Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
 
Follow Pelican Parts on Facebook Follow Pelican Parts on Twitter Follow Pelican Parts on Instagram Follow Pelican Parts on YouTube Follow Pelican Parts on Pinterest Follow Pelican Parts on Tumblr
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
Heater Valve Testing and Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

Heater Valve Testing and Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets, screwdrivers, multi-meter, hose clamp pliers

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)

Parts Required:

Heater valve, heater hoses, engine coolant

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Heat will work again

Complementary Modification:

Change thermostat, flush cooling system

BMW E60 models are equipped with a climate control system or HVAC (called IHKA by BMW) that automatically controls cabin temperature once a temperature is set on the HVAC control head in the center dashboard. Left and right (passenger and driver) temperature settings are controlled separately. The system controls air-conditioning, heating, internal blower motor operation and numerous air outlets. The electronic IHKA control module governs the operations of the following components:

Heater valve in left rear of engine compartment; controls the flow of hot coolant to the heater core inside the HVAC housing underneath the center dashboard.

AC compressor in the engine compartment; driven by engine accessory belt.

Blower motor underneath the dashboard behind the glove compartment; motor speed modulated using the blower final stage.

Front and rear air outlets; nearly a dozen electric stepper motors attached to vent flaps control the flow of fresh or recirculated cold and warm air to windshield, face-level vents, foot wells and rear compartment.

Engine cooling fan; IHKA microprocessor and engine control module (ECM) determine operation and speed of cooling fan.

Coolant pump; on N52 and N54 engine, IHKA microprocessor and engine control module (ECM) determine operation and speed of coolant pump.

The heater control valve controls the flow of hot coolant to the heater core. If your vehicle has no heat and the cooling system is properly bled, the valve may be faulty (stuck closed). You may also have a situation where the vehicle has heat all the time. This may be a valve that is stuck open. In this tech article, I will show you how to test your heater control valve and replace it if necessary. Aside from mechanical failure, the heating problems in your car may also be caused by a malfunction in the electronics of IHKA. A dedicated BMW scan tool can read fault codes off the HVAC system. But I'll show you some simple tests of the system that you can do using a DVOM.

To do any work on the cooling system, wait until the engine has cooled off.

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.

Drain the cooling system. See our tech article on cooling system draining and filling.

This photo shows the location of the heater control valve (green arrows).
Figure 1

This photo shows the location of the heater control valve (green arrows). It is located at the left side of the firewall, below the brake booster vacuum line.

The valve (green arrow) can be replaced without removing the intake air ducts (blue arrow), although it is a tight fit.
Figure 2

The valve (green arrow) can be replaced without removing the intake air ducts (blue arrow), although it is a tight fit. If you find it hard to access the valve, remove the intake air ducts to the throttle housing. See our tech article on throttle housing replacing.

Disconnect the electrical connector (green arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it off the valve.
Figure 3

Disconnect the electrical connector (green arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it off the valve.

Next, remove the front heater hose clamp.
Figure 4

Next, remove the front heater hose clamp. Use a pair of hose clamp pliers (green arrow). Slide the clamp away from the heater control valve. The inset shows how the pliers grab the clamp. This style of clamp requires special pliers. Standard pliers won't work.

Then, pull the heater valve out of the mount.
Figure 5

Then, pull the heater valve out of the mount. Pull the top out first, upward. Continue to lift the valve out of the bracket at an angle toward the engine (green arrow), while pulling it out of the bottom mount. Be careful not to lose the rubber mounting grommets in the mounting bracket.

Rotate the heater control valve so the solenoids point toward the strut tower.
Figure 6

Rotate the heater control valve so the solenoids point toward the strut tower. Then slide the lower hose clamp (green arrow) down the hose. Then slide the upper hose clamp (yellow arrow) down the hose. Note the hose position when removing.

Remove the heater valve from the vehicle.
Figure 7

Remove the heater valve from the vehicle. Install the rear hoses and clamps on the new valve. Then install the new valve into the mount and install the front hose and clamp. Then, connect the electrical connector. When installing the feed valve, be sure the lower mounting tab (red arrow) is properly engaged. Then install the valve into the rubber grommets. Fill and bleed the cooling system. Once complete, double check all the hose connections and check the engine for coolant leaks.

Testing the heater control valve: 
Testing the heater control valve: The heater control valve is normally open (allowing coolant to flow to the heater core) and closed when the temp setting is on COLD.
Figure 8

Testing the heater control valve: The heater control valve is normally open (allowing coolant to flow to the heater core) and closed when the temp setting is on COLD. There is a small plunger (green arrow) that seals the valve when the solenoid receives the correct electrical signal. This plunger can become restricted, reducing coolant flow. The electrical portion can also fail, creating a situation where you have heat all the time.

