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      05-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #1
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New to E90 - are these things normal?

Hi:

Long time E39 owner. I've had my 2007 328i 6MT/sport/premium less than a week and I have a couple of questions that I'd like to bounce off of other owners.

1/ My Xenons shake. I've checked the mountings, I've had the bumper off, I've gone into the bulb replacement compartment and given it a shake and it all seems solid. I don't think any of the ball/socket connections have come loose (and broken adjusters happened in E39s all the time which I why I checked those things). I have a new theory that what I'm seeing shake is actually the cutoff element in the headlight. I see the cutoff line jiggling around when driving around running low beams but I had a chance to run high beams for a little while today and can't say I noticed any kind of bouncing whatsoever. It is both sides, it isn't THAT bad, but it bugs me and I bet it bugs oncoming drivers. Any ideas?

I'll also say that it could still be my imagination, but I swear it seems like the lights, perhaps only the driver's side, are lower after driving around for a while than when I started driving. It could be aimed lower or the cutoff is lower. When I bounce up into my garage it then seems like everything is level again on the back wall. It's weird. I'm still trying to figure out if it's all in my head.

The car came with one remaining year of a third party warranty which is in the process of being transferred to me. I'm hoping that if there's anything wrong with the lights they will be replaced by this warranty but I don't want to show up at a dealer with a bunch of complaints that are hard to test in the daytime and pay a fortune to be told "unable to duplicate". I DIY everything so I'm game to dig into lights if there's something specific to check for.

2/ I absolutely loved the stratified climate control in the E39s - always "fresh" air around your head controlled by the blending wheel. The E46 and E90 have the same features, but I and my passengers are always finding it "hot" or stuffy in the E90. The temperature controls change things, the fan control changes things, but on anything resembling "automatic" programming it's not blowing a large enough volume of cool enough air from the face vents to feel fresh even when it's 5C outside and the blend wheel is set full blue/cold. I almost never had to fiddle with the E39 climate control, I'm hoping I won't have to mess with the E90 all the time. Even when I try to point the face vents right at my face I can't feel any of the air actually at my face. I have to crank the fan up above half to start to feel it and by then it's making a fair bit of noise too. In the E39 3 out of 14 felt plenty fresh even if the vent wasn't pointed right at your face.

Could something be wrong, even though all of the controls seem to respond properly, or is it kind of like this? My option list includes "hot weather climate" despite being a Canada car. In E39 circles, that means that fan speeds are kept higher when cooling is required. I don't know what it means on E90s.

3/ My E39 had an old-fashioned throttle butterfly connected by a cable to the accelerator pedal and I loved it. Now I have drive-by-wire and I'm getting used to it. I drive stick and have been through some performance driver training and I'm usually smooth with the controls. I never thought much of it but I'll often be squeezing on and off the throttle to move around slower traffic, or anticipating an upcoming shift, or whatever. Every time I lift, even a little, it seems that the E90 cuts power and jerks passengers forward far more than it should for the amount and speed that I lifted the pedal. Is this just the way it is? Or possibly a learned adaptation from the previous owner that will gradually go away? Or is it indicative of any particular possible problem? The same pedal action on any of my previous cars resulted in a smooth roll-on, roll-off of power.

When I was car shopping I didn't have the luxury of a lot of time (my E39 was totaled and the clock was ticking on the insurance rental car) and E90s were only one of the cars on my list so I didn't get a ton of seat time while shopping to notice more subtle things like this on comparable cars.

