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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Air Conditioning
Maintenance and Upgrade

Difficulty Level: 4
Difficulty scale: Adding air to your tires is level one
Rebuilding a BMW Motor is level ten

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection. The book was released in August 2006, and is available for ordering now. See The Official Book Website for more details.
 
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[click to enlarge]

     On any car, the A/C system is a complicated beast. This project is not intended to be a repair manual for your A/C system, but should serve more as a guide to how the system works and offer key points about the maintenance involved with its upkeep.

    
Air conditioning systems work using the theory of thermodynamics, whereby heat flows from a warmer surface to a colder one. Heat from inside the car is transferred to the cold metal fins of the evaporator. The refrigerant in the system picks up the heat from the evaporator and takes it to the compressor. The gas is then pressurized, which concentrates the heat by raising the temperature of the refrigerant gas. The gas is then sent to the condenser. The condenser cools the refrigerant and turns the gas back into a liquid. The liquid is then sent to the receiver-dryer, where any water vapor that may have formed in the system is removed. The receiver-dryer also acts as a storage container for unused fluid.From the receiver-dryer, the liquid flows into the expansion valve, which meters it into the evaporator located inside the car. Here the liquid absorbs heat and becomes a low-pressure gas. This evaporation, or boiling of the refrigerant, absorbs heat as a boiling pot of water absorbs heat from the stove. As heat is absorbed, the evaporator is cooled. A fan blows air through the evaporator and into the cockpit of the car, providing the cooling effect. The compressor then pumps the refrigerant through the entire system. An electromagnetic clutch on the compressor turns the A/C system on and off. In addition to cooling the car, the system also removes water vapor from the ambient air. It is not uncommon to find a small puddle of water underneath your car from the condensation of the air conditioning system. A thermostat control on the evaporator keeps the condensation in the evaporator from freezing and damaging the unit.

    
So what can you do to maintain and protect the system from deterioration? First and foremost, operate the air conditioning system at least once a week if the outside temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Doing this will circulate the refrigerant in the system and help keep the seals from drying out. Most failures are caused by refrigerant leaking out of the system, which you can prevent simply by making sure that you run the system more frequently.

     A belt that runs off the main crankshaft operates the A/C compressor. On cars with a manual adjustment, make sure you don’t tighten this belt too tightly, or you may place undue pressure on the bearings inside the compressor. If you suspect you might be having problems with the compressor, check the belt first. Turn on the system, and verify that the electromagnetic clutch is engaging. If it is not, you may need to replace it. Check the power connection to make sure it is live before replacing the clutch.

     The original Freon used in the older-style R12 air-conditioned cars. In the early 1990s, auto manufacturers started phasing out Freon-based A/C systems and started implementing the newer R134a systems (BMW appears to have started installing R134a systems with the 1993 models). The cost of the replacement R12 Freon is skyrocketing as the current supplies disappear. This Freon, which was once sold to the public in do-it-yourself kits, can only be legally purchased by dealers now, who are trained in recharging these systems.

     If your A/C system needs a major overhaul, it’s wise to upgrade your system to R134a, although the R134a refrigerant is not as efficient, is slightly more prone to leaks, and cools slightly less than the original R12. You can purchase R134a inexpensively at your local auto parts stores, and retrofit kits are easy to install (as I will explain a little later). You can determine which type of refrigerant you have in your car from the shape of the connectors and/or the sticker on the front right side of the engine compartment.

Refilling A/C systems

     The biggest problem with A/C systems is a loss of refrigerant. Luckily, replacing and topping off refrigerant is a relatively easy process, particularly if you have an R134a system already installed. Interdynamics manufactures the kit I used to refill the car in this project (see Photo 1).Outside your garage, start the car, turn on the A/C system and fan to full blast, and let the car run for about three minutes. Following the instructions included with the kit, connect a new can of refrigerant to the hose/gauge assembly. Be sure you shake the can for about 30 seconds and turn it upside down when you connect it to the gauge assembly. Connect the gauge assembly to the low-side port of your A/C system (see Photo 2). Be sure to wear eye protection and heavy leather gloves when handling the coolant and gauge assembly! If coolant leaks out at any time, it can literally freeze a small patch of skin quite easily and give you frostbite.

     With the car running and the A/C system turned on full blast, take a reading on the pressure gauge. A properly charged system should read between 25 and 45 psi. If the pressure is low, turn the valve on the can to release more refrigerant into the system. Be aware that the pressure gauge reading will automatically elevate as you are adding more coolant, so periodically close the valve on the can to check if the pressure is rising in the system. If the pressure doesn’t increase after adding one complete can, you most likely have a major leak in your system and should seek the help of a professional A/C system mechanic.

     With the system properly filled and measured with your gauge, head to the passenger compartment and check the temperature of the air exiting the vents. On a system that is operating really well, the temperature will be in the mid-30s Fahrenheit. For older systems or ones retrofitted to work with R134a, the temperature readings will most likely be higher. Also keep in mind that if your system is cooling air in the 30 degrees Fahrenheit range, the compressor will tend to turn itself on and off, causing the temperature to go up and down slightly. This is not a defect of the system; the compressor turns itself off as the evaporator nears the freezing temperature of water. This prevents the evaporator from becoming frozen and clogged with icy buildup.

 

Retrofitting R12 systems

     What are your options if your system uses R12 and is currently not working properly? Many drop-in replacements for R12 are out there, but it’s unwise simply to place them into your system without performing a valid R134a retrofit. Why? When mechanics at an A/C service station work on your car, they will need to vacuum out and reclaim the refrigerant in your system. If the system contains R12 or R134a, they can combine it with their existing stock. However, if your system contains some aftermarket additive, most A/C service stations will refuse to work on your car (their sensors can determine whether the system is running R12, R134a, or something else). Needless to say, placing these additives into your system limits your options. The best thing to do is either stick with R12 (expensive) or perform a qualified upgrade to R134a.

     What are the downsides to upgrading to R134a? The refrigerant doesn’t cool as efficiently as R12, meaning your system will perform marginally less than with the R12 Freon. In most cases, however, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the two. In addition, the R134a molecule is a little bit smaller than the R12 molecule, meaning an R134a system is more prone to leaks. However, if your system’s seals and O-rings are in good condition, this should not be a concern. Some of the Bosch compressors used on the older cars are not compatible with R134a, so you may need to replace your compressor to convert to R134a. All of the E36 cars should have R134a-compatible compressors. An E36 conversion kit is available for the early cars that ran R12 instead of R134a (P/N 82-31-9-067-403, about $200). This kit contains a new receiver drier, new O-rings, a capacity label, and a set of R134a valve adapters. You will also need PAG compressor oil (P/N 82-11-1-468-042).

     The E30 cars are a little more difficult, as almost all of them were fitted with R12 systems. A detailed BMW Tech Bulletin covers the R12 to R134a conversion (BMW Document # 64 05 96). The E30 cars with compressors that are not compatible with R134a include the 318i (July 1985–August 1985); the 325e, 325i, and 325iC (July 1987–October 1988); the 325iX; and the M3. You should check the part number on your compressor prior to the upgrade to make sure that it is compatible with R134a.The following table shows a list of compressors that are not compatible with R134a. You should replace these compressors with part number 64-52-8-363-550.