Testing the heater control valve: The inlet for the heater control valve (green arrows) is in the front (red arrow).
Figure 9

Testing the heater control valve: The inlet for the heater control valve (green arrows) is in the front (red arrow). Hot coolant flows from the engine crankcase to the valve. It then flows through the valve out the back to the heater core (yellow arrow). A quick check would be to confirm hot coolant is entering the valve at the front hose (red arrow) and into the heater core through the rear hose (yellow arrow).

Testing the heater control valve: The following steps will show you how to test the electrical signal to the valve.
Figure 10

Testing the heater control valve: The following steps will show you how to test the electrical signal to the valve. If you do not have coolant flow through the valve, and the voltage is correct, replace the valve. Working at the heater control valve, squeeze both release tabs and pull the connector straight off to remove it. On my vehicle the brown wire (yellow arrow) is a constant ground and the tan / orange and tan / brown wires (green arrows) are the battery volt controls from the HVAC control head. To test the signal to the valve, I will connect a digital voltmeter across the terminals and test the voltage.

Testing the heater control valve: Start by turning the HVAC temperature control to full hot (red arrows).
Figure 11

Testing the heater control valve: Start by turning the HVAC temperature control to full hot (red arrows). Then turn the ignition to the RUN position. Then connect your DVOM across the terminals. Your DVOM should about read Zero volts. Next, rotate the HVAC temperature control to full cold (blue arrows), with the ignition in the RUN position. Your DVOM across the terminals should read BATTERY+ volts. These steps show a properly working circuit. If you are missing a voltage signal, check that the ground to the valve is good. Then check the battery volts signal back to the HVAC control head. When done, reassemble the items and confirm that the wiring is routed as it was before.

Bookmark and Share
Comments and Suggestions:
Whiteboy059 Comments: 97-Bmw 528i my heat will turn on for a few seconds then switch to cold air then back to Luke warm air then hot then back to cold.
November 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the IHKA for fault codes. The sensor could be faulty or the control head. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dan Comments: Me again...I kinda understand...i get heat from one side only when heat is on.....and ac works perfect when ac is on....can it still be it...or something else?
November 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I stand by my original statement. You have to start there, then move to possible other causes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dan Comments: amazing post..04 545i.Ac works perfect.... After switching from blue lines to red lines on menu screen and turning knobs to max heat I only get heat from passenger and non from rear or driver vents.
November 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The heater control valve may be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ben Taylor Comments: Hey guys, multimeter is just giving crazy readings, nothing consistent, no matter what set of terminals I bridge of the three in which order. SO I really have no idea what's going on.
November 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Might be your meter is broken or your method. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tom Comments: Also, the rear passenger vents blow warm air as well.
September 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Low charge is likely. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tom Comments: I have a 2005 545i. The driver side front vents blow cold air while the passenger sides blow warm air. Does this sound like a blender door issue?
September 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a low charge. I would start by checking the system pressure when the problem is present. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ravin Comments: Hey I have an o2 bmw 530i blow cold on driver side hot on passenger side when gas blows cold on both side for abt 5 min then hot again on passenger side I notice when car I cold it blows a little cold on passage side when reach temp blows hot in passanger side again
August 31, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a low refrigerant charge. Check system pressure and charge amount first. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sam Comments: I like to order this heater valve for my car, Do you have part number /page for this heater valve for a 2014 328D?
Instruction / diagram for its location would be helpful.
Thank you.
August 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

