and returned the parts to bmw.
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  #227  
Old 01-16-2009, 09:15 PM
aguynamedbry aguynamedbry is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 528i
Thanks! Worked for me

2000 BMW 528i with 91K miles - cost under 80 bucks for the part from autohaus and took about 10 minutes to switch it out (although it does take some dexterity to get the original one out around the wires).

The fan would go full on or off, not work than go back to normal, thought it was the motor or something more serious. Funny thing was that I just bought the car and the person I bought it from said the shop said it would be ~800 bucks to fix, a really nice surprise that it was this easy. Thanks again!
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  #228  
Old 01-26-2009, 01:40 PM
snkpkp snkpkp is offline
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Mein Auto: e60 530i Individual
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis530i View Post
Man, when I posted this thing, I had no idea it would get this kind of response!

Kind of tells you a few things about how bad this part is. And, still amazed so many mechanics can't recognize it if it's so common.

But--glad to help.
my problem remains with new FSR/FSU pls read on..


My car when running A/C and the fan is lowered less than half it would shut down.

so I researched and found its the FSR/FSU and ordered a new one which is the different design , so it was working fine, but every now and then when the fan control is at its lowest the fan shuts down. I would have to wait 10 mins to cool down the resistor and it works fine after you let it cool. It ONLY happens if the fan blower is set at most minimum at one bar.

Anyone has any suggestion? my new FSR/FSU is a month old ...is this a problem of the automatic controls it self?
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  #229  
Old 01-26-2009, 05:42 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I wonder if the FSU is draining my battery intermittently

I finally took the plunge & ordered the BMW E39 Final Stage Resistor from AutoHaus for $72 dollars.

Why did I take so long?

Since most of you said it was "troublesome" to replace the FSU, I didn't want to replace the FSU if I didn't have to.

Plus, the "irregularities" of the interior blower were not major ... just a few wierdities over time, nothing onerous.

But, what's onerous, is lately the battery has been drop-dead dead, about once a month or so, after 8 hours or so of sitting.

I think something's draining the battery 'cuz once I get it jumped, it's fine for weeks. Then, suddenly, embarrassingly, the battery is plumb dead again after sitting for about 8 or 10 hours.

I don't know what's occasionally draining the battery ... but it might be the Final Stage Resistor (FSU) or my recent BMW radio mount DICE Silverline iPod integration.

Tom over at EAS is kindly replacing my DICE Silverline (he's great!) because the DICE is not charging my 2nd-generation iPod touch, so, for now, I'm not plugging my iPod touch in overnight anymore.

Do you think the FSU (or the DICE Silverline) are what's draining the battery?
(PS: I don't see how to measure the density of the battery fluid and that black window doesn't ever show color ... what cruel trick is that?)

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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 01-27-2009 at 11:46 AM.
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  #230  
Old 01-27-2009, 01:37 PM
Murf928 Murf928 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 540iT
I am having the exact same symptoms....

The shop tells me that the battery is fine and the alternator is charging just fine. I have an intermittent parasitic drain on the battery that will drain it down overnight to the point where it will not start the car. I have had it go totally stone dead if left for a few days.

I changed out the FSU (thank you guys for the great instructions..super easy to do) and thought I was in the clear because I went a few weeks without any problems. I had been parking the car in a heated garage and for weeks it would start right up with no problems at all. I left the car outside for the day (20 degrees) and when I went to start it to move it back in the garage... dead again.

Last week I parked it in a cold garage trying to duplicate the problem and it has fired up all week, every time like it had a brand new battery. I know I am on borrowed time and it is going to strand me again but I have no clue as to what is still causing this.

When the car doesn't start, everything is quiet in the car but when the key is turned I can hear the blower motor run.... not wide open but I can clearly hear it running. I just checked and it does this now as well.... and the car started right up.

Any other ideas out there?

Thanks a bunch in advance for your help.

Tim


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I finally took the plunge & ordered the BMW E39 Final Stage Resistor from AutoHaus for $72 dollars.

Why did I take so long?

Since most of you said it was "troublesome" to replace the FSU, I didn't want to replace the FSU if I didn't have to.

Plus, the "irregularities" of the interior blower were not major ... just a few wierdities over time, nothing onerous.