64 52 1 377 944

64 52 1 377 947

64 52 1 385 416

64 52 1 385 930

64 52 1 386 411

64 52 1 377 940*

64 52 1 377 941*

64 52 1 377 943*

64 52 1 377 946*

*Requires clutch wiring adapter P/N 64-52-1-386-224

 
     If your E30 has an R134a-compatible compressor, or if you purchase the upgraded one, all you need is the E30 R134a retrofit kit. Like the E36 kit, it contains a new receiver drier, new O-rings, a capacity label, and a set of R134a valve adapters (part number 82-31-9-067-394). If your compressor is low on oil, you will also need PAG compressor oil (part number 82-11-1-468-042).

     The process of installing retrofit kits typically requires specialized equipment available only at an A/C service shop, but I’ll give an overview of the process. First, have a shop mechanic remove and recycle any old R12 you have left in your system (don’t vent it to the atmosphere). Then, swap out the compressor if you are replacing it. Be sure to use new O-rings on all the connections that are opened in the system when you are working on it. Install the new pressure switch (included in the kit) on the receiver/drier. Install the new receiver drier in the car, replacing all O-rings in the process (they are included in the retrofit kit as well). Splice the new switches into the chassis wire harness according to the instructions in the factory retrofit bulletin. Install the R134a adapters on both the high and low side of the system. Then, pull a vacuum on the system for a minimum of 40 minutes and fill with R134a according to the instructions detailed above. Remember to add compressor lubricant if you haven’t replaced your compressor. Finally, check the system for leaks using an R134a leak detector, and check the temperature of the air in the passenger cabin.

As you can tell, you need a serious selection of specialized equipment to perform a proper retrofit of your A/C system. The bottom line is giving your A/C system a major overhaul can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Clearly, the magnitude of repairing and replacing most A/C components is beyond the scope of the average weekend mechanic. Seek professional assistance if your system needs any major work beyond a simple refill.

     If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs.  If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one.  Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one.  As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

Figure
Figure 1
This great starter A/C kit from Interdynamics contains three cans of R134a refrigerant and oil and is specifically designed to replenish older cars that may have a few small leaks in the O-rings of the air conditioning system. The kit is available for about $35 at most general automotive stores and has everything you need to recharge your R134a air conditioning system. It includes a can adapter valve, an in-line pressure gauge, and several adapters used for converting old R12 systems to the newer R134a fittings.
Figure
Figure 2
This photo shows the location and orientation of the A/C ports on the 1993 and later E36 cars. (Earlier E36 cars may have R12-based or other systems.) The A/C ports normally have black plastic covers that simply screw off (inset). The low side (the side where you attach the gauge and refrigerant) has the smaller port adapter and is attached to the larger pipe (yellow arrow). The high side (used primarily for checking the compressor during diagnostic testing) has the larger adapter (green arrow) and a smaller diameter pipe.
Figure
Figure 3
With the engine running, connect the gauge to the low-pressure port on the A/C system. The high side has a larger adapter, so you can’t accidentally attach the gauge to the wrong port. With the gauge attached, you can now turn the valve to add more refrigerant to the system. In the photo inset, you can see the pressure for this A/C system is exactly where it should be—in the middle of the white range. Remember to use heavy-duty leather gloves and eye protection when working around A/C components. It’s possible that a fitting or a valve may break or otherwise leak refrigerant on your hands.
Figure
Figure 4
Your hand is a pretty poor indicator of relative temperature. Use a digital thermometer and probe, like the one here, to get an accurate reading. A number of factors can affect the final temperature performance of your A/C system—age, quantity of refrigerant, the condition of the compressor or associated components, and whether the system was designed to use R134a, as was this 1995 325ic. During this reading, the outside temperature was probably around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you achieve temperatures in the mid-30s, your A/C system is working in top condition!
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Comments and Suggestions:
dimitrios Comments: Hi there. I have a 316i E90 N45/2007. A week ago I replaced ac compressor and condenser 1000 euros total. Later when I left the shop I realized that my fuel gauge was stucked. Today I noticed my rear electric window stucked and the co driver electric window was only worked from the drivers control. I drove back at the shop. My clima was working fine. The guy disconnected the battery and although the initial problems were gone, my clima stopped working. He said to bring back the car next week for further inspections. Any idea?
July 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be an issue with the FRM I would scan the vehicle for fault codes. There will likely be a fault to guide you toward the problem area. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wej Comments: 1987 BMW 635csi rear unit was working fine suddenly stopped. Front unit fine.
Replaced rear unit dryer, unit blew cold for about 20 minutes on the road the it quit blowing cold.
Any thoughts?
Thanks for any help
July 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would start by confirming the system has a full charge. If so, check the expansion valve for the rear evaporator. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bigtroy Comments: hello pelican,1 more ? my 98 528i blower motor does not work with heat or a/c. the a/c does need to be charged I already checked the Freon leave 0 can suggest where should I start my diagnoius
July 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check is the blower motor has power and ground when you tun it on. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bigtroy Comments: hello,my name is troy I just bought a 98 528i while driving sometimes it shifts fine then at times I seems too be in limp mode then at times it doesn't shift at all wondering if it is low on fluid or if the fluid and filter needs to be changed or just a bad tranny
July 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: First check the transmission fluid level to be sure it is correct. Then check the transmission ECM for fault codes. If the system is not working properly, a fault code will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
suso35 Comments: Hello Pelican,

I have problems with my AC. car is 325 94'.

AC wont blow cold air. did recharged the refrigerant two weeks ago and works well. and now its warm air. could this mean there are leaks anywhere?

I can hear hissing sounds in the centre vent of the AC which located above the radio position?

whats that hissing sounds mean?

what can i do to get my AC cold again?

Thanks
July 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a leak. For the sake of the environment, do not recharge it again until you locate or have the leak located. The system will need to be then leak tested. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
The Business Man Comments: I have a 2002 330i

I have a 3 part question:
1. The blower for my ac continues to blow air when the car is off. It turns off when I remove the fuse, but when I remove the fuse, it seems to be some sort of short as evidenced by the fuse being eaten away.

2. When I'm driving and I have the fuse in, air blows in but there I have no control over temperature and ac fan speed.

3. Sometimes it blow cold air sometimes warm. Regardless of the temperature outside.

What do I need to replace/fix. Thanks!
June 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be an issue with the control head or the final stage. I would check the signal to the final stage from the control head. If the blower is on and the control head is not commanding it to be, the final stage is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Redman Comments: What great sight. Recently my 2001 325I inside blower fanwhile running AC would completely stop blowing and after a few minutes turns back on .Also when 1st starting up ACAnd vehicle I noticed the fan speed sounds very erratic. Seems to be a intermittent problem. There are days it runs fine. AC system itself seems okcools fine. Any possible ideas on the fan issue ? Thanks in advance!
June 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a blower motor final stage unit. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Vera Comments: I have a 95' 316i, the AC compressor appears to be fine, the belt is not overly tight, my blower only blows warm air. I am making an assumption that the R134 needs replacing. Any thoughts? I know its not incredibly relevant, but my heater works fine. I also have an issue with my driver side window. It wont move. Anything my husband can do to easily troubleshoot the problem? Should I just replace the window motor, or the console switch. thanks.
June 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I wouldn't replace window parts until you are sure what is faulty. CHeck for a signal to the window motor, if it present, the motor or regulator may be faulty, if it isn't, the switch may be faulty.

