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A co-worker has a 2005 X5 which has the same basic HVAC system as my 2000 M5. The heater blower suddenly quit working completely the other day, but the HVAC display still shows varying amount of fan speed (the bar graph) as you push the faster or slower buttons. The defrost button also puts the display into its normal full fan, air to the defrost outlets mode. The rear seat blower works fine.

Another clue is that the battery went flat about a month ago, but for a 5 year old battery, maybe that's not too out of the ordinary.

I thought the likely culprit was the final stage unit, and to try replacing that before taking it to the shop for possible blower or HVAC control diagnosis since it's out of warranty. Do you guys agree?

Obligatory M5 content: the X5 owner just got a DICE iPod interface and found the menus a bit confusing. Liked my Intravee II setup a lot better.
 

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Yes that FSU is one of them unofficially defective parts, as in dead pixels, secondary air passage, MAF's, thrust arm bushings, etc.
I had to replace two of the Final Stage Resistors during my 8 years' ownership.
I had a Nissan Maxima for 10 years (200K miles) before my M5 and never heard of any of these crap.
 
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