is this a 'final stage resistor' problem???

Hi all
Hope someone can clarify ....... here goes the story so far........ UK spec BMW 530i sport E39 2001 on a Y plate right-hand drive
Over the last 6 months my blowers have cut out twice and then come back on a
few hours later - I thought nothing of this as they continued to work ok, albeit with a great deal of fan over-run when the ignition was switched off. In the last week the blowers have simply ceased to work at all. The AC unit still does everything it should - I can hear clicks and whirs whenever I change settings, just no blowers.
Initially I thought this would be a blown fuse. I still haven't located fuse 76 (supposedly behind the glove box) but, having done some research on the internet, I am now led to believe this might be a case of the 'final stage resistor' going defunct. As the car is right-hand drive and I would have to remove the plate underneath the dash but above the pedals before removing the side panel, etc, etc, I though I'd let my local friendly mechanic do the job for me.
Having telephoned him, he didn't take too well to my suggestion that the final stage resistor might be the fault and suggested that it was probably the fans that needed attention/replacement. I can't help thinking this would mean loads of money drifting away from my pocket while it still might be the fairly simple problem of the final stage resistor.
At the moment I feel like buying one of these 'resistors' from my local BMW garage and presenting it to my mechanic along with the request of 'try this first please'. Considering they only cost approx £60-£70, I don't feel as though I am risking too much.
Does anyone else have any advice on this matter?? Would I be recommended to replace the resistor before anything else??? Also, my mechanic didn't even mention the fuse might be the problem (although I understand that the 40 amp fuse very rarely goes)
TIA
--
Jon Manley



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Hi Jon,
This sounds very much like the final stage resistor which hit my Y Plate 330i SE a while ago. Googling the internet ought to reveal instructions for replacing it and I would agree that risking £70 (ish) would be worth it.
Roger
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Your 'mechanic' doesn't know E39s very well if not going first for the final stage resistor. It's a well documented issue. I'm on my fourth - although to be fair, the latest one has long outlived the others.
I'd also take issue with his idea that both fans could fail at once...
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Hi all
Just to let you know the results of my 'final stage resistor' adventure........
I took the plunge and bought said device from my local BMW dealership - they referred to it as a hedgehog (lots of prongs, hence the nickname). Cost me £58.01 (incl. VAT) and took me approx one hour to replace.
Thank God I'm not overweight as I don't think I could have undertaken the contortionism required else.
Replaced all panels and fixings and hey presto - working fans!!!
Took great smug pleasure in politely informing my mechanic that his visit was no longer required and, just to confirm, it was indeed the final stage resistor that was the problem - never got to hear any reaction as I had to leave my message on his answer machine.
Alls well that ends well + I probably saved a small fortune solving the problem myself.
Thanks to all for confirming what I suspected.
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Jon Manley



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;-). It would be very much easier with the car raised a few feet off the ground so you could simply bend into the foot well while standing up. Alternately a friendly mechanical minded teenager. ;-)
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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