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Join Date: Jun 2012
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2003 BMW X5 No Heat.

Hello. New BMW 2003 x5 3.0L owner here. Recently purchased the car for my daughter at a really good price. The drivetrain and interior are virtually perfect for it's age. Has seen some damage from a low-speed impact on the front, but someone replaced headlamps, etc so it's not noticeable.

The main problem I am having right now (as winter approaches in MI) no heat.

The temp wheel is all the way on hot in the center of the dash, the blower works fine, but only blows cold from all vents, no matter what the setting.

I have removed and checked the heater valves and both are clean and open, and both function correctly on the bench with 12VDC. I don't believe there was any control voltage at the connector, but I need to repeat that test again because I was interrupted and didn't get to finish.

My Bentley service manual is on it's way, but until then, I'm blilnd.

Any ideas? It's frustrating because the way this is designed, it seems you'd have heat ALL THE TIME in a statistical failure.

Old 10-20-2019, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by stimpy451 View Post
Hello. New BMW 2003 x5 3.0L owner here. Recently purchased the car for my daughter at a really good price. The drivetrain and interior are virtually perfect for it's age. Has seen some damage from a low-speed impact on the front, but someone replaced headlamps, etc so it's not noticeable.



The main problem I am having right now (as winter approaches in MI) no heat.



The temp wheel is all the way on hot in the center of the dash, the blower works fine, but only blows cold from all vents, no matter what the setting.



I have removed and checked the heater valves and both are clean and open, and both function correctly on the bench with 12VDC. I don't believe there was any control voltage at the connector, but I need to repeat that test again because I was interrupted and didn't get to finish.



My Bentley service manual is on it's way, but until then, I'm blilnd.



Any ideas? It's frustrating because the way this is designed, it seems you'd have heat ALL THE TIME in a statistical failure.



Car is new to you...how's the coolant levels...any codes?

Sent from my SM-G531H using Tapatalk
Old 10-20-2019, 11:42 PM
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Hey, thanks for replying.

When I got the car there was a coolant smell under the hood, but no physical evidence of a leak. I checked the codes while looking at it, and it had codes pertaining to a dead battery from sitting. I checked all the fluids when I got it home (drove over 40 miles with no warning lights or problems) and found that the radiator was about 2 L low. I filled it, bled it a few times and didn't see any evidence of a leak other than a bubbling noise from the hose 0-ring at the overflow tank at the radiator...the small hose going into the tank right next to the main top hose going into the rad. No coolant drooling; just that bubbling sound of pressure leaking. Found a damaged o-ring on that hose junction.

I removed the clutch fan to get a good look at the thermostat housing and found nothing. I'm waiting for a new o-ring (and many other parts/bentley manual) so I can't fire it up to check for codes, but when I do, I'll follow up here.

I did remove the heater valve and made sure it functioned correctly with +12VDC on the bench. No problems there. Re-installed the valve but did check the control voltage at the connector and found no voltage present at any setting, on either valve.

One thing I did notice (and maybe it's nothing: when checking for heat, I had the HVAC head unit set with the fan half way, heat on both sides at 90F, and the fan would run for 20 seconds or so, then cycle off for maybe 10 sec, then back up, constantly fluctuating. It was not set to auto (where the AC would be trying to come on). Maybe someone could shed some light on that.

The HVAC head unit, for all outward appearances, seems to be fine...all buttons work, no problems with the display, etc. I have it on the bench but I'm not going to dig into it until I have a manual and become better acquainted with the system.
Old 10-23-2019, 07:29 PM
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So here's a stress-inducing update to this problem...

I replaced some suspect seals and pressure checked the cooling system, and all is good. So I'm sitting in the car and I can't really control the fan speed at all from the head unit. I clicked the defrost button, fan changed, flaps flapped, and HEAT comes out of the dash vents.

I was all F*CK'N'A RIGHT! it's good enough to make the winter. None of the other HVAC settings produce anything but cold air out of the vents. Took the car to work and shut it off...but the blower motor did not. The residual heat system was not activated. It ran the fan until the battery died.

Next day, drove it to Grand Blanc BMW out of frustration. I thought it may be a stuck relay, but got as far as removing the glovebox before i had to go work on some other piece of ***** that was more important. Today the dealer called, said it was a blower resistor that had shorted and they need to order one and it will be $440.

I'm fairly convinced that the blower resistor is a solid diagnosis to get the damn thing to turn off, etc, but I have major doubts about the heat not working (other than the defrost) and this actually being a head unit issue..

what would you do? I asked the service front-end to put notes on it concerning what I had found with no signal going to the heater valves, but no reply on that from the back apparently.
Old 11-08-2019, 10:33 AM
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The $440 is parts and labor, plus a $130 diag fee.
Old 11-08-2019, 10:36 AM
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