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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 05-24-2013, 06:20 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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All that being said...I MAY be able to keep the car for myself tomorrow and actually run some full-on gauges and tests while the dang thing acts up.

I Cant do it after its been blowing cold air, and it has to sit for hours....
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  #27  
Old 05-24-2013, 06:21 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Are you sure you mentioned you're an engineer enough times?
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  #28  
Old 05-24-2013, 06:55 PM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizona-dave View Post
However gauges WONT tell me WHY the pressure is on or off.

I...
If you know what you are looking for gauges can tell you exactly why the pressures are off. I think you are getting caught up in static pressures which is really a very small part of the equation and only serves to tell you if the refrigerant charge is "close" to being correct at a certain temoerature. Once you turn the system on you can take that reading and throw it out the window as it does nothing for you. I can hook up a set of gauges, turn the system on and know almost exactly what the system is or isn't doing but then again I have been doing this for over 25 years. I'm not trying to brag just saying that you aren't going to read up on it and then be able to diagnose it. Just because BMW put out some bulletin about a specific problem does not mean that that is what is causing your issue although there is a good possibility.

BMW recommends compressor replacement if there is a problem with the valve simply because they do not trust their mechanics enough to properly diagnose and repair the exact cause of the problem.
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Last edited by l1tech; 05-25-2013 at 05:35 AM.
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  #29  
Old 05-25-2013, 04:05 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Are you sure you mentioned you're an engineer enough times?
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  #30  
Old 05-25-2013, 04:35 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Took readings yesterday and today, here are gauge readings from today, along with notes: (all in psi)

Ambient Outside & Cabin Temperature - 96 F - 97F

Reading # LO HI NOTES

1. Engine Off: 125 125 Engine had not been started for 15 hours

2. Engine On/AC off 130 130 Let engine run for approx 30 seconds without AC Button on - Reading remained Static

3. Engine On/AC On 110 155 Almost immediately went to these readings upon hitting AC Button - Hot Air Blowing from vent

4. After 1 Min AC On 115 170 Hot air from vents

5. After 2 Min AC On 115 170 Hot Air from vents

6. After 3 Min AC On 120 175 Hot Air from vents

7. After 4 Min AC On 100 180 Hot Air from vents - The Jump on Low side happened immediately.

8. After 5 Min AC On 100 180 Hot Air from vents

9. After 6 Min AC On 80 180 Another quick Jump on Low side - Still Hot Air from vent

10. Aft 7 Min AC On 60 240 The pressure change was almost instant again - [b]And Cold Air from vents almost immediately[\] Radiator Fan Started going Much faster

11. Aft 8 min AC On 45 225 Change in pressures from reading 10 were steady to this reading - Cold Air from vents - Radiator Fan blowing VERY hard now.

12. Aft 9 min AC On 50 200 Change in Pressure was steady, Still nice Cold air.

13. Turn Off Engine 80 180 Pressures then equalized to 150/150 within 5-10 minutes after shutting engine off. AC Lines on Hi and Lo were not hot, meaning system didnt run long enough to get really hot like on a long drive. In ALL, Compressor was really working for only 3 minutes.

Let Car sit for 35 mins - took additional readings: (radiator hoses, and rest of engine compartment cool to touch, engine never got fully hot from first test)

14. Engine Off 150 150 Pressure still equalized

15. EngineOn AC/Off 150 150 No Change after 1 minute of engine on and AC Off. - Radiator Fan blowing slow

16. AC ON 60 250 Instantly went to these readings, and started blowing cold air within 10-15 seconds. - Instant Radiator Fan blowing very hard

17. After 1 min AC 45 250 Still blowing cold air - Let run for 1 more minute - total engine on for 3-3-1/2 mins.


Let Car sit for 2 hours and re-take readings: (Identical to letting sit for 30 mins)

18. Engine Off 150 150 Pressure still equalized

19. EngineOn AC/Off 150 150 No Change after 1 minute of engine on and AC Off. - Radiator Fan blowing slow

20. AC ON 60 250 Instantly went to these readings, and started blowing cold air within 10-15 seconds. - Instant Radiator Fan blowing very hard

21. After 1 min AC 45 250 Still blowing cold air - Let run for 1 more minute - total engine on for 3-3-1/2 mins.


Im now letting it sit until 5:30-6:00 which will be 4 hours off time...
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  #31  
Old 05-25-2013, 04:37 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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On other note: I did also perform a "bypass" test yesterday, opening up the manifold valves so I could visually see the oil thru the glass, the oil is perfectly clean, and clear. No evidence of metal flakes at all, not any sign of darkening.

