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Old 11-20-2017, 06:08 AM
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more_fasterer more_fasterer is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Auckland, NZ
Posts: 13
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Thanks for the advice guys. We can't buy R134a over the counter here in NZ for environmental reasons, so I'm gonna be stuck with taking the car to a service agent to get the aircon working properly.

With that said, I went to a friendly auto electrician today (to talk about an issue with the 335i... sigh, BMW life) and it turned out that he had a set of gauges. The low side was sitting at 26psi and high was at 220psi, so a bit low but not out of range. Oddly, he added a bit of gas into it and now it generates a modicum of cold air, unless the engine is idling - in which case no cooling occurs.

Originally Posted by upallnight View Post
Do you have the variable valve compressor? Have you hooked up a set of gauges to the low and high side of the system? If not hook up a set of gauges and tell us what the low side and high side readings are.
Yes, it has a variable compressor.

Originally Posted by upallnight View Post
Don't have a set of gauges or don't know how to hook up a set of gauges, pay for my round trip ticket to NZ and I'll bring my tool and I'll tell you what the pressures are. If that is too expensive for you, take it to an AC shop and let them tell you what the pressures are. If that is too expensive, just lower the windows and drive around with natural air conditioning.

I feel like you could've presented those options in a slightly different order

Originally Posted by Crowz View Post
Only issue I have with replacing the valve is that for me it didn't help any and the fact I was out the money for Freon and the valve.

Well that and it was a pain to fool with from under the car.

Factoring in the cost :

$40 crappy snap ring pliers set
$15 Freon
$15 valve
Gas to go get Freon and valve.

So $70 in parts and the royal pain of fooling with the compress from under the car.

New compressor which I had to buy anyways because the valve didn't fix it was $110 or so.

So a bit more and you have a new compressor and piece of mind.

Its just not worth it to fool with the valve. If the valves toast then the compressor isn't that far off. New compressor has new valve.
Good feedback. Thanks for the link to your useful write-up, too. I'm gonna organise to have the car looked at by an aircon specialist, cos I don't really have much option. Which kinda grates, as I have DIY'd everything else on this car (including changing the trans solenoids). But it sounds like I can expect a "you need a new compressor" diagnosis.

Cheers guys
'05 E53 Sportpac 3.0D, chipped to 200kW & 600Nm. The perfect racecar tow vehicle
'12 E91 335i motorsport - wifey's wagon
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