There is a drain; don't know where it is on an E39.
Be sure to turn off the a/c a few minutes before parking the car to help
dry the evaporator to help alleviate this. If possible, manually select
exterior air. It seems that BMW programmed the a/c system to always
select re-circulation mode until the interior air is at the desired temp.
This really retains humidity in the cabin and ventilation system.
I think you might have that last part backwards. Recirculation really should
reduce the cabin humidity quicker than that obtained when pulling in outside
air, in which case the expansion coil would also more likely be drier in
recirc mode than fresh-air mode.
But you were spot-on with the advise to dry out the expansion coil prior to a
lengthy parking time. That will go a long way to minimizing A/C funk.
fwiw, it is not uncommon for more intelligent HVAC systems to automagically
switch to recirc mode until the interior temperature is within, for example,
ten degrees F of the desired/set temperature, at which point they will open
the fresh air intake - unless the Recirc mode is forced via console button.
Don't know if that applies to the E39 or not, but a little experimentation
would go a long way to understanding how that system works...
'00 s4 6spd
On Wed, 29 Aug 2007 09:56:58 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"
What really amazes me is that BMW goes to a significant effort to get the
sounds of the car just right.
Yet BMW seems to care little or not at all regarding the smells of the car.
The ubiquitous a/c smell, the crayons smell in the trunk from the sound
dampening insulation, etc.
Don't the people in BMW marketing and engineering have noses, or do they
have only ears?
Actually I recall reading some long diatribes about smell from BMW
(probably the marketing dweebs). But, they are human afterall, and that
means that Murphy's Law applies.
PS - all cars that I am aware of have the same stinky-AC problem,
especially if you get in the (bad) habit of shutting the car down with
condensate on the evaporator coils.
The BMW (E46) is the first car where I have experienced the a/c smell. I've
had cars with a/c since the mid-70's (Plymouths, Mazdas).
There are two smells from the a/c: the musty one caused by stuff growing
because of poor drainage design, and then there is a background smell
whnever the snowflake button is turned off.
So far I have not experienced the former smell.
The latter smell, however, has been there since day one. There was no
water condensing because I picked up the car on a cold, dry December day.
I really think that BMW is not as concerned about the ongoing and long-term
smells emanating from the aging materials used in the car. Another person
on this thread mentioned some marketing stuff about the smells. I remember
seeing that in the BMW magazine, but that was more just the new car smell,
not ongoing degassing of aging materials.
I really don't like to rant on this, but the crayon smell in my E46 is just
I think maybe BMW employees don't care as they expect you to get a new car
every couple of years. Its my understanding that most Germans, in general,
don't keep cars for more than a few years. So, if you're a BMW employee and
you get a new car ever 2 or 3 years, at I imagine a very good discount,
they'll probably don't own the cars long enough to ask "what smell?"
I've been lucky in that I've never had any odor problem with my '99 E46.
And my Z4 is just losing it's lovely "new car" leather smell after 4 1/2
years and 40,000 miles. Perhaps I'm the exception that proves the rule...
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.