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Old 04-29-2024, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 209
Meestahbig is on a distinguished road
Air conditioner not working

It's been awhile (2+ years) since my 2003 needed any repairs, but recently a bunch of stuff has gone wrong and I am tackling them - coolant and power steering fluid leaks resolved. Now onto my broken AC.

I've replaced the compressor before in 2016 and it's worked fine until now. I only have brief notes about the swap being pretty straightforward, but forgot a lot of the details.

I do see the belt running when I call for AC, so pretty sure the switch is OK. The system is holding pressure and has a full charge - so I don't think its been leaking bc it is now low.

Here are a few questions:
1) how can I rule out a bad temp switch and bad pressure switch?
2) I forgot how to test the continuity on my existing compressor
3) how to determine my compressor is actually dead and the cause before shelling out $300 on a new one.

2003 X5 3.0i M54 Silver (build 07/03)
1977 Ferrari 308 GTB
1994 Ferrari 348TS Speciale #14/15
1989 Ferrari Testarossa
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Old 04-29-2024, 10:13 PM
EODguy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Saudi Arabia/Philippines/USA
Posts: 3,895
EODguy is on a distinguished road
When you replaced the compressor did you replace the condenser?

Many times not doing so will slug it with oil and it kills it. Pressure wouldn't be affected in that case.

Don't ask how I know...

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"When the Team Chief said.... You're trapped in a hole with nothing but a goat and a slinky, what do you do? Stubby said, I'm not sure but it won't end well for the goat...." ~(Overheard) Last day, Phase 3, Q Course
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Old 04-30-2024, 12:11 AM
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 1,163
Bdc101 is on a distinguished road
Does your aux fan work? If it doesn't work, the AC will not turn on. Can be a blown fuse or a bad fan.
2003 3.0 5MT Topasblau
Purchased in 2016 and surprisingly still running
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Old 04-30-2024, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,480
X5chemist is on a distinguished road
The clutch is a two wire plug, +/-. Check for power. Use a digital voltmeter across the compressor plug. 0 ohms means the clutch is fried.

Mine has a bad switch. I know because the fan does not turn on right away. Once the engine is hot, it doesn't matter. Engine cooling keeps the fan running. It's a bit annoying on hot days. I don't mind it for now. I start driving right away and cooling begins. I have not replaced the switch since the system has to be evacuated. I'd rather not disturb it until necessary. Once it's moving or the fan is running, temps go down to 42F!

If you have a 12V power source, you can actuate the clutch. Or use a bidirectional scanner. With the engine off and activation, you should hear the clutch engage. With the engine off, can you spin the compressor by hand? Likely, the clutch is worn out or slipping.
'06 X5 3.0i - bought @143,123 miles (12/26/20)
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Old 05-09-2024, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 209
Meestahbig is on a distinguished road
I did some more checks. The clutch spins ok by hand. With the car on and the AC button pushed the clutch does spin with no issue, however there is no change to either the high or low side pressures, which are equal at near 60 psi. So the compressor is spinning but not doing anything. I'm going to assume the compressor is shot, but typically with my other HVAC the compressor dies and have no connectivity or it shorted out to ground and blowing the circuit.
2003 X5 3.0i M54 Silver (build 07/03)
1977 Ferrari 308 GTB
1994 Ferrari 348TS Speciale #14/15
1989 Ferrari Testarossa
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Old 05-10-2024, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 834
Effduration is on a distinguished road
you may have figured it out - with a bad compressor -

BUT as already asked, is your Aux fan working ?

BTW- my aux fan failed...and rather than go with used or a new Genuine BMW fan, I went with Taiwan-made TYC fan for my E53 with lifetime warranty for 1/3 the price. I have been happy with it and would do it again if I had to ..

I checked, and TYC has been making electronic auto parts since the 60's...
'03 530i - manual swapped - 425k miles
'06 325Cic auto 115k
'05 X5 3.0 auto 158k
'99 E39 528i 5-speed 130k
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Old 05-10-2024, 02:57 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: abbotsford canada
Posts: 319
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recently I found that clutch power pigtail connector screwed onto the body of the compressor was missing the insulation and shorting out against the body and not actuating the compressor clutch.
2003 4.6, esotril blue, over 215,000KM. Every previous owner failed to keep up the vehicle maintenance. Restoration project.
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