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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 12-29-2009, 01:44 PM
shell5329 shell5329 is offline
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Sounds like fan in dash running

There is a sound in my dash that is coming from the drivers side vent that is in the middle of the ac head unit where a temp sensor would be. I took the car to a dealer who changed out the Final stage unit and said that would take care of the resistor which was supposedly making the noise. Well, it did not fix the problem. The car be turned off or on and there is a constant noise sound of a small fan running. Both AC and heater work as normal. Any ideas??? Thank you in advance!!
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2009, 01:50 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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There is a small fan inside the HVAC control panel which draws cabin air into the left slotted area on the control panel. This is to measure cabin air temperature.

As soon as you open the door, or unlock the car, the fan starts, and shuts off 16 min after exiting. Some make more noise than others; with my old ears, I can just barely hear mine in a quiet garage.
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:39 PM
shell5329 shell5329 is offline
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Thank you for your reply. Do you happen to know the name of this fan or what unit, or fuse it is connected too? Thanks again!
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:52 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Why? Is it not running, or do you wish to disable it? If the latter, your HVAC will not operate properly.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2009, 03:04 PM
shell5329 shell5329 is offline
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I do not want to disable it, I just want to know the name. I'm curious now as to why I explained this to the dealership and they replaced some other motor but did not explain this fan to me. NOw I am wondering if they just replaced something for the sack of doing work.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:04 AM
qwerty786 qwerty786 is offline
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i have the same problem with my car its only happened now that it is the winter is i normall for it to do that or not. i have replaced the final stage resistor a few years ago. i dont want to change that now that i have read this post it does only come on when i open the doors with the remote or of im just sitting in the car and i use any electical item in the car will it drain my battery ive just brought a new bosch one

please help
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:14 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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shell5329,

Don't know the official name of the fan, but let's call it the cabin air sampling fan, because that's what it does.

Some make more noise than others, due to dust or soot (from cigarette smoke) on the blades. The panel can be removed by first removing the cup holders, and pushing the panel out. The fan can then be cleaned.


qwerty786,

If your heater blower is running when the ignition is off, the final stage unit is bad. There is a new style FSR available, that has about 3X the number of spikes as the old style.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2010, 12:09 PM
Spurz Spurz is offline
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Heating/AC fan is draining battery

My mechanic just determined after several attempts that a small fan in my dash continues to run intermittently while the car is parked and turned off. He has removed all fuses, etc. and still can't get the fan to stop running. It runs very slow but enough to kill a NEW battery overnight.

Is there an inexpensive fix to this? My mechanic is recommending getting rid of the car. 2000 BMW 540i w/135k miles......with other electrical problems like the ABS computer is bad, etc. Not real happy with the car.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2010, 12:44 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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I don't know that a new battery should die overnight due to the fan running.

Nothing springs to mind for the IHKA fan, besides replacing the unit. I'm sure there's a way to fix it more cheaply.

The ABS computer does not necessarily need to be replaced outright. You can have it repaired for a fraction of the price of a new one. EACTuning also has new computers for about $500.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2010, 12:51 PM
Spurz Spurz is offline
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Thanks for the input. Can you tell me what the acronym IHKA stands for? I am trying to determine what the "official" name is for this particular fan.
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2010, 01:50 PM
nickyfzr nickyfzr is offline
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Could be the blower regulator. http://www.bavauto.com has them. Just search on blower resistor.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2010, 02:11 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurz View Post
Thanks for the input. Can you tell me what the acronym IHKA stands for? I am trying to determine what the "official" name is for this particular fan.
Intergriertes Heizung und Klima Automatic

HVAC, Climate Control. et cetera.
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2010, 02:49 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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IHKA -=automatic Heating and A/C There's also an IHKR (regulated Heating and A/C) system which is in the 2001 525i/iT that was imported to the USA and is available in other markets that uses rotory dials and bowden cables instead of electronic stepper motors to control the air flaps.

The little sampling fan inside the IHKA & IHKR panels isn't sold separately...so you won't be able to find it in the part database because it is part of the WHOLE climate control panel....it would be like trying to buy the chips on the internal circuit board. The fan thingy itself is not mechanical...it is initiated by a command from the GM (general module) to the IHKA panel...and it starts to turn.

And as stated...the little fan is sitting on a spindle inside the control panel and it slides right off when you open the control panel. It feels like it is held on by a magnet. Also..as previously stated...the fan does NOT run all night long. It is connected to the P-bus...which shuts down after 16 minutes of inactivity (after the car is shut down).

When the P-bus receives a signal from the door handles or the remote key...a signal is sent from the GM to items on the P-bus to WAKE_UP...one of those items is the sampling fan inside the IHKA panel...it begins to draw in cabin air across a small thermistor inside the IHKA panel.

If your HVAC systems FSU/FSR in the blower has failed...this is something totally different from the small little fan that we've been discussing that you can hear after the car is turned off.

If you are concerned about the little fan inside the IHKA panel...next time you're in the car...remove the key and sit there for 16 minutes. Make sure you do not activate any door handles or the sunroof or windows...and when you see the little orange light go out next the the gear shift handle...the little fan should turn off as well. They both are connected to the P-bus.

