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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 06-23-2008, 12:07 PM
hbsra10 hbsra10 is offline
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2003 X5: A/C not blowing cold air

Today I found out (issue is also verified by the BMW dealership) my A/C is not blowing cold air. Since my car is out of warranty, I am trying to find a cost effective solution. I did a little search. Some posts here (regarding this A/C issue) say that if my outside temp sensor functions normal (it shows 72 degrees, rather than -40 or something), it could be a Final Stage Resistor issue. Other posts say that getting a can of r134 from Autozone can easily fix the problem. I also heard the term freon leak. I am confused. Can anyone help? I am pretty new at this and I would really appreciate if someone can guide me. Is this a major repair (need to find an independent shop, then) or a 1-2 hour fix (can be done at the BMW dealership)? Thank you so much in advance.

Last edited by hbsra10; 06-23-2008 at 12:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2008, 03:54 PM
ChezWhiz ChezWhiz is offline
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Can you feel cold air coming out of the vents but it's just that the blower doesn't seem to be working? If so, that's the Final Stage Resistor. It's happened twice now in my 2001 X5. About $185 at the dealer but should come with a 2 year warranty (mine did, which saved me the second go-round). Or do it yourself via the step-by-step on X5World.com.
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2008, 05:21 PM
hbsra10 hbsra10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChezWhiz View Post
Can you feel cold air coming out of the vents but it's just that the blower doesn't seem to be working? If so, that's the Final Stage Resistor. It's happened twice now in my 2001 X5. About $185 at the dealer but should come with a 2 year warranty (mine did, which saved me the second go-round). Or do it yourself via the step-by-step on X5World.com.
No. Blower works fine. I can turn the unit on (mine is manual control) push all the buttons (in air circulation and snowflake button for A/C), turn it all the way up and air comes out fine (with force, if it is all the way up). It is just not cold. This does not change whether I am idle or driving with 50 miles an hour for 10 minutes. The air is more like room/air temperature.

If this is something less than $200, I'd probably get it done at the dealership. If it is a $500-$600, then I'd better find an independent AC shop. Have no clue...

Thanks for responding!
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2008, 10:00 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Almost certainly low on refrigerant/R134a. Charge it and see what happens.
Probably only a temporary fix unless you determine and repair the reason for the leak.
Best case, it's a bad hose, worst case, you need a new condenser.
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2008, 05:18 AM
hbsra10 hbsra10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott ZHP View Post
Almost certainly low on refrigerant/R134a. Charge it and see what happens.
Probably only a temporary fix unless you determine and repair the reason for the leak.
Best case, it's a bad hose, worst case, you need a new condenser.
I took it to an indy non-BMW service place. It turned out that the AC compressor is leaking at the front seal (the aux fan works and the compressor runs). They told me that the cost of replacing the compressor is around $771.25 plus labor (about $1000 total). Thoughts?

It was low on refrigerant/R134a. They charged it for $175.
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2013, 07:49 PM
ranju209 ranju209 is offline
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Hi,

My X5 E53 3.0i has the same issue. It blows good, but doesn't blow cold air what ever i do. I took it to a mechanic and he said the refrigerant is full and pressures too. But he can't figure out what else could be the reason. I checked all the fuse too. Everything is good. Any ideas????
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2013, 07:19 PM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbsra10 View Post
No. Blower works fine. I can turn the unit on (mine is manual control) push all the buttons (in air circulation and snowflake button for A/C), turn it all the way up and air comes out fine (with force, if it is all the way up). It is just not cold. This does not change whether I am idle or driving with 50 miles an hour for 10 minutes. The air is more like room/air temperature.

If this is something less than $200, I'd probably get it done at the dealership. If it is a $500-$600, then I'd better find an independent AC shop. Have no clue...

