Is your E36 climate control display dark? Do buttons lighten up and darken randomly, with button illumination apparently unrelated to what the heater and A/C are actually doing at the moment? Does it turn off and reset itself randomly? You could spend hundreds of dollars on a new or used unit. You could send it out and have somebody repair it. Or fix it yourself in about an hour for just a few dollars!
Parts and tools needed:
- Capacitor. The original capacitor is 0.47 uF. However, because It is being used as a filter, people who seem to know a lot more than me say that the size does not really matter, and it doesn't even matter if you put a polar capacitor in backwards. I used a 1.0 uF capacitor in both my E36s because that was what the local Radio Shack had on hand. The first one was ceramic. The second one was tantalum. Both were polar. From what I read, tantalum capacitors are better. The first repair is still working fine 5 years later.
- Desoldering braid. It is important to soak up all the solder that is holding in the current capacitor. If you don't, the molten solder will go down into the hole in the circuit board as you pull the old capacitor off, and you will have a heck of a time clearing that hole so you can insert the new wire.
- Soldering pencil (no more than 30W).
- Fine electrical solder.
- Small flat blade screwdriver.
- Exacto knife or razor blade.
- Wire cutters
- Needle nosed pliers.