BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)
 





 

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      02-06-2018, 08:18 PM   #1
SnowGlobe
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Are A/C problems common?

It seems there are an awfully lot threads about a/c failures and revisions to the evaporator over the years. Are all the early carsa bit risky- or is this the case where the forum responses make it seem like the problem is more prevalent?

i.e, is it worth having the a/c system vaccum tested during a PPI?


Thanks for the feedback.
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      02-06-2018, 08:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowGlobe View Post
It seems there are an awfully lot threads about a/c failures and revisions to the evaporator over the years. Are all the early carsa bit risky- or is this the case where the forum responses make it seem like the problem is more prevalent?

i.e, is it worth having the a/c system vaccum tested during a PPI?


Thanks for the feedback.
After eight years I had a leak and had to recharge the system. Two years later it is still working. For what its worth.
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      02-06-2018, 08:41 PM   #3
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While early builds generally have more problems than later ones, it's probably just the forums blowing it up a bit. I've let some things go straight to my head when I've read about them, it sent me into a fit of panic and anxiety. Never once has it panned out to be anything...
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      02-06-2018, 11:53 PM   #4
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As I understand it, and from my own experience, the evaporators have a tendency to leak. Replacing the evaporator is very expensive and requires the removal of the dash and a lot of labor hours. An evaporator leak in my 135is convertible was noted when I brought it in for service several days prior to the end of warranty, several months ago. The dealer replaced the evaporator under warranty, and the service would have cost around $3K, if my memory is correct.

My guess is that if instead of replacing the evaporator, you were to take the car to an independent shop and have the system recharged, it might cost you a hundred dollars and almost for sure it would at least last you through a summer season. If you had to recharge it annually due to the leak, for a hundred or two hundred bucks, it would take a hell of a long time to pay for a new evaporator, also given the fact that a replacement evaporator might itself start leaking after a few years.

But any time a dealer offers to me, to do a several thousand dollar repair at the expense of the manufacturer, a few days before warranty expiration, I will accept the offer.
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      02-07-2018, 09:29 AM   #5
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My evaporator started leaking when the car was about 3 years old. I complained to the dealer about the oily film on the windshield from the refrigerant oil. They said it was all of the interior parts off-gassing and would stop. I should have pushed the issue more before the warranty expired.

Adding a little Freon every two years seems to work fine, and is much less expensive than replacing the evaporator.
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      02-07-2018, 10:41 AM   #6
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Having also had AC issues, the data are pretty clear that the 1 series has much higher than average AC problems. Mine was covered under an aftermarket warranty. If you are about to go out of warranty, I would get it tested.
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      02-07-2018, 01:08 PM   #7
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You have to be careful about just recharging the system when the refrigerant gets low. I did this on a Z28 I had. The leak was the evaporator coil. I think after about 3 or so years of just charging the system myself, the compressor gave up the ghost. I suspect because of the times the refrigerant level was too low which didn't circulate enough of the oil in the system to keep it lubricated.

But then again, I could be talking out of my ass.
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      02-07-2018, 01:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
You have to be careful about just recharging the system when the refrigerant gets low. I did this on a Z28 I had. The leak was the evaporator coil. I think after about 3 or so years of just charging the system myself, the compressor gave up the ghost. I suspect because of the times the refrigerant level was too low which didn't circulate enough of the oil in the system to keep it lubricated.

But then again, I could be talking out of my ass.
It's also possible maybe that you over-charged it?
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      02-07-2018, 01:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champignon View Post
It's also possible maybe that you over-charged it?
Naw...I had a manifold with gauges on it. Was watching both the high and low side pressures.
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      02-07-2018, 09:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies.

The only problem I have is that up here in Canada r134a is a controlled substance and only authorized shops use it. Also no shop (indy or dealer) that I've heard of will charger the system without a vacuum test first - which does make sense ( can't hurt mother nature too much! )
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      02-08-2018, 10:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
While early builds generally have more problems than later ones, it's probably just the forums blowing it up a bit. I've let some things go straight to my head when I've read about them, it sent me into a fit of panic and anxiety. Never once has it panned out to be anything...
fingers crossed!
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      02-08-2018, 11:37 PM   #12
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My A/C stopped working in 2017. Had it recharged, and it's worked since. Guessing it's also the evaporator, since nothing leaks in the engine bay.
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      02-09-2018, 01:54 PM   #13
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Bought My Car Pre Owned.. Went To Dealer To Run A Vin Lookup..
Ac Condensor Was Replaced.. Freakin Car Had 23k When I Bought It..
It Did Come From Nj.. So Maybe They Just Neevr Ran The Ac.. Who Knows..
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      02-09-2018, 06:17 PM   #14
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Even though it's winter, you still want to let your A/C run for a couple minutes every other week or so to keep the coolant that carries sealants, oils, etc that keeps the system healthy and leak-free.
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      02-09-2018, 08:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
Even though it's winter, you still want to let your A/C run for a couple minutes every other week or so to keep the coolant that carries sealants, oils, etc that keeps the system healthy and leak-free.
On a lot of modern cars the AC compressor runs for defrost. Is this not the case with the 11-Series?
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      02-09-2018, 09:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
On a lot of modern cars the AC compressor runs for defrost. Is this not the case with the 11-Series?
Not for me. I hit defrost, the fan spins to full blast, but the A/C indicator doesn't turn on. It does turn on if I press the button, or if I hit the auto button.
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      02-10-2018, 06:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
Even though it's winter, you still want to let your A/C run for a couple minutes every other week or so to keep the coolant that carries sealants, oils, etc that keeps the system healthy and leak-free.

Would do except for the really cold days - A/C won't kick when it gets really chilly.
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      02-10-2018, 08:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowGlobe View Post
Would do except for the really cold days - A/C won't kick when it gets really chilly.
You just need to get coolant through the system and get the compressor spinning so it doesn't seize or have issues.
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