The A/C system will need to be evacuated and leak tested before it is charged. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Carlos Comments: my problem is that my 2000 bmw blows cold air but then it suddenly starts blowing warm air and after a while it goes back to cold please help
June 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the compressor cycling off when the temperature warms up? You may have a low charge or a faulty component cycling it off. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nora Comments: Hi Nick. I recently had my 07 750LI towed by the rear axle he did secure the steering wheel b with the seat belt and traveled down a really uneven dirt road. I get my car back a week later from the shop and now my drivers side ac only blows out warm are but the passenger and rear is getting the usual ice cold ac. What happened did the towing company damaged something?
May 31, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure how they could by towing it, the HVAC system is not near the suspension. It sounds like you have a low refrigerant charge. I would have the system checked for leaks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
cesar Comments: Hi Nick There is 4 wires the black wire goes to the compressor and there is a blue one and two red color when I connect the black direct from the battery the compressor engage also the blue grey the compressor engage but I disconnect it from the battery it stop working Thank you for your help.
May 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Assuming you confirmed there is power in two places at the relay and no control circuit function, there may be an issue with a pressure switch. If the pressure switch reading is incorrect, the compressor will not start. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cesar Comments: Hi the A/C compressor on my bmw 325i 2002 isn't receiving power from the reley and did replace the reley.
May 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does the relay have power? Does the compressor come on if you jump the relay? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
joao Comments: Dear Nick, I have a 1998 BMW 323ti compact and the A/C compressor clutch is not engaging. The pressure is okay. I noted the A/C relay is not receiving the ground signal from the DME. Do you have any suggestion?
May 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would locate the wire at the DME, confirm the signal is in fact not being sent to the relay. You could have a pressure / remperature switch issue, where the DME is not seeing the right value. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mike Comments: after i turn of my ignition my ac fan is still spinning its a 1999 320i bmw what must i replace
May 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The fan sounds like it is faulty. I would confirm the signal at the fan from the DME is correct before replacing the fan. Check that when the fan is ON, the signal to fan is not present. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bert Comments: "On a system that is operating really well, the temperature will be in the mid-30s Fahrenheit." This one statement makes me question the credibility of the entire article. It is common knowledge that ambient temperature and humidity are factors to the temperature differential drop one can expect from ANY air conditioning unit. Gauge readings fluctuate with outside temperature also - look at any gauge if you doubt that fact. For a "technical article" I give this one a C-.
May 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
poutchi Comments: I have 99 bmw 323 I convertible my AC controle doesn't show anything in the display ,I replace it with anther one still have the same I notice my central doors lock batten not working ether ,some how yesterday Bothe my AC and the central lock start working now Bothe stop function at the same time what do I need to check please
May 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have a faulty in the body control module. I would start by checking the vehicle for fault codes. If multiple systems are not working properly, fault codes will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
sal Comments: Hi I have a 1997 528I and my AC system if fully charge. But I don't get cold air inside my car. I check the compressor and it does work. What can I do?
May 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can check if the supply voltage for the compressor is getting to it via the high pressure switch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ted Comments: I have a 1988 325i BMW convertible that has R134 coolant for the air conditioning but still has the original compressor. The car cools fine when temperatures are in the low to mid 70's but above that it does poorly. When the temperature is in the mid 80's the car becomes very warm and putting the windows down is the only option. It does cool slightly when moving and none when stopped, but I am told the auxiliary fan is working. I keep the car in south Florida so A/C is a must. When the car was on Freon it cooled fine at high temperatures. The car is in excellent condition and I really want to keep it but A/C is a must. For the most part money is not an issue if I can get it to work like when I bought it. Hope you can help and thanks.
May 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would start by confirming it has the correct amount of refrigerant and that there are no leaks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
J.G. Comments: '88 M3 here, having an issue with getting the A/C to come on... the snowflake button will only backlight blue with my sliders in certain spots and even then it doesn't seem to really kick on. I can tell something gets cooler, but nothing like it did last year when I ran it. I just got it out of storage from the winter though... would it take a few times to sort out?
April 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the compressor does run, even sometimes, but the temp isn't very cool. I would start by checking the charge level. If the button only works when the controls are in certain positions, the control head may be faulty.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
DLM Comments: Hi Nick, For a 2010 BMW 760, 15K miles, A/C blows cold on the right/pass. side and progressively warmer going towards left, very little cooling on left. Barely able to cool the car on a warm day. The high side pressure is 150 psi, don't know low side.
April 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a low charge. I would evacuate it and see how much is in the system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
scott m Comments: Sorry forgot to mention I have a 93 325i.
April 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Got it, thanks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Scott M Comments: Hello my A/C compressor just started making a grinding noise, no cool air. How hard is it to replace the clutch and bearing, or is it easier to replace the compressor itself. Thank you and advance.
April 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you don't have a clutch puller, replacing the clutch will be tough. But replacing the entire compressor you will need to evacuate and recharge the refrigerant. So each way has a barrier for DIY. However, I would suggest replacing the compressor, in the case it might be damaged. Always replace the dryer when replacing any A/C component. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
myhot1 Comments: I need to findhow do I locate the low pressure ac input on my 1991 bmw 850i. I found two caps on what I believe to be the ac lines. But which one to I add the r12 to?
April 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The port closest to the drier will be the high side. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Michael Comments: Hi, I have a 528i, year 2000, the ac cooling very good but when it's on the vent blows ice cold air while the under dash is blowing a hot air , while driving it will start blowing worm air from vent then after about3 minutes cold, i changed the setting many times, and gas level was OK.
April 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check if the heater control valve is working. It should be blocking engine coolant from getting to the engine when the A/C is ON. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
t-bone Comments: Greetings!!!
My bmw e46 2002 Ac cools sometimes and sometimes doesn't. I recently changed the compressor and am having the same problem. Sometimes i switch it on and off several times before it starts working but at al times the compressor works when i press the Snowflake.
Please help thank you.
April 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the cooling fan coming ON? Is the refrigerant charge correct? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
alex Comments: I have a 2001 M Roadster. The a/c recently serviced and works in cooler whether but weather is hot, a/c won't blow cool air. I can hear the system engaging so it appears to be working. I'm thinking some type of temp sensor has failed.
April 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the compressor is ON, the temp and pressure sensors are likely working. Is the cooling fan coming ON? Is the condensor free from debris? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
E30rh325i Comments: I have a 1989 325i. I am in the process of doing an r134a conversion. What kind of oil should be used in the compressor? Mine has the stock Denso compressor. Would it be easier to fill it with oil while it's out of the car?
April 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should be Ok with a PAG oil. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right oil. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bman Comments: I have a 2003 330i, E46, The air conditioner is fully charged. When I turn the air conditioning on I get cold air from some vents and very hot air from other vents. Any idea what the problem might be?
March 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have a blend door issue. Can you run a test using a BMW scan tool? Check if all the blend and mode doors react properly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dann Comments: I want to know how can I recharge my a / c of my BMW 316 I 1995 ...
March 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will have to evacuate what is in the A/C system. Then vacuum the A/C system, be sure it holds a vacuum. If there are leaks repair them, then recharge the A/C. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wendy Comments: Do you guys sell the black plastic covers for the ac ports? I'm in desperate need for my 1999 328i.
March 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mr.Beemo Comments: Hello,I have a problem with my heater control buttons.it works sometimes stop working. My car is e36 1996 model 328i
March 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be a faulty control head. If all of the controls stop working, I would suspect the head. If one stops working, I would perform testing on the control head and the component. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mkhize Comments: I have an 2007 model 116 bmw and and the bearings of compressor are gone must, I buy new bearings or the whole unit?
March 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will have to replace the entire compressor/ - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Berny Comments: I'm thinking about replacing my AC condensor with a new one to get more performance out of the system It looks beat up from rocks and dirty from road grim. How much R3134A would I need to fill this?
Would it be a good idea to do an oil change on the Compressor? Which PAG oil would be used on a 98 M3 in Arizona?
Thanks!
February 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure what vehicle you have. There should be a label in your engine compartment with this information. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Marvel48 Comments: Forgive me, my car is a 1995 BMW M3, Base. 2dr.
January 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Compressor control is handled by the climate control module and the DME. The pressure switch could be failing or pressure could be off, setting this fault code. I would check system pressure when the problem is present. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
marvel48 Comments: Pressing the "Snowflake" compressor switch in the climate control throws this check engine light. Disconnecting the battery will clear it from the instrument cluster but it comes back once the compressor is switched on.

