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Old 05-31-2018, 11:31 AM   #1
wc123wc
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E39 2003 530i AC problem!



My car?s AC needs to be topped up every year because it has a leak. The AC mechanic last year said it?s not too bad of a leak because when he filled it up at the beginning of last summer it had 1/3 of freon in it (so it did not leak to zero over the winter).

Anyway, the beginning of this summer I decided to top it up again and things are going wrong! First attempt was few days ago indoors and the radiator fan started working REALLY fast when I put the AC on max so I turned the car off and said forget about it! I thought the engine was going to explode or something!

Yesterday, I tried again in lunch time outdoors and it was quite hot. Again, I started the car, connected the refrigerant can, and turned the AC to max and the same thing happened, except this time something did ?explode? because there was Freon gas everywhere! So I turned the car off.

Then I noticed a green colored liquid leaking so I thought the coolant was also leaking but my mechanic told me on the pone that the AC mechanic uses a green coloured Freon gas, and I think my mechanic is correct because the coolant is still at max and there is no coolant leak on the ground and when I drove car it did not overheat.

So assuming, it was only a refrigerant leak: What caused it? Someone online said there is a relieve valve that opens up if the system detects too much pressure or something! I did notice that the pressure was on the high end (in the white zone of the gauge way above the blue zone; every year it was in the blue zone and it would increase above the blue zone as I added Freon). But this year it?s in the white zone way above the blue zone which does not explain why the air is not very cold (it?s cold but not very cold; but I need to check that again). And it does not explain why the car?s engine works so hard when I turned the AC on!

What?s going on!!!

I am looking for an AC mechanic now?called the one I went to last year but he is too busy for the next couple of weeks!
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:40 PM   #2
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I called my other mechanic (the one I take my Toyota to) and we talked over the phone. He said don't worry about what happened because it's probably the relief valve releasing some Freon because the AC system is over charged.

I think he is right because I added Freon to the car without checking first if the Freon was low or not!

The leak is definitely not coolant because it does not smell sweet, he said it's the dye in the Freon. He said to drive it and see how it behaves then call him back.

I feel better now. I was afraid it's a $1,000 repair! (May be it is, I still have to monitor the car and AC and see!)
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:45 PM   #3
jmkennedy
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I'm an Airconditioning mechanic by trade. The proper method to recharge is to remove the remains charge, pressure test, pull a vacuum then weigh in the correct refrigerant charge. An overcharged system creates a possibility of liquid returning the the suction of the compressor which will cause a mechanical failure of the compressor.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:47 PM   #4
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Thank you for the feedback. If the system is overcharged, how do I fix it? Do I need to take it to an AC mechanic or can I do it myself?

I am guessing the procedure you described has to be done by a mechanic. I called my AC mechanic and apparently they are so busy they won't be able to take a look at the car for another week or two. They couldn't even give me an appointment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmkennedy View Post
I'm an Airconditioning mechanic by trade. The proper method to recharge is to remove the remains charge, pressure test, pull a vacuum then weigh in the correct refrigerant charge. An overcharged system creates a possibility of liquid returning the the suction of the compressor which will cause a mechanical failure of the compressor.
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:18 PM   #5
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Ok, now there is a problem (I think): when I turn the AC on the radiator fan works really hard and it takes a long time for the AC to produce cold air.

I am certain that my car's AC is over-charged because of the incident I reported above. So my question is:

1) Does an over-charged AC system cause the radiator fan to work really hard?
2) Does an over-charged AC system cause the AC system not produce cold air? (In other words, does an over-charged AC system act as a low-charged AC system by producing warm air?)

Please help!

Thank you!
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Old 06-09-2018, 02:03 PM   #6
MANDD
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YES.

You need to evacuate vacuum and recharge with the correct amount.

Mark.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wc123wc View Post
Ok, now there is a problem (I think): when I turn the AC on the radiator fan works really hard and it takes a long time for the AC to produce cold air.