Thanks for now...
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      05-06-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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I think the shaking of the headlight you are referring to is the engine vibrations. When my car is sitting idle and headlights are on, I can see bouncing motions on my garage door.
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      05-06-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
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1. e90's are notorious for Xenons shaking. Some people have never had the problem, others (myself included) have it all the time. There is no real fix, I've pulled the bumper off and tried adjusting/ tightening the brackets which helped a bit, but they will likely never be shake free. The dealer did however at one time add an extra bracket to help with stabilization.
2. I don't know how it is on the Canadian models, but on the U.S. models the air direction control that allows you to split air between the dash (up), straight at the passengers (middle) and footwell (down). If your car has this try selecting the middle zone only. Also the temp control under the center vents has a surprising amount of control over temperature.
3. My car jerks as well when you take the foot off the gas in slow moving traffic. Its not that theres any problem with the car. You can try this http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143359 . I've done it before and cant really say if I've noticed a difference or not.
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      05-07-2012, 08:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by E90Company View Post
I think the shaking of the headlight you are referring to is the engine vibrations. When my car is sitting idle and headlights are on, I can see bouncing motions on my garage door.
Sorry, I should have been more clear. The shaking is from bumps, expansion joints etc... while on the road and not from the engine. I should probably also clarify that I see the normal cycling of the auto-leveling system on vehicle start up AND the lights adjust up and down when using the height adjuster so I think everything is connected internally. The shake is like a rattle or jiggle and is caused by road imperfections, it is not the auto-leveling system making adjustments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eamcramer View Post
1. e90's are notorious for Xenons shaking. Some people have never had the problem, others (myself included) have it all the time. There is no real fix, I've pulled the bumper off and tried adjusting/ tightening the brackets which helped a bit, but they will likely never be shake free. The dealer did however at one time add an extra bracket to help with stabilization.
OK. If they're "notorious" then perhaps I don't have any more of a problem than anyone else. The issue would be very difficult for me to capture on video, I think. If anyone knows of good video depicting "normal" please point me to it and I'll take a look.

I'll try some searching, but a pointer to the retrofit part# would be great. I guess I'd also need to know what it looks like to make sure I don't already have it. Installation of a retrofit is not in the national dealer history for the car.

Quote:
2. I don't know how it is on the Canadian models, but on the U.S. models the air direction control that allows you to split air between the dash (up), straight at the passengers (middle) and footwell (down). If your car has this try selecting the middle zone only. Also the temp control under the center vents has a surprising amount of control over temperature.
Well, sure, I could override the "automatic" and tell it to only blow air from the face vents but that kind of defeats the purpose of being stratified. Winters are cold here and the E39 was the only car I've ever had where I didn't have cold feet and at the same time wasn't suffocating at face-level from trying to keep my feet warm. It seemed to put just enough hot air to the windscreen to keep it and the side windows clear, a good flow of hot air on your feet, and cool air to your face.

I'd love to figure out if there's something odd about my vehicle. As I said the controls all seem to do their thing meaning that there aren't any stuck flaps or blown fan speed controllers, but left to its own it's not doing what I consider to be the right thing. My E39 was a 1998 - I would expect the standard progression of features and technology "downward" through the model line up to carry these features to the 3 series.

Quote:
3. My car jerks as well when you take the foot off the gas in slow moving traffic. Its not that theres any problem with the car. You can try this http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143359 . I've done it before and cant really say if I've noticed a difference or not.
The issue I describe is not a low speed thing - it's any speed. I can be driving 50mph and give the throttle a squeeze in 4th and when I start to gradually pull back on the throttle I get a jerk of deceleration. It feels like a flubbed shift.

Thanks for the link to the reset procedure. My E90 is a 6MT so I'm not sure if any of that info applies. I suppose it's worth a try in case it resets more adaptations than just the transmission.

Thanks!

Last edited by Surly73; 05-07-2012 at 08:34 AM.
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      05-07-2012, 08:37 AM   #5
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Does your E90 have iDrive? In mine, I can choose 3 different auto settings, with different intensities to be felt by the driver/passengers. The lowest setting routes air towards the defrost vents to avoid direct air blowing on the driver/passengers, while the high setting blows air directly at the passengers. I have it on the middle setting.

You should also be able to manually direct air thru the seat aimed vents by the button with the arrow pointing in the lateral direction.
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      05-07-2012, 08:38 AM   #6
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Hey eamcramer, you're in my hometown! Hello fellow BH'er.
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      05-07-2012, 08:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anerbe View Post
Does your E90 have iDrive? In mine, I can choose 3 different auto settings, with different intensities to be felt by the driver/passengers. The lowest setting routes air towards the defrost vents to avoid direct air blowing on the driver/passengers, while the high setting blows air directly at the passengers. I have it on the middle setting.

