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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 07-23-2006, 05:02 PM
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Climate Controls not powering up - NO A/C

As I was driving home today, id thought i would turn off the A/C and put the sunroof down. Well, as it started to get hot, I decided that I wanted the A/C again. When I tried to push the A/C on button, nothing happened. I turned the car off and on, and the climate controls will not power up at all!

I JUST got the car back from the dealership to get the thermostat & housing replaced, and the radiator expansion tank. The bleeder valve had to be replaced as well, since it blew off and leaked coolant everywhere. I hope this is not the result of electrical damage and wonder if the 2 could be related. Can anyone help?? Maybe its just a fuse going out, but im not really sure how to go about checking for that.

Edit: On the way home, i heard kind of a screetching sound coming from the engine. I hope this is not the cooling system.. again.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2006, 07:17 PM
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Checked the fuses. I didnt see any bad ones.. Could I just need a new climate control module?
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2006, 06:44 PM
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bump ditty ump
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2006, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTex
As I was driving home today, id thought i would turn off the A/C and put the sunroof down. Well, as it started to get hot, I decided that I wanted the A/C again. When I tried to push the A/C on button, nothing happened. I turned the car off and on, and the climate controls will not power up at all!

I JUST got the car back from the dealership to get the thermostat & housing replaced, and the radiator expansion tank. The bleeder valve had to be replaced as well, since it blew off and leaked coolant everywhere. I hope this is not the result of electrical damage and wonder if the 2 could be related. Can anyone help?? Maybe its just a fuse going out, but im not really sure how to go about checking for that.

Edit: On the way home, i heard kind of a screetching sound coming from the engine. I hope this is not the cooling system.. again.
Try disconnecting the battery to see if it resets.
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:19 PM
bitmouse bitmouse is offline
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Screeching noise? As in a belt squeeling? If it's a belt, then you may see some shredding on its edge.

The environment system does take into account the coolant temp, outside temp, and the car's speed (ref: Bentley manual).

I recommend that you check your A/C belt and coolant level, and see if the system starts up on the following morning when the engine is completely cooled.
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:35 AM
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Alright I'll check it out.. thanks for the replies.
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:00 AM
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Does your fan come on at all? If not, it might be the Final Stage Resistor... that's what happened in my car... turned on A/C, nada... no air at all...
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvator
Does your fan come on at all? If not, it might be the Final Stage Resistor... that's what happened in my car... turned on A/C, nada... no air at all...

Nope, the whole system wont come on. What is a final stage resistor? My A/C doesnt even turn on, the lights on the controls are all dead.
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:32 AM
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Reset the battery. That didnt do any good. I just had the whole A/C system replaced, too! My girlfriend thinks my car's more trouble than its worth. Im starting to agree with her.
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Old 07-25-2006, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTex
What is a final stage resistor?
It's a little device under the dash that controls the fans... without it, no flow... fortunately, mine was under CPO warranty, so no muss no fuss... I understand there are DIY instructions floating around if you wish to try to rectify it yourself... Here you go...

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...78&postcount=1
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:26 PM
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Starting to sound like the control unit isn't getting power.

If it has been recently been removed, then it may have not been plugged in all the way.

You can also check fuses 23, 28, 62, & 63.
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2006, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvator
It's a little device under the dash that controls the fans... without it, no flow... fortunately, mine was under CPO warranty, so no muss no fuss... I understand there are DIY instructions floating around if you wish to try to rectify it yourself... Here you go...

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...78&postcount=1
I'll take a look. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitmouse
Starting to sound like the control unit isn't getting power.

If it has been recently been removed, then it may have not been plugged in all the way.

You can also check fuses 23, 28, 62, & 63.
I'm starting to wonder about that. I did just have my evaporator replaced, so they took the dash apart for that. Now that I think about it, it seems to have stopped working after I went over a bump really hard and turned the car off later, it didnt go out right then. I pulled out the console "storage" cube and saw a couple of wires back there. I know one powers the radio.. cause all it seems like is it just basically isnt getting power. The a/c worked great before it just decided to shut off.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:22 PM
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Check out Terry's reply to me:

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  #14  
Old 07-26-2006, 09:36 AM
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Got an appt for tomorrow. I'll see what the verdict is. Thanks for all the replies. I'll post again when I discover what the problem was.

If it's the final stage resistor, i'll know why they call it that. After a while, it finally resists working.
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  #15  
Old 07-28-2006, 12:08 PM
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Looks like it was the whole climate control panel (unit). They had to order a new unit, repair cost about $450.. covered under extended warranty.
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2006, 08:34 AM
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UPDATE-- They put the climate control unit in, and the problem is still there!! It blows warm on the right (passenger) side, and semi-cold on the drivers side. warm on the floor vents, and warm on the windshield vents. The compressor works, the evaporater is new, new expansion valve, new hoses, and the charge is fine... no known leaks in the system. Final stage resistor??
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:48 AM
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Final stage resistor, AFAIK, controls the blower fans... when in auto mode, it adjusts the speed of the fan to help cool down or heat up the vehicle quickly... I don't think it would cause one side to be cooler than the other (do you have dual zone heating and cooling?) Seems to me like something is not hooked up right... perhaps they should try another climate control unit?
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:38 PM
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No I just have the regular climate controls, no dual zone. Im taking it back today and getting a loaner bmw so they can "further evaluate and diagnose" the problem, taking into consideration they might have screwed up something when they took the entire dash apart for the evaporator service. I cant handle having inadequate cold air flow in this heat & humidity this time of year.
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  #19  
Old 05-18-2009, 12:51 PM
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Vornado, I have a dead system now like you did. What was your final outcome? Did it take another climate control unit, or was it something further?
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  #20  
Old 05-18-2009, 01:10 PM
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Cold air on the driver's and hot on the passenger's side seems to be a hallmark of low refrigerant in the system. Have them check again and if need be, empty the system, pull a vacuum and reload the appropriate amount of R-134a (2 1/2 lbs, IIRC, check sticker)
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:40 PM
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jcourcoul, any thoughts on the dead control panel? Fuse #28 was blown, I replaced it, and it immediately blew again when the car was started.
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  #22  
Old 05-18-2009, 02:21 PM
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jcourcoul, any thoughts on the dead control panel? Fuse #28 was blown, I replaced it, and it immediately blew again when the car was started.
Did you verify that the amperage fuse you put in it was the correct number? If you put a 5 amp fuse in a 30 amp slot, chances are it is going to blow. Otherwise, you have a short somewhere in the electrical parts. I'd guess you have a bad climate control unit. They run about $90 on ebay.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:35 PM
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Thanks smolck. Yeah, according to the insert in the fuse box, #28 is a 5 amp fuse, which was what was in there, and also what I replaced it with. Do you know if there is a way to test the CCU before I buy I new one? And does it need to be programmed? I'm thinking I have a short somewhere as well. After I had replaced the fuse, the panel did light up momentarily before the fuse blew again.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:43 PM
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Thanks smolck. Yeah, according to the insert in the fuse box, #28 is a 5 amp fuse, which was what was in there, and also what I replaced it with. Do you know if there is a way to test the CCU before I buy I new one? And does it need to be programmed? I'm thinking I have a short somewhere as well. After I had replaced the fuse, the panel did light up momentarily before the fuse blew again.
I am not sure how you would test the CCU. Electrical stuff is not my strong point. But I would say the problem is in the unit itself and replacing it would likely solve the problem.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:05 PM
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OK, thanks. I have a Bentley manual on the way, and will probably wait for that to arrive before I attempt the changeout. I haven't seen any DIY's on this and don't want to mess anything else up trying to fix this problem.
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