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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was my turn to replace the FSU (blower motor resistor). I just got tired of the pulsating pattern of the blower and its shutting off on its own accord. It is especially frustrating in the 100F degrees St. Louis weather. I ordered the part through one of my favorite sites: www.eeuroparts.com that has great prices and both OE and aftermarket parts. The FSU is made by Behr (OEM). The cost was $59.99 shipped. It took an hour to install and it was a pain in the neck (literally) due to its location under the dash. If you have problems with your back/neck/shoulders I'd recommend to delegate this repair to a shop technician (hopefully without these problems). You have to spend some time in the area below the glove box on your back and side with your legs on the passenger seat. There is simply no other way.

The DIY is in the pictures. Sorry if I missed something. But that's just pretty much the way I did it. I'll just mention it here one more time that I did not find it necessary to remove the air duct and control motor to get to the resistor like some other diys suggest. Of course it will make things a little easier but will take more time. And I did not want to spend more time on the 95F degrees evening sweating in the footwell of the car. So here is the pictorial guide:





















 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I vote for a new title of Chief DIY Illustration Guru.

Great job as always...thank you.
Haha, I just like to take pictures of my repairs when they come up :)

Thanks everybody for comments. I'll need to include some other good FSU links for those who decide to remove the air duct. It's a couple of extra steps from what I've read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To the wiki we go?
I'll link it there later :) Thanks!

New FSU definitely solved the pulsating/interrupted air stream problem. Cause it started getting annoying...A lot of maintenance still ahead...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
starless,

i've replaced the fuse for the blower motor three times today and the only DIY that i did was to disconnect the power window motor on the front passenger side. i've checked all the wires in that door and none are exposed.

i'd like to confirm that a faulty blower resistor pack (aka FSU) would lead to multiple blown fuses...

more background material: the lights on the IHKA panel turn on with the key in the pre-ignition position...just no air from the vents...
thank you in advance!

mark @ san antonio
Not sure about fuses, mine never blew...
The IHKA lights working and no air is definitely the FSU. Is it only with the key in pre ignition? What about when the car is running?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Is it fuse 28?

starless,

you asked: "Is it only with the key in pre ignition? What about when the car is running?"

answer: BOTH...the fuse blows when i turn on the A/C in pre-ignition AND when i turn on the A/C when the engine is running.

thanks!

mark
Mark, there is a BMW TSB concerning your problem. Here is the link:

http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/bulletin_graphic_temp/B641005g.htm

So, I'd research the "e-box fan" version discussed in the document.

Also, read these threads on e46F:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/search.php?searchid=15113165

One guy in the thread below claims that FSU solved his blown fuse problem:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=687597

Keep us updated!

EDIT: In TSB I believe they are talking about part # 5 in this diagram:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=ET37&mospid=47720&btnr=12_0899&hg=12&fg=35&hl=3

Part #5 cover with blower. There are 2 part #s, one for manual , second for autos.

And IF this is indeed the cause of the short, then this thread has instructions how to change the "e-box fan"

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=291383
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Starless,

I have had a problem with the AC/Heater air flow being inconsistent when the fan speed is in the middle range (not low and not high). The AC airflow seems to be like a rollercoaster almost shutting off and then revving up a little when in the middle range.