After performing the pedal test the code my car gives me is 1237.

Pelican Technical says, "1237 A/C Compressor cut off: The compressor is automatically turned off when accelerating from low speed under full throttle. This code indicates a fault in the cut-out circuit or its wiring."

So far as a fix, I understand that it could be the A/C Compressor Safety Switch part# 64538362055 saying there is too much or not enough refrigerant so it doesn't let the compressor engage. So, should I hook it up to an A/C machine and check the gauges for pressures, replace 64538362055 while the system is depressurized, and add the correct amount of refrigerant which is?

Should I buy new relays and replace whats in the fuse box, as well as check wiring coming off of it? Hopefully someone here has experience with this. It's one of the 2 remaining gremlins this old girl has.
January 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would start by checking system pressure and operation, before replacing any parts. You didn't mention your vehicle type, so I cannot offer specific code advice. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dfs Comments: I have a 1993 325is. In process of replacing belts. Removed AC belt and noticed that the pulley where the belt rides spins freely but the compressor does not spin.
Is this normal? Does the compressor spin only when clutch is engaged? The AC is not working and I thought the pulley might be bad.I am new to this car. Thanks!
January 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The compressor pulley should sin freely when the belt is removed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dan Comments: 2002 E46 325Xi Auto - Two Issues
1 - AC produces cold air but compressor makes whining noise which changes as RPM go up and down - note: changed bearing, belt and tensioner bearing. Turn AC off and whine goes away.
2 - with engine running and car in drive and stopped the car has excessive vibrations throughout the whole car if I place the car in neutral the vibration is significantly reduced - almost goes away after load is taken off drive components - removed idler valve and cleaned - also put car on four jacks and ran car to determine if motor mounts are good I didn't see any excessive mount movement note - once the car is up to speed the vibration seems to dissipate
January 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the A/C idler, belt and bearings are all good, the whine may be the compressor itself. I would check system pressure when the problem is present. Then try to load the A/C system to increase pressure and see if the noise worsens. It wouldn't hurt to check other accessory belt driven components to see if they are part of the problem.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
HasH Comments: Hello Nick.. I have a bmw x5 2001 3.0L
I was driving the truck today and was really reving it to almost 6500 rmp, fooling around on the free way. This kept going on for about an hour, I have an addiction to speed, anyways after an hour I slowed down and I noticed when I came to a complet stop on a stop sign the truck starting shivering, and I could feel the shiver coming from the engine and from my foot on the break pedal.. The shivering goes on for 4 seconds and stops for 2 seconds at ideal. When I put the truck in park I revved the engin to about 1500 rmp and the shivering goes away, but then comes back once it's at ideal. I live in Michigan and the weather is really cold it's about 27 F
Mind you about 4 years ago I had a engine lock up that happend in winter too. I changed the crankcase valve with the oil separator the breather that connects to the valve cover gasket. Also changed the valve cover gasket, spark plugs, the trottel body gasket and intake boot, and all the hose that connect to the crankcase have been updated to the cold weather package including the crankcase valve it's self.. I also updated the dipstick to a cold weather package too... Recently about 2 months ago my water pump failed and my belt got shredded.. So I changed the water pump and installed a new belt and another belt for the compressor, I also changed the tensioner because they had a updated version of the tensioner so I installed it too. All of the pulleys are new.. About a year ago I changed my alternator and got a new battery.. Also in that same year I changed my fuel pump and fuel filter.. Also changed my oil filter housing gasket.. I changed the vanos too.. Expansion tank and termostat have been changed.. Crank shaft sensors have also been changed.. Clutch fan changed... I have a cheack engine light on.. I just checked it and it says evap system.. So I know there is a vacume leak some where.. My question to you and sorry for talking too much can this be the purge valve?.. Can the purge valve make the truck shiver on and off only at ideal.. Also I forgot to mention the truck has 250 thousand miles on it.. I do all the work my self.. Thanks in and advance.. Any help would be greatly appreciated..
December 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The purge valve usually causes a rough idle when vapors are present in the canister. Once the vapors are gone, the idle will rise and smooth out a bit. I would check the engine for vacuum leaks in all areas, (intake manifold etc). Then check it for an engine misfire, which is more likely.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Raj Comments: Our 1997 BMW 740 IL, when you turn air conditioning on, it blows very low air even at high speed, but after about 10 minutes it works fine with optimal cold air. If you shut down engine and re- start the car AC goes through same cycle, it takes about 10- 15 mins for cold air to blow properly at proper speed. It becomes problem in summer time. Freon is fine, I re-filled it.
Thanks in advance for your kind time and guidance. Greatly appreciated.
December 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be something as simple as a blower resistor or the evap temp sensor. Can you check the vehicle for fault codes? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
diljit Comments: my bmw520i is a 1997 model. The air condition is ok and cold, but, the moment i slow down the vehicle to stop , there is a cracking sound coming from the compressor. What could be the problem?
December 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Take the belt off the compressor and try spinning the compressor pulley by hand. This should tel you if the compressor is at fault or if there is an idler or tensioner pulley problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Larry Comments: i have a 2000 BMW Z3 2.3 I had the complete heating / air system checked as I was only getting cold air, no heat. The problem lies in the actual controls from the inside of the car, as it sticks when you change from heat to cold, should the complete guage be replaced or is there a fix for this
December 4, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is your engine temp gauge actually going up into the normal range? Check to make sure. IF that is ok, use a BMW diagnostic scan tool to get fault codes from the climate control system. The IHKA system (most vehicles sold in North America) sets specific fault codes for each of the stepper motors that control temperature and air mix. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
NZBMWfan Comments: Hi Nick, my e32 has a non R134a compatible compressor 64 52 1 385 416 however I also have another spare 64 52 1 377 946 which is also on the non compatible list. I noticed that beside the second compressor you have included an asterisk and below it lists the required replacement part. If this part in swapped out can the compressor be used for R134a?
Do you have a photo of this replacement part as it may already be replaced.
Thanks for the information. Regards, Adam
November 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will need compressor # 64 52 8 363 550. There is a bulletin that lists this part # for your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
moudine Comments: Hello , my bmw e46 only cools when I set the fan on medium to high speed.at low fan it just blow hot air.
At low speed compressor doesn't kick.
What's happening ? Very wired
November 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Either refrigerant is low or you have debris blocking your condenser - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
warren Comments: I have a 2001 318i, whenever i switch om my a/c it will work properly for 3 to 5 minites then it blast off to maximum for a minite or two then again come down to minimum. thi process repeated itself over and over,evn thogh the air is cold
November 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a faulty blower final stage unit. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mel279 Comments: I have a e46 320d, during hot days 34Deg C its takes about almost 10mins to get the aircon cool but during night or early morning working just fine. There also a puddle of water under the driver and front passenger at some times, what seem to be causing this?
October 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The system could be low on freon. I would evac and recharge the system with the correct amount of freon and then check the system to see how well it functions.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
tamerlabib Comments: my BMW318i E90 model 2009 stop getting cool air? i have checked the pressure, they said there is a leak and the condenser Assy cool have to be replaced? the agent said it is very common to replace it.. which is quite dodgy for me? in order to replace it, they have to remove all the internal parts till the gear!!! Help please
October 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The condenser is in front of the radiator, and there is some labor involved in replacing it. It is common for it to get damaged by a small rock going through the grill.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
rayaand000 Comments: I have a 1992 325is BMW e36. When I turn the heat on I hear things clicking and turning but then after seconds of hot air my car starts to make a pulsing noise from the engine and sounds like as if there a hole in my exhaust... Could this be because of a vacuum leak? If not why does it make this strange pudd-ing noise only when I turn the heat on? What do i do to fix this?
October 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It sounds like there is a vacuum leak in the heater control system. I would use a smoke machine to help find the leaks under the dash.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kamal Comments: My E46 316i 1999, blowing very hot air to the windscreen and footwell. Aircon regassed last week in a local garage. Dash board vents blow cold air. Help needed to resolve this. Thank you.
October 9, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It sounds like one of the air doors could be stuck, make sure the wheel in the center vent is set to cold, and have the system scanned with a factory scan tool to check for faults in the steeper motors for the IHKA.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
sandile Comments: After replacing the idler and tensioner pulley what causes the cruise control switch to goes off when you driver a vehicle BMW E46 325i?
October 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the cruise control turning off by itself?
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Larry Comments: i have a 2000 bmw ze 2.5, the battery recently went dead and after replacing it I noticed the heat no longer works, is this a coincedence or does something have to be re-calibrake to make it work again. The blower motor works well, but the heat does not.
