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IHKA Panel Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

IHKA Panel Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Phillips & flathead screwdriver, trim panel tool, 90° pick

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

IHKA panel manual control

Hot Tip:

Disconnect battery before working with electrical components

Performance Gain:

Restored IHKA functionality

Complementary Modification:

Clean dashboard and vents

The main control for the BMW Z3 climate control system is a panel in the center of the dashboard. Depending on your vehicle equipment, it can be electronic (IHKA) or manual (IHKR). 

The IHKR system features rotary knobs, which regulate air outlet selection, air temperature and blower speed. Push buttons on the panel control the AC compressor and also switch between fresh air and recirculated air.

The IHKA (integriertes Heizung und Klima automatic), or integrated automatic climate control system, provides the vehicle cabin with automatically controlled 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).
  • AC 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
  • Automatic maximum for heating and cooling for defrosting functions.
  • 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 vehicle in this tech article has manual controls (IHKR); we will highlight how to replace this version. The knobs on the control panel operate cables that make climate control selections depending on occupant desire. The cables running to the panel have plastic mounting clips that break and the electric blower motor switch fails too. The blower motor switch can be replaced once the control panel has been removed. In the first few steps, I will remove the driver knee bolster. This allows easy removal of the control panel, sneaking out past the center console. If you are inspecting the control panel for broken cables or cable clips, wait to remove the knee bolster until you are sure you need to remove the control panel from the center console.

To avoid marring the paint and trim, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out body or interior items.

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're 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.

Remove the radio. See our tech article on radio replacing.

Working at the driver side knee bolster, remove the plastic trim caps (yellow arrow) from the screws.
Figure 1

Working at the driver side knee bolster, remove the plastic trim caps (yellow arrow) from the screws. Using a small flathead screwdriver and lever the caps off. Then remove three Phillips head screws (green arrows).

Next remove the remaining Phillips head screws (green arrows) from the knee bolster trim panel.
Figure 2

Next remove the remaining Phillips head screws (green arrows) from the knee bolster trim panel. Remove the plastic caps as you did previously if they are present. I find these caps missing quite often. There should also be Phillips head screws (yellow arrow) that run along the bottom edge of the knee bolster trim panel, remove these as well.

Pull knee bolster (green arrow) down and away from dashboard and remove.
Figure 3

Pull knee bolster (green arrow) down and away from dashboard and remove.

Next you will have to remove the knee support.
Figure 4

Next you will have to remove the knee support. Remove all six 10mm bolts (green arrows) from the support. When you get to the final bolt, hold the support in place or it will fall down.

Remove the knee support from the vehicle.
Figure 5

Remove the knee support from the vehicle.

Working at IHKA panel, pull all three control knobs (green arrows) straight off to remove.
Figure 6

Working at IHKA panel, pull all three control knobs (green arrows) straight off to remove.

Then, reach into radio opening and detach control panel from center console.
Figure 7

Then, reach into radio opening and detach control panel from center console. The control panel will release as you pull it straight off toward the firewall. You are detaching clips (green arrows) that surround the control panel.

Now you have the ability to move the control panel around to disconnect the electrical connectors and cables.
Figure 8

Now you have the ability to move the control panel around to disconnect the electrical connectors and cables. Before we do that, I want to note why I am servicing my panel. Note the green arrow, it is pointing to a broken cable retaining clip. Lucky for me, these clips are replaceable and available from Pelican Parts. At this point, I could remove the remaining pieces of the clip from the control panel, then install the new cable clip and reassemble the vehicle. However, I want to show you how to replace the entire unit.

Start by disconnecting the light bulb electrical connector (green arrow) by pulling it straight off.
Figure 9

Start by disconnecting the light bulb electrical connector (green arrow) by pulling it straight off.

Next, you will have to remove the cables.
Figure 10

Next, you will have to remove the cables. My red cable had a broken clip. So all I have to do is remove it from the control lever. Move cable until the cable end will come out of the lever.

Now we have to remove the cable clips that are not broken.
Figure 11

Now we have to remove the cable clips that are not broken. Be careful, or you may end up with more broken ones. Use a 90 degree pick (green arrow), lever the clip out of the control panel. Then remove the cable as you did the one before.

Use a 90 degree pick, lever the final cable clip out of the control panel.
Figure 12

Use a 90 degree pick, lever the final cable clip out of the control panel.

Then, remove the cable as you did the one before.
Figure 13

Then, remove the cable as you did the one before.

Next you have to remove the blower motor electrical connector (green arrow).
Figure 14

Next you have to remove the blower motor electrical connector (green arrow). Pull the connector straight off the switch to remove.

The control panel microswitch is next.
Figure 15

The control panel microswitch is next. Remove it by opening the two retaining tabs (green arrows) while pulling the switch out of the mounting studs.

Now you can remove the control panel.
Figure 16

Now you can remove the control panel. Feed it out toward the left side floor, at the center console.

Once you have it removed, you can replace the blower switch.
Figure 17

Once you have it removed, you can replace the blower switch. Pull the blower switch (green arrow) straight out of the control panel to remove. If it sticks, push on the control shaft to free it. Once out, install new switch and reinstall control panel into center console. Now be sure to get the routing of the cables and wiring correct before buttoning things up. Before you install the radio, check that the control panel functions normally. Assemble remaining items and enjoy your renewed control panel.

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Comments and Suggestions:
David Comments: I have the exaCT SAME RED CABLE RETAINING CLIP BROKEN. iT Doesn't look like it is replaceable on the cable. Is there a replacement that slips on without replacing the cable. If so, what part number?
July 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it is the set of cables.
Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
eye2sky Comments: IHKA Panel Replacement
Fig 8 shows a broken cable retaining clip. The author said "Lucky for me, these clips are replaceable and available from Pelican Parts". I need them but was not able to find these clips.
March 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Pretty sure they come with the cable. I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:08:09 AM