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Thread: New here

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Columbia MO
    My Cars
    2001 BMW 325i

    New here

    First let me say that I am new to this forum but not the forum world. I have Jeeps and those forums have helped me out over the years. Enough of that, I bought a 2001 325i with only 90,000 miles. Runs great, interior is near perfect. I bought it as a daily for the wife to drive. I have been lurking around and checking on things and it does have the typical oil leaks, parts ordered to fix those already. I have a couple of questions that I can't seem to find the answer for. This car has the dial heater controls. Can the digital controller be swapped in and just plug and play? I saw a video by some crazy Russians and they did just that and it worked? Any thought to that? Same for the radio can the Business CD be swapped in for the cassette version?
    Thanks ahead of time for any help and sorry for the long winded question


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Arlington, VA
    My Cars
    2018 BMW M240i
    Yes, a head unit with a CD player is a straight swap as long as the new head unit is from a 1999-2002 E46. Model year 2003 saw a different head unit in the E46. The new head unit uses a single radio frequency (RF) input that’s used for both AM and FM stations. The head unit in your car gas separate inputs for each type of RF signal.

    How did a manual hvac car get in the USA? All E46s sold in the USA market gave automatic climate control (IHKA in BMWeze). I’m betting it’s not a easy swap unless the 5 electric flap motors are in the dash. You could buy a used IHKA for the car and see if it works. Be advised there are several different part #s for the IHKA. Go to and enter the last 7 characters of the car’s vin. Hit enter and bookmark the page. Scroll down to heating/ac to get the part # that’s right for your car.
    Last edited by MarcoZandrini; 01-20-2018 at 08:52 AM.

  3. #3
    dworthy's Avatar
    dworthy is online now Wagon meister :) BMW Tech Expert
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Hohenfels, Germany
    My Cars
    16 220i 05 325it 05 M3
    That's a good question on the IHAK, as I have only seen the manual here in Europe. I wonder if it was an Gray Market Import, and the best way to find out is to run your VIN here:
    16 220i Active Tourer Platinsilver MET (C08)/Dakota Black (PDSW), P7ACA, P7LDA, P7LHA, P9BDA, 6sp Manual - Wife's new toy!
    05 325it Electric Red(438)/Gray(N6TT) ZCW, ZSP 5sp Manual Back set cover, trunk mat, Euro Infra-Rot front windshield, and mud flaps! Mr. Wagon My new Winter car.
    05 M3 Imolarot II(405)/Gray(N5TT) ZCW, ZPP 6sp Manual C.F. Lip, CSL diffuser, Euro Infra-Rot front windshield and a trunk liner! Mr. Go_Fast Stored for the Winter
    95 318is Montreal Blue Met (297)/Beige(K1SN) A Hooptie!
    84 M535i gray market Burgandy Rot Met/Black Leather Lowered by Intrax on bilies, poly everywhere, B&B cat back system, K&N, and a hitch! Da Beast - Still running w/375k+!
    91 316i euro Tizianrot/Gray cloth - E-36 w/M-40 motor, such a beater, but great on gas! Best was 38 MPG
    82 528i euro Saphire Blue Met/Blue Leather RIP
    79 525 euro Green/Green RIP
    79 318 Silver/Black - The first one that got it all started
    M-Flight Member

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Columbia MO
    My Cars
    2001 BMW 325i
    Ran the vin, the results back up what I new, bought and lived it’s entire life in the Chicago area. I have the service records and nothing shows to be changed. The decode says it should have the business cd but the car has a cassette. If I come across the digital controls I will get them just to see if the swap will work

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    My Cars
    325e 535i M5 325iT 330i
    My recommendation is that you keep the manual controls. Yes, the digital controls look slick and everything, but you have to take your eyes off road to adjust them, and that causes you to be an unsafe driver if you do so while the car is moving. The manual controls are completely tactile - you can make any adjustment you want without looking down. I own BMWs with both types of controls and I far prefer the manual ones for this reason. Just my two cents' worth.

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