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
 
Nuno Silva Comments: Thanks for the follow up Nick. I've checked and I'm getting hot coolant to the heater core. Looking at figure 9, I got readings about 82ºC on the red arrow and about 72º on the yellow arrow. Even when all settings to minimum. The defroster air is warm and the front and feet air is ice cold.
The valve is new, as I told you and I get no fault codes concerning the IHKA module.
What do you think I should do?
Thank you.
August 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If hot, block flow to see if the problem goes away. If not, you will have to use a BMW scan tool to test the heater housing flap actuators. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nuno Silva Comments: Hi. Thank you for all the excellent articles. I've got a similar problem on my 2009 E61. No matter what settings I choose, I always get hot air from the defroster. If I set all the temperature settings to the minimum, the air is warm on the defroster and ice cold on all the other exits. I've already changed the heater valve as you described bought a new one from a dealer but the problem remains. What do you think I could do? Thank you.
August 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Confirm hot coolant is not getting to the heater core when the heat is turned off. If not, check or fault codes, as you may have a blend door issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
alex Comments: I have a 2004 545i E60. had engine recently replaced. since that moment the Heater rest button led does not turn on and there is no heat coming from the climate control system. Also the steering wheel heater turns on for 15 seconds not enough to heat up and turns off. AC works fine. The bmw cable tool and software shows something about a fault or short on terminal 30. Where do i need to look? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
July 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Grab the wiring for your vehicle and test terminal 30 at the control module for the IHKA and seat / wheel heaters.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JFT Comments: I had a cabin heating problem on my 2007 E61. I was getting no heat to the cabin and assumed it was the valve stuck so I bought a replacement and fitted it. No change! The one I removed looked OK so I put a 12v supply on it and it worked fine. I noted that with no power applied, the valve was OPEN. Therefore, I disconnected the 12v supply to the valve in the car and the cabin immediately began to heat up. Conclusion - the car's brain was telling the valve to close and cut off heat to the cabin. I then bought a 2nd hand heater control dial set for £20 from Ebay and fitted it in 10 minutes - problem solved. The thermostat that monitors the cabin temperature had failed and was telling the ECU that the cabin was hot.
June 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your diagnostic process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
monk Comments: Is it possible that in the absence of gas in the system, compressor not work protective and it causes not blowing air either, or in that case it has to work blower motor at least. Thanks in advance. e60 ´04
June 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, the blower motor will still turn on if the a/c system is discharged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
monk Comments: Hello, excellent articles. My 2004 530i AC system does not respond to any function, turn on the vehicle starts the system, respond all functions only in appearance but does not blow air. much less cold air blowing or heating, only works defroster. Will this failure be related to the valve?
June 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if not blowing air at all, I would suspect the blower motor or final stage unit first. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
1coolman Comments: I'm in need of a replacement plug for the wiring harness for this valve discovered it had a broken connector
Inside preventing operation of valve
April 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 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
 
KT Comments: I have fault code when looking around and this cause by the heater valve. Now my heater is working fine, should i replace the valve or no?
March 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be the valve. It is a good place to start. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Joe IV Comments: I just bought a 2008 528i. For some reason when I turn the heat up I am not getting any heat. Stays cold. Blow hot hot air thru the windshield vents.
February 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a faulty heater valve or thermostat. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bart Konings Comments: Hello,

The problem I face with my BMW e60 is that ik keeps on blowing hot air out one of the vents. All temprature turned on lowest and in the Idirve settings all is turned on the lowest or coldest temprature but still it is blowing HOT! out one of the vents.

Is this problem solves with replacing the Heater Valve?

Thank you so much.
February 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most likely the heater valve is the culprit.

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
 
Presise Comments: Hi. When I purchased my 2005 530i last year the AC cold temperature worked but the heat was barely luke warm, especially out of the face vents. Slightly warmer from the floor and defrost vents. I got the heater control valve replaced. I don't even know if the original one was bad. But there was no change to the temperature.

Recently I got my BMW CCC radio unit replace and they actually put a 2008 radio CCC and 2008 temperature control in my car. Suddenly all of the vents blew the same luke warm temperature and not the variation like before, but still not hot.

Later that day I notice that my engine fan started blowing on high continuous for the first time as soon as i start the car. After a few days I decided to disconnect the fan because of the noise until i can figure out the issue. Then magically I started getting hot air through all of my vents. Strange! But then when I turn the AC on cold... no more cold air.

