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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 10-24-2012, 06:58 AM   #1
Hovs13
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Lighting at center vents?

Is there is supposed to be any lighting behind the central wheel nob that controls hot/cold setting? The rest of the dash is nicely lit except that area above the radio.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:11 AM   #2
jfoj
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No, however, if I can find my picture I will post it up here, I put red/orange LED's in my center vent on either side of the center vent wheel in my E39 and it worked out well. You can easily find the center wheel and you can figure out where it is positioned.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
paraklas
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Really? I thought the markings were just printed on the plastic, and any backlight would not make them illuminate
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:26 PM   #4
choxor
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I wish it was illuminated.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:12 PM   #5
jfoj
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Center vent lighting. I used 2 LED orange/red to match the BMW lighting color. The dial is solid, however, where the LED's are located it lights up the front edges of the dial reasonable well. Not ideal, but better than no light.

Picture is not so good.

There was some light leakage out the tip of the vent, I resolved that with some electrical tap.

The upper LED does not bloom like the picture, I think it was the camera angle.
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
choxor
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Looks good. I never understood why BMW left this part unlit considering just about everything else is. And it's something that I use pretty regularly.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:52 PM   #7
jfoj
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The other thing I still need to do on my E39 are foot well lights. I cannot even begin to understand why many cars do not have them.

I will probably use LED modules that I can just drill a hole in the hush pane and insert the module in the hole. I just need a connector that I can easily disconnect when the hush panel needs to be removed.
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Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Center vent lighting. I used 2 LED orange/red to match the BMW lighting color. The dial is solid, however, where the LED's are located it lights up the front edges of the dial reasonable well. Not ideal, but better than no light.

Picture is not so good.

There was some light leakage out the tip of the vent, I resolved that with some electrical tap.

The upper LED does not bloom like the picture, I think it was the camera angle.
THANK YOU!!!!! It kills me that there is no illumination on this wheel. I hate having to turn on my map light just to turn the dial. I'm gonna try this mod.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:57 PM   #9
jfoj
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This mod is tricky as I recall, its been a few years since I did this.

As I recall I hot glued 2 LED's just behind front edge of the vent housing. Just near where the dial exits out the front of the housing, one LED on the bottom and one LED on the top. You can use series resistors to adjust the brightness and you can decide if you prefer to tie this into the dash light dimmer. I recall I left them at a fixed level, figuring I did not need to dim them at all. I think they are hot all the time the way I currently have them wired?

What you need to do is be very careful as it is very tight in this area. I think I used T1 3/4 LED's. I picked a red/orange color which was very close to the OEM lighting color. The nice thing about the hot glue is you can remove, relocate & rework the LED installation if it does not work out. Rectangular LED's might be a bit easier to manipulate vs the round ones?? Also make sure you use electrical tape or black duct tape on the top edge to keep light leakage from bleeding up toward the dashboard.

You might find a better way that what I did, I did not invest much time in the project, started out as proof of concept, turned out good enough for my needs to it was installed and that was over 2 years ago.

I really need to do the same thing to my wife's E46 Vert, just have not gotten around to it yet.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 10-24-2012 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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VW did this on some jettas and it was cool, but with the BMWs I'd think it would be a must. I may try this but one of the lights is gonna be orange and one of them blue because I can never remember which way to roll the knob for what I want. I always have to turn on the light at night when I want to change the temp, oh well, I've only owned the car for two years. I may figure it out one day. Lol.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:50 PM   #11
meliscarop
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I resolved that with some electrical tap.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choxor View Post
Looks good. I never understood why BMW left this part unlit considering just about everything else is.
I've never understood why BMW even put that temp wheel there in the first place. Reminds me of GM's huge slots for attaching things like doors and fenders. They planned on such low tolerance that each unit would have to be adjusted.

On a BMW, what's the point of having an HVAC control that you can set to a specific digital temperature if you still have to "fix" it with the fine-tune wheel? If the air coming out isn't 71 degrees, then the dealer should fix it once, not the owner every time they turn on the system.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:11 AM   #13
omg A e46
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Great I'm doing this tomorrow !
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:12 AM   #14
jfoj
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BMW put the temp control wheel in as a way to balance out high solar loading and allow the front seat occupants to adjust the upper vent air temperature to a comfortable level.

The issue I have with the E46 is even the adjuster in the "normal"/white line location the upper vent temperature seems colder than what the climate control is set to and compared to the temperature the air is exiting the lower vents.

My E39 climate control is FAR superior than the E46. Just seems like the E46 climate control does not work??? as compared to my E39.
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Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:29 AM   #15
SpoonerDee
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I only move mine like 2 times a year. When its hot, it goes all the way to blue. When its cold, all the way to red. Simple enough. I have heated seats so I don't use the climate control really for anything above fan speed 1 during the winter.

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Old 10-25-2012, 08:07 AM   #16
choxor
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Originally Posted by cityjohn View Post
I've never understood why BMW even put that temp wheel there in the first place. Reminds me of GM's huge slots for attaching things like doors and fenders. They planned on such low tolerance that each unit would have to be adjusted.

On a BMW, what's the point of having an HVAC control that you can set to a specific digital temperature if you still have to "fix" it with the fine-tune wheel? If the air coming out isn't 71 degrees, then the dealer should fix it once, not the owner every time they turn on the system.
I use it all the time. If it's cold out like at 6am when I'm off for work I don't want hot air blasting me in the face, especially when I just woke up less than an hour before. It's wasn't made to make up for a deficiency in the climate control, it compliments it.

But as with anything some people will use it and some won't. It's personal preference.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:56 AM   #17
GSherbs
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Mine is almost permanently set at max cool.

Even in winter, I prefer cool air blowing on my face while driving. Keeps me alert.

Warm air does just the opposite - and seems to dry out my contact lenses quickly.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:51 AM   #18
SHOoff11
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I don't think I've ever touched that wheel the entire time I've owned me E46, but here in Alabama there is no need for heat.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:26 AM   #19
jayb328i
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Adding Foot Well lighting. What a great idea. It always takes me at least 10 to 20 minutes to find the gas pedal and brake pedal in the car. For those who have clutches, it must be impossible to locate it when driving.

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Old 10-25-2012, 07:05 PM   #20
sunsetcoast
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Originally Posted by greenskycity View Post
VW did this on some jettas and it was cool
The Passat B5s had lighted wheels on the vents, but they went dark with the B5.5 refresh. I'm assuming that the e46 lacks lighting b/c it is cheaper not to do it. Not like it is hard to find the wheel.
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