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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-16-2010, 10:01 PM
eugacc009 eugacc009 is offline
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Location: Toronto
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Mein Auto: BMW 323i
DYI for AC recharge, need some advice

Hi everyone. I am trying to figure out what could be wrong with my AC system. It wasn't too efficient last year (kind of ok during regular summer, but not enough for very hot days) and became weaker this summer and few weeks ago I found there is no cold air at all. Before it died, it can stop cooling and tto make it cool again I was need to switch AC off, wait sometime and it worked again after being ON. For me it looks like low system level issue.
As I can see when AC is on, I can hear clutch activation and I can see compressor running.

I bought recharge kit with the gauge, but I am confused when I connected it to LP side it showed already around 35 PSI, so it look normal according posted DYI (???). Then I switched Ac on, it doesn't change a pressure level (not sure if it should?)
When I tried to put some freon (was filling in about 1 minute) it showed pressure up to 60 PSi, so i stopped and wasn't sure what should I do next.
Engine was running, AC was ON and mixed air on 3 blue dots.
Should I just fill an 1 can to the end and then check air condition? Or problem is not with system level at all? Any advice will be helpfull
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2010, 12:58 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Location: NY
 
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Mein Auto: hoopty
i've heard not to use those DIY recharge AC things... but then again no one ever told me why not
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2010, 02:46 AM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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The reason I heard not to used the DIY kits was that if you just refill the system without diagnosing the problem, the refrigerant will just leak again and is harmful to the environment.

The AC is a closed system so if you are in fact low on refrigerant, you need to find the leak first. Sounds like you had a very slow leak though which are a SOB to find.
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2010, 06:32 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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Location: Mexico
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 325Ci
Also, the "gauges" on the things are grossly inaccurate, while the A/C system is particularly sensitive to the fill level. Meaning it is easy to go over and the protection will cut the compressor off and you get no cool, leading to you adding yet more and worsening the problem.
And adding anything but pure R-134a is Bad Idea. Leak sealant clogs up the works, leak detector dye useless unless you have a correct UV light.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:52 PM
eugacc009 eugacc009 is offline
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Location: Toronto
 
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Hmm. Thanks for replies. But at the end, should I try to fill full can and then check pressure or just go to mechanic? If compressor engages, does it mean the problem likely somewhere else ( pressure switch/sensor) or something else?
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Old 08-17-2010, 04:17 PM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Location: toronto
 
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I have found that AC repairs are very difficult without proper equipment.

if you are looking for a good indy in Toronto, call Rocco at RMP Motors. He only fixes what needs fixing at a LOT less than the dealer. Highly recommended on local forums which is how I found him.

Not sure if he does AC repairs but you could always call to check.
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2010, 04:46 PM
eugacc009 eugacc009 is offline
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Thanks a lot, I will give it a try!
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