I'm confused. Can it be the thermostat or something messing with AC and the engine fan???
January 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would assume you have poor coolant flow to the heater core. Could be the hater valve or water pump. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jeff Comments: 2005 545i. There is no heat in the cabin with HVAC temperature control turned to full hot. Blowers work fine. I know very little about auto repair. Should I get a scan tool recommendation??? One of the comments JFT- December 18 suggested "unplugging the power" first. What does that mean? Little help?
January 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Unplugging the valve would allow it to close, only if it was being commanded open. If you don't have a lot of experience,
I would grab a repair manual. It will have helpful information about the system.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
hawk Comments: Just for info, I got a M57 530 xd 2007 and that engine also has an electrical auxiliary water pump.
January 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes it does. Thanks for the info. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tybber Comments: Hi, what if the hoses before and after the valve is hot, but still only cold / halfwarm air coming from vents? Great post btw.
January 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The hose after valve may be hot, but is it hot at the inlet to the heater core? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bikerdad Comments: BMW 550i 2007 As the car is being driven summer and winter when turning left or right the temperature from the vents increases dramatically . driving down the interstate in a straight line temperature is controlled properly. Please help
January 18, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a low refrigerant charge or poor air flow over the condenser / radiator. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David Comments: Hi there. 2007 Bmw 530i. Heat works fine but on all vents Except the leg vents. It blows a bit cold air to the legs. Every time I drive it in winter it my legs freeze.
January 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check mode door operation using a BMW scan tool. Sounds like the blend of mode door for the footwell is malfunctioning. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jsmsks Comments: 09 528xi. In defrost mode lots of heat comes out of the defroster vents and the temp can be adjusted up or down.
In other modes the center and foot vents blow luke warm air at best. If I adjust I drive I can make it even cooler but even on the highest setting I only get Luke warm air. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
January 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: First confirm you are getting hot coolant to the heater core when the problem is present. if so, the issue is likely with a mode door inside the heater housing. You can check the door motors using a BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Davez79 Comments: My 08' 535i has no heat unless you let it sit and idle for a long time. As soon as you start driving it starts to cool down quickly. I have replaced the heater valve because when I removed it, the valves appeared to be stuck closed. Even with the new one in place and the bleed procedure done.....no heat unless I let it idle. And yes, the I-Drive controls are set to hot. Any help would be great. Thanks!
January 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like your thermostat is stuck open. I would check it. if the engine takes a long time to warm up, at idle from cold. This can indicate a faulty thermostat. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lorvig Comments: Thanks for the useful info.
December 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JFT Comments: Useful note: The valve is a solenoid which when not powered is by default OPEN. Therefore, if you have no heat in the cabin, try unplugging the power. If this restores heat to the cabin then you have a control issue i.e. the valve is being told to shut by the ECU - most likely cause is the cabin temperature sensor. If unplugging it makes no difference then it is likely that the valve is seized shut.
December 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Chuck Comments: I have a 2006 530Xi Wagon, AC works, Fan Works, but now that it is getting cold my heater is working intermittently it seems to either be stuck on full cold or full hot regardless of the control knob position and heat output will change while driving. BMW dealer indicates it could be the control panel on the dash or the heater valve in the engine bay. Any thoughts or clever diagnostic ideas?

Thanks in advance Chuck
December 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The article you commented on shows how to test the valve. Start there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jim Comments: Hey I have a 08 528i. One problem, my driver side heater does not work but the passenger side works. Both side works good on ac. Any ideas?
December 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: COuld be a plugged valve. Check if the heater hoses are the same temp at the valve. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Croxy Comments: I have actually since fixed it. I was just doing some coding mods and an intake mod. I reflashed the IHKA to default settings on both the CAS and LMA modules and that fixed it. It was telling the heater valve to stayed closed all the time.
November 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Croxy Comments: 08 528i, my heat stopped working after I coded a bit and worked on the intake all the way to the engine block. I get error codes about the sun sensor supply and the fog sensor. I reverted all of the things I coded to before my problem didn't fix anything. I changed the rain/light/solar sensor and the heat worked for about 5 minutes not sure if a fluke or not.

Thoughts?
October 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Coded, what do you mean by that? And what were you trying to fix? originally. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PACE Comments: Hi. My 2004 525i a/c only works when driving down the highway. When stops or at light, I get hot air. Could this be the Heater control valve?
August 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would assume the cooling fan is not working. No air across the condensor when stopped.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Johnny Comments: This was a very helpful post , Thanks !
June 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kevin Comments: I have an oddity. When it's hot outside and I run the AC, I will get hot air blowing at driver's footwell vent. Also, only the left vent of the center dash pair of vents blows about 10-15 degrees warmer than the right vent of the pair. I have adjusted idrive settings ad nauseum and think there is something else wrong. If my heater valve were stuck open, wouldn't all my vents be warmer by the same amount? I've also read that a low coolant situation is supposed to keep the driver cooler, but my car is showing the reverse
June 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. The issue could be a mode door failure. Not directing or blending the air correctly. I would test them using a BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
DlfnRdr Comments: Similar to Vic's. I have an 09 535 and I'm getting cold air out of the drivers side vents floor, mid-lvl, and defroster. Passenger side is blowing hot air out of all vents on that side.
January 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ok, thanks for the info.

I would check if the heater control valve is blocking flow of coolant, that is a good place to start. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
DlfnRdr Comments: My problem is somewhat similar but only on the drivers side, the passenger side seems to work correctly. With Dual Climate is it possible for half the valve to fail and cause this?
January 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Similar to what? What vehicle are you working on? It could be a valve or a blend door issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Vic Comments: Hello there thanks for a very informative article on heater valve problem. Just wanted to ask your opinion if I have diagnosed symptoms of heater valve problem in my car correctly which are cold air coming despite highest setting on thermostat. Heat comes back a little bit when stopped and idling and lately smell of burnt rubber coming out of front center vents. Would appreciate your input regarding my problem before embarking on replacing heater valve. Thanks
December 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you tested the valve and it is being activated, but no coolant is flowing, it does sound like this is your issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Privacy Statement]
 [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Map to our Location] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc.

Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:24:07 AM