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Removing Your IHKA Control Panel
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing Your IHKA Control Panel

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Phillips screwdriver, plastic prying tool

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 3-Series (1999-06)

Parts Required:

IHKA panel

Hot Tip:

Use tape on your flathead screwdriver so that you don't mar the interior surfaces

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty IHKA panel

Complementary Modification:

Replace lamp bulbs in shifter panel

The BMW E46 IHKA (Integriertes Heizung und Klima automatic), or integrated automatic climate control system, provides the vehicle cabin with heating, air-conditioning and ventilation. The main components and features of this system are as follows:

  • Single heater core uses circulating engine coolant to provide cabin heat and window defrosting function
  • Blower control via final stage (blower motor resistor pack)
  • A/C compressor is electronically controlled
  • Air distribution and fresh air volume dependent on vehicle road speed
  • Air distribution controlled by self-calibrating stepper motors powered via M-bus
  • Defrost function calls maximum heating and cooling automatically
  • Rear window defogger and heated outside rear view mirrors integrated into the climate control system
  • Fresh air microfilter
  • Heating and air-conditioning can be personalized via Car Memory / Key Memory function

The IHKA panel is the main control for the climate control system. The panel can fail over time, losing functions in one or more buttons. When this happens, your interior climate control does not function normally. This technical article will show you how to remove and replace your IHKA control panel.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Open the storage compartment door.
Figure 1

Open the storage compartment door. Then push the center of the compartment upward to release the locking tabs and pull the compartment out of the dashboard.

Pull up on the shifter bezel (automatic transmission) or shift boot (manual transmission) (depending on equipment) to unclip from the center console.
Figure 2

Pull up on the shifter bezel (automatic transmission) or shift boot (manual transmission) (depending on equipment) to unclip from the center console. Do not remove.

Automatic transmission: Disconnect the shifter bezel electrical connectors (green arrows).
Figure 3

Automatic transmission: Disconnect the shifter bezel electrical connectors (green arrows).

Remove the shifter bezel fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 4

Remove the shifter bezel fasteners (green arrows).

Next, disconnect the electrical connectors (green arrows) then remove the shifter bezel.
Figure 5

Next, disconnect the electrical connectors (green arrows) then remove the shifter bezel.

Remove the trim panel fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 6

Remove the trim panel fasteners (green arrows).

Pull the trim panel with the ashtray up and away from the center console.
Figure 7

Pull the trim panel with the ashtray up and away from the center console. Then reach up behind the IHKA control panel and push it out toward the rear of the vehicle.

Disconnect the IHKA panel electrical connector by releasing the lever lock and rotating it up and pull the connector out of the panel (purple arrow).
Figure 8

Disconnect the IHKA panel electrical connector by releasing the lever lock and rotating it up and pull the connector out of the panel (purple arrow). Then disconnect the additional electrical connectors by releasing their tabs and pulling them out (green arrows). Remove the panel from the vehicle. Install the new IHKA panel in reverse order or removing. Be sure to route the wiring as it was before and confirm all the electrical connectors are properly seated.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Graham Comments: I have everything removed or disconnected. The radio is out and so are the centre vents. The centre console at the bottom is cleared of ashtry and cubby box.

I can reach behind the IHKA from above and below, but it will not move! It is stuck fast and feels as though it is held at the sides.
Any ideas?
September 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on? it is possible you missed a fastener or clip. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nolan Comments: Hi guys. My whole IHKA control panel is dead. all at once. Is there a fuse or relay switch that might have caused this that I can check before removing and replacing the IHKA unit per your instructions. Thanks
July 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: COuld be a fuse.
I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring and fuse info.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
BMW Sucker Comments: Every button on my control panel is off, but my both sides mirror rear view on driver and passenger sides is heating hot, I mean hot, not warm. Why? My radiator was exploded and it cost over a thousand to fix and I can not even drive it. Please help me. I got conned to buy this car.
August 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Are you stating the vents are blowing hot air when it is selected to cold? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ryck Comments: Are the IHKA panels for 2011 BMW 550i different than shown above? If so is there a used one that can be purchased?
I had a syrupy beverage spill which gummed up around the low fan button on the drivers side. The dealership wants to replace the whole IHKA panel. Can the panel just be removed cleaned up and made functional again. It is just the button sticking. The fan works fine and the high button works fine.
April 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They are quite different. You can try to clean it, may work out fine. see this tech article:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/63-ELEC-Radio_IHKA_Panel_and_Seat_Heat_Controls_Replacement/63-ELEC-Radio_IHKA_Panel_and_Seat_Heat_Controls_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
47silver Comments: does the IHKA panel need addressed by software to match the vehicle or is it direct swap out without any programming being required?
April 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They can be swapped around if i remember correctly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:20:27 AM