You should also be able to manually direct air thru the seat aimed vents by the button with the arrow pointing in the lateral direction.
Nope - no iDrive (didn't really want it either). However, generally I've found that so far most options in iDrive can be done SOMEHOW without iDrive, it's just more complicated.

A setting like that would be EXACTLY what I'm looking for. I did notice that even when mild out (like 15-20C; 60-70F) it's blowing from the defrost vents more than the face vents on full auto. I don't think my E39 did much windscreen defrosting in mild temperatures, only cold.

Yep, the arrow button works, but I know that won't work to my satisfaction in the end (especially if I can find a setting like you describe). If I have to get it "coded" then so be it. I'm thinking about learning coding myself and have also been in contact with a few experienced coders in my area.

Any tips on tweaking this setting without iDrive would be most appreciated. Anerbe: What's the exact name of the screen/setting in iDrive? Is there somewhere online that shows every iDrive screen somewhere that I could reference?

I also want to find a way to have it NOT turn the AC (snowflake) on every time I hit "AUTO". I'll turn the AC on myself if I want it on, thanks.

Thanks!
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      05-07-2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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Found this note on "intensity".

It looks like 8/10/09 and later only, and is called the "new IHKA". My vehicle production is 02/2007. When I tap fan speed buttons the "AUTO" goes out and fan speed goes to manual. As far as I know, air direction stays automatic unless you start pressing those buttons too. This is the way the E39 worked.

It's possible that the previously mentioned iDrive adjustment is post-8/10/2009 only?
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      05-07-2012, 09:54 AM   #9
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http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29803

Link to the manuals.

Although I'm against the electronic complexity and appearance on the dash, I got the iDrive for the additional features/ease of scrolling.

I would check to see if the newer panels can be retrofitted to include a 3 stage auto climate functionality to a 2007.

Good luck!
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      05-07-2012, 10:16 AM   #10
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I have Idrive. To change the auto intensity on mine I just have to press the "auto" button multiple times and as I do an intensity scale displays on the Idrive screen and I think on the radio display as well. Does pressing the "auto" button repeatedly change anything?
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      05-07-2012, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eamcramer View Post
1. e90's are notorious for Xenons shaking. Some people have never had the problem, others (myself included) have it all the time. There is no real fix, I've pulled the bumper off and tried adjusting/ tightening the brackets which helped a bit, but they will likely never be shake free. The dealer did however at one time add an extra bracket to help with stabilization.
tires... i switched from rtf's to non rtf's and it's not shaking anymore
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      05-07-2012, 11:02 AM   #12
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I have Idrive. To change the auto intensity on mine I just have to press the "auto" button multiple times and as I do an intensity scale displays on the Idrive screen and I think on the radio display as well. Does pressing the "auto" button repeatedly change anything?
I will check tonight.

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tires... i switched from rtf's to non rtf's and it's not shaking anymore
My tires are already non-RFT
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      05-07-2012, 11:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
Hi:

Long time E39 owner. I've had my 2007 328i 6MT/sport/premium less than a week and I have a couple of questions that I'd like to bounce off of other owners.

1/ My Xenons shake. I've checked the mountings, I've had the bumper off, I've gone into the bulb replacement compartment and given it a shake and it all seems solid. I don't think any of the ball/socket connections have come loose (and broken adjusters happened in E39s all the time which I why I checked those things). I have a new theory that what I'm seeing shake is actually the cutoff element in the headlight. I see the cutoff line jiggling around when driving around running low beams but I had a chance to run high beams for a little while today and can't say I noticed any kind of bouncing whatsoever. It is both sides, it isn't THAT bad, but it bugs me and I bet it bugs oncoming drivers. Any ideas?

I'll also say that it could still be my imagination, but I swear it seems like the lights, perhaps only the driver's side, are lower after driving around for a while than when I started driving. It could be aimed lower or the cutoff is lower. When I bounce up into my garage it then seems like everything is level again on the back wall. It's weird. I'm still trying to figure out if it's all in my head.