Thanks for responding!
No such thing as just a $200.00 repair at the dealership. They normally charge you $200 just to scan the trouble code and tell you what's wrong before they hit you with the cost to fix it.
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2013, 07:20 PM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranju209 View Post
Hi,

My X5 E53 3.0i has the same issue. It blows good, but doesn't blow cold air what ever i do. I took it to a mechanic and he said the refrigerant is full and pressures too. But he can't figure out what else could be the reason. I checked all the fuse too. Everything is good. Any ideas????
Do you have the automatic climate control? They are notorious for problems. Glad my came with the manual controls.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2013, 07:26 PM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranju209 View Post
Hi,

My X5 E53 3.0i has the same issue. It blows good, but doesn't blow cold air what ever i do. I took it to a mechanic and he said the refrigerant is full and pressures too. But he can't figure out what else could be the reason. I checked all the fuse too. Everything is good. Any ideas????
Do you have the automatic climate control? They are notorious for problems. Glad my came with the manual controls.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2013, 07:29 PM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbsra10 View Post
I took it to an indy non-BMW service place. It turned out that the AC compressor is leaking at the front seal (the aux fan works and the compressor runs). They told me that the cost of replacing the compressor is around $771.25 plus labor (about $1000 total). Thoughts?

It was low on refrigerant/R134a. They charged it for $175.
Legally they can not charge a system if they determine that the system has a leak.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2013, 08:30 PM
ranju209 ranju209 is offline
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BMW X5 E53 3.0i not blowing cold air

Hi Upallnight,
I guess its automatic. I might be wrong. I don't know how to find that. On the control panel for aircon I have the following buttons
Vent for face
vent for leg from top
vent for leg from bottom
Auto
temp control button for left and right side
Demister front
A/C
demister rear window
Recycle/auto recycle

I have also read in one of the forums that it could be the issue due to faulty Final start resistor. Will that be a reason??
While i checking I noticed that, when i put the blower on + a/c button, after a minute or so the fan which is right at the front of the car starts and in less than a minute stops. When I felt the pipes (one with red cap and one with blue cap) both seems to be hot/warm.

Hope I have given some info to help you guys to find my issue.

Cheers
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:06 AM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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If you have digital display temp read outs for the driver and passenger you have the automatic control.

Since the blower is working it's not the final stage resistor.

The front auxiliary fan should come on when the compressor comes on and should remain on as long as the compressor is running. One pipe should be HOT (Red cap) and one pipe should be Cool (Blue Cap).

The Indy that checked the pressure in the system, did he tell you what the High side pressure was and did he tell you the lowside pressure? What was the air temp when he did the check?

Need this info in order to help you.
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2013, 02:28 PM
ranju209 ranju209 is offline
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Hi Upallnight,

The Aux fan just comes on and goes off within a short while. It doesn't stay running eventhough the A/C button is ON.

The pipe that comes from the radiator is just warm and the pipe that goes from the compressor to the interior is hot (might be coz its next to the engine).

Unfortunatly I don't have good understanding of how these systems work, so I never asked the mechanic specifically about the high and low side of the pressure. All that he said was the refridgerant is adequate and has enough pressure. I live in Australia and its summer here. So I guess the day when he was checking, it would have been around 30C. One thing what I noticed is the air temp what it blows depends on the outside temp. In the morning since its cool (20 - 25C), it blows cool air and during early evenings when the outside temp is at its max, it blows hot air into the cabin. The other thing that comes to my mind is the part at the very front of the compressor doesn't rotate when the belt rotates the pully on the compressor(not sure whether its supposed to be rotating).
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:30 PM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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The clutch at the front of the compressor engages so that the compressor will turn with the fan belt.

Since the clutch is not engaging, the compressor is not turning so the ac system is NOT working. The clutch is energized when the ac is switched on, however there is a low/high pressure switch that is a part of this circuit. If the pressure is low the circuit is not completed so the clutch is not engaged. If the pressure is too high, the circuit is not completed so it will disengage the clutch and prevent the compressor from building the pressure any higher.

Since the clutch is not engaging I would look at the circuit that engages the clutch. Could be that you are low on refrigerant, or that you have a bad relay.

Last edited by upallnight; 01-24-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:39 PM
ranju209 ranju209 is offline
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So how would I find whether its the bad relay? And are you talking about the final stage resistor. I saw on another post how to replace that.
If I were to trust the mechanic then the refrigerant is adequate.
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  #16  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:53 PM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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The clutch at the front of the compressor is basically a big electrical magnets. When it receive power from the relay it energize and connects the spinning pulley and fan belt with the compressor. You have already observed that the front clutch is not turning so therefore the compressor is not turning and if the compressor is not turning the ac is not working.