:-) :-)
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  #32  
Old 05-25-2013, 07:02 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Let Car sit for 4 hours 10 minutes - and re-take readings: (Identical to letting sit for 30 mins)

18. Engine Off 150 150 Pressure still equalized

19. EngineOn AC/Off 150 150 No Change after 1 minute of engine on and AC Off. - Radiator Fan blowing slow

20. AC ON 60 250 Instantly went to these readings, and started blowing cold air within 10-15 seconds. - Instant Radiator Fan blowing very hard

21. After 1 min AC 45 250 Still blowing cold air - Let run for 1 more minute - total engine on for 2-1/2 mins.
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  #33  
Old 05-26-2013, 08:45 AM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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One of 2 things is happening. Either the expansion valve is stuck open or there is a compressor problem. These 2 problems are the hardest to determine because the symptons mirror each other. Being that the compressor is variable displacement and controlled by a solenoid one would need to look at the duty cycle of the solenoid to check for proper command fromt he IKHA, if that checks ok and judging by how fast the pressures start to change I think that the compressor control valve is sticking.
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  #34  
Old 05-26-2013, 09:25 AM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Let Car sit for 7 hours overnight - and re-take readings: (almost Identical to letting sit for 30 mins, except outside temp lower and thus readings both lower psi)

Outside air temp: 88 F (

22. Engine Off 115 115 Pressure still equalized

23. EngineOn AC/Off 115 125 No Change after 1 minute of engine on and AC Off. - Radiator Fan blowing slow

24. AC ON 40 190 - started coming down Instantly went AZ button pushed - took about 30 seconds to hit 40 on the low, and started blowing cold air within 10-15 seconds. - Instant Radiator Fan blowing a little faster

25. After 1 min AC 36 200 Still blowing cold air - shut it off - total engine on for 2 mins.
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  #35  
Old 05-26-2013, 09:35 AM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Thank you for the reply, its much appreciated -

Question about the expansion valve, Ive replaced a few before, granted they were on different systems, Older 90's Toyota, late 90's GM, and a late 90's Lexus.

I dont remember seeing the expansion valve as being electrical, or mechanical or having moving parts, I thought it was more just a static orifice made from brass, and a temperature bulb, along with the housing.

Do these BMW systems use a variable expansion valve as well?


Quote:
Originally Posted by l1tech View Post
One of 2 things is happening. Either the expansion valve is stuck open or there is a compressor problem. These 2 problems are the hardest to determine because the symptons mirror each other. Being that the compressor is variable displacement and controlled by a solenoid one would need to look at the duty cycle of the solenoid to check for proper command fromt he IKHA, if that checks ok and judging by how fast the pressures start to change I think that the compressor control valve is sticking.
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  #36  
Old 05-26-2013, 09:37 AM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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My next few steps, (after it started working immediate after sitting for 7 hours), is to look at engine coolant, radiator, and AC refrigerant temperatures, as well as continue testing to see where the "cut-off" point is for the system to get "stuck" in the mode where the compressor is not pumping.

Along with that, I need to get a tool that can read the pulse-modulated signal that goes to the solenoid and see if its receiving a signal when the compressor is not compressing...sounds "easy" but its probably not.

I cant even begin to imagine how much this would end up costing if I just had the wife take to dealer or even a good shop!
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  #37  
Old 05-26-2013, 11:45 AM
micosan micosan is offline
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subscribed.
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  #38  
Old 05-26-2013, 04:19 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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I'm sure they would have just started throwing parts at it until they accidentally fixed it..

Last edited by schpenxel; 05-26-2013 at 06:22 PM.
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  #39  
Old 05-26-2013, 09:57 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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I now have a multimeter capable of looking at PWM signals, and will be looking at the frequency as well as the Duty cycle and Min/Max.