October 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Nothing should have to be reset, the heat should work. I would start by checking the coolant level and the thermostat and make sure they are ok.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Canvasback Comments: I have a 1997 BMW 528i sedan. After the A/C has been on for a while, there sometimes is a "clacking" noise that can be heard in the cabin. Still seems to continue working ok; but the noise is bothersome. In an effort to isolate the source, it appears to be coming from the A/C compressor/clutch assembly. The tension pulley seems okay and is not showing signs of bearing wear. Got any ideas/suggestions?
September 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the compressor clutch is turning on and off, the system could be too low on Freon, or it could be over charged, you could also have a relay that is going bad. Check the system to make sure it is filled correctly and check to make sure the relay is functioning correctly.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
swalsh152 Comments: I have a 2005 X3 and the hot/cold roller thumb knob between the vents doesn't work properly, feels stickey and won't roll all the way from Blue to Red.
With the A/C on and set to 60F I get ice cold air on the driver side vent and HOT from the passanger side. This car does not have dual HVAC. Just the single +/- for dig temp control. Any idea how to fix?
September 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a cable that connects that wheel to a blend door behind the glove box, something is binding. Remove the center vent and the glove box and check the cable and the blend door.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Savvas Comments: I have a 2001 BMW 318i and currently have a problem with the air condition. Whilst driving the aircon cools and blows cold air and suddenly approx 5 minutes later it blows warm air. During a trip this might happen many times.I have taken it to a BMW dealer & had it checked out and they have diagnosed that the aircon computer chip needs replacing as it is faulty.This would cost me $A2500.00 to replace the chip. Could anybody help me out to buy a new chip & how easy or difficult to replace & cost for a new chip????
September 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The control unit is not that hard to change but is does need to be programed to work correctly. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Biggz Comments: I have a BMW E36 318i, It's been so hot this past couple of days. My a/c was working fine until recently. A strange noise is coming from the engine when the car is on idle mode as I rev it a bit. The dashboard a/c readings are off and nothing shows up. After turning off the engine the compressor pump keeps on slowly spinning. PLease help & is it safe to keep driving the car?
September 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like it is time to check the a/c system, start by checking to see how much refrigerant is in the system, check the belts and hoses, make sure you cooling system is working correctly. Check the electric fan and the compressor clutch. Try to pinpoint where the noise is coming from.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bigsurf27 Comments: I own a 95 e34 which has always had a fairly light blowing A/C system. For instance, the 2 door vents don't blow at all and if I open the top of dash vent the 2 in-dash ones nearly disappear. Anyway of beefing up the volume?
September 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are up to 10 stepper motors that open and close the doors in the heater box to control air flow. One of those motors might not be functioning correctly. You are going to have to remove the heater box to check them all.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
richard Comments: Thanks Nick for your answer.Please excuse my ignorance but what is IHKA ?
thanks
Richard
September 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The IHKA is the control unit for the a/c and heater. The control unit is part of the display panel for the a/c.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Swanji Comments: Hello. I drive a '96 328i sedan. I live in Texas, and the A/C system can't quite keep cool when the car isn't moving. The aux fan works fine, but my condenser just needs more air flow! Can you recommend an aftermarket auxiliary fan that blows a higher volume of air? The stock fan just isn't cutting it!
September 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You are going to want to make sure the fan and fan clutch on the engine are working correctly. Also make sure the a/c system is charged to the proper amount and that the condenser fins and the radiator fins are not plugged with junk.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Richard Comments: i have a E36 318is with ls1 engine .i used a BMW aircon compressor . All works very well until around 5 mins of driving and the compressor and small green aircon switch light extinguish. The engine coolant temperature gauge over reads . i.e..When engine is normal temp,gauge reads close to hot . i used the GM temp sender.Does the aircon system switch off compressor if it thinks the engine is hot? If so maybe i need to fit BMW temp sensor to LS1.
September 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The IHKA can switch off the compressor if the engine is running to hot, try the BMW temp sensor, or install a resistor to trick the gauge into the correct temp range.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
don ras ty Comments: i have a bmw 2oo5 model with a atuomatic ac system.is is safe to turn off your ac before parking
September 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes it will be fine
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mr. D Comments: Hello.
the a/c did not work since turning on the engine today. Blowing hot air into the cabin. I noted an unusual clicking noise in the engine compartment, noise did not go away or change much at various rpm. Serpentine belt is in-tact, everything else works as normal but no a/c. Sounds like unit is just not engaging. worked perfectly yesterday. any ideas?
August 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The clicking is the compressor clutch cycling because the system is low on freon. Have the system checked for leaks and repair them and have it recharged.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kevin Comments: I have a 98 BMW 318ti. Something strange is going on with A/C. the last couple of days, it seemed the A/c would not blow cold air for abt 2-2 1/2 miles after driving, then no problem. As of this morning nothing. A/C on, but not blowing cold at all. Cant even tell that compressor is kicking on. I checked all 6 fuses to see if they were burnt out or defective. All 6 2@ 30, 3 at 5 and 1 at 7.5 They all appear to have the wire still stretched and unbroken. Any advice?
August 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the system might be low on freon, have the system checked for leaks and have them repaired and recharge the system.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
diva_3181377 Comments: My AC pressures at idle are 55PSI on Low side and 230PSI on high side at 95F with 35% humidity. Is this normal barely cools above 95F? Car is Z3 2.3 2.5L. The spec is 900+/- 25g and i put 750gms for sure after that the can tap broke and put some blindly in it. The compressor also whines. I did changed the dryer and expansion valve. Is this because i didn't put the PAG oil? Is it possible to add it now? Also does the reading shows a weak compressor caused by low pag oil ?
August 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your pressures are a little high, could be overcharged, did you evacuate the system after you had it open to replace the parts?
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bimmerman Comments: My 330 xi ac just stopped blowing! I turned it off and turned it on and it was fine.... Until the next day.Now it works when it wants. A week before it happened i noticed when I turned the car on it would blow choppy at first but then it would be o.k. Is it the Blower?
July 31, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the fan quitting or does the air warm up and the blower still works? This could be the blower motor resistor if it is the fan that is stopping. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
HHrnndz Comments: Looking at buying a 2003 R5 but the a c doesn't turn on until it reaches high RPM .what could be the problem by high rpm I mean 4000plus
July 29, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the compressor may be faulty or a low charge. I would hook up some gauges and see what is going on. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Beemette Comments: My 2001 330xi's A/C is working- but not correctly. When i turned the blower on digital even when left on the 1st position, it will blow at whatever speed it desires from high to low, back and forth- but mainly stays on high, regardless of where I have it set Any idea of how difficult this fix is? I've been told that it might be the control panel behind the radio/ac interface- that the soderings are going bad. THANK YOU!!
-one hot Beemette in NY
July 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds to me like the blower final stage is faulty. This would be an easy place to start verse the control panel. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
charlotte Comments: hi, i test drove a 318 se and when i drove it the ac was on and was fine but when i was on the way back lots of white smoke was coming from the exhaust. the man said it was because the ac was on in parked position? is this true??
July 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Having the A/C on while the vehicle is parked will not cause the engine to smoke. The smoke could be from an internal leak in the engine. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: My 2006 BMW X5 suddenly has very little air volume out the rear seat air conditioner vents. It still blows air but about 1/2 the usual volume. The cabin filter under the hood was checked and is clean. What else could cause this?
July 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a separate rear blower and rear blower resistor. The problem may lie with one of them. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
HLAKS Comments: My BMW 325i 2002 model air conditioner is running continuesly even when the car or conditioner is switched of
July 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm guessing you mean compressor is staying on. Modern compressors are a variable displacement design and they reduce displacement with the AC off, so there is no need for a clutch and the compressor appears to stay engaged all the time - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Z3 Comments: When the car started, the low side goes -ve . As soon as the ac is turned on, it goes normal. What is wrong. New expansion valve and dryer
July 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does the low side go high or low. Low is okay 20 to 40 psi is okay. High means weak compressor. It helps to know what the high side is doing - Nick at Pelican Parts  
seejayd Comments: I have 325i convertible 1988 in great shape
had the a/c rebuilt, it worked for a little while, now there is hot air blowing
also, the buttons/switch for a/c flickers....what does this mean?
July 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if the compressor is turning on, if not,t here may be a leak and the refrigerant has escaped the system.

