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      09-12-2012, 08:16 AM   #23
Jstic
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I have this problem also. Somewhere there is a TSB on this issue that outlines it. I have seen on other forums where the fix was done from under the passenger side of the dash for less than $500. I'll try to find a link and post back.
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      09-13-2012, 12:36 PM   #24
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Ok, I've got the noise isolated. It is the fresh air actuator/servo motor that is causing the noise, and appears to be slipping or malfunctioning. Just like the post above where the indy diagnosed it as broken gears, mine has slipping gears. I can actually see what is happening when I get on my back and look under passenger side dash after taking off access panel. My wife turned the ignition key to generate the noise and I was watching under the dash. I've removed the stepper motor and will have it checked out. I'll post back with pictures and a final fix when I have it repaired. Hardest part so far was having to remove the front seat so I could lay on my back and get access.
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      09-13-2012, 01:19 PM   #25
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Ok, I've got the noise isolated. It is the fresh air actuator/servo motor that is causing the noise, and appears to be slipping or malfunctioning. Just like the post above where the indy diagnosed it as broken gears, mine has slipping gears. I can actually see what is happening when I get on my back and look under passenger side dash after taking off access panel. My wife turned the ignition key to generate the noise and I was watching under the dash. I've removed the stepper motor and will have it checked out. I'll post back with pictures and a final fix when I have it repaired. Hardest part so far was having to remove the front seat so I could lay on my back and get access.
That is a PITA, and those rail bolts are "supposed" to be replaced each time they're used, according to the TIS.
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      09-14-2012, 04:59 PM   #26
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Ok, I've come to a conclusion, but am looking for suggestions on the fix. When the car is turned off, the fresh air vent flap is closed, as indicated in above post by Jax543210. When the car is restarted after more than a 15 minute delay, the actuator that controls the fresh air flap should be trying to open it, but on my car it is trying to close a flap that is already closed! I determined this by taking the actuator out of position and observing the shaft turn when the car starts. It turns the opposite way it would need to open the flap. So the cheap plastic gears that connect the shaft to the flap are basically trying to turn the shaft that has no more room to turn. The flaps can actually be seen by removing the cabin filter cover and the filter.

All the plastic gears on my Z are intact, none of them are broken and the shafts to the flaps are all good as far as I can see. The actuator works fine after the car is started. When I change from fresh air to recirculate, the fresh air flap is closed and both recirc. flaps open as they should. When the blower is turned on, the fresh air flap opens automatically, as it should, and closes when blower is shut off. The pictures show the actuator, the white plastic parts are the linkage that connects the three flaps that it controls. In the top photo you can see the opening(bottom of photo) where the cabin filter goes and if you look closely you can see the bottom flap.

I guess the next step is to replace the actuator, $104 at the dealer. Anyone have any ideas on why this actuator is trying to close a flap that is already closed? It is a two way motor, but the motor seems to be turning the wrong way, but only at startup. The rest of the time it works as it should.
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      09-17-2012, 02:35 PM   #27
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I have learned that the vehicle has the ability to remember the most recent fresh air flap position so it can resume this position on startup. I need to learn more about this possibly being part of the problem. This can be deactivated by reprogramming at the dealer. I've narrowed it down to two possibilities, the heater/ac unit is sending the wrong signal to the fresh air/recirc actuator at startup, or the actuator is bad. I've ordered a new actuator. Won't have time to work on the Z for a week or so, I will post any new developments then. In the meantime, if anyone out there has encountered this problem and has any input, I'm all ears.

In the meantime, I have disconnected the 4 wire connector that leads to the actuator that is causing the flapping noise. I can easily see how this problem can lead to broken/cracked plastic gears and other parts(see post above from Jax543210). Especially in the cold winter months when plastic parts get brittle. As stated earlier, my Z doesn't have the broken gears yet, but it is probably just a matter of time. Once those gears break, the repair becomes an entirely different ballgame in that the dash probably has to be taken apart to remove the a/c housing to install new parts. I'm hoping to avoid that.

Disconnecting the actuator has no adverse side effects, other than I am not able to switch between fresh air and recirculation mode without re-connecting the actuator. No dash lights or codes thrown.
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      09-22-2012, 04:15 AM   #28
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I just started having this issue. It makes the noise when I turn the car on, and when I press the recirculate button. This weekend I may try disconnecting the actuator.
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      09-22-2012, 05:11 PM   #29
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What all do you have to remove to get to the flap and actuator? Just the cover right under the glove box?
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      09-23-2012, 09:03 AM   #30
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That's it, two screws. Take them out and lower the cover, but don't pull it out yet. You have to disconnect a control box that is attached to the backside of that cover to be able to remove the cover. Just loosen one of the two nuts holding down the control box, take the other one out and you can slide the control box out. Once the cover is gone if you look up you will see the actuator and the 4 wire connector. The connector wires are green, blue, gray and white.
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      09-28-2012, 09:17 AM   #31
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I replaced the fresh air flap actuator with a new one, $69 from Tischer. It made no difference. The gearing is not in the right position as I can now see that while fresh air flap is 100% open, the recirc flaps are not 100% closed. My next step will be to try and get those gears and the linkage in sync.
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      09-29-2012, 12:41 AM   #32
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That definitely appears to be the problem. The position feedback comes from the actuator itself, and the relationship between the actuator and the flaps is assumed.
I'll bet that at one time it jumped a bunch of teeth. Maybe got stuck and did it all at once or jumped one tooth at a time over an extended period.
Perhaps you can manually set the flaps to where they should be at start with the actuator electrically connected but physically still in your hand, turn the key to position 2, let it settle, and then snap the actuator in place.
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      09-29-2012, 11:51 AM   #33
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That's what I am thinking, I have tried a couple different gear positions with no luck yet. The following pictures show the two gears that are involved, the white gear attaches to the actuator and turns the black gear which has an arm built into it which attaches to the linkage to operate all 3 flaps. The fresh air flap's shaft is attached directly to the black gear. If you look closely, there are two raised gear teeth on the white gear, and one raised black tooth on the black gear. I had to assume that mating the gears up with the black tooth lining up between the two raised white teeth would be correct, but it didn't work. I also now have INPA and SSS software up and running so I can disable any flap memory activation, haven't tried it yet. The noise that this situation generates, the four or five flapping/clicking noises is generated by the white gear turning while the black gear is not, it basically grinds until it can push to the next tooth. Of course the noise is amplified by the duct system.