Here's a pic of the little fan...the IHKA panel has already been opened & the circuit board removed...you can see in the 2nd pic how the fan can be lifted right off it's little spindle...it is not held on the spindle by anything visible...that is why I assume that there some type of magnet...again, it slides right off the spindle with no problem:

(images below by: Farnarkler...found on www.e38.org)

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 01-05-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-05-2010, 02:51 PM
Spurz Spurz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickyfzr View Post
Could be the blower regulator. http://www.bavauto.com has them. Just search on blower resistor.
Sounds like you may be correct. The problem I am hearing from my mechanic is that replacing the Resistor likely requires taking the entire dashboard out. Are you aware of a simple way to check the Resistor without incurring tons of labor, etc.??
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  #15  
Old 01-05-2010, 03:27 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurz View Post
Sounds like you may be correct. The problem I am hearing from my mechanic is that replacing the Resistor likely requires taking the entire dashboard out. Are you aware of a simple way to check the Resistor without incurring tons of labor, etc.??
To replace the FSR/FSU (final stage resistor/final stage unit) in the e39 doesn't require massive dash removal. This is one of the oldest and common issues on the e39...and there's been a documented DIY on THIS site for years.

Here's a link to how to change the FSR/FSU: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...78#post1683478
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #16  
Old 01-05-2010, 05:02 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
The ABS computer does not necessarily need to be replaced outright. You can have it repaired for a fraction of the price of a new one.
I agree. While it wouldn't at first appear so, the ABS fix is almost trivial (in hind sight, having done it myself, with all your help).

The problem is that the ABS fix appears expensive and difficult; and it could be, but, in most cases, it's one of the easiest jobs you can do yourself (trust me ... if I can do it, you can do it).

Here's my summary (after months of working on this task elapsed time):
1. Five minutes & a DMM will test your four wheel sensors
2. Six Torx screws & a box for UPS to remove and ship the ABS out
3. $150 (including shipping) will get your rebuilt ABS back to you from ATE
4. Two minutes to put the six #20 Torx screws back ... and you're done!

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  #17  
Old 01-07-2010, 04:02 PM
mibbj mibbj is offline
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My favorite part of this little fan is that a hot starbucks in the drivers "cup holder" will cause cold air to start blowing...in the wintertime
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:32 PM
geno68 geno68 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
shell5329,

Don't know the official name of the fan, but let's call it the cabin air sampling fan, because that's what it does.

Some make more noise than others, due to dust or soot (from cigarette smoke) on the blades. The panel can be removed by first removing the cup holders, and pushing the panel out. The fan can then be cleaned.


qwerty786,

If your heater blower is running when the ignition is off, the final stage unit is bad. There is a new style FSR available, that has about 3X the number of spikes as the old style.
Could you explain how to get to the air sampling fan to clean?I can remove the cup holders,how do I push the panel out?From behind? Thanks
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  #19  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:44 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geno68 View Post
Could you explain how to get to the air sampling fan to clean?
I just did two-second /ihka(F3) in the bestlinks to find this:
- How to remove the IHKA air conditioning control panel to clean the circuit board (1) (2) (3)

The next F3 gets me this:
- HVAC (IHKA) sampling fan check - a cn90 15 min DIY project! (1)

Another F3 later, this:
- Removing the HVAC (IHKA) panel (1)

and so on.

Last edited by bluebee; 05-06-2011 at 02:46 PM.
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  #20  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:52 PM
geno68 geno68 is offline
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Thank you,BlueBee.
My 525 is in bodyshop for other things,so told him to fix this. He was confused! This will help,much obliged.
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  #21  
Old 05-07-2011, 02:31 PM
Tolsta1973 Tolsta1973 is offline
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i had this irritating fan noise buzzing away, i took the heater module out and cleaned all the dust out and put a little oil on the fan, cant hear a thing now thanx guys
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  #22  
Old 03-03-2014, 01:08 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Hi QSilver7 or anyone,

This is strictly for my curiosity...
Once the car door is shut, how long does the HVAC Air Sampler Fan run?
I shut the door, sat inside the car with everything off (key out).
I waited 10 minutes and the HVAC Air Sampler Fan still runs, weird...
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  #23  
Old 03-04-2014, 12:07 PM
geno68 geno68 is offline
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Dash Fan Noise

The fan automatically stops after 16 or so minutes. I just pulled mine out and cleaned it,only to have the noise begin again after 2 weeks. Will be more thorough next time.
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  #24  
Old 03-04-2014, 12:25 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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I wonder if we can take this small fan out (easy to do it), store it away to get rid of the noise.
Personally I think this is over-engineered. My other cars with ECC do not have this fan thingy...
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  #25  
Old 03-04-2014, 09:34 PM
jygesq jygesq is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geno68 View Post
The fan automatically stops after 16 or so minutes. I just pulled mine out and cleaned it,only to have the noise begin again after 2 weeks. Will be more thorough next time.
in openings in left hand grilles that are open in climate control unit,noise will go away.
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