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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 03-19-2011, 10:00 AM
joebry joebry is offline
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Where is the low pressure A/C recharge port on 2003 525i

I have seen pictures of the Low Pressure recharge port on other BMW models and it is close to the firewall but I don't think that is where it is on my 2003 525i.

I need a good description of where it is on my 525i, or, it would be great if someone had a picture of it.

TIA
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2011, 11:02 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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I can't find any pictures in the TIS, but assuming your '03 525 has the same configuration as my '03 530

Both A/C service ports are in the front right hand side of the engine bay. Both on are on vertical tubes "Tee'd" into the refrigerant lines - look for black plastic caps.

The low pressure side of the A/C is the larger diameter line with the port down beside the lower rad hose above the compressor.
The high pressure side is the smaller diameter line coming out of the condenser with the port behind the headlight.

Regards
RDL
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2011, 11:20 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Here's is the Schrader valve (below the screw off black cap) for the high side...which is located near & behind the passenger side headlight. Follow the lines back toward the windshield (look between the fender and engine)...and you should see a similar looking set up (sticking up). That will be the Schrader valve for the LOW SIDE.

BTW, the valves are different sizes to help prevent hooking up to the wrong one. If you're trying to recharge your AC system...the adapter (for the low side) won't fit on the high side valve. So again, look back further toward the fire wall and you should see a similar line with a valve sticking up...sometimes the cap is missing (mine is)...but again, they both stick up the same way and are almost in-line with one another...except the high side is up front behind the headlight...and the low side is further back (between the engine & fender/shock tower).







Even though the e39 has multiple engines...the high/low Schrader valves for the the AC system are basically located in the same general areas...hopefully the pic below of an M52 engine will help guide you to find your low side valve...again, sometimes the cap has been lost...but you can still see the valve plain as day.

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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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Last edited by QSilver7; 03-19-2011 at 12:52 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2011, 08:31 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This is not a bad thread to bestlink (is that a verb?) ... so I'll try.

One problem with combining AC threads is the plethora of search terms, e.g.,
  • A/C
  • ac
  • air conditioning
  • IHKA
  • HVAC
With that limitation in mind, here are the combined bestlinks threads:

How to refill your A/C system refrigerant for $20 (another AC refill DIY) (how to measure the temperature)
Setting up Air Conditioning & how to avoid stinky A/C and smelly ac problems
Fudman thread (with cn90 & 540iman input) on refilling your A/C freon
- AIR CONDITIONING ODORS: poorly designed cabin-filter housing drain hoses to clog which leaves causing gym-sock smells from the AC (1) (2) (3)
- Air conditioner refrigerant & PAG oil (1) & condensation drips (1)
- Why not to use the 3-dot AC setting for your air conditioner (1)
- How to remove the IHKA air conditioning control panel to clean the circuit board (1) (2) (3)
A/C hose rebuilding service
AC compressor rebuild
Patrick Parish's air conditioning page
Poor A/C performance and R134a pressures
R134a conversion information
- Air conditioner compressor replacement DIY (1) & AC refrigerant & PAG oil to use (1)
- Air conditioning compressor knocking sounds (1)
- How to DIY replace the activated charcoal cabin air filter (1) (2) & what cabin filter to buy (1) (2) & cn90's inexpensive cabin filter retrofit (1) (2) (3) & cabin air filter implications for stinky air conditioning (1) (2)
IHKA Button Repair vs. Replacement
- HVAC (IHKA) sampling fan check - a cn90 15 min DIY project! (1)
- Removing the HVAC (IHKA) panel (1)
- Hualigan installation DIY with removal of MID, HVAC/IHKA, Business CD player (1), & dashboard trim (1)
- How to remove the trim and bracket holding the MID & HVAC/IHKA panels (1) (2)
- How to change OBC MID IHKA KTMP temperature from degrees Celcius to Fahrenheit (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
- How to diagnose lack of HVAC/IHKA heater core heat with cooling system (auxiliary pump) at idle (1)
- What is this thing (HVAC/IHKA solar sensor) in the middle of my dashboard by the windshield (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Yikes. How do I link all that together into a keyword rich sentence?
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2011, 11:23 AM
joebry joebry is offline
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Cell phone picture of my A/C port. I hope.

This (I hope since this is my first time to try this) is a picture taken on a cell phone of what I think are my two A/C pressure ports. The small white dot is my low pressure, I think.

Does this look like I am in the ball park with this.
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2011, 12:13 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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That's the one. Caution: The e39 AC system requires the right amount of refrigerant. Too much or too little R134a and it won't work. The proper way is to evacuate the system and then insert a measured amount (do a search, the right amount is in my post). If you insist on DIY, add a little bit of refrigerant, stop and check for function. I overdid it and it did not cool properly.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2011, 12:22 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joebry View Post
This (I hope since this is my first time to try this) is a picture taken on a cell phone of what I think are my two A/C pressure ports. The small white dot is my low pressure, I think.

Does this look like I am in the ball park with this.
You have the same layout as my '03 530.
Yes, you are correct. The low pressure port is the white dot with the port image lost in the dark background, i.e. the one higher and to the left of the other white dot. The port next to the headlight is the high pressure side.

BTW, a heads up if you're planning to add refrigerant using a recharge kits.
Be sure not to turn the can upside down or sideways which would allow liquid to flow the few inches directly into the compressor. Space is a little limited & especially if your connection hose is short it may be tempting to turn the can. If the compressor ingests liquid rather than vapour, it could hydrolock and destroy itself.

