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      10-27-2009, 05:01 PM   #1
FrenchBoy
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Center Console Getting Hot?

I took a little trip to visit some friends in Bellingham, WA this weekend, about 100 miles North of Seattle. About half way through the trip (happened both going up and coming back), I noticed that my right knee was feeling a bit warm. I tend to rest my knee against the center console when I drive, particularly when the cruise control is on.

I started prodding around to determined where the heat was coming from and noticed that the area to the left of ashtray on the center console was rather hot, to the point that it felt uncomfortable touching it. The warm area seems to be the center console to the left of the ashtray and the left vertical side of the console next to my right leg.
In comparison, the right side of the ashtray feels normal. The AC and heated seats were off.

Since then, I have not driven the car much. It seems like it takes a bit of time for the warmth to become unpleasant. However, during my short commute yesterday, I could tell that the left side of the console was getting warm whereas the right side was still cold.

Has anyone experienced this? This is a bit weird, I had not noticed that before. I am planning to call my Service Advisor in a couple of days, I just wanted to know if I was the only one experiencing this strange, and somewhat concerning, behavior.

Thanks
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      10-27-2009, 05:09 PM   #2
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Mine is the same way. In the summer with the ac off my legs get uncomfortably warm. I can feel the heat radiating. I just figured it is part of the "m" mystique!
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      10-27-2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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I have not noticed this on mine & I've taken a long road trip.
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      10-27-2009, 07:05 PM   #4
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It takes a while for the tranny to get hot, but it's normal on RWD vehicles over a long trip (and/or on a hot summer). Very few cars are insulated around the center console properly, and you don't have much space with ashtrays, cup holders (not in our car), iDrive controllers, etc. And the tranny just an inch or two below.

If it bothers you, try to insulate it a little better yourself. I hardly ever use CC, and never rest my knee against the console, so not a problem for me. Good luck.
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      10-27-2009, 08:15 PM   #5
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I notice this happens when I have the rear seat vents adjusted to the highest heat/hot setting... appears that the air for the rear vents flows down the left (drivers) side of the tunnel for some silly reason. Maybe that is it?
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      10-27-2009, 08:27 PM   #6
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Happens in my weiny 335i as well
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      10-27-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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I have been on 3 to 4 hour long trips and never paid attention to this, so I wonder.
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      10-27-2009, 09:17 PM   #8
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I did a 3000+ mile rode trip in July-Aug from MN-IL-KY-GA with 6-8 hour legs. No problem whatsoever in my e92.
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      10-27-2009, 09:32 PM   #9
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I noticed that too, plus the Power and EDC buttons get warm as well.
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      10-28-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vise View Post
I notice this happens when I have the rear seat vents adjusted to the highest heat/hot setting... appears that the air for the rear vents flows down the left (drivers) side of the tunnel for some silly reason. Maybe that is it?
Interesting. I will try to adjust that and see if it makes any difference. If it does, that would explain why this had not been a problem before (I just noticed that it was on the hot setting. Probably my kid fiddled with it). Hopefully that's what it is although that would be pretty poor design not to insulate the ducting.

This is my 2nd BMW and I do not believe it is normal for the center console to become uncomfortably hot under normal conditions just because it is a RWD. Never had that problem before.
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      10-28-2009, 03:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrenchBoy View Post
Interesting. I will try to adjust that and see if it makes any difference. If it does, that would explain why this had not been a problem before (I just noticed that it was on the hot setting. Probably my kid fiddled with it). Hopefully that's what it is although that would be pretty poor design not to insulate the ducting.

This is my 2nd BMW and I do not believe it is normal for the center console to become uncomfortably hot under normal conditions just because it is a RWD. Never had that problem before.
In my car at least if I change the rear vents to cool air I can notice the difference on the transmission tunnel... ie. it is no longer hot to the touch. Would be interested to see if the same holds for you. If I remember correctly my previous E90 (325i) did the same thing so I was always under the impression it was a design feature/flaw.
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      10-29-2009, 08:57 AM   #12
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This is common problem on a lot of RWD performance cars. My C6 Corvette has the same problem - the exhaust pipes and driveshaft are so close-in on the tunnel that the heat radiating off of them comes through the console. There were reported cases with my Vette of the console getting so hot that things like credit cards sitting in the console would melt a little! There are aftermarket ways to shield it from the heat, but they are expensive and time consuming. But, it is a known issue for a lot of cars. Personally, my Vette got a little warm. I've never noticed it on my M3.
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      01-25-2010, 10:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWinNorthdakota View Post
Happens in my weiny 335i as well
Just a thought...this happened to me and I remembered I did a hardwire of my laser jammer under the console (to the cig lighter wires) and in the process I had removed one of the caps that seal the console vent tunnel (channeling air to the rear seat heating/cooling vents), in order to untighten a bolt that held the entire console down. I had re-tightened the bolt but forgot to put the cover back on the top of the vent tunnel.

I went back in and put the cover back on, and viola, no more hot console.

Won't be everyone's problem, but it's worth a mention, for people doing a search.
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      01-26-2010, 05:26 PM   #14
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Yeah, I noticed this on my e90 (built Nov 2009) so this is seems to be a common problem. Only thing is, mine's a right-hooker and the problem heat is on the right of the transmission tunnel whereas the left seems to be OK so is the opposite of your problem. I also put it down to the heat control in the rear as that seemed to make a difference but will have to check when I next go on a longer drive. Also, iDrive control gets pretty damn hot after prolonged driving...
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      01-26-2010, 05:29 PM   #15
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Sorry, must add another comment as after re-reading my post it seemed that I was complaining when I am not! Everything else considered with the car, I'm happy to wear a carbon-kevlar insert in my jeans to prevent leg melt...
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      02-19-2013, 12:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vise View Post
I notice this happens when I have the rear seat vents adjusted to the highest heat/hot setting... appears that the air for the rear vents flows down the left (drivers) side of the tunnel for some silly reason. Maybe that is it?

ding ding ding this was it. someone had recently rode in the back and I guess turned the heat all the way up and I did not notice. thought it was weird my center console started getting all hot even under normal driving conditions and I found this thread

typed up from a shitty phone excuse any retardness
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      02-19-2013, 12:35 PM   #17
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Completely normal, don't worry about it. Try driving a Z06 - your legs feel on fire after the car gets warm!
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      02-19-2013, 12:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nineonenine View Post
ding ding ding this was it. someone had recently rode in the back and I guess turned the heat all the way up and I did not notice. thought it was weird my center console started getting all hot even under normal driving conditions and I found this thread

typed up from a shitty phone excuse any retardness
Yeah, that's it.

For those with the 2008s, their beverage cooler quickly turns into a beverage heater. Found out the hard way trying to keep a soda cold.
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      02-19-2013, 12:51 PM   #19
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I have the same problem in my M however in my wife's 335i it gets real hot
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      02-19-2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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The rear vent runs through the console along both sides around the ashtray. So the temp will be dependent on the climate control temp setting and rear vent operation.
For those that think the armrest can holder is a chiller, look at the vent in the console. You'll quickly realize that only will function as a cooler with the A/C on.
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      02-19-2013, 05:20 PM   #21
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Hmm noticed this on other cars, but never on the M3
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      02-19-2013, 05:31 PM   #22
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I've never experienced. Maybe you guys are not driving fast enough to cool the exhaust pipes down.
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