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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-24-2010, 08:46 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Arrow DIY: FSU (aka Blower Motor Resistor) replacement pictorial guide

It was my turn to replace the FSU (blower motor resistor). I just got tired of the pulsating pattern of the blower and its shutting off on its own accord. It is especially frustrating in the 100F degrees St. Louis weather. I ordered the part through one of my favorite sites: www.eeuroparts.com that has great prices and both OE and aftermarket parts. The FSU is made by Behr (OEM). The cost was $59.99 shipped. It took an hour to install and it was a pain in the neck (literally) due to its location under the dash. If you have problems with your back/neck/shoulders Iíd recommend to delegate this repair to a shop technician (hopefully without these problems). You have to spend some time in the area below the glove box on your back and side with your legs on the passenger seat. There is simply no other way.

The DIY is in the pictures. Sorry if I missed something. But thatís just pretty much the way I did it. Iíll just mention it here one more time that I did not find it necessary to remove the air duct and control motor to get to the resistor like some other diys suggest. Of course it will make things a little easier but will take more time. And I did not want to spend more time on the 95F degrees evening sweating in the footwell of the car. So here is the pictorial guide:





















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  #2  
Old 07-24-2010, 09:03 PM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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Very nice as always. Thanks.
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2010, 03:23 AM
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mawana mawana is offline
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Very clear and cleanly done! I will definitely come back to this when it's time.
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2010, 07:40 AM
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marinekilz marinekilz is offline
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Very nice work, enjoy all your constant cool air this summer
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2010, 09:01 AM
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Ryans323i Ryans323i is offline
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Thank you! And bookmarked!
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:05 AM
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I vote for a new title of Chief DIY Illustration Guru.

Great job as always...thank you.
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Last edited by P_T; 07-25-2010 at 10:06 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2010, 12:34 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P_T View Post
I vote for a new title of Chief DIY Illustration Guru.

Great job as always...thank you.
Haha, I just like to take pictures of my repairs when they come up

Thanks everybody for comments. I'll need to include some other good FSU links for those who decide to remove the air duct. It's a couple of extra steps from what I've read.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2010, 02:05 PM
C-Bear C-Bear is offline
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To the wiki we go?
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  #9  
Old 07-25-2010, 03:34 PM
maviduya maviduya is offline
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starless,

i've replaced the fuse for the blower motor three times today and the only DIY that i did was to disconnect the power window motor on the front passenger side. i've checked all the wires in that door and none are exposed.

i'd like to confirm that a faulty blower resistor pack (aka FSU) would lead to multiple blown fuses...

more background material: the lights on the IHKA panel turn on with the key in the pre-ignition position...just no air from the vents...

thank you in advance!

mark @ san antonio
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2010, 03:40 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Bear View Post
To the wiki we go?
I'll link it there later Thanks!

New FSU definitely solved the pulsating/interrupted air stream problem. Cause it started getting annoying...A lot of maintenance still ahead...
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  #11  
Old 07-25-2010, 03:47 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maviduya View Post
starless,

i've replaced the fuse for the blower motor three times today and the only DIY that i did was to disconnect the power window motor on the front passenger side. i've checked all the wires in that door and none are exposed.

i'd like to confirm that a faulty blower resistor pack (aka FSU) would lead to multiple blown fuses...

more background material: the lights on the IHKA panel turn on with the key in the pre-ignition position...just no air from the vents...
thank you in advance!

mark @ san antonio
Not sure about fuses, mine never blew...
The IHKA lights working and no air is definitely the FSU. Is it only with the key in pre ignition? What about when the car is running?
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2010, 04:06 PM
akhbhaat akhbhaat is offline
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I performed this job in my old 323i, and this is really a top shelf DIY. The photos and description are excellent. Nice work.

Hopefully, you won't have to worry about this again. The FSU design was revised twice, I believe. All I can tell you is that my 2005 got the newest version of the part from the factory and has not once had FSU issues even at 5.5 yrs/62k miles, whereas my 323i had it twice in 7 years/75k miles (first at 2.75 years/20k miles, second at 7 years/75k miles). I do believe the part installed during the first repair was the same as the original, because I don't think it had yet been revised even once at that point.
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2010, 04:46 PM
maviduya maviduya is offline
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both...

starless,

you asked: "Is it only with the key in pre ignition? What about when the car is running?"

answer: BOTH...the fuse blows when i turn on the A/C in pre-ignition AND when i turn on the A/C when the engine is running.

thanks!

mark
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2010, 08:02 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Is it fuse 28?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maviduya View Post
starless,

you asked: "Is it only with the key in pre ignition? What about when the car is running?"

answer: BOTH...the fuse blows when i turn on the A/C in pre-ignition AND when i turn on the A/C when the engine is running.

thanks!

mark
Mark, there is a BMW TSB concerning your problem. Here is the link:

http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B641005g.htm

So, I'd research the "e-box fan" version discussed in the document.

Also, read these threads on e46F:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/search....rchid=15113165

One guy in the thread below claims that FSU solved his blown fuse problem:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=687597

Keep us updated!

EDIT: In TSB I believe they are talking about part # 5 in this diagram:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...=12&fg=35&hl=3

Part #5 cover with blower. There are 2 part #s, one for manual , second for autos.

