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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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Old 06-15-2005, 08:55 PM
robdog01 robdog01 is offline
Registered User
Location: CA
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2001 330xi
Unhappy Air Conditioner problems

Hi all,

I have a 2001 330xi and this last weekend, my a/c started acting up... it was doing some really weird things:

I had the following settings:

Output vents: dash (in the face!)
Fan settings: Manual, power was about mid way
A/C (snowflake logo): ON

I was driving along, all of a sudden, air stopped coming out and a faint, high pitch sound came from the engine compartment. I felt around for air and could feel a tiny bit of cold air coming out (less than what comes out if the fan level were set to the minimum setting)

No matter what fan level i set it to, it wouldn't come back on. Turning it off and on didn't help either. I had reached my destination and didn't have time to look at it too much because I was in sort of a hurry.

After I came back to my car and turned it on, the fan worked normally.... or so I thought... after a minute or so, the fan would blow air FULL BLAST, no matter what setting I had it at. Then it would stop blowing any air and make the high pitch/squeezing sound, like earlier. Then it would either go back to full blast or the normal speed. It was never consistent, however, it was quite annoying as it kept doing this for the duration of the trip.

The whole time, the coolness of the air was correct, so I know there's nothing wrong with the "freon" or whatever type of a/c cooling is in this model.

A friend thought that it might be electrical, however, everything else seemed to work normally (lights, horn, console lighting, radio, etc), so I doubt it's electrical.

I inspected the engine compartment and the belts seemed normal, so I'm guessing it's mechanical with the fan/blower device.

Has anyone seen anything like this? If so, could you point me in the right direction for what I might need to replace/fix?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 06-16-2005, 06:36 AM
gesoffen gesoffen is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: München in my dreams, NoVA when I wake up
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,356
Mein Auto: Rainbow Unicorn!
Sounds like the Final Stage Resistor

Several have done a DIY fix

Search FSR or Final Stage Resistor and you should find the answer your looking for. The good news is the part is not that expensive (under $100). The bad news is its a PITA (relative to the cost of the part) to replace.
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Old 06-17-2005, 10:31 AM
ekmwright ekmwright is offline
Registered User
Location: wisconsin
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 1999 528 it wagon
Red face AC problem and outdoor temp sensor

I hit a parking stop and ripped the outdoor temp sensor off and besides the -40 reading my AC stopped working. The blowers are fine.Also when I hit the parking stop I ripped a cover off right behind the panseger side tire. Any ideas what I may have done?
PS Is it normal for 2 lights to come on in the dash under the display for which driving mode you are in... Park...Reverse... etc. I don't remember seeing those lights before and they go off with is a few seconds.
I'm wondering how much damage I did
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Old 06-18-2005, 02:17 PM
Hutchman Hutchman is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Houston
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 252
Mein Auto: 2011 328i, 01 325I
Final Stage Resistor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did mine a few months ago. I had the same problem, fan speed uncontrollable and and unable to direct the flow. I have an 01 325i.

If you are not too large of a person, it is a fun DIY. If you are a bit porky or a giant, your hand might be a bit too large for the project. My hand was all cut up after, but I actually acomplished something.

$56 bucks. Call around. The dealership in Downtown Houston wanted $117. The one in the burbs wanted $56. Same part. I guess they figure if you live downtown you have too much money and should give it all to the dealership!

Search for a DIY, it is in here somewhere. Remove glovebox, remove small motor (for airflow direction, unplug old FSR, snap in new one, plug in. Done. If you don't like sitting in your seat upside down, this is not the project for you. I almost quit several times. It took me about an hour.

Good luck
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Old 06-19-2005, 10:20 PM
aweisman aweisman is offline
Registered User
Location: Hollywood
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 42
Mein Auto: 2000 323i Sport Package

Same problem happened to me last month. Brought it in for rear brake job (under scheduled service plan, FREE). The AC chip problem was easily identified & replaced under the maitanence extension program for $50. The car is COOL again! Just in time for Summer!
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:32 AM
Mikee724 Mikee724 is offline
Registered User
Location: houston
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 325i 2002
whats the part # for the FSR???
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:51 PM
jack overman jack overman is offline
Registered User
Location: Pensacola, Florida USA
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 325

I have a 2002 325i. The dealer has replaced the FSR twice several years back so when the AC blower had a mind of its own again, I decided to get the part and put it in myself. Actually one of my mechanical sons did it for me. Nothing...no air yet. There were no engine or blower bearing noises when it stopped blowing. Not sure how to self check anything else. Is there a diagram somewhere on how to check the FSR to see if it is good? The simplest thing would be if the new FSR was also bad so how do I test it?
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