BMW E30 & E34 defrost settings

E34 heater controls
Problem: Confusion on how to defrost windshield.
Application: E30, E34 models
Solution: Put heater / blower controls in proper settings.
Cost: FREE

BMW E34 & E30 defrost settings, front windshield:

All modern day BMWs have a dedicated windshield defrost button. Humid mornings when condensation occurs or a sheet of frost in the winter can often cover your windshield requiring the defrost function to be turned on. With the press of a button the car will automatically configure the blower fan speed, temperature and vent direction. Within minutes, one is able to see clearly through the windshield and drive safely on the road. Older BMW models from the 80s and early 90s do not feature this button in comparison.

Most E30 or E34 owners may think their vehicle does not have defrost due to the lack of this button. The defrost feature is in fact still part of the vehicle, but the configuration is not easily recognizable. There exists a small diagram displaying the "code" or dial settings for the defrost function on the E30 and E34 models. Please see images below for clarification.

Where is the diagram located?

E30: Below the A/C, recirculated air buttons.

E34: Between the blower fan speed dial and temperature setting dial.

What are the settings?

➊ Vent setting up, full open.
➋ Vent setting on face, closed.
➌ Vent setting on feet, closed.
➍ Fan speed, max.
➎ Temperature, max heat (dual climate on E34).

Although it is nice to have modern conveniences such as a one touch button defrost, it is very satisfying to manually adjust the mechanical dials to configure your car. As products become more digital and less engaging due to automation, there are small things like this that make us love 80s and appreciate mechanical over electrical operation.

Where can I learn more BMW tips?

Learn more BMW pro tips by clicking HERE

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E30 defrost configuration
E34 defrost configuration settings
BMW E30 defrost settings