The flickering lights could be a faulty panel or a fault in the eletrical system. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mr. Wil Comments: Where can I find a 1989 BMW 525i r12 a/c compressor
June 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Julie Comments: Hi guys,
My 2007, 328 BMW just overheated on the freeway LA!HOTTTT. Turned out to be empty on coolant. A week after, My A/C started blowing from hi to low on its own on intervals. The temp is going up with each passing day, I can not be without A/C. Please help !!!!Are these incidents related and what can you suggest?
June 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the engine is overheating, it will be hard for the A/C to operate normally. However, if your A/C system slowly stopped cooling, I would assume there is another problem. have the system pressure checked by a proefessional. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mr. Wil Comments: I have a 1989 BMW 525i with air conditioner problem. When I first start the car and engine is cold the air works great. After the engine get warm and I am in start and stop traffic the air conditioner vents in the front right side will start blowing hot air out. The vents on the front driver side and back vent will be blowing cold air. What is wrong with this car ?
June 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a low refrigerant charge to me. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bartender66 Comments: I have a 2008 Bmw 335I the ac will turn on but no air blows out does anyone know what the problem could be
June 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does the blower motor work when the A/C is off? If not, I would inspect the blower motor and blower motor final stage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Victor Salazar Comments: Why does it take a long time for cold air to be released in my 2002, 325 ci when using the air condition?
June 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The refrigerant charge could be low. Have the system checked by a certified A/C service tech. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bill Comments: My 2002 BMW 525 I air suddenly stopped working today. No warning. Had to switch it from air to defrost last night and now, no air. Any idea?

