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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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Old 09-10-2019, 09:01 PM
theroux theroux is offline
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Inconsistent air conditioning

I've been noticing something a little strange with the AC in the car. Despite both the driver and passenger being set to the same temp, the drivers side seems to be cooler. I leave it on auto all the time and even on manual the same thing seems to happen. I know there's the sensor on the climate control that senses the cabin temp and adjusts it, but wouldn't it affect both sides? Any ideas what it could be?

Unless this is how it's supposed to be, I recall BMW does air conditioning in a slightly unusual way.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:15 PM
captainfreezy captainfreezy is offline
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usually on these cars if the driver & passenger sides have vastly different temperatures itís an issue related to the blend door actuator; you may want to start with searching that
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:54 PM
theroux theroux is offline
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I wouldn't say it's a vast difference, it's just enough that I notice it when I put my hand infront of either vent. I've tried adjusting a few things in iDrive like the temp on the automated programs section (which the whole thing is a little.. confusing) and turning it to two or three red bars seems to make it match the heat of the other side.

I'm not even sure why there are those temp bars in the iDrive if I have the temperature knob to set the heat or cold. The whole system is a little confusing to me.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:09 AM
mtnbimmer mtnbimmer is offline
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"I'm not even sure why there are those temp bars in the iDrive". This controls the heat stratification (air temp from high to low). Read the owners manual, it contains all the information you need to understand the climate control system.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:14 AM
Jtbgonesailing Jtbgonesailing is offline
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OP, Get your hands on a BMW comparable OBD2 code reader that will pull BMW specific error codes. The IHKA will provide bread crumbs to follow. Typically if you are a little short on a refrigerant charge, the passenger side will be cooler than the drivers side with a left hand drive e60, with IHKA High
If you have a right hand drive, then this light charge could fit your problem..
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:26 AM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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99 times out of 100, and this applies to all cars with dual climate control, a temperature difference between the driver and passenger side temperature is often the cause of low refrigerant charge. There can be other causes but this is the most common. The only way to determine proper refrigerant charge to is have the system recovered so the amount can be weighed and then recharged.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:20 AM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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Another bread crumb for you: check the heater valves are working properly. If one side is leaking warm coolant when the valve is supposed to be closed, you'll have a warm heater core and thus a temperature differential. You can use an IR thermometer to check the temperature of the hoses going through the firewall.
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:46 PM
theroux theroux is offline
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Thanks, I'll check some codes and see about getting the refrigerant topped up. I should also note that I'm trying to heat the cabin, not cool it, so would that still make sense to have the cooler side occur?
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:05 PM
Jtbgonesailing Jtbgonesailing is offline
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Ok it's the heater not heating problem and not A/C cooling problem. Still need to check for BMW error codes with a BMW comparable OBD code reader.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:07 PM
theroux theroux is offline
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I'll get the codes read ASAP. Do things like the blend doors and stepper motors give codes? I know how to check the heater valves at least.

I did some more testing today and found that on the RH side, no matter what I set the temp to, it will blow cold and it is always absolute ice cold. The LH side, no matter what temp will blow lukewarm with no barely any hint of cool but also never really gets hot either. Now the strange part is that the windscreen vents seem to use hot and cold very nicely and the car will heat up if I set the temp to max on auto mode but the face vents seem to mostly stop blowing air or at least just really lower their power. Does this still sound like blend door issues/heater valve or is something really wack occurring?

Last edited by theroux; 09-14-2019 at 10:09 PM.
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