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From digest.v5.n84 Wed Aug 7 11:29:46 1996
From: "David J. Kroth x65799" <>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 1996 10:25:21 -0400
Subject: <E36> Climate Control

I have had a nagging climate control problem ever since I got my '93 325is a year ago. I can't balance airflow between the defroster and the vent (1:30 position), or the heater and the vent (6:00 position). For me, its mostly a problem in the cold months when I want some air going to the heater to keep my feet warm and some air coming out the vents to keep my hands warm on the wheel. Also, there is a point at about the 1:15 position where everything locks up and there is NO airflow out of any outlet.

I tried the dealer a couple times and even called BMW NA. I got typical responses like, "they all do that," and, "We have no record of any problems with the climate control on that car..."

I checked the bmw-digest archives and found others with similar problems. Some of them were able to convince their dealer to fix it and others (like me) just got brushed off. Back in Fegruary of 1995 Thomas Arman posted this after a sucessful campaign to have his dealer fix the problem:

> I checked back with my dealer and they replaced,
> in my 1993 325is, under warranty:
> Part # 64111468537 - Gear Box

I tried to get the local BMW service manager to apply the same fix to my car. He wouldn't budge.

For the hell of it I called Global Imports to find out how much the part cost. Turns out it was only $11 with CCA discount!!! I ordered one and installed it last night. It only took about 20 minutes. The part is basically a cam that is driven by the airflow dial on the front of the climate control. As the dial turns, the cam rotates and moves a couple levers that control the airflow to the various outlets. The new part has a different cam than the old one, essentially reprogramming air distribution.

The new part solves the problem, for the most part. Its not as accurate as the air control on my old Mitsubishi Eclipse, but it is better than it was. Now the middle positions (1:30, 6:00 and 10:30) provide airflow to adjcent outlets.

The installation:

  • - remove the glovebox
  • - locate the old "gearbox" behind the climate control
  • - disconnect the drive cable from the airflow dial
  • - remove four torx screws securing the "gearbox" and take it out
  • - install the new "gearbox"
  • - reconnect the drive cable
  • - consider changing your microfilter while the glovebox is out
  • - install the glovebox

Note: You may have to remove a couple more torx screws that secure a cover on some of the climate control internals to get the old "gearbox" out and the new one in.

Good luck,

  • -- Dave
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