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Heater Control Valve Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Heater Control Valve Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$400

Talent:

**

Tools:

Set of sockets, screwdrivers, hose pliers

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2004-10)

Parts Required:

Heater control valve, engine coolant

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will cool down again, coolant leak repaired

Complementary Modification:

Change the radiator hoses and flush the cooling system

BMW X3 models are equipped with a climate control system or HVAC (called IHKA by BMW) which automatically controls cabin temperature once a temperature is set on the HVAC control head in the center dashboard. IHKA 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 control valve in engine compartment; controls the flow of hot coolant to the heater core inside the IHKA 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.

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

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

The heater control valve controls the flow of hot coolant to the heater core in the IHKA housing under the dashboard. If your vehicle has no heat and the cooling system is properly bled, the valve may be faulty.

A quick check is to warm the vehicle up and then turn the heat ON; both heater hoses should be hot to the touch. If one hose is cool and the other is hot the valve is not allowing coolant flow. You could also have a bad signal to the valve; it is a two-wire circuit. Using a wiring diagram, you can identify the ground and battery positive feed to valve, and test for proper voltage when the heat is ON. It is also possible the heater core is restricted, blocking the flow of coolant.

Do not remove the radiator or expansion tank cap or work on any other part of the cooling system while the engine is hot. Coolant or hot steam may escape and will scald you. To do any work on the cooling system, wait until the engine has cooled off.

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 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

This photo shows the location of the heater control valve (red arrow).
Figure 1

This photo shows the location of the heater control valve (red arrow). It is located at the left side of the frame, below the intake air duct. To access the valve, start by removing the intake air housing. See our tech article on intake air housing replacing. Drain cooling system. See our tech article on cooling system draining and filling.

With the intake air ducts and housing remove, you now have access to the heater control valve (red arrow).
Figure 2

With the intake air ducts and housing remove, you now have access to the heater control valve (red arrow).

Working at the heater control valve, press the release tab and pull the connector (red arrow) straight off to remove (inset).
Figure 3

Working at the heater control valve, press the release tab and pull the connector (red arrow) straight off to remove (inset).

Working at the rear of the valve, remove the hose clamps (red arrows).
Figure 4

Working at the rear of the valve, remove the hose clamps (red arrows).

Use pliers (red arrows) to slide it down the hose about three inches away from the end of the hose.
Figure 5

Use pliers (red arrows) to slide it down the hose about three inches away from the end of the hose. If the factory clamps are still in place, they should lock open when released (inset).

Then remove the hoses from the valve (red arrows).
Figure 6

Then remove the hoses from the valve (red arrows). When installing, be sure to line up the white line with the plastic tab on the valve (yellow arrows). This helps to get hose orientation correct.

Then, pull the bottom of the valve out of the mount (red arrow).
Figure 7

Then, pull the bottom of the valve out of the mount (red arrow). You can slide it straight up to remove without popping the bottom mount out, but this makes it easier.

Pull the valve straight up (red arrow) to remove.
Figure 8

Pull the valve straight up (red arrow) to remove. Be careful not to lose the rubber mounting grommets. Transfer the rubber mounting grommets over to the new valve if necessary. Reverse steps to install new valve. Fill and bleed cooling system. Once complete, double check all the hose connections and check engine for coolant leaks.

The heater control valve controls the flow of hot coolant to the heater core in the IHKA housing under the dashboard.
Figure 9

The heater control valve controls the flow of hot coolant to the heater core in the IHKA housing under the dashboard. If your vehicle has no heat and the cooling system is properly bled, the valve may be faulty. The valve is normally open and when cold air is requested via the interior controls, the valve is held closed. To test the circuit, check for power on the red/gray wire (red arrow) terminal 2. Power should be present at all times. Check for switched ground on the yellow/brown wire (yellow arrow) terminal 1. Switched ground is present when cold air is requested. Confirm the wire colors and circuit configuration match your vehicle. Use the most current wiring diagram.

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Page last updated: Wed 8/23/2017 03:29:49 AM