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Kellie, BMW Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 231
Experience:  Level 1 BMW Tech, ASE Master Tech
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2004 bmw 525i: mode, Set the temperature..No heat comes

Customer Question

I am have a problem with the heater in my 2004 bmw 525i. I turn on auto mode, Set the temperature. No heat comes out. If I use the fan setting to max get a little heat?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Kellie replied 7 years ago.
Just to clarify... when you set the fan to max, air comes out, correct? So the fan appears to be working normally, but the air doesn't get hot?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
that is correct.
Expert:  Kellie replied 7 years ago.
I the I-Drive, go to climate control menu, and check the settings. It's possible to adjust them so that no hot air will come out of the vents. Also, please check your coolant level. Let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I did play with the I drive setting to try to get it to work. But it does not look like the auto mode is work. Is there any way to reset it back to factory settings?
Expert:  Kellie replied 7 years ago.
There is no way to set it back to factory. Have you gotten a chance to check your coolant level yet?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Coolant level is close to min but, not at min.
Expert:  Kellie replied 7 years ago.
If settings aren't the issue, the coolant level is okay, and the car is fully warmed up, but the heater still does not work, you may have an issue with your cooling system. Perhaps a stuck water valve, or even a bad climate control unit. That is something I would recommend having looked at by a BMW specialist because special equipment will almost certainly be required.

If you'd like, I can leave this dialog open so that once you have the vehicle looked at, you can run the diagnosis by me and ask any questions you might have about the shop's recommendations. It's up to you whether you want to "Accept" now or after you have the car looked at. Either way, it won't affect our conversation.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
there is no way to tell if its bad climate control unit? Or if the water valve is stuck? There is some heat there. How does the climate control unit work? Does it wait for the water to get work until it turns itself on?
Expert:  Kellie replied 7 years ago.
There is no way for you to test the unit yourself, it would have to be hooked up to a special computer to have fault memory read out, and possibly some tests performed. I have to say I have never seen one fail on any car in my career as a BMW technician, so it's unlikely that it's your problem, but it isn't impossible.

Here is a photo of your water valve. Feel the hoses going into it and coming out of it and make sure both sides get hot. BE CAREFUL because it will get extremely hot when the engine is at operating temperature.

You may also have an auxiliary water pump issue, but testing that might require more disassembly and special equipment.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
how big of a job is it to replace that valve ?what can the valve cost about $75
Expert:  Kellie replied 7 years ago.
The valve is probably going to be roughly $100 if you order from They sell at wholesale prices to the public, but I recommend calling your local parts department with your VIN to make sure you have the correct part number before ordering. Also verify that that's the part that has gone bad. It's cheaper to have a shop diagnose the car and fix it right the first time than to throw parts at the car without actually confirming that they're causing your problem.

Once you've confirmed the cause of your problem, let me know and I'll send you the repair instructions so that you can decide whether or not it's something you want to tackle on your own.

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