I will be tapping into the wires that go to the compressor tomorrow morning, after the car has sat for about 18 hours. And I will be able to take readings of the voltage, Hz and duty cycle of the signal being sent to the control valve on the compressor.

will post results tomorrow or tuesday depending on how many beers i have tomorrow and how burn I get in the pool :-) LOL


Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
I'm sure they would have just started throwing parts at it until they accidentally fixed it..
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  #40  
Old 05-26-2013, 11:40 PM
v8power v8power is offline
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Subscribed as well. My v8 does the same 3-5 min of driving before it gets cold after sitting overnight.
I never pay attention before this problem but the fan spins really slow at first start up now. However, once the ac is kicking in, the fan is like a jet.
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  #41  
Old 05-27-2013, 12:02 AM
Dallas550 Dallas550 is offline
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AC Delay 528i 2008

Just wanted to drop in and provide my experience. I had a problem with my '08 528 and brought it in multiple times before they acknowledged it was the compressor. I had the same issue, sometimes up to 10 minutes before cold air would start flowing.

I guess it could always be something different in your case, but it sounds fairly similar. Good luck!


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  #42  
Old 05-27-2013, 02:32 AM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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sch: lol

V8pwr: im getting closer to pinpointing problem...5-10 min w/o AC is, well, not ultimate :-)

Dallas: The compressor has several components, some of which are "easily" and economically replaceable, some which are not. The problem with the "it was the compressor" explanation is that the dealers and 90-99% of shops will not (or dont have the time/capability to pinpoint) replace just the compressor controller valve (why risk it?, the compressor is a BITCH to get to). Thus, replacing a perfectly good compressor because the valve is bad, is the solution...kind of like replacing the entire engine because the head gasket is leaking - engine itself is 100% ok...ability to discover head gasket is bad and then replacing, not so easy.

In my case there is zero dirty oil or noise, and once the compressor starts working, it works awesome, which measn the compressor part of the compressor is good...the problem in my case lies in either the valve controlling the angle of the wobble plate, or in it not receiving a signal from the controlling unit.

With that said, Ive gotta take some readings tomorrow looking at the signal being sent to the compressor valve after letting sit for a long time.

One thing I noted today is that after it sat for 5 hours, and with the AC button OFF upon starting engine, the radiator fan was NOT working at all. Nada. Turned engine off after 30 seconds to take readings, abient temp 78 F, Hi/Lo 110psi.

Im "hoping" tomorrow I can get the 6 minute delay, and watch the entire signal happen and observe the fan.

I am not convinced its the compressor valve yet...as there is a 100% correlation between fan blowing hard, and the gauges showing pressure changes...
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Last edited by arizona-dave; 05-27-2013 at 02:39 AM.
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  #43  
Old 05-27-2013, 07:01 AM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizona-dave View Post
Thank you for the reply, its much appreciated -

Question about the expansion valve, Ive replaced a few before, granted they were on different systems, Older 90's Toyota, late 90's GM, and a late 90's Lexus.

I dont remember seeing the expansion valve as being electrical, or mechanical or having moving parts, I thought it was more just a static orifice made from brass, and a temperature bulb, along with the housing.

Do these BMW systems use a variable expansion valve as well?
Expansion valves are not static valves. The orifice size changes with temperature...why do you think they put a temperature bulb on it???

What late 90's GM did you put an expansion vlave on? Most Gm systems use an orifice tube.
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  #44  
Old 05-27-2013, 04:17 PM
pureappearance pureappearance is offline
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I have the same problem with 06 530i , I live in LAS VEGAS NV , great post I hope you find out whats wrong and please post it , thanks
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  #45  
Old 05-28-2013, 08:38 AM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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l1tech: Thank you for heads up info on expansion valve, I didnt know the orifice adjusted. Now, on that same note, I am still leaning toward compressor valve or signal to it because even if the expansion valve was stuck "open" the system would still at least build up pressure on the high side, in my case, when the AC refuses to blow cold air, the gauges show absolutely no change at all.
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  #46  
Old 05-28-2013, 09:05 AM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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I got a multimeter capable of measuring duty cycle, and signal width, and I was able to sneak in to the wires going to the compressor valve. There is a brown one and white one.

Since the other day, when it took 7 minutes before the compressor started compressing, The AC has been coming on immediately when I turn on the car and hit the AC button. Its a TAD frustrating because I finally had this long weekend to troubleshoot it, and now the danged thing decides not to act up except only that one time. But I took readings anyway, so I have a baseline reading of the signal when the AC is working.