And IF this is indeed the cause of the short, then this thread has instructions how to change the "e-box fan"

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=291383

Last edited by Starless; 07-25-2010 at 09:22 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:06 PM
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jcatral14 jcatral14 is offline
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Thanks for taking the time to put this together Alex. Excellent DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by akhbhaat View Post
...2005 got the newest version of the part from the factory and has not once had FSU issues even at 5.5 yrs/62k miles...
Great news
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2010, 03:12 AM
maviduya maviduya is offline
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stupid mistake...

starless,

i discovered the reason for my problem...remember how i said that i worked on the passenger power window? the fuses that control window lift are #48 and #49. the fuse that kept blowing was #50.

#49 is supposed to have a 5 amp fuse and #50 a 40 amp fuse...

here's what happened: when finishing up with the DIY on the window, i transposed the fuses...i put the 5 amp fuse in #50 and the 40 amp fuse in #49.

i discovered this when, as a last-ditch effort before ordering the resistor pack, i checked each and every fuse for correct amperage.

THANK YOU for sticking this out with me and for answering my questions...

naturally, i feel really dumb...next time, i'll be more careful...

mark @ san antonio
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2010, 12:35 PM
Alex Phillips Alex Phillips is offline
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Starless,

I have had a problem with the AC/Heater air flow being inconsistent when the fan speed is in the middle range (not low and not high). The AC airflow seems to be like a rollercoaster almost shutting off and then revving up a little when in the middle range.

Could this be the blower motor resistor? If it is, I'd like to DIY. Your instruction guide looks very good. My car has almost 90k and is 8 years old.
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2010, 01:01 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Phillips View Post
Starless,

I have had a problem with the AC/Heater air flow being inconsistent when the fan speed is in the middle range (not low and not high). The AC airflow seems to be like a rollercoaster almost shutting off and then revving up a little when in the middle range.

Could this be the blower motor resistor? If it is, I'd like to DIY. Your instruction guide looks very good. My car has almost 90k and is 8 years old.
Alex, yes, this is your blower motor resistor for sure. Classical symptoms. Let me know if you have any questions how to diy.
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  #19  
Old 07-26-2010, 01:24 PM
Alex Phillips Alex Phillips is offline
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Thanks Alex. Other than a t-20 screwdriver, I should be good to go. Thanks for the DIY guide. I am going to give this a shot probably this weekend.
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  #20  
Old 07-29-2010, 12:30 PM
chodan1 chodan1 is offline
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Thumbs up excellent pictorial guide

Hi there, just wanted to drop a note thanking you for the intructions and pictures to replace the blower resistor. I wasn't sure I wanted to do this myself but your pictures gave me the courage to do it. I just replace mine for a 2002 325i. I payed $127 for the part and 2 hours of work. For those out there who is looking for tips, you need a good light b/c it is pretty dark in that area. There is not alot of room to fit your body to work on this so I pushed the chair back, sat reverse on the chair and slid myself down under the glove box. I did my in two stages with a 1/2 break in between, 1. teardown until I am able to see the FSU. 2. Remove and install.
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  #21  
Old 07-29-2010, 08:51 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chodan1 View Post
Hi there, just wanted to drop a note thanking you for the intructions and pictures to replace the blower resistor. I wasn't sure I wanted to do this myself but your pictures gave me the courage to do it. I just replace mine for a 2002 325i. I payed $127 for the part and 2 hours of work. For those out there who is looking for tips, you need a good light b/c it is pretty dark in that area. There is not alot of room to fit your body to work on this so I pushed the chair back, sat reverse on the chair and slid myself down under the glove box. I did my in two stages with a 1/2 break in between, 1. teardown until I am able to see the FSU. 2. Remove and install.
Congrats! Good tips. The only thing is - $127?From dealership that must be? My price was $59...
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  #22  
Old 07-30-2010, 06:54 AM
chodan1 chodan1 is offline
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The best price I saw online was $76 + at least $20 shipping since I needed it fast, so I got it from the dealer.
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  #23  
Old 07-30-2010, 11:33 AM
Alex Phillips Alex Phillips is offline
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Chodan - eEurope Parts had it for around $59 with shipping included (FedEx) which was like a 2-3 day turnaround. I got it from there and plan to try this job later today or tomorrow.

Alex - I am giving this a shot and thanks for the assistance/DIY details above. I'll let you know how it goes.
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  #24  
Old 07-30-2010, 12:18 PM
chodan1 chodan1 is offline
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When I was searching online, this parts store never came up , I do see it now and you are right, this is actually the same part ( brand) I installed and payed $127. Now I know!
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  #25  
Old 07-31-2010, 02:44 AM
conrad721 conrad721 is offline
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i think my blower resistor needs replacement too.

the air shuts off even with the a/c compressor is running.
playing with the fan speed doesnt do anything.
i did a "reset" by placing the ignition key all the way to pos 2 and then back, and somehow it finally worked.
this happened twice already.
im afraid time will come that the blower might not even work anymore.

with the heat and humidity here in my place, driving without the air conditioning will literally melt me.

thanks to starless for the DIY.
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