But, what's onerous, is lately the battery has been drop-dead dead, about once a month or so, after 8 hours or so of sitting.

I think something's draining the battery 'cuz once I get it jumped, it's fine for weeks. Then, suddenly, embarrassingly, the battery is plumb dead again after sitting for about 8 or 10 hours.

I don't know what's draining the battery ... but it might be the Final Stage Resistor (FSU) or my recent BMW radio mount DICE Silverline iPod integration.

Tom over at EAS is kindly replacing my DICE Silverline (he's great!) because it's not charging my 2nd-generation iPod touch, so, for now, I'm not plugging my iPod touch in overnight anymore.

Do you think the FSU (or the DICE Silverline) are what's draining the battery?
(PS: I don't see how to measure the density of the battery fluid and that black window doesn't ever show color ... what cruel trick is that?)

Last edited by Murf928; 01-27-2009 at 01:39 PM.
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  #231  
Old 01-28-2009, 11:52 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murf928 View Post
Any other ideas out there?
Doru posted some good battery-drain troubleshooting links in my intermittent dead-battery thread ...
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  #232  
Old 01-28-2009, 11:56 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
(PS: I don't see how to measure the density of the battery fluid and that black window doesn't ever show color ... what cruel trick is that?)
Ah, the cell caps are hidden under the pretty stickers!
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
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  #233  
Old 01-29-2009, 09:51 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Can you detect a bad FSU from your OBD codes?

I'm still toying with the idea of OBD II freeware or buying an OBDII tester, especially one that provides real-time data wirelessly to my iPod touch that I connect to the DICE Silverline.

Doing OBDII research, I found this article which implies that you might be able to detect a bad FSU from the OBD2 codes.

Has anyone done that here?

Is this article saying you can detect a bad FSU with an OBD 2 scanner?
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
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  #234  
Old 02-01-2009, 04:06 PM
jnagra1 jnagra1 is offline
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Worked great for me. Good instructions. It took me about 20 minutes.
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  #235  
Old 02-02-2009, 01:36 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Two lessons learned when removing the FSU in the 2002 E39!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnagra1 View Post
It took me about 20 minutes.
It took me MUCH longer than 20 minutes to remove the FSU so that my monthly dead battery would be resolved (I hope).

The instructions here were great. But still it took me almost the entire Superbowl to get the FSU harness connector clip off, and, even then, I ended up breaking one of the sides of the clips to the 2002 FSU.

I concur with post #39 of this thread that it helps greatly to remove the underside of the glovebox (two clips).

I don't know if it's covered in this thread, but, after breaking the clip and examining why, I learned the following:

It is imperative you PUSH inward on the connector (towards the FSU) before you squeeze the clips (perpendicular to the FSU) to unclip!

Otherwise, it will break, like this!
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-02-2009 at 07:35 AM.
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  #236  
Old 02-02-2009, 01:54 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here are the steps I should have used to remove and replace my FSU

As always, I took pictures but here are the text steps I recommend for removing and replacing the 2002 E39 FSU.

0. Get a flashlight, a #2 Philips screwdriver + a set of 6-inch needlenose pliars
1. Move the passenger seat back & lay the backrest down as far as it will go
2. Lie on your back, hands above your head, ready to work in the foot well
3. Remove the #2 Philips screw holding the passenger left-food kick panel
4. Slide this kick panel straight back (toward the rear of the car) to unclip
5. Slide the underside of the glove box straight back (two clips, no screws)
6. Locate the FSU harness connector and put your pliars on the two "ears"
7. PUSH (this is the important part) a millimeter or less inward, & then unclip
(Note: Step 7 took me all of the Superbowl & even then I broke a clip ear!)
8. Once the FSU connector is off, push on the one FSU connector to release
9. Pull out the old FSU and measure resistance from each terminal to the aluminum fins
10. Measure the resistance of the new FSU's terminals to the aluminum fins
11. As they say, assembly is the reverse of disassembly
12. Test the A/C & air & especially listen for fans after the key is pulled out

RESISTANCE FROM TERMINAL TO ALUMINUM FINS:
#4 #5
#1 #2 #3

pin 1 OLD: 600 K ohm NEW: 11.2 ohms
pin 2 OLD: 3.02 M ohm NEW: 1.22 M ohm
pin 3 OLD: 2.219 M ohm NEW: 608 K ohm
pin 4 OLD: 2.136 M ohm NEW: 602 K ohm
pin 5 OLD: 3.05 M ohm NEW: 1.277 M ohm
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-04-2009 at 10:05 AM.
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  #237  
Old 02-02-2009, 02:10 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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It helps greatly to remove the underside of the glove box

It helped greatly to remove the additional underside panel below the glovebox.