The car came with one remaining year of a third party warranty which is in the process of being transferred to me. I'm hoping that if there's anything wrong with the lights they will be replaced by this warranty but I don't want to show up at a dealer with a bunch of complaints that are hard to test in the daytime and pay a fortune to be told "unable to duplicate". I DIY everything so I'm game to dig into lights if there's something specific to check for.

2/ I absolutely loved the stratified climate control in the E39s - always "fresh" air around your head controlled by the blending wheel. The E46 and E90 have the same features, but I and my passengers are always finding it "hot" or stuffy in the E90. The temperature controls change things, the fan control changes things, but on anything resembling "automatic" programming it's not blowing a large enough volume of cool enough air from the face vents to feel fresh even when it's 5C outside and the blend wheel is set full blue/cold. I almost never had to fiddle with the E39 climate control, I'm hoping I won't have to mess with the E90 all the time. Even when I try to point the face vents right at my face I can't feel any of the air actually at my face. I have to crank the fan up above half to start to feel it and by then it's making a fair bit of noise too. In the E39 3 out of 14 felt plenty fresh even if the vent wasn't pointed right at your face.

Could something be wrong, even though all of the controls seem to respond properly, or is it kind of like this? My option list includes "hot weather climate" despite being a Canada car. In E39 circles, that means that fan speeds are kept higher when cooling is required. I don't know what it means on E90s.

3/ My E39 had an old-fashioned throttle butterfly connected by a cable to the accelerator pedal and I loved it. Now I have drive-by-wire and I'm getting used to it. I drive stick and have been through some performance driver training and I'm usually smooth with the controls. I never thought much of it but I'll often be squeezing on and off the throttle to move around slower traffic, or anticipating an upcoming shift, or whatever. Every time I lift, even a little, it seems that the E90 cuts power and jerks passengers forward far more than it should for the amount and speed that I lifted the pedal. Is this just the way it is? Or possibly a learned adaptation from the previous owner that will gradually go away? Or is it indicative of any particular possible problem? The same pedal action on any of my previous cars resulted in a smooth roll-on, roll-off of power.

When I was car shopping I didn't have the luxury of a lot of time (my E39 was totaled and the clock was ticking on the insurance rental car) and E90s were only one of the cars on my list so I didn't get a ton of seat time while shopping to notice more subtle things like this on comparable cars.

Thanks for now...
My 335i as well as my good friend who also has a 335i both have shaky lights when going on rough pavements. I think it's relatively normal due to the fact that they're adaptive and move along with the movement of the steering wheel. BTW I don't have RFTs either.
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      05-07-2012, 01:03 PM   #14
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Ive noticed the shake forward on getting off throttle when going slow and in low gear. I think this is normal you have to ease off gas very very smoothly or just push in clutch before you get off gas to prevent it.
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      05-08-2012, 06:43 AM   #15
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OK a couple of follow ups:

1/ Just in case I'm still unclear, the lurching when lifting off of the throttle is at speed, not when creeping around. It was doing it last night above 40mph in 2nd gear. This car doesn't seem to have a driveline play/slack/lash problem like something's wearing out in the driveline, it seems to be a throttle map behaviour that isn't to my liking.

2/ On the HVAC:
- pressing AUTO multiple times does nothing different
- last night it was 12C outside and I had the interior set for 22C. The fan always seemed to be at 2 bars and it felt stuffy inside the car. The blend wheel was set all the way at the blue dot (something which was never, ever necessary in my E39). There was cool air from the face vents, but barely any.
- If I turned on the AC this cooled the face vent air enough to feel fresh around my head, but I shouldn't need the AC at night when it's 12C out for the car not to feel stuffy.
- If I turned the fan up to max it made a whole lot of noise but there still wasn't much face vent air - my E39 blew the same amount on 3-4 bars out of 16 (18% fan speed)! There was floor vent and defrost air. Obviously if I hit the face vent override button all the air comes from the face vents but that's not what I'm looking for. In this situation the face vents become the only place the vehicle can use to control the interior temperature and it will start roasting you (and leaving your feet icy).
- If I turned the set temperature down to minimum the fan picked up speed automatically. I have to say that other than setting it for minimum I don't see a huge reaction in fan speed from the control unit.

