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  1. #1
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    AC lost cooling...expansion valve DIY?

    Ever since I got my car, i never felt the AC was cool enough. I didn't trust any local mechanics in the Tampa area that delt with the AC.

    I had a guy who I found online who apparents works at BMW to check out the AC. He said it was adequately cooling. Still not good enough for me. He actually used the BMW garage afterhours to remove and refrigerant to my car. At one time, I filled it up with more refridgerant (probably wasn't suppose to) but still didn't affect the cooling.

    Anyway, today I noticed that the car wasn't blowing out cold air. I decided to fill it up with a DIY freon can from Walmart. So far, at least without driving the car....but letting stand for 10 minutes, it feels like it's not as cool as before.


    My guess is that there could be a leak in the expansion valve. The problem is.... how do I get to it?
    I know you can pay probably about $100 for a leak test....but how can one do a leak test if they can't get to the expansion valve? It sounds like they would charge even more money to take all the panels apart.

    Does anyone know of a step by step method to getting to the expansion valve? It's only $60. I figured, if I can get to it...might as well change it out since it might leak in the future.

    Any ideas? I really want to fix it on my own or at least troubleshoot it if possible.
    Thanks in advance.

    by the way, I think it's not a compressor issue....it doesn't get warm at the stop light or anything like that.....it's pretty consistant. On hot and humid days, it feels like I'm getting somewhat of a mixture of outside air as well.

  2. #2
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    This could help

    I found this which might help.
    I also had a nice DIY on how to work on the expansion valve which is located on the right side of the heater/AC core. You'll have to remove the glovebox, disconnect 2 A/C hoses and remove a cover from the heater hose. I'll try to look it up tonight when I get home.
    ---------------------------------



    ZetaTre (formerly LPCapital)
    1998 Z3 1.9 (my baby)
    2003 Z4 2.5i (my babe's baby)

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    Great article.


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    I appreciate it

    Thanks!
    This board is awesome! I think it's essential to know how to fix the AC. It seems like one of those things that will eventually brake down since there are moving parts in the AC system.

  5. #5
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    Re: This could help

    I know of a real good BMW independent shop in Brooksville, FL about 45 minutes up the Suncoast Pkwy from Tampa International. Let me know if you want specifics.

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    Great info for those DIY...thanks

    .http://forums1.roadfly.com/preferences/showsigimage.php?img=128020[/IMG]

  7. #7
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    Have you checked the drain? If it plugs, it ...m

    can affect the temp.

    Scott Pettit

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    drain valve?

    never heard of the drain valve??? in the AC?
    how do I get to it?
    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Re: drain valve?

    The only drain I can think of the one is the one that drains condensation or water that drains from the heater assembly to the outside: is that it Scott?
    Sorry, but it has been a busy week at work and couldn't really look more into that DIY I was tellng you about.
    I have pix I took when I took apart my interior in search of a water leak: I'll upload them and post over the weekend. You can see where some things are.
    ---------------------------------



    ZetaTre (formerly LPCapital)
    1998 Z3 1.9 (my baby)
    2003 Z4 2.5i (my babe's baby)

  10. #10
    Scott Pettit
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    That's the one.


  11. #11
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    where is this located?

    where is this drain located?
    I'm not sure where at what the heater assembly is....

  12. #12
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    Took a while but here it is

    I knew I sow this recently. Hope it helps.
    I have the whole TIS at home if you need any more infos.
    ---------------------------------



    ZetaTre (formerly LPCapital)
    1998 Z3 1.9 (my baby)
    2003 Z4 2.5i (my babe's baby)

  13. #13
    Barry
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    DIY for A/C Systems Very Bad Idea

    Air conditioning systems are definitely not a DIY repair. Also, some of the advice given in this thread is not good advice and will not tell you if an A/C system is properly charged with refrigerant.

    Contrary to popular belief, pressures alone cannot tell you if a system is properly charged. Pressures AND associated temperatures are typically necessary to determine subcooling and superheat. However, with an automotive system, because of the many variables (variable compressor speed, variable evaporator fan speed, changing condenser efficiency, etc.) the ONLY accurate method of properly charging a system is to start with a fully evacuated (vacuumed) system and weigh in the exact charge. Since the total charge in these small systems is less than 3 Lbs, a very small amount of refrigerant from a 1 Lb Wallmart DIY can make a huge and detrimental difference. You certainly can make the system blow cold air with an improper charge but the system will be working at much less than design capacity and, if over charged, you have a very high probability of trashing your expensive compressor or having a hose blow in your face.

    Unless you know the proper technique of connecting a gauge set (or DIY charging hose) you will allow air and moisture into the system. Even tiny amounts of moisture will form acids, eventually causing pinhole leaks in the evaporator. Air is non-condensible so it will cause very high and damaging head pressures. It also competes with the refrigerant for evaporator and condenser tube surface area knocking cooling ability into the toilet. Again, only tiny amounts are necessary to create big issues.

    I know of an individual who is now blind because a Wallmart type of DIY can blew up in his face when he inadvertently connected the hose to the liquid line. My brother-in-law represented him when he sued the business that sold him the can. There are other dangers (e.g. hand burns when removing/connecting hoses, etc.).

    Please leave A/C repairs to someone who is an experienced A/C technician. At best you will have a system that is not working to design performance and at worst you can seriously hurt yourself due to the high pressures.

  14. #14
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    I agree. A/C inspection and recharge is not...m

    expensive and it is something that is well worth the investment.

    Scott Pettit

  15. #15
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    you can't even connect the walmart one

    to the high side....especially witht he built in gauge they have. it will only fit on the low side.....so i don't know how ge did that.

    also diy on AC is no different than anything else on the car...it requires knowledge and common sense at the same time.

    i just had some problems on my 2002 x5 and i was able to use one of the high side/low side gauge sets to refill and it worked great. with the new systems at autozone, etc....it is physically impossible to connect to the high side anymore.

    took my truck into firestone repair center and for 40 bucks they determined my fan clutch was bad....sure enough it was and now the a/c will freeze your hand off. the fan clutch wasn't kicking in so the condenser, even though the aux fan was working, didn't have enough air flow.....i would have never thought of a fan clutch causing a/c problems.



  16. #16
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    I have to refill mine yearly... Never have found

    the leak... 8-( Just one of my yearly rituals at this point.... Since the only thing I have replaced, other than wear parts, is a starter over the years. I figger I'll live with it until the recharge gig fails me.....

    just
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    Find out the real poop @ Z3BigDaddydotcom

  17. #17
    rachat credit immobilier
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    simulation rachat de credit

    tres interessant, merci

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