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Old 12-30-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
dubchemist
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Default heater problem

okay,I own a 97 318ti and it doesnt blow very much air out of the heaters. Even when the dial is at 4 it only bloes out a very small amount of air. I can hear the motor going so i donty think thats the problem. I have been reading a bit about heater problems but cannot find any info to help me with my problem. has anyone got any ideas on how to fix it? cheers
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Check your radiator expansion tank and make sure there is coolant in there. If there is coolant at the cold line when the car is cold then the cooling system needs to be bled properly.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:22 PM   #3
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Go to this thread:

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2273

1) Check your coolant level.

2) Check the temperature gauge. It should point straight up. If it points toward the left, change the thermostat.

3) I'm guessing that the cable to the air flap door is loose / broken. See the thread above.

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Old 12-30-2009, 10:36 PM   #4
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I don't think that's his problem guys. Sounds like he's having more of an issue with the volume of air, not so much the heat. Perhaps the fan blower is on it's way out or one of the HVAC cables has popped out of it's detent.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooljess76 View Post
I don't think that's his problem guys. Sounds like he's having more of an issue with the volume of air, not so much the heat. Perhaps the fan blower is on it's way out or one of the HVAC cables has popped out of it's detent.
Perhaps some of the duct work is disconnected under the dash. Or, there might be something stuck in the blower motor.

I know that the post reads like "volume of air", but I still think it's really temperature of air!

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Old 12-30-2009, 11:01 PM   #6
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The cabin filters may be severely clogged as well.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:35 AM   #7
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Make sure that the two pre-filters also known as hepa filters are clean. If you go to the trouble checking them just replace them anyway. This will eliminate the filters in your troubleshooting. Next thing to check is to see if the recirc mode and outside air mode is functioning properly. Press the recirc button and see if the air flow changes. You should also hear a noise similar to a door opening or closing when you press the button for either mode. This is the door under the dash that moves from one position to the other. Outside air and Recirc air. Recirc air will give you more flow, you can hear it and feel it coming out of the vents.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the suggestions peeps. I eventually got round to flushing the coolant and changing the thermostat (as it was stuck open) but the blower problem is still there. There is hardly any air coming out, the new coolant hasn't affected it at all.
Interestingly, When I was in the motor parts shop collecting the stat, I asked a guy in there about it. He said its prbably a voltage regulator he called a 'hedgehog' prob cos it has a heat sink on it. He said its a common fault in the, and that its a big job changing it- taking out dash etc. anyone heard of this before? cheers
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:42 AM   #9
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Change your cabin filters first, it makes an incredible difference. If you can hear the blower motor going normally, this may be it. The intake for the blower is being starved by blocked filters, so there is no air to be blown into the cabin.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:00 PM   #10
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i took the cabin filters out completely and the heaters work fine now! I havent replaced them yet as i ordered the worng ones from ebay and havent got round to re ordering. anyway cheers for all the advice! dubchemist
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubchemist View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions peeps. I eventually got round to flushing the coolant and changing the thermostat (as it was stuck open) but the blower problem is still there. There is hardly any air coming out, the new coolant hasn't affected it at all.
Interestingly, When I was in the motor parts shop collecting the stat, I asked a guy in there about it. He said its prbably a voltage regulator he called a 'hedgehog' prob cos it has a heat sink on it. He said its a common fault in the, and that its a big job changing it- taking out dash etc. anyone heard of this before? cheers
This isn't applicable to the 318ti (E36/5). They have a different dash / HVAC system than other E36 models. But I've never heard of a "hedgehog" problem on any E36. Was this the same guy trying to sell you blinker fluid?

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Old 03-03-2010, 03:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubchemist View Post
i took the cabin filters out completely and the heaters work fine now! I havent replaced them yet as i ordered the worng ones from ebay and havent got round to re ordering. anyway cheers for all the advice! dubchemist
You can save yourself some money by cleaning your old filters. I cleaned mine with an air blower and some simple green. They looked brand new afterwards.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:27 AM   #13
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The very last thing I want to be breathing through is a filter soaked in Simple Green. **** gives me a headache.

How cheap do you have to be to skimp on microfilters? Do you clean the OEM paper air filter too?
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The very last thing I want to be breathing through is a filter soaked in Simple Green. **** gives me a headache.

How cheap do you have to be to skimp on microfilters? Do you clean the OEM paper air filter too?
First of all, I'm not an idiot. I didn't install wet cabin filters in my car. Second, I rinsed them in the sink with dish soap and fresh water, blew them out again with the air blower and let them air dry out in the sun. Third, my car is still down for an engine swap and I did this about 6 months ago, I'm pretty sure any residue is long gone. And finally, I don't think spending 15 minutes to save $54 is being cheap. Hey if you want to spend $27 per filter, go right ahead. Take one look at my engine compartment and the last thing you'll be thinking is how cheap I am
http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthrea...ilters&page=27
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:55 PM   #15
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$27 per filter? That must be in California dollars. What a ripoff. Are you sure that's not for a box of two? I spent less than $20 for both last time. At the dealership.

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