This panel slides outward (horizontally, toward the back).

It's held in place with only two clips near the bulkhead and nothing else.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #238  
Old 02-02-2009, 02:22 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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As I said, the big lesson was that the FSU clips were extremely uncooperative but they finally yielded to pressure & persistence (it would have been nice to know the technique of pushing in first before pulling out but I only learned that in hindsight from examining the little tiny lip on the clip ear ends).

Here is the resistance measurement of the old FSU and new FSU for the 2002 E39. It would be of interest to get a database from all that follow us to see if there's a pattern.

I didn't know where to measure between so all measurements are from the terminals to the fins. Notice I arbitrarily numbered them from 1 to 5 in a clockwise direction starting from top left as the FSU was facing away from me. I think pin #1 (bottom left) is the ground pin (do you?).

Does anyone have a suggestion as to what to use to take the old FSU apart so we can have a macabre look inside?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-04-2009 at 10:03 AM.
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  #239  
Old 02-02-2009, 07:47 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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The old FSU is the original aluminum body; the new is black plastic

Well, this morning, on my way to work, the E39 started up perfectly.
No blower wierdities at all ... especially when I shut the car off.

To confirm what others have said, mine seems to have had the original FSU which is the larger cast-aluminum body while the new "Made in Germany" FSU is smaller and has a black plastic body.

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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #240  
Old 02-02-2009, 07:50 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Lesson learned .... PRESS DOWN and then press inward to unclip the FSU!

The biggest mistake I made, other than missing the entire Superbowl because it took me a couple of hours whereas I thought it would be done by halftime ... was to not push down on the harness connector (toward the FSU) while pressing the clips inward (perpendicular to the FSU).

As you can see, the method I used was too brutish for the FSU and one ear of the clip broke off.

It was only after examining the clip itself that I realized it has a teeeeny tiny lip of a fishhook on the end, which was the part, I think, I couldn't clear.

Lesson learned .... PRESS DOWN and then press inward to unclip the FSU!
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #241  
Old 02-02-2009, 09:54 AM
M540i6Speed M540i6Speed is offline
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I think you are all mistaken in pointing "jdelsesto" in the wrong direction. He isn't going to find his Final Stage Resistor in the passenger side footwell behind the center stack. He is driving an E38 740. The location of the Final Stage Resistor is actually attached to the heater blower motor itself. This is a very labor intensive job and will require a lot of time an patience to get at. Before even being able to replace anything you are probably looking at 4-6 hours. There is a whole step-by-step procedure on www.e38.org. Go down to the HVAC section and there is a link to remove the blower motor. If you are doing the FSR then you should pay the extra money as you are already in there and replace the blower motor itself as the labor already overlaps (if you are paying someone to do it). If you are opting to do it yourself, I would recommend doing it anyway so you don't have added hassle in the future.

If anyone knows of a REALLY well detailed DIY for this procedure the link would be greatly appreciated. Pictures, tools and parts required would be great. Most of the ones (including the aforementioned) that I have come across are pretty vague and basic. The cost for the parts isn't cheap either, but well worth the money.
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  #242  
Old 02-04-2009, 10:19 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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We need to do an autopsy on the BMW FSU to figure out what is going wrong

I think we can consider pin #1 ground, and pin #2 12v power (notice that it's fused at a whopping 40 amps!).
I'm guessing #3 (x671) is an input to the FSU from the heating and a/c module.
I'm not sure what #4 (x18722) and #5 (X816) are but one or more of those leads must be going to the blower motor itself.

SUMMARY (I think):
#1 = ground
#2 = 12V power, 40 amp fused
#3 = input to fsu from heat/ac module
#4 = output power to the blower motor? (speed 1?)
#5 = output power to the blower motor (speed 2?)



