BMW F25 LCI Climate Control Retrofit [DIY Guide]

On X3 F25 pre-LCI models, the climate control/audio panel looks pretty outdated. In fact, one could say that designers didn’t have enough time so they just slapped in the old E90 climate control unit. 

Installing an LCI panel is the solution. Because everything is plug and play, replacing the panel is a breeze. And now we have a properly designed, dedicated climate control panel in a high-gloss finish. 

The radio control is exactly the same, but now the climate control matches the design. 

After installation, you’ll need to code a new IHKA control unit. If you buy a used one, there’s a tiny chance that the donor has the same vehicle order as yours. 

Let’s get started.

Replacing Climate Control Panel (IHKA)

Unclip trim at marked points. No tools required. 

Unplug connectors (1) and (2). Remove the strip. 

Insert special tool 00 9 340 (00 9 341) as illustrated.Lever trim cover (1) slightly forward and unclip.

Unclip LED (1).

Remove cover (2).

Installation note:

Retaining lugs and clips must not be damaged.

Release 4 screws (arrows) with Torx T20 and remove the control panel. 

Remove control panel (1) towards the front.

Unlock plug connections (1) and disconnect.

Remove radio and A/C control panel (2).

Install the new LCI panel 

Code the IHKA unit with E-Sys. 

If you are new to E-Sys coding, you may want to check this guide: E-Sys Encoding Guide.

Coding Process

This is a simple control unit encoding → giving instructions to a new control unit on how to behave in your car. 

  • Connect the vehicle = F025
  • Read FA
  • Activate FA
  • Read ECU
  • Check if IHKA have CAFD file 
  • If yes = right click to IHKA and click “Code”
  • If no = click “Detect CAF for SWE” and choose the latest from the pop-up window
  • Now right click to IHKA and click “Code” 

Note: If you’re coding a brand new control unit, it will not have a CAFD file. With used units CAFD will mostly be present (if someone didn’t delete it). 


The LED on the A/C button flashes after a new IHKA control panel is installed.

The flashing LED in the A/C button shows that the compressor protection mode is active on the automatic air-conditioning system. This safety feature is designed to ensure proper refrigerant distribution when the air conditioner is turned on for the first time (at the manufacturer), before the engine is revved up.

The spare part is the same as the control panel used in series production for IHKA. As a result, when a new IHKA control panel is installed, the said protective mode is always active. The LED in the A/C button will then flash continuously for roughly 90 seconds at a speed of less than 1500 rpm, indicating that the A/C compressor has been engaged.

Solution: The air conditioner must be run continuously with the engine at idling speed until the LED in the A/C button stops flashing after a new IHKA control panel has been fitted.

It is possible that the A/C compressor is not constantly functioning under certain exceptional situations (e.g., extremely low ambient temperatures). In certain instances, the A/C button’s LED may continue to flash for many minutes.

Georg Meier

BMW technician since 1996. I began my automotive journey in 1993 as an apprentice mechanic at Automag, the world's oldest BMW dealership in Munich. With years of experience and dedication, I garnered a wealth of knowledge about the intricacies of BMW and MINI vehicles. The love/hate relationship with the brand led me to found BIMMERIST where I share expertise and insights with fellow enthusiasts.

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  • “Because everything is plug and play, replacing the panel is a breeze.”

    No, it’s not that plug and play. You have to remove two fragments of the plastic frame to which the panel is attached. You should make this clear, because someone who doesn’t have the right tools can get stuck halfway through the job.


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