Could this be the blower motor resistor? If it is, I'd like to DIY. Your instruction guide looks very good. My car has almost 90k and is 8 years old.
Alex, yes, this is your blower motor resistor for sure. Classical symptoms. Let me know if you have any questions how to diy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Hi there, just wanted to drop a note thanking you for the intructions and pictures to replace the blower resistor. I wasn't sure I wanted to do this myself but your pictures gave me the courage to do it. I just replace mine for a 2002 325i. I payed $127 for the part and 2 hours of work. For those out there who is looking for tips, you need a good light b/c it is pretty dark in that area. There is not alot of room to fit your body to work on this so I pushed the chair back, sat reverse on the chair and slid myself down under the glove box. I did my in two stages with a 1/2 break in between, 1. teardown until I am able to see the FSU. 2. Remove and install.
Congrats! Good tips. The only thing is - $127?:yikes:From dealership that must be? My price was $59...
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
^ I'm not sure all this applies to E46. BMW FSU part numbers lead to 2 brands - Behr and Meyle. The part has been updated many times and the final version of Behr (0365 part number) seems to be problem free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
After all the work I did yesterday replacing the FSU, I am frustrated today....the vents on the right drivers side are blowing cold air, the vents on passenger side are blowing warm air...did I do something wrong? Did I disconnect or not reconnect something? Please advise....
You did nothing wrong. It's a classical bmw symptom of low/leaking AC refrigerant. I'd go to an indy shop and have them evacuate the system and refill it with the correct amount of refrigerant. In many cases just this solves the problem but if you have a persistent leak then it will need to get fixed too. Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I did it! Have never done a single car repair in my life, but my husband is in Afghanistan and I'm stuck at home with two little kids and the BMW dealer and repair shop are both 30 minutes away. Followed the instructions and now the AC is blowing cold again. Hallelujah!

One small issue, though...as I was wrestling everything back in place to reassemble it, I managed to pop the metal rod off the control motor. When I finally got the control motor back in place, the rod was back in the top (resting in the round yellow disc) but I don't think it was snapped in or attached. How important is that piece? Any idea what will happen? Hope I haven't made things worse...
Jen, welcome to the forum and congratulations on the first repair!

My understanding (although I'm not 100% sure) is that the function of that motor with the rod is to switch between the outside airflow and recirculation of air withing the cabin. If my understanding is correct than this system will not work properly with the rod disconnected. I use this function occasionally and could definitely live without it. But I also like everything to work 100% in my car, so it's up to you how important this is :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
When you receive it, let us know where it was manufactured. Most of the Behr parts used to be made in Germany, now some of the stuff is made in China. :mad:
He ordered the same part # from the same web site as I did. And mine IS made in Germany. Everything has been good so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Hello All,
This is a great forum, thanks so much.
Now...I know the FSU issue has been batted around quite a bit, but here is my issue.
My ac blows cold-..okay cold-ish, except on the driver defrost and floor vents. No matter what the setting is-the air there is hot. Quite hot. Not good in Texas. The other thing is-when I turn the car off I hear a kind of buzz that seems to emanate from behind and to the left of the glove box. Is there where the FSU is on my car? And could that be causing my ac problems? The battery also drains after a couple of days without driving.

Lots more bothersome things going on with this car, but those are the major ones.
The car has 230k miles and has been an absolutely fabulous car for me, but not having proper ac is a drag. I can repair this myself as long as I know where to look for the part. It's not under the passenger beneath the glovebox--at least not that I can see (I removed the cover-which in this case, has two screws-you don't just yank it off).

Help is greatly appreciated.
This diy is for E46 cars only. I'm not sure if E36 FSU is similar or not but if you post in the E36 section of the forum I'm sure you'll get better help there. Here is the link:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=97

Welcome to bimmerfest! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
On my 2001 M3 convertible..

I am stuck in the middle of this DIY. Before I can have access to the FSU itself, the motor bracket is in the way where I'm having trouble getting out of the way. The lower screw was easily visible and is now removed, now the other screw?? where can I find it.. I've looked around and there nothing visible. Mind you the air duct is still intact since it doesn't seem to pull out easy. Please help!!
The arrow in one of my pictures points to its location. It's not easily visible but can be reached with a torx screwdriver. Just stick a torx driver there and you'll feel it. I took me a good 5-7 minutes to remove that screw, so be patient...
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
I personally have no problem of buying parts from eBay. If you look at one of the links above, the part is Behr brand. So there is no question about the part. After I get the original part, the rest is not important to me. I believe the big sellers still have big margins on the parts although they sell less than BMW dealers. I think eBay is the main selling channel for the companies/individuals who have no access to big sellers.
Kubi, I also do not mind ebay for some purchases at all. If this is Behr and made in Germany that *should* be fine. The problem with FSUs is that even *good* resistors by reputable German brands still fail. It's important to go with the latest updated and improved version and part number issued by BMW. The one that I and other people used seems to be the latest improved part number and so far so good. If you ordered that ebay resistor just keep us updated how it works out for you. This is how we learn on this forum, mainly from experience of other people. If it fails, let us know and if it lasts a long time let us know too.