White = (+) / brown = (-)

Pulse-Width Modulated signal running at 12V at 494 Hz

After 8 hours sitting:

Engine On/AC Off, - 0 volts, no Hz, and no Duty Cycle Lo & Hi: 100psi @ 75 F - Note:[b]The Radiator Fan did not start[\b]
(This means the AC button and controller dont just cycle down the compressor to 0%, it literally cuts the entire signal)

10 Seconds after turning AC Button On : 494 Hz 20.5% Duty 0.411ms Pulse Width - 45psi Lo / 190 Hi - Radiator fan started blowing.

After 1 min: 494hz 60% Duty

After 3 mins: 494hz 82% Duty 1.67ms - 33 psi / 200psi - Radiator fan blowing faster. - All Readings stayed at these levels for another 5 minutes.
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  #47  
Old 05-28-2013, 12:12 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Oh yeah, about the radiator fan - It did not come on immediately upon starting the engine with AC Button OFF, after the car had been sitting for a while...this was true in all cases. To be very honest, when the AC didnt come on for 6-7 minutes a few days ago, when I took all those readings, I did not observe the fan until I noticed it started blowing pretty fast at about 6-7...Its very possible the fan was not moving at all until then - I will observe this the next time I get the dang thing to act up and not blow cold for several minutes.

Upon pressing the AC button the radiator fan would start up within a few seconds, blowing fairly slow, at the same time the gauges would show the fast gradual change in Lo and Hi side pressures from 100psi (whatever the static pressure was) to about 45-50 on the Low, it only took about 5 seconds (pretty cold air blowing within 10 seconds)...the gauges would stay there for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then there was another fast change in pressure to 35psi on the low, and the radiator fan would speed up considerably - now ice cold air. I then turned the AC off after the engine had only been running about 2 minutes, and the radiator fan also turned OFF (not slow off), then I turned AC on, and radiator fan came back on, repeated a few times.

The Duty Cycle when the AC button first pressed and when Lo side went down to 45-50 was at the 20.5%, then when the pressure dropped again down to the 35-40psi the Duty cycle went up to 82% where at idle it seems to like to stay at.

My next test needs to be after the dang thing has sat for 12-14 hours again and "hopefully" acts up with no AC for several minutes - I will pre-hook up the meter to read the duty cycle of the compressor valve.

If there is no signal going to the compressor then I know the IHKA controller is not telling the compressor to engage and I need to start looking into that IPNA cable and program to see what the IHKA is seeing from all the sensors.

If there is a signal, but no pressure changes, then the valve is not moving, thus no compressing.

Im betting there will be a direct correlation between a signal to the compressor valve and the radiator fan blowing of not when the things acts up again

Now, if I can just get it to screw up again :-/ LOL
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  #48  
Old 05-28-2013, 12:22 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Maybe something to look at: http://www.clt1.com/ - checks variable compressors. depends if the AC ever starts acting up again HAHA!

Read over what the CLT-1 does, probably not gunna help my situation much. Its basically just an over-drive system that allows one to manually control the compressor displacement...in my case, I still need to get the AC to act-up and take a reading to see if the valve is even being sent a signal from the IHKA at all when the AC refuses build pressure.
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Last edited by arizona-dave; 05-28-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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  #49  
Old 06-02-2013, 03:27 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Thought of this thread last night...

I ran to the store late last night, it was maybe 70*F outside and for the first few minutes of the drive the AC blew hot air. I had everything set to as cold as it would go, and didn't get any AC.

Finally all at once it started working 3 or 4 minutes down the road. It has worked normally ever since.

That drive was after the car had been sitting for over a day where usually it never goes more than 12 hours without being driven.

Quite odd
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  #50  
Old 06-03-2013, 10:40 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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So...youve got almost the exact same symptoms now are you being serious or ??? LOL 4 minutes with the 4 yr old in an already HOT carseat when its 109 F outside today....oh yes....BMW can KMA if they think thats reasonable...hehe j/k (not)

Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Thought of this thread last night...

I ran to the store late last night, it was maybe 70*F outside and for the first few minutes of the drive the AC blew hot air. I had everything set to as cold as it would go, and didn't get any AC.

Finally all at once it started working 3 or 4 minutes down the road. It has worked normally ever since.

That drive was after the car had been sitting for over a day where usually it never goes more than 12 hours without being driven.

Quite odd
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