There is a wire with a connector for the compressor. That is the wire to energize the clutch. You can remove the wire at the connector and see if the wire is receiving power from the harness. I'm pretty sure that there will be no power at the harness with the ac button in the on position. You will have to locate the location of the relay as I live in the States and the temp right now is -15C and I don't want to be outside fusing with my car right now.

If you can't locate the relay I would suggest that you take the car to a specialist and tell him that the clutch for the compressor is not engaging. he should be able to locate and fix the problem. It could also be a bad pressure switch.
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:56 PM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranju209 View Post
So how would I find whether its the bad relay? And are you talking about the final stage resistor. I saw on another post how to replace that.
If I were to trust the mechanic then the refrigerant is adequate.
If he didn't notice that the compressor clutch was not engaged I would look for a specialist that knows something about refrigeration system.
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  #18  
Old 01-24-2013, 06:06 PM
ranju209 ranju209 is offline
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Thanks for that info and your time. I'll try and find whether the power comes to the compressor or not. I'll post my findings soon.
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  #19  
Old 01-24-2013, 06:10 PM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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It's probably the same on the X5, but if you have no air flow or the air is pulsing replace your FSR with a Behr unit. You can use my vid to give you a guide

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  #20  
Old 01-24-2013, 06:44 PM
ranju209 ranju209 is offline
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Thank mate. Yes I have seen another video for X5 and its at the same spot as u have shown. But in my case as you can read above, the issue looks different. I have good air flow, but its not cold when the ac is on. And the clutch is not rotating. This weekend I'll be working on my car. If you have more info on such issues please let me know. The help you guys give is very much apprecieated.
Cheers
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  #21  
Old 01-24-2013, 06:53 PM
ranju209 ranju209 is offline
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Here is another useful post i found to replace the FSR. I'm posting it here so that someothers also can use it.

http://www.xoutpost.com/articles/x5/...nt-bmw-x5.html
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  #22  
Old 01-25-2013, 06:08 AM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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Here's a Youtube video on clutch engaging and how to force a clutch to engage via the relay.


Last edited by upallnight; 01-25-2013 at 06:10 AM.
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  #23  
Old 01-25-2013, 11:45 PM
ranju209 ranju209 is offline
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Hi,

Thanks guys for the grt info. Unfortunatly I couldn't find the relay (i have no clue on its location). So what I did unplugged the sensor cable (mine is a 3 wire sensor, so as the guy in the video say, I didn't dare to short it). The turned the a/c on. The Aux fan started and ran indefinitly and stopped as soon as i connected the sensor connector back. So i guess it is safe to assume that the fan is good. Now my task is to find the relay and try and short it as in the video.

Anyone know where the relay is located for a BMW X5 E53? Unfortunatly the video is for a Chevy. So the setup is totally different.

Cheers
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  #24  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:52 AM
upallnight upallnight is offline
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Since the auxilliary fan is working when you unplug the sensor wire, I would suspect either the hi/low pressure switch is defective or you are low on refrigerant. You will need to find out what the system pressure is in order to go further. If you don't have a complete set of ac manifold gauges, you can purchase one of those self refill bottle of refrigerant with the gauge (I hope they are available down under) and connect it to the low side of the system (remove blue cap). The system pressure should register once the bottle is attached. You need at least 1.5 bar (22 psi) of system pressure, any thing less will activate the low pressure switch. You can add the refrigerant to the system without the engine running and it may be just enough to deactivate the low pressure switch. Once the compressor is running you can continue to add refrigerant. Make sure the gauge don't read more than 2.75 bar (40 psi).

I would suggest you look for a video on Youtube on how to refill or add refrigerant to an ac system.

Last edited by upallnight; 01-26-2013 at 07:54 AM.
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  #25  
Old 01-28-2013, 08:23 PM
ranju209 ranju209 is offline
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Hi Upallnight,

I shopped around and couldn't get that refill bottle. I guess its not legally available in Australia.

I have asked my mechanic to get me the pressure reading he took while checking my car. I'll come back with it.

Cheers
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