New Fan Switch Tackles 530 Air Conditioning Issue

June 29, 2010 at 8:10 am 9 comments

This weekend I tackled an irritating issue with my BMW 530i. I had a problem with the air conditioning, and the recent heat wave pushed this problem into the urgent quadrant. Summer time in DC, plus my wife complaining about it meant I could no longer use the time-tested technique of ignoring the problem.

The A/C would cut out when the car was stopped in traffic. The air flow didn’t change, that stayed constant. But there was no frosty air at all, the A/C factor disappeared until the car started moving again.  Pretty uncomfortable in commute traffic, to say the least. So I jumped into the forums for some research.

Turns out there is a switch that controls the auxiliary fan. The fan is supposed to come on when the car is stopped, to help cool the A/C condenser. If the condenser gets too hot, it shuts itself off. Based on my car’s symptoms, that sounded like what was happening. The entire fan could have been defective, but there was a chance just the switch was out.

So I ordered the switch for less than $20 online and installed the switch, which was very accessible in the engine bay. And for once, I got the BMW best-case scenario! It wasn’t the entire fan assembly, it was just the switch. I’ve now got cool air again at a dead stop, although I’ll probably also have the A/C system recharged before the end of the summer to get it back to 100% power.

Note to fellow DIYers — If you need to make this replacement, make sure the car is cool or you’ll lose some coolant when you remove the switch.

While I was at it I also addressed a musty A/C smell that was starting to occur, a common problem with BMWs due to moisture in the system. Thankfully, I don’t have as bad a problem as described here, or (hopefully) need as involved a remedy.  I sprayed a can of Liqui Moly Klima Fresh in the car, and it seems to have done the trick so far.

All in  all, another small victory in the post-warranty BMW ownership experience!

Faulty Switch


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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Uriel  |  September 13, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Hi, i have the same problem, can you tell me where exactly you found it? Thank you

    • 2. cparente  |  September 14, 2010 at 9:38 am

      Hey, if you mean where did I get the replacement switch, AutohausAZ. Here’s the link to the part:

  • 3. Uriel  |  September 15, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Thank you! yes that’s what i meant…

  • 4. Classic Air Conditioning and Heating Dallas  |  October 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Hey, thanks for the info. Just in time. I have had the problem intermittently and was wondering where to get a fix.

  • 5. Bmw Air Conditioner Problem | BMW Photos Blog  |  April 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    […] bmw air conditioner problem […]

  • […] my bmw air-conditioning does not work […]

  • 7. caconditioning  |  November 2, 2011 at 6:24 am

    I have been desperately looking for info about this and discovered your website via yahoo. It is undoubtedly one for my bookmarking! Keep up  the good work I will pop back again soon.

  • 8. Mitchell Llora  |  July 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Thank you! I ordered the switch, installed it and it’s fixed!

    • 9. cparente  |  July 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Mitchell — thanks for the comment and glad the post helped you fix the problem!


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