May 31, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if Iunderstand correctly, the blower motor is no longer functioning. This could mean your blower final stage may have failed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Alan Comments: I have a '94 318iS R134a. My AC works perfectly, but the compressor clutch bearing is noisy squeaking/scraping noise when cold. I assume it's the clutch bearing because it's noisy even when the compressor is disengaged, and the character of the noise changes often gets quieter when the compressor cycles on. Is it possible to buy and replace or even remove and re-lubricate the clutch bearing without removing the compressor or discharging the refrigerant?
May 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It will have to replaced. You cannot lube it. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Charles Comments: I own a 1999 3 Series 318i and recently the Aircon and recently I noted that on the left side vents I am getting cold air but on the right side vents hot air, can you let me know what is the problem? This happens when the temp outside is hot but when I start the car early in the morning all vents blow cold air but the left is mor cooler
April 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have a few different problems, malfunctioning blend door or a system with a low freon charge. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Joe Comments: Hello, my air con is not working properly and one specialist told me that its ceasing to operate. Can I order one with you guys. Its for a BMW 320i 2002 model
February 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call: V they will help you find the right A/C parts. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dan Comments: i own a 320 E90 model, i have a problem with the aircon compressor, please explain if the aircon compressor stops working will i still be able to drive my car for a distance
December 24, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call. They will help you find the right part: 1-888-280-7799 - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mst2k Comments: Hi! I have a 2002 x5, it has been stopped for about 1 year with some very little driving during this period. as far as I know it needs a rear window regulator a rear door handle mechanism, the radiator seems to have started leaking and the front control arms need to be replaced, and the a/c started acting up last year where it would start blowing cold air then all of sudden would blow very hot air! I suspect the heater control valve is to blame for that my question is would it be better to sell this car for less then its worth or fix it up in steps as I will need to drive it again at beginning of year I would be doing most of the work myself.
December 18, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you're doing the work yourself, I think it is worth while fixing it. You save a lot of money. Plus you know the history of the vehicle and once repaired, you'll know it will be reliable. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
john henry Comments: have 2004 330i 48000 miles car is great but a/c has a leak freon charge only last 2 or 3 days had it cheked at a very good shop they could not find any thing wrong under the hood told me that the leak had to be under dash the dash would have to come out to be able to fix problem they did not want to try and tackle the problem said it would be about 2000, if i could find anyone that would fix it, any ideas, is it that hard, could a person that is pretty good with his hands and tools, been working on cars all my life i am 62 tackle this, where to get manual, directions, instructions ect,
June 10, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like your evaporator is faulty. I would grab a repair manual and check the job out before you begin. It is quite involved, requires removing the dashboard. You will also have to evacuate and recharge the A/C system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
sherif Comments: I own 1995 316 , i have no problems with the ac except. it doesnt reach back seats although its on max blower
May 9, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check a few things. Confirm the cabin microfilter is clean. Then check that the A/C is properly charged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
manolo Comments: air control sensorautomatic recirculated AUC sensor

when it fails what are the symptoms

part nunmber 64-11-6-917-001-M9

April 23, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The fresh air flap may close. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
charles Comments: hi,

I had my ac removed and rebuilt, however, in doing so the mechanic did not seal the loose ends of the hoses, now they are telling me it will not do any good to put the ac unit back on due to the corroded lines and what ever else might be in them. They are saying to get new lines and everything for about $2K. Cant they at least try and vacuum and flush the system out then install the unit and test it FIRST. The stealership is saying if it did work it would only last for about 3 months and it not worth it. Plseas advise, I just want them to try the flush/vacuum first before resulting to the last result. Your thoughs
March 21, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can repair the lines, then replace the receiver dryer and evacuate the system. You might be able to get away without replacing all the lines, etc. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
chris Comments: my 2001 bmw 325 ac unit on dash stopped lighting up and doesnt come on. no lights nothing. do u think its the actual head unit or like a fuse?
March 2, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be the control head itself. They have a tendancy to fail. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
whysam Comments: My daughter's car I added her name to the title when she turned 21 is a 1996 328i. She has a blower motor that won't work, either on heater or A/C although there are other problems with the A/C. The defroster is the main part she needs to function well. This is the electronic climate control vintage of the 328i. My mechanic suggested, before we replace the blower motor expensive that we try a new resistor. When I order what was supposedly a blower motor resistor for this car, it looks suspiciously mor like a "final stage" unit. I had found your great DIY on replacing the resistor, down to the left of the accelerator pedal, but this part doesn't look like that, and I don't find any DIY on where this thing goes or how to change it out. I thought I had already put a new blower motor in this, but that may have been a previous BMW that we rolled.
January 29, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jack Comments: ...please am looking for the name for this ac part
January 24, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What part? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
luis Comments: my x5 3.0i 2004 has problem with the AC fan,sometimes not run and the temp of the engine change to high,I replaced this fan two times but the problem continus.Do you have some recomendations
January 23, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When the engine runs hot, is the fan ON? If so, I would inspect the thermostat and the water pump. You may have an issue with the cooling system - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Half Comments: These articles are great. I have a mystery fluid leak on drivers side carpet. It feels like radiator fluid. Any ideas?
January 20, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is it engine coolant? Could be that or water. Try soaking it up with a white paper towel to determine the color. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Patrick Comments: My BMW is a E46 1.9CC 2001 318i 4 doors.
This is the A/C issue. When the car is moving for a short distances the A/C cools up, when i am travelling long distannce the A/C will reduce the cool air and the hose pipe will get frozen. Any ideas or suggestion would certainly be appreciated.
November 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You either have too much refrigerant in the system or the expansion valve is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Puja Comments: Hello I have 1997 BMW 328i and suddenly it's AC was thoughing hot air and all buttons stoped working when I was driving. I reached my destination, parked my car and turn off. Again I wanted to start my car but it was not starting. Its AC system is not working now. I want to know what should I do. I can drive my car without AC but I want to know its heater will work or not. please let me know asap.
Thanks,
Puja
October 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: is the fan not working but the controls are? if so, it could be the blower final stage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RK Comments: i have a a 530D SEUS model year 2008, UK model year 2007...i'm based in London The problem I have is that the air conditioning doesn't work at all. I had it checked at a local shop and they filled it with whatever "gas" they put in. They said it has no leaks, but the problem could be numerous but wouldn't tell me. I'm seriously confused.
October 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This a tough one, you really don't have a lot to go on. Assuming the blower works, but the air does't cool. It could be a low charge, a faulty compressor or expansion valve. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
B. Trusty Comments: I drive a 1996 318ic. How can you tell the differemce between Seiko and Denso compressors? I may need to replace my compressor and I want to make sure I get the right one. I think the clutch has gone bad but I may need the whole compressor?
September 13, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They are labeled. Denso has a label on the back, Seiko has a label on the side (usually). Each will have the brand name on them. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Greaspit Comments: RE: Trent 95 325i.