I wonder:
- could I have an issue with the interior temperature sensor? Where is it? Does it have a sampling fan? I'd like to clean and check it to see if it is working properly.

- could this be some kind of programming problem?

- could something else be wrong? Some kind of detached vent somewhere causing a significant reduction in air flow? I understand that a 5 series is probably designed to move more air volume than a 3 series, but this is a pretty substantial difference. On the E39 even at 18% fan speed you could feel the rush of cool air when it kicked into stratified mode after a period of warm up. Detailed E39 information can be found here if anyone is curious.


3/ Lastly on the headlights

Last night when leaving home I noticed that on the garage wall the driver's side was higher than the passenger side which is not how I aimed them. Again, while I was driving I got the feeling like the lights were getting progressively lower. When I was returning home it was obvious on the road in front of me that the driver's side light was now aimed lower than the passenger. On the wall of the garage it's pretty subtle. I'm having trouble making the problem manifest itself and I'm also having trouble getting the headlights to "reinitialize" self leveling and clearly show a new position before/after. I think self-leveling doesn't reinitialize until after the car goes to sleep (16 minutes) so this isn't convenient to test.

I am on an extended warranty (which hasn't been transferred to me yet from the previous owner) and I'm not really convinced of a high degree of success if I go into the dealer with a wishy-washy problem description, full daylight conditions, and no good procedure to reproduce the problem.

Can someone get me a copy of SI 63 13 07? There's lots of references to it, but I haven't found the text itself anywhere. I'd like to part# for the retrofit brackets and to know where they install to I can check that I don't already have them and install them if I don't.

Thanks,
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      05-08-2012, 07:17 AM   #16
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Try getting the sprint booster and itll make the gas pedal a little more smoother
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      05-08-2012, 10:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
2/ On the HVAC:
- pressing AUTO multiple times does nothing different

Thanks,
On my '07 328i, it brings up the intensity menu - but I have iDrive. Apparently that adjustment is not available on non-iDrive models as it is not mentioned in the manual.

Tom
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      05-08-2012, 11:02 AM   #18
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On my '07 328i, it brings up the intensity menu - but I have iDrive. Apparently that adjustment is not available on non-iDrive models as it is not mentioned in the manual.

Tom
I'm curious what you've found "intensity" to mean. I could interpret it one of two ways:

1/ How aggressively the system uses fan speed and outlet temperature to reach target temperature and how gradually it backs off when steady-state approaches

2/ An overall influence on fan speed - how much air movement do occupants feel when steady state is reached
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      05-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #19
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Very detailed information on E90 automatic climate control (IHKA), similar to the document I linked for the E39. Reading now.

LINK

Interesting quote that answers my question:
Code:
Central Information Display
The following control and display functions are selected and activated with the controller
in the CID (Central Information Display):
 Air distribution setting - The defrost flaps, ventilation flaps and footwell flaps can be
individually set in the air distribution submenu.
 Automatic mode - The intensity of the IHKA can be set in the automatic mode
submenu. In other words, the automatic influence of the climate
conditions outside the vehicle on the air volume and
the opening angle of the flaps can be set
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      05-08-2012, 12:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly73 View Post
I'm curious what you've found "intensity" to mean. I could interpret it one of two ways:

1/ How aggressively the system uses fan speed and outlet temperature to reach target temperature and how gradually it backs off when steady-state approaches

2/ An overall influence on fan speed - how much air movement do occupants feel when steady state is reached
I think the system "intensity" focuses on the stead state. Airflow is indeed higher continuously with the higher levels.

If I put the temp low with the intensity set at low, the system will still go into a high cool mode if the ambient temp is much higher until interior levels get closer to the target value.
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      05-08-2012, 09:00 PM   #21
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IHKA sampling fan is audible in the panel and generating a tiny bit of noise so I think it's fine. The system just seems to move an insufficient volume of air from the face vents in most operation. This evening I was in a situation where the set point was 20C and the outside temp was 20C. I wouldn't call this a "heating" condition, but the system put most of the air to the footwells and defrosters, making the cabin feel hot. Fan was steady at 2 bars.
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