Anyone who is wondering why I am spending all this time with this, the dealer wants $3000+ to take apart the dash, replace all the gears and actuator, and put it all back together. Car is not under warranty, so that's not going to fly. BTW, I ordered a new set of gears and linkages along with the actuator, $25 from Tisher.
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      09-29-2012, 12:47 PM   #34
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Sounds like its a good time to make a CAD drawing of these gears and have a GB done in aluminum CNC'd parts.

Eventually we'll all need to address this unless these were a batch issue only for certain years.

How much were they from Ticsher ?
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      09-29-2012, 01:51 PM   #35
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Plastic gears and linkages were $25 from Tischer. You also get the linkages and parts for the other side of the a/c housing where the heat/ac mixture flap is. Part # 6411 6927612 (set of small parts) On my car, I noticed all the gear teeth are ok, but one of the white gear's flanges is missing a small piece, undoubtedly caused by this malfunction. I can't imagine why BMW would put these cheap plastic gears in this spot. If the repair/replacement was an easily accessible location, it wouldn't be a big deal, but the fix for this problem is all about the labor and gaining access to the ac/heater housing area.
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      09-29-2012, 08:33 PM   #36
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If it's years, it probably a wide range, mine has a March 04 build date which is right before a few changes were made, and Jstic has a 2006
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      10-01-2012, 08:31 AM   #37
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I need to find Service Bulletin 64 05 05 which apparently outlines this problem and discusses the gear alignment. I found part of it which is shown below. Anyone know how to get this document or another one from BMW which shows how to align the gears?
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      10-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #38
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I need another forum member with the same problem to try something on their Z4. I have gotten the noise to stop using this technique. Not a fix but if others have the same result it might help finding the fix.

If I put my blower on and make sure recirculation mode is off(fresh air mode on) and turn off the vehicle, when I start up again(after a 15-20 minute wait) the noise is gone. What is happening is that by leaving the car in fresh air mode, the fresh air flap stays open, and by default, that flap is immediately closed when restarting the car. According to the OP of this thread, there is some kind of spring that should pull that flap shut, but that doesn't seem to be the case on my car.

So the sequence is, turn on car, using manual mode for the air system(if you have automatic) turn on the blower, and be sure that the "recirculation" light is not lit. Shut the car off in this position, wait about 60 seconds, then turn the blower off. Wait 20 minutes and put key in 2nd position to see if the noise is still there. Tx in advance.
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      10-03-2012, 09:55 AM   #39
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Excellent post. I have had this happening on my 2005 2.5 for about 8 months now (22,000 miles). Thought at first is was weather related, then it kept on happening. I may dig into this in the Spring.
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      10-27-2012, 08:45 AM   #40
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Haven't had time to try much new on the car in recent weeks. I did get SSS, DSS and INPA software up and running, disabled the car/key memory functions with relation to the fresh air/recirculation flap and it did nothing. Disabled a few other functions related to the flap and it also did nothing. This software is awesome, I recommend highly that anyone who is a DIYer invest in it and the OBD2 cable, it only cost me $36.

Next step is to try and find the factory default positions of the gears and flaps. For now I have just left the actuator disconnected and the car in the fresh air mode. Don't really notice any difference, but my car is just a weekend/summer ride.
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      10-27-2012, 12:17 PM   #41
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wow, my car just started making the same noise a couple of weeks ago, it seemed to be coming from the navi monitor panel popping up but that's not it. I was hoping it would just stop as quickly as it started--expensive fix, my car is 5 yrs old w/27,000 miles--out of warranty.
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      10-27-2012, 01:04 PM   #42
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That's it, two screws. Take them out and lower the cover, but don't pull it out yet. You have to disconnect a control box that is attached to the backside of that cover to be able to remove the cover. Just loosen one of the two nuts holding down the control box, take the other one out and you can slide the control box out. Once the cover is gone if you look up you will see the actuator and the 4 wire connector. The connector wires are green, blue, gray and white.
Sorry to slightly sidetrack this discussion. One of my two screws has gone missing. I took the screw to the dealer but they were unable to find a diagram of the panel that had the screw listed. They couldn't duplicate it.

Does anyone know what the P/N of these two screws is? Does anyone have a link to a diagram that includes these two screws?

Thanks, and back to the discussion.
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      10-27-2012, 04:54 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Z4MR View Post
Sorry to slightly sidetrack this discussion. One of my two screws has gone missing. I took the screw to the dealer but they were unable to find a diagram of the panel that had the screw listed. They couldn't duplicate it.

Does anyone know what the P/N of these two screws is? Does anyone have a link to a diagram that includes these two screws?

Thanks, and back to the discussion.
http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/s...category=17677

I believe the screws you refer to is part #4.
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      10-28-2012, 10:28 PM   #44
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http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/s...category=17677

I believe the screws you refer to is part #4.
Yes, that looks like them, thanks!
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