Update. I looked closer at those ebay resistors:

The part # of the ebay one ends in 3204. I've seen those made by Meyle too. They have 39 heat fins. It's an updated part number but might not fit all E46 properly and some have been known to fail shortly after installation
The part # I recommend ends in 0365. It's an updated part # too (latest I believe), has 58 heat fins and fits all E46 properly. Note, these resistors fail because of overheating. So more heat fins = better ability to dissipate heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Haven't noticed any fluctuating fans speeds (unless it's on auto) but my ac is not blowing cold even after a fresh charge. Cool at best.

Could the fsu still be contributing to this even if the blower seems to be functioning normally?

My local mechanic thinks I may have an oil lock in the dryer or a jammed up expansion valve. I'm not sold on any of it. Input would be appreciated.

Great site btw.
Fsu has nothing to do with cold/hot air just the blower motor speed (pulsating, not working at all, etc). You need to have your ac system diagnosed. If you get a constant stream of air, your fsu is fine but you might have a leak somewhere
 

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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
*Update!! Got it. Didn't bother with top screw but finally got bottom to go in once i pressed on the wire hard enough to make it lay flat against the motor.

Everything works great, awesome DIY! Also, I'm a pretty big guy and it wasn't that bad, cramped for sure, my shoulders are a tad bit sore. Something that helped too was an Android Incredible, camcorder mode with flash, allowed me to easily see the screw up top!

Thanks again!
You are welcome. Glad you figured it out. Those motor screws can be annoying for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
I had this issue, but over the weekend, I think the fan/blower quit totally. I can still hear the system turn on, but I'm getting no air/heat at all. Am I too late?
Do all the lights on the HVAC panel work normal? If yes, then you are probably not too late and it's likely your fsu
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Ok guys Im a newbie in here but am haveing a problem with my AC/Heater fan blower motor. Friday I had to go jump my daughter 2001 330I off at her school. It charged up on the way home and cranked right up. Saturday morning it was dead again, Went and got a new battery and everything seemed fine. Monday, same thing dead battery. I brought it home myself but when I turned the car off I noticed the fan motor was running slow and I could hear it speed up and slow down and it would never cut compleatly off. I pulled the cabin air filter and you can hear the humming louder in there. So does this sound like the FSU has gone bad? I need to get this fixed so my daughter has a way back and forth to school. From the excellent DIY write up I do believe this will be an easy fix. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks everyone
Jimmy
Meanwhile she can pull a fuse to stop the fan. It's in the glove box, I do not remember the #, but you can look it up on the card in the fuse box. It will temporarily prevent from killing the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 · (Edited)
OK guys, Today I replaced the FSU. Believe it or not its actually a pretty easy job. 30 min. total. I cranked the car and everything worked perfect. I shut the car off and the blower motor quit running.. I was soooo dang happy. But I started listening and I could hear a very light noise coming from the Control unit sitting below the radio. I pulled it out and there is a small fan in the back of it that will not stop running. Has anyone ever had this problem? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Jimmy
Yes I made a DIY for it too. It's a sensor blower fan (inside the HVAC unit). It's supposed to run for about 15 minutes after shut off, but silently. The solution is to lube the little bearing
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Hi there,

Sorry I'm new to all this. This is my first post ever of any kind (so I guess I'm what the veterans call noobie?)
Anyhow, what do you mean " Funny how I don't see you on the sponsor's list....".

Regards
It means - become this site sponsor and only then advertise your product. :thumbdwn::thumbdwn::thumbdwn:
 
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