Regards
RDL
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2011, 12:23 PM
joebry joebry is offline
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Thanks for all of the replies

Thanks for all of the helpful replies to my DIY. Words with pictures sure make a job pretty easy, if it is a job that I can do to begin with.

This is about the 8th or 9th time I have used a BMW forum and each time the replies have been good enough for me to get the job done. On most of the DIYs I have saved anywhere from $250 dollars to $150 on each one. Plus the satisfaction of doing it myself.
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2011, 12:30 PM
joebry joebry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
You have the same layout as my '03 530.
Yes, you are correct. The low pressure port is the white dot with the port image lost in the dark background, i.e. the one higher and to the left of the other white dot. The port next to the headlight is the high pressure side.

BTW, a heads up if you're planning to add refrigerant using a recharge kits.
Be sure not to turn the can upside down or sideways which would allow liquid to flow the few inches directly into the compressor. Space is a little limited & especially if your connection hose is short it may be tempting to turn the can. If the compressor ingests liquid rather than vapour, it could hydrolock and destroy itself.

Regards
RDL
Thanks for the reassurance. You are right about the space.

I wish I had a trained monkey to get down in the small space and do it for me. Maybe I won't end up with too many knicks on my knuckles The hose looks like it will be long enough.

I have a EZ Chill Kit with pressure gauge on top. It is model GBM-3CS and I have a can of Johnsen's 134a Refrigerant. The refrigerant does not have any sealer or other stuff in it.
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2011, 12:32 PM
joebry joebry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
That's the one. Caution: The e39 AC system requires the right amount of refrigerant. Too much or too little R134a and it won't work. The proper way is to evacuate the system and then insert a measured amount (do a search, the right amount is in my post). If you insist on DIY, add a little bit of refrigerant, stop and check for function. I overdid it and it did not cool properly.
Thanks for the advice.
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2011, 11:28 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, I tried to organize the most useful and most often asked bestlinks into a single keyword-rich sentence...


How to learn about (1) and set up your air conditioning (1) (2) & how to replace the activated charcoal cabin air filter (1) (2) & what cabin filter to buy (1) (2) & cn90's inexpensive cabin filter retrofit (1) (2) (3) & cabin air filter implications for stinky gym sock AC odors (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to refill your A/C system for $20 (1) (2) (3) (4) & where to find your low pressure aircon recharge port (1) & what refrigerant PAG oil to use (1) (1) & R134a conversion information (1) (2) how to measure A C temperature (1) & how to diagnose A / C compressor knocking sounds (1) & air conditioner compressor replacement DIYs (1) or compressor rebuilds (1) or ac hose rebuilding services (1) & how to remove the IHKA air conditioning control panel to clean the circuit board (1) (2) (3) (4) with removal of MID, HVAC/IHKA, Business CD player (1), & dashboard trim (1) & how to remove the trim and bracket holding the MID & HVAC/IHKA panels (1) (2) or to replace the IHKA button (1) & how to check the IHKA sampling fan (1) & how to change OBC MID IHKA KTMP temperature from degrees Celcius to Fahrenheit (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & how to diagnose lack of HVAC/IHKA heater core heat with cooling system (auxiliary pump) at idle (1) & what is this thing (HVAC/IHKA solar sensor) in the middle of my dashboard by the windshield (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6).
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  #12  
Old 03-23-2011, 11:43 AM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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I wouldn't use an EZ CHILL kit, or any of those kits for dummies. It's a roll of the dice.

There's a better way, not the BMW way, but the OLD SCHOOL way, with manifold gauges, and an a/c thermometer.

These are my readings @ 95deg. F, 75% humidity.
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  #13  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:42 AM
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G-Moussa G-Moussa is offline
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Does anyone know where I can get the R134A high pressure valve for my 2002 540i. Or exactly what the part number is. I am finding part numbers for the high and low on the internet, but it doesn't distinguish between them, it just says R134A. I need just the cap, but obviously no one sells just the cap. I went to the dealership, I bought the valve, went home to find out its the low side, it didn't fit. So then he said that the other part he ordered is correct. It is called safety valve which I still don't believe is the right part. Can anyone please help me locate the part for the High side R134A Valve, or anywhere where I can just buy the cap.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:38 PM
joebry joebry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Moussa View Post
Does anyone know where I can get the R134A high pressure valve for my 2002 540i. Or exactly what the part number is. I am finding part numbers for the high and low on the internet, but it doesn't distinguish between them, it just says R134A. I need just the cap, but obviously no one sells just the cap. I went to the dealership, I bought the valve, went home to find out its the low side, it didn't fit. So then he said that the other part he ordered is correct. It is called safety valve which I still don't believe is the right part. Can anyone please help me locate the part for the High side R134A Valve, or anywhere where I can just buy the cap.
Do you have a junkyard where you live. You might try them and also might try the cap for other BMW's. Buying at the junkyard is a good deal for some parts that aren't really critical to the engine.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:41 PM
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G-Moussa G-Moussa is offline
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Yeah I think if I don't find the part at the dealer, I will go to a local junkyard. There are many near by, but I don't know how many have BMW's. I will have to look around.
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  #16  
Old 08-30-2011, 03:09 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this thread came in handy today when someone asked:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > AC hose which one is it.
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