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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-04-2009 at 03:29 PM.
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  #243  
Old 02-09-2009, 01:25 PM
Hobokenguy Hobokenguy is offline
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Final Stage Resistor - Complete Electrical Failure Cause?

Elvis, I just read your post regarding the final stage resistor and wanted to say thanks but to also ask if you know whether the final stage resistor could be responsible for a complete electrical shut down of my 2000 540ia. The dealership is suggesting that there is an 80% probability that the final stage resistor is the cause of my car having a complete electrical shut down while driving. I have tested the alt and it is charging at over 14 v and the battery is 3 days old. I've read about this type of shut down in posts at other sites but no causes. Do you or any ody else have any idea what would cause this type of electrical shutdown? FYi the car will often start again after a while but will again cut out unpredictably.

Thanks in advance.
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  #244  
Old 02-10-2009, 03:30 PM
donaldashworth donaldashworth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbshaffer View Post
Quick thanx and story. I knew my FSU was going out, but I was ignoring it...it was kinda of humorus...great car with the most absolutely rottenish parts...eg FSU, radiator, etc. However the joke was over when my blower fan keep running 30 minutes after I shut the car down. All I could see was the battery going out on me. Well I just finshed pulling the FSU..took about 15 minutes...the hardest part was getting the plug off....I cut myself and sprayed blood everywhere...OUCH...placed my order to Autohaus (thanx domiguy!) and I'm good to go!!! Thanx again!!

Jb,

Can you tell me a little more about your battery drain issue? I might be having a similar problem.

Thanks,
Don
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  #245  
Old 02-12-2009, 05:02 PM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobokenguy View Post
Elvis, I just read your post regarding the final stage resistor and wanted to say thanks but to also ask if you know whether the final stage resistor could be responsible for a complete electrical shut down of my 2000 540ia. The dealership is suggesting that there is an 80% probability that the final stage resistor is the cause of my car having a complete electrical shut down while driving. I have tested the alt and it is charging at over 14 v and the battery is 3 days old. I've read about this type of shut down in posts at other sites but no causes. Do you or any ody else have any idea what would cause this type of electrical shutdown? FYi the car will often start again after a while but will again cut out unpredictably.

Thanks in advance.
Complete electrical shut down while the car is driving is almost certainly due to a loose battery terminal. Happened to me a month after I had the battery changed. The terminals certainly FELT tight, very tight. However, a shop removed and re-connected all terminals resulting in completely eliminating the problem. No problem in about 25k miles!
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  #246  
Old 02-21-2009, 07:33 PM
shoyoas shoyoas is offline
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great info. have to replace my final stage this week
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  #247  
Old 03-05-2009, 02:34 PM
xaus24 xaus24 is offline
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hey, thanks for the details on this. I have a 97 528 so it should all look like yours. something different with my scenario: there is no air blowing our of vents, cold nor hot. however, if i turn on the fan, there is a burned smell that comes through the vents. obviously something is pushing that smell out of the vents because as soon as i turn it off, the smell goes away. do you think theres something more to my problem than just the FSU?
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  #248  
Old 03-06-2009, 05:13 AM
yellowwing7 yellowwing7 is offline
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Elvis, got the side panel out, the bottom of the glove box out, the plug off and the fsu loose BUT the fsu is hanging up on something and will not come out. I've held it with heamostats and pressed down on the clip and it still wont free up. ideas?
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  #249  
Old 03-06-2009, 07:41 PM
jtrane25 jtrane25 is offline
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Hey Elvis, I changed my FSU in August '08 and again now in March '09. Are these things that prone to failure?
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  #250  
Old 03-23-2009, 04:39 PM
Bellemare Bellemare is offline
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Hey guys, this was a great post, thank you.
Has anyone had this problem yet....
- I replaced the FSU on my 2002 530i when I was having issues with the fan not turning off when the car was turned off. Using this post and the great step by step instructions the fix went smoothly and solved my problem. However it's now 2 months later and the FSU unit has gone out on me again. I now have my 2nd FSU (OEM) ordered for replacement. I guess the 1st FSU replacement could have been faulty. But, could there be anoth reason for this brand new FSU unit to fail after only a couple of months? I don't want to be replacing these guys every few months at about 100 bucks a pop.... I welcome any ideas.
Thanks.
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