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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-12-2008, 07:49 PM
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Air Conditioner not blowing cold

I know, freon right? I talked to my mechanic and he looked at the A/C for a couple of minutes and said I'd be wasting my time charging it. He said that if I was out of freon, the compresor would constantly be cycling on and off trying to cool the car, but mine was steady.

Does this sound right? It certainly appears to be freon, but I'd thought I'd check before spending $60 for no reason on doing the freon anyway.

Symptoms: Everything seems to be working fine, but the A/C doesn't blow any colder than ambient air.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2008, 08:02 PM
Waveho Waveho is offline
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First question--is your outside ambient air temperature sensor functioning? If not, then that's the problem. Replace it.

If it is working, then have a garage hook up the proper equipment to test your a/c system for pressure leaks, etc., and they can run dye through it to find and fix them, or determine if there is another problem. Sorry, but a mechanic just looking at the thing and telling you it's not worth charging just isn't a good enough answer....
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2008, 08:04 PM
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Def check it before spending $60. Maybe there's something else wrong with AC.
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2008, 08:38 PM
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That sounds like the 5hittiest mechanic ever! F that guy!
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2008, 04:57 AM
Raymond919 Raymond919 is offline
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Waveho is definitely correct! I'll bet that the sensor is not working giving you this problem. It will make the temp read at -40. If the car thinks it's that temp, it won't let the A/C work for fear of freezing up the evaporator. Additionally, I believe the heated outside mirrors are controlled by the temp sensor.
Before just replacing the sensor, however, check all wires and leads going to it. Mine was just a bad connection. I jiggled the wires and made sure the connector was making good contact and it's been working fine.
And yeah, ditch that mechanic!
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2008, 05:22 AM
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I agree find a new mechanic. If the freon leaked out the low pressure switch would actuate and not allow the compresser clutch to activate to turn the comp. You need to find someone who is familiar with BMWs, not your run of the mill general mechanic.
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2008, 07:44 AM
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jda2000 jda2000 is offline
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if the compressor is not cycling on/off and is not cooling, then you probably are low in refrigerant.

Try recharging it yourself with one can of freon. If the charge holds for a few months, then you have a tiny leak, and recharging every few months is OK.

If the charge doesn't last more than a couple of days, then you have a major leak, which needs to be detected and fixed.
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2008, 07:56 AM
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He said that if I was out of freon, the compresor would constantly be cycling on and off trying to cool the car, but mine was steady.

The original post stated that the compresser was on steady, at least that's how I took it.
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2008, 08:11 AM
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i think the reason why it's running all of the time instead of kicking in and out like it's supposed to is because it's low on freon. so i believe it's suppose to kick in and out not constant, especially when the inside cabin reaches temp. and mine did the same when it was low on freon, but i had a leak also. i know for a fact that if it is out of freon it will not come on at all.
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Last edited by lild; 05-13-2008 at 08:20 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2008, 09:58 AM
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1. Ambient temp sensor appears to be working, reads the correct temp, and the auto selection on heat works.

I'm going to have the system charged, it seems like it should be the solution, regardless of what the mechanic said. I'll let you know.
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2008, 10:43 AM
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If they do need to add freon have them include some dye like the previous post suggested. It is a closed system and if working properly and not leaking you should not loose freon. If you are losing freon the dye will locate the leak. Also make sure they use the freon sniffer after they add the freon. You may have seen it, the tool will beep when freon is detected. They should check (with sniffer) the hose connections, the compresser right behind the clutch, the condensor, drier, high & low pressure switch connections and most importantly the should check inside the care by the vent this will tell you if the evaporater is leaking. Make sure they check it with and without the AC on, reason being is that the low side is under more pressure when the compresser is not running.
Living in San Diego you probably use your AC alot and you may need a new compresser. If you are a DIY type it is not that complicated. Have the place remove the freon. Buy a used compresser with or without clutch and drier and o-rings for the hose connections. Put the new ones on the same way you took of the old ones. Make sure you add the correct type and amount of oil to the compresser. There are a lot of websites that will answer most of your questions.
Of course the easiest thing would be to pay a place to do it that has a good reputation for standing behind their work. Good Luck
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2008, 10:45 AM
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tomibriggs tomibriggs is offline
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Read...

http://www.aa1car.com/library/ac98.htm
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  #13  
Old 05-14-2008, 09:13 PM
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Not freon. Fully charged and will blow somewhat cold if we block off the heater core. There appears to be an issue with the "mixing door"? Anyone know what that is?
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  #14  
Old 05-15-2008, 04:07 AM
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This might be a silly question but I'll ask anyhow. There is a thumbwheel in the center of the dashboard with red dots on one side and blue on the other. Is the thumbwheel turned all the way to show the blue dots?
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  #15  
Old 05-15-2008, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashton540 View Post
That sounds like the 5hittiest mechanic ever! F that guy!
LMAO +1!! Hey just take it to a BMW dealer and tell them you want the entire cooling system replaced. That'll fix it.
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  #16  
Old 05-15-2008, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dicor View Post
This might be a silly question but I'll ask anyhow. There is a thumbwheel in the center of the dashboard with red dots on one side and blue on the other. Is the thumbwheel turned all the way to show the blue dots?
LOL, yeah. It doesn't seem to have much of an effect though.
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  #17  
Old 05-19-2008, 08:49 PM
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Any other suggestions? I still can't figure out what the problem is and I don't want to spend a grand at the dealership to fix it.
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  #18  
Old 05-20-2008, 03:56 AM
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You say the compressor is running constantly. I one of the 2 hoses coming from the compressor cold? If not and if it has enough freon than you may have a bad evaporator valve or perhaps the compressor itself may be bad for instance if the reed valves (check valves) inside the the compressor are defective it will pump freon but not compress it. If the hose is cold that means the compressor is working OK. Then you have another issue maybe the heater is still on because of a bad diverter valve. Maybe it is a door but I don't know very much about how that works on a BMW.
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  #19  
Old 05-20-2008, 06:21 AM
rtanov rtanov is online now
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If it is working better at higher speeds and worse in slow traffic it might be the fan motor gone. I had this problem on my car.
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  #20  
Old 05-20-2008, 09:33 AM
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The diverter valve... that sounds like it could be the issue. I'll have to try to find some more info on that.

The blower fan works fine, just not cold.
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  #21  
Old 05-20-2008, 11:27 AM
rtanov rtanov is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjwheeling View Post

The blower fan works fine, just not cold.
What I meant was the condenser fan behind the radiator.
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  #22  
Old 05-20-2008, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rtanov View Post
What I meant was the condenser fan behind the radiator.
Oh, I'll have to check that when it gets back from the shop. I'm getting some dents in the hood fixed.

tks
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  #23  
Old 05-20-2008, 03:36 PM
five.two.five five.two.five is offline
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I had a similar situation that my air conditioning would only blow warm air. After a brief search I foung several other people had the same problem and referred to this thread.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=143393

Hope this helps you out.
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  #24  
Old 05-20-2008, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by five.two.five View Post
I had a similar situation that my air conditioning would only blow warm air. After a brief search I foung several other people had the same problem and referred to this thread.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=143393

Hope this helps you out.
Isn't this more for the fan not working? My fan works, just doesn't blow cold. Or am I misunderstanding the issue?
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  #25  
Old 05-21-2008, 03:14 AM
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Before you start digging around the mixing/diverting valve or the flapper/door check to make sure that one of the 2 hoses coming from the compresser is real cold. If it isn't forget the valves and doors.
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