I recently started having problems with the ventilation system in my 1998 BMW 323ic. The ventilation system does not respond to any commands, it appears to be broken, however, it randomly comes on. When it comes on, the AC and heating both work. When it comes on, it remains on for 1 minute or for a full hour, or anything in between. It intermitently goes off and on, and then shuts down again. When it stops working the ventilation area above the driver pedals gets really hot, yet I don’t hear or feel any hot air coming out.
This car has 91K miles and it is well maintained.
Any idea what this may be? Is it an expensive fix, and is it worth having it repaired?
Sounds like the blower motor is going south. Not familiar with that make/model, but a Haynes manual might help you identify the location of the component and where the connections are. If you’re lucky it’s just a loose connection.
Are you saying the display disappears (common) or the blower speeds change (also common). What we are comfortable calling a “blower resistor” BMW calls a “final stage”. These things are incredibly complex (considering what they do and don’t do). The one for the early 7 series cars had the nickname “sword” and it looked like one of those short Roman swords. I bet it costs every bit of $200.00
Access for the e-36 (your car) final stage is by the drivers right foot (more like ankel)