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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-10-2012, 03:40 PM
paulelmore paulelmore is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: 1992 BMW 318i
AC, Recirc, rear defrost don't work

I've got a 1992 318i. 166K miles..

All the buttons for AC, rear defrost, recirc stopped working. No indicator lights. Fan works at all speeds. Selector knob also does not redirect air between defrost, vent, and floor heaters.

Also, there is a "ticking/thumping" sound coming from under the dash.

I pulled the panels under the dash and found out the sound is coming from the heater core. I unplugged the electrical to the heater control valve in the engine compartment on the fire wall and the "thumping" stops.

Checked all fuses-they're all good.

Would a bad heater control valve cause all environmental controls to stop working?

FYI-I recently replaced the thermostat and radiator. No problems with install. Car ran at correct operating temp and heat was working great.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Last edited by paulelmore; 03-10-2012 at 03:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2012, 04:23 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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Location: in the sticks you piney
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 10,818
Mein Auto: rescued bmw's
ok. break this down for me. did all of this stuff work prior to the work?? did this failure occur immediately after?? (as in that day or the next)

could be coincidence, as i do not really see how a t-stat/rad would affect the control unit, though. i take it this is dual zone auto climate control??

are you certain that you checked all of the fuses for the circuit??

have you checked for power to the back of the control unit??

a faulty heater control valve usually fails full hot, and will remain so regrdless of zone and temp selected. it will not take out the controls themselves.

at least not that i have ever seen...


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  #3  
Old 03-10-2012, 07:45 PM
paulelmore paulelmore is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: 1992 BMW 318i
Everything worked prior except for once or twice when the A/C button flashed and didn't work. That only lasted for about half an hour.

On the day I did the repairs to the cooling system there was the ticking from the control unit which wasn't there prior, but it was intermitent. It would stop when car was turned off and restarted.

Everything worked for about three weeks before stopping working.

Yes, this is a dual climate zone.
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2012, 01:23 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 134
Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
I'm having a similar issue with a 94 BMW 530i, after recent cooling system repairs and spark plug replacement, did you get any resolution here?
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:53 PM
paulelmore paulelmore is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: 1992 BMW 318i
I did get this fix. It was the IHKR control module that lives under the sunglass holder in the center of the dash. The IHKR (or IHKA depending on if it's an automatic climate control or manual) is the little computer that makes everything work. I took mine out, ordered a used one from ebay (make sure the part numbers are the same) and installed it. No problems since. Cost me about $40 bucks plus shipping. Here's a video that talks a little bit about it that I made that mentions where the IHKR is located.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:50 PM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
 
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Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
Thank you!
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2013, 06:49 PM
JetBlackE46 JetBlackE46 is offline
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Location: Bay Area
 
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Mein Auto: M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulelmore View Post
I did get this fix. It was the IHKR control module that lives under the sunglass holder in the center of the dash. The IHKR (or IHKA depending on if it's an automatic climate control or manual) is the little computer that makes everything work. I took mine out, ordered a used one from ebay (make sure the part numbers are the same) and installed it. No problems since. Cost me about $40 bucks plus shipping. Here's a video that talks a little bit about it that I made that mentions where the IHKR is located.
Thank you for this! I'm having the same issue with the AC, Rear Defrost and Air Ricir Buttons not working. I'll have to tackle this. How do you remove the IHKR unit?

Last edited by JetBlackE46; 09-29-2013 at 08:52 PM.
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