I have a 325iC and it is the same as yours. If you trace along the high side line to the front right corner of the engine compartment, you will see the high pressure fitting on the line near the windshield washer resevoir. Hope that helps.
September 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
trent Comments: Hi, I have a 1995 325i and my port looks nothing like this. I only have one and the A/C recharge head on the can does not fit...
September 6, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is that a hole in the line next to the line with the service port?Looks like the other port is broken off the line. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MPhillCPA Comments: I have a 1983 320i BMW E21. My A/C stopped working on the Freeway the other day. The clutch does not engage and when a gauge is put on the lower pressure side, it slowly increased in presure when the engine is on. It reads normal when the engine is off. I believe my A/C control switch may be the problem. I have a copper, I guess, wire protruding back into the dash board from the switch. Where is this supose to connect to and would that cause my problem. Please Advise. Thank you
September 5, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The blower a/c switch should have three wires. Bu/red, blk/red and yel/red. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rajesh Comments: Aircon of BMW320i,2004,E46:The expansion valve was replaced and regassed.The aircon was very effictive. After a month started getting the cold/chilled air at the 4 upper vents of the dashboard, but very hot air from the bottom sectionneer the foot.Set temp.16C.Compressor is on, cold air is blown from the upper vent indicates that the compressor is working fine. Then why hot air from the bottom part.Any suggestions...
August 13, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have a blend or mode door issue. I would test the doors using a BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jay Comments: my 91 325IX AC ran great until recently and now it won't turn on...the blue AC light on the dash button does not light and the fan does not turn on. I have replaced the fuses...any thoughts?
August 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have a blown fuse. My diagram says fuse 20 feeds the ac control switch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
T Comments: I have a Z4 2.5i 2003 does it have a relay switch on it or not?
July 18, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention if you have manual or auto climate. So I went with manual. There is no relay for the compressor, assuming this is what you are talking about. It is activated by the climate control module. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
T Comments: what is wrong if your AC gets cold and then it's getting hot because the clutch stopped turning?
July 18, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a low charge or poor cooling at the condenser. Is the cooling fan coming on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Melissa Comments: Nica, it's actually called a/c air control sensor on pelican parts.
June 26, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Melissa Comments: Nica, I am having the same issue with my 03 325I. My guess is possibly a/c air control unit. Small box located in the dash. Only around 60 bucks plus tax from pelicanparts.com.
June 26, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ANGELS MCMH Comments: I have a 328I 1997, the heat and A/C unit works when it wants to, goes on and off. When it works it works good but that is about 25% of the time. Not sure what to replace. Thanks
June 21, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Without testing some things, you are going to have to guess. The climate control module controls the air conditioning functions. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nica Comments: I have a question, my AC appears not to be cooling. The two vents on the center dash is hot air and the side vents seems to be cold/mix with warm air...i changed the heater control valve thinking it was that but did not work...there is no freon leak... did a diagnostic at the bmw dealership and they could not find anything.....what is your suggestion????please advise
June 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. This could be a low charge or proper function depending on your settings and vehicle.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dilber1980 Comments: HI Wayne, I was reading through the above article and i think you will be able to help me with my issue, I recently bought BMW 520i 2004, normal heating and cooling works fine but when i turn on the Aircon, i dont get any cold air. if you can please let me know if i would need to refill the refrigerant or should i check something else. thank you in advance
May 11, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the a/c system pressure before attempting to fill it. If you don't have gauges, take it to a BMW repair facility. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
k Comments: Hi, my A/C seems to be causing a problem with idle speed. With the compressor engaged, when slowing to a stop with the clutch depressed or in neutral the engine bucks between 500-1000rpm. Once I've come to a complete stop idle speed stabilizes at a normal RPM. I've reproduced this problem with varying conditions to confirm that those are the two constants, compressor engaged and speed above 0mph. Any ideas as to what may be causing this? Is this a common failure?
May 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what type of vehicle you have. This could be a problem with the idle control system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Richard A. Comments: hi Wayne, i have a 98 328i. changed my FSU and put a new auxiliary fan about two months now and yet my air condition control unit still turns Off and On and blows out hot air constantly even when the unit is Off. control unit acts like its possesed, when i run my car i notice that everything turns On like the defogger even when unit is Off, air condition compresor would turn On with no cold air coming out..and the auxially fan would turn On with the control unit Off or vice versa..
April 28, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a bad climate control module. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Golf4 Comments: I have a 325CiM Sports coupe 2004 54. THe air con has stoppedblowing cold air and when switched on has a hissing noise. Is this simply a top up procedure or could it be more serious. Do you know the likely costs of both?
April 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have a leak. I would have the system leak tested, then recharged once the leak is found. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: Hi. I have a 1997 E36 328is. A/C compressor replaced about two years ago. Last summer was very hot here, many 90+ days, and I ran the A/C a lot. Toward the end of the summer, the A/C suddenly began blowing a lot of mist out of all the vents. Also began hearing a rhythmic sound that seemed to be coming from somewhere behind the dash or maybe the back of the engine bay, toward the firewall - hard to be sure exactly where. Something between a knock and a click. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Not a sound I had before the A/C began acting up. Any thoughts appreciated!
March 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, I'm at a loss on this one. I would probably take it to an A/C expert shop and have them take a look. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
k Comments: Hi, I have a 1992 325i. After being not having run the car for about 3 months last winter the a/c stopped blowing cold. I had the system pressure checked and it was 0 all around. From what I've read I suspect the compressor shaft seal dried out while it was parked. The shop that checked it out wanted to waste a can of r-12 to test for the leak, and then replace the compressor and their estimate about 1,200 was too high i thought. How can this be tested without wasting precious r-12 to leak test the system? If my suspicions are correct should i replace the compressor or can i just have the seal replaced? Also is it possible to have the system charged with recycled r-12 and could that be cheaper? I'd prefer not to convert to 134a if possible. I live in a very hot climate and not having a/c killed me last summer.
February 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should probably take the car to a shop that specializes in A/C systems. They will be able to evacuate any freon left in the system, and then fill it with a special fluid / dye that they will be able to track with a special detection lamp. Then, they will fix the leak (probably an o-ring or seal as you suggested), and then they will pressurize the system again and leave it pressurized for several hours or a day. Then, they will check to make sure it's holding pressure, and only then will they refill with R12. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Olga Comments: Not sure whether this is the right place to ask.
Our BMW 318 +/- 1987/1989 model - in superb condition, does not have airconditioning. Is it possible to fit airconditioning into this vehicle and if so what would the costs be and is it worth it?
February 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It would probably cost a tremendous amount of money, and would not be worth it. I would recommend simply selling the car and buying one with working A/C if that is what you're looking for. The cost would be very minimal, I would think. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Richard Comments: Greetings!!!
My BMW is a 1997 M44 318is euro version 4 doors.
This is the A/C issue. When the car is moving the A/C cools up great perfect, when I stop at a light and the engine idles the A/C will reduce noticeable the cool air. The blower maintain the same air flow all the time, it doesn’t varies if the car is running or at stop.
I noticed that if I go to neutral on the automatic transmission and I rev the engine to about 1000RPM the A/C will begin to cool up perfectly.
This scenario started suddenly sins the A/C was in a perfect working condition before I noticed this issue again.
Any ideas or suggestion would certainly be appreciated…
Thx for the broad help!!!
Cheers
February 14, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think on your car there is an auxiliary air fan that is placed in front of the A/C condenser. If this fan has failed, then you will get the symptoms that you have experienced. This is because the condenser will be working only by using the air that is pushed through the fan by the engine fan itself. The 5-Series has this aux fan in front of the condenser, I'm pretty sure that your car has one too. I would check and see if it's operating properly. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
rayray Comments: feroze: i recently broke some of my buttons on my 2001 530i i went to a junk yard and popped some off of another bmw
June 19, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
laz Comments: what is the lowest temperature reading the dashboard display should show?
June 13, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. Could be 65. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
feroze Comments: dear friend my car 525 tdi 1999.model is in very good condition.. i have lost ac button which make to able to increase as well to deceease the blow..please where i can find this button..please let me help..regards..feroze peerzada..mumba..india
April 21, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can try a local car salvage yard. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: How much refrigerant is needed? Interdynamics sells kits with one 19oz bottle, or two 19oz bottles. Which should I get?
March 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. You can check the blue label under the hood of your vehicle. The refrigerant amount will be listed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Barry Comments: How do I know what refrigerant my car is using if my car is a used car.
March 8, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will have to use a refrigerant identifier. A local BMW shop should have one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ozzy Comments: Good information,but forgot to tell us to set the a/c unit to cold and max while you charge the unit.
September 19, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think he was referring to the interior control panel. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JV Comments: Thanks ,,This helpewd alot
June 13, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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