1999 BMW E36 Compact Blower Resistor

I was at a longish trip with my E36. Weather was a bit rainy. During way home my blower decided to quit. At first I did not recognize it but eventually next day I got it: Blower was not working. (Or almost not working, highest speed was okay.) This is very common symptom when blower resistor has broken up. Blower resistor changes the speed of blower. Location of this resistor varies for every manufacturer and even in different models and year, so at first I had to locate it. I looked inside under the both sides of dashboard – no luck. Then I got a hint from one of the forums: Pop up the hood and tear off some parts below windscreen at the engine bay. Couple screws and panels later I was back in business: long missing resistor was at sight. At first I had to remove pollen filter, resistor was under it, very near of the blower itself.

And then I realized why resistor was given up: Pollen filters was so dirty that practically no air could go through and thus resistor was not given any cooling airflow. Raining mentioned at first part of this post was the final key, it had blocked filters with water and dust..

Shiny new ones and old ones for comparison..


Location of pollen filters, new ones fitted for clarity. Blower resistor lies down below the another (right in this picture) pollen filter. Connector was a bit tricky to get back, wire was quite short. But I managed to get it 🙂


Broken resistor looks like this. I decided to try repair it, only problem seemed to be that small metal spring which has lost contact. (Two solder points between dark and light green areas.)




.. And progress. 35€ saved! Soldering was bit challenging so there is so much solder that next time in hot situations it may not work as planned. (It is a thermal fuse). (If you do this kind of soldering you need a good and capable soldering iron, there is quite some copper to be heated up.. )

But in our country very hot weather is rare occasion and I plan to change pollen filters more often than previous owners.. And there is always the another end of spring, which is untouched.


General view. At this point I drove a couple of days like this and tested how blower resistor worked. Everything seemed to be fine, so I proceeded. And I forgot to do another maintenance:  put some oil to blower bearings, at winter they tend to make some noise at higher speeds. Bummer!

But, on the other hand, now I know how to do it, so it is not a big deal. I just have to remember to dot it before winter..


Panels waiting to be fitted back.


Same panels upside down.


Almost ready.


And finally finished!



One thought on “1999 BMW E36 Compact Blower Resistor

  1. DRIES says:

    Soo there is that fcking thing 😀 i also looked under both sides of the dashboard..

    Thanks a lot!

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