This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the climate control dash unit in a BMW E6x 5 or 6 series vehicle. Even though we used a 2005 645ci to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2004-2010 5 or 6 series vehicle with minor modifications to the repair steps.
A BMW climate control failure will cause several obvious symptoms including the inability to change the vent settings in the vehicle’s iDrive screen.
We recently encountered a strange situation here at the BMW Repair Guide involving our 2005 645ci. Every time we tried to change the vent settings in the iDrive unit, they would immediately revert back to their default levels. Simply put, we could not change the temperature in the car. We also noticed that every time we started the vehicle, the air conditioning fan speed would default to its highest setting.
A quick scan with our diagnostic tool pulled up the following fault code for the vehicle; 9C7B IHKA: Interior temperature sensor fan. The 9C7B fault code simply means the fan attached to the back of the climate control unit in your dashboard is not working. The fan’s sole purpose is to draw cabin air into the climate control so it can function correctly. Unfortunately after replacing the fan the error code remained, and the climate control/iDrive units still malfunctioned.
After further analysis, we determined the actual climate control dash unit was defective. After installing a new HVAC climate control unit the system returned to normal operation. No more error code, no more climate control or iDrive malfunctions. Problem solved.
BMW climate control dash unit failure in 2004-2010 5 and 6 series cars has unfortunately become a normal occurrence. The reason why they are failing is not immediately know. The good news is replacing your BMW climate control unit is a relatively simple procedure, even for the novice mechanic. The following are step by step instructions on how to do the repair. We also give you a parts list for your convenience.
1. Climate control dash unit (required) – Climate control dash units are unfortunately not cheap…we feel your pain since we had to purchase one for this repair. We strongly discourage buying and instaling a used one (like on Ebay). Use climate controllers have a high failure rate and may end up just being a waste of money.
- If you are removing the climate control unit from a BMW 5 series E60 (2004-2010) vehicle, please click here to read our article on removing the dashboard trim. You must remove the dashboard trim before replacing the HVAC climate control dash unit.
- If you are removing the climate control unit from a 6 series E63/E64 (2004-2010) vehicle, please click here to read our article on removing the dashboard trim. You must remove the dashboard trim before replacing the HVAC climate control dash unit.
- After completing either step 1 or step 2 above, you will now have your center dash trim (also known as the center bezel) with the HVAC climate control dash unit attached to it. Removing the HVAC dash unit from the trim is not as simple as it might seem…patience is required to avoid breaking any of the pieces.
- First, use a T10 torx T handle to remove the two torx screws anchoring the HVAC climate control dash unit to the center dash trim.
- Use a flat blade screwdriver to push in the plastic tabs of the controller to release it from the center trim. This is the part that can be frustrating…take you time. You do not want to break the plastic on the center trim.
- The HVAC climate control unit can now be removed from the dash trim. Replace with new unit and reassemble the dashboard following the above steps in reverse.