328SE Auto - Heater Control access?

I have a 1996 BMW 328SE Auto. There's some intermittent fault causing the fan and control panel to go off for periods of anything from a few seconds to all day. It's as if there's a loose wire, dirty circuit
board connection, dry solder joint, or something like that. Here's a photo:
http://www.terrypin.dial.pipex.com/Images/BMW-HeaterControl1.jpg
That LCD panel should be showing the dual temperatures set, and the fan level. Sometimes it reappears (and the fan starts blowing again) after I go over a bump.
Before I bite the bullet and bankrupt myself at a BMW dealer, I was hoping to get a look at it myself. But I'm darned if I can see how to access it. Even if I get the radio out, I don't see how that will help. Is there some special tool needed? Anyone able to help please?
Failing that, anyone know of a 'BMW specialist' (i.e. not a dealer, so not charging BMW dealer rates) anywhere within say 30 miles of East Grinstead please? Local garage couldn't help.
--
Terry, West Sussex, UK

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says...

On the E39 similar symptoms may be experienced if the "final stage resistor" (aka hedgehog) fails - part for the E39 is circa 50 IIRC and quite DIY-able (although fiddly).
HTH helps - suggest you google for "final stage resistor" plus your E number
--
jeremy ['01 BMW 530iA SE Touring]
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This is a really well known problem with the Climate Control pcb. Have alook at this link: http://www.macadamizer.com/bmwfix.html If you don't fancy the soldering work yourself, let me know. Regards, JB
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Sounds like I was way off beam with my response then.
--

jeremy
['01 BMW 530iA SE Touring]
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JB says...

If the OP's only problem was the fan itself being intermittent, then I'd say you could have been in the right ballpark. I've come across this same problem and also one with the sensing thermistor several times.
JB
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Thanks both, that PCB problem sure does look like what I have here. I reckon I might have a go at the repair. But after rushing out to the car on reading the first step...
"First thing you have to do is get the Climate Control computer out of the car. To do that, first you have to get your Multi-Function Display out of the way. This is very easy; put your hand into your sunglass or whatever slot, put your fingers through the hole in the top of the holder, and push the MFD forward to pop it out."
... it looks like I'm stuck at Step 1! I've pushed and wriggled my fingers through that hole but I'm darned if I can get the unit out. Its top edge tilts out a bit, but no movement at the bottom edge.
If I decided instead to throw money at it, anyone have any idea what it might cost me please?
--
Terry, West Sussex, UK


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To replace at a dealer, about 300-400 plus labour. As I said, if you get really stuck, I'm up in Surrey/Sussex quite often. Drop me an email on jmbyrne_AT_greenyonder.co.uk (changing 'green' to 'blue' obviously)
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Thanks - I've emailed you.
--
Terry, West Sussex, UK

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Replied.
JB
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