I am certain that my car's AC is over-charged because of the incident I reported above. So my question is:

1) Does an over-charged AC system cause the radiator fan to work really hard?
2) Does an over-charged AC system cause the AC system not produce cold air? (In other words, does an over-charged AC system act as a low-charged AC system by producing warm air?)

Please help!

Thank you!
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:39 PM   #7
nizoo
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I been through something similar however not on my BMW, it was on my ford ranger, I strongly suggest taking it to a proper mechanic who has the machine mentioned in previous posts before you or unqualified mechanics blow your lines.

I recently took my ranger to a cheaper mechanic first and he kept loading the system using the cans, telling me it was full of Freon, however what his gauge was reading was the pressure inside, and had nothing to do with how much Freon is inside..

when I took it to a proper mechanic, he instantly found the problem and fixed it. (I did have to pay to fill Freon twice, because there was a very small leak which wasn't detected using his machine, but he did mention this before we begun so I expected this, and yes the green dye helped finding where the leak was coming from)


If it happens that you need any used AC parts, let me know, I have all parts for a fully functional E39 AC (2003 530i), not yet listed on the forum or anywhere.
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Old 06-17-2018, 04:38 PM   #8
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Ok, so I took my car to my Toyota mechanic (he is not a "Toyota" mechanic, he is just a general auto mechanic--he does not specialize in any brand) and he was very helpful. He has a special AC machine he hooked to the car to and let it does its thing. Here are some info.

1) The machine is a special AC machine that costs thousands of dollars and it asks the mechanic to enter the car info (brand, model, year) because it treats every car differently. I highly recommend this.
Using a Freon can may work on other cars (it works on my Dad's Buick, and my wife's Toyota, but my BMW does not like it!).

2) The machine takes about 25 minutes to get the job done.

3) First, it vacuums the system, then refills it.
Filling up the AC system using a Freon can does not do this...it does not vacuum the system!

4) I believe the machine also monitors the low and high end pressure. I am not 100% sure though--I don't really know how it works--bit if I remember correctly the machine was hooked to the car via two hoses.
The gauge that comes with the generic Freon refill kit does not monitor both low and high pressure. I believe it only tells you the low pressure, but that doesn't mean anything if you don't know how much Freon is in the car and how much it needs and how much you need to add!

5) The car is off when the machine is doing its thing.
Unlike filling from a Freon can, the car does not have to be on, and the AC does not have to be on MAX.

6) MY car took 1.655lbs of Freon (it's a 2003 BMW 530i), and the mechanic also added 1oz of oil/dye.

7) It costs me $135 CAD (including tax). I'd rather pay this every year at the beginning of summer than take my chances with blowing up the engine due to an overworked radiator fan (I don't know if that will happen or not, but it doesn't sound smart to overwork the fan and overload the engine consistently when idling in Toronto's rush our), or blow up the AC compressor!

Now the radiator fan does not overwork when the AC is on and I am idling. Before I took it to the mechanic the radiator fan sounded like it was going to blow up! The mechanic said I had over-charged the system and that's why the radiator fan was overworking because over loading the system with Freon is as bad as under loading the system!

Anyway, I think from now I am going to take my car to this mechanic. He is patient and friendly, and explains well what's going on. Also, he is open some weekdays until 9pm and he is open on the weekend. He is cheaper than other mechanics, honest, and does a good job (he has a 4.7 star rating on Google from 38 reviews plus I've had a good experience with him from taking my dad's Buick and my wife's Toyota to him)!

If you are looking for a new mechanic in the area try this mechanic:

Point Zero Auto Center Lt
2450 Finch Ave W, North York, ON

Oh, the mechanic also had an E46 330i so he is very familiar with the E46/E39 cars.

Thank you all for your help!
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:51 AM   #9
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PS: There was also a gurgling sound coming from the vents when the AC was on, but it's gone now. It's very quite and smooth.
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