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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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  #1  
Old 07-28-2010, 10:09 PM
BMW420 BMW420 is offline
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Location: Arlington, VA
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 530i
A/C takes 3-5 mins to start cooling

I'm a new member, but a 20 yr, (hence: "BMW 4 20")3-BMW owner ('92 325i, 98 528i, current '05 530i) late to the party joining, but glad I did. This is clearly the biggest and best BMW forum out there.

I bought my '05 530i a year ago with 28K miles (Black/grey leath, 3.0 I6, 225hp, Auto, Prem. Pkg, Prem. Sound, Nav, Xenons, cold pkg, Sirius Sat., fold-down reaar seat - I have to post at least once before I can put this all in a signature line!) It's been a great car, though I do hate iDrive (it's not hard once you learn it, just stupid and takes way to many steps to do simple things), mechanically it's a dream and just a joy to drive.

Sorry for the long intro, but here's my problem: since I bought this in June '09 the air conditioning has consistently taken 3-5 minutes of the car either idling or running before any cool air is generated. It's not a question of cooling the car down or even blowing the hot air out of the ducts, it is positively NOT allowing the compressor or some part of the system that must kick in for cooling to happen at all, until some sensor or switch flips, then it cuts on and immediately puts out frozen solid air. In other words, its not something to do with a gradual change in the temperature of the air coming out of the vents; it operates for a few minutes as if it is on fan-only and then, in a fraction of a second it seems, the air suddenly turns extremely cool and stays that way for up to 6 hours continuously (longest I've run it without stopping). Once it has kicked in and operated normally for at least, oh, 15 minutes or more, it will usually start putting out cool air within 30 seconds or so after re-starting. It takes being off for something like 6+ hours before it reverts back to delaying the a/c from coming on for that 3-5 min. delay.

Finally, the dealer insisted that it was caused by low coolant, even though the system was recharged last summer before I took delivery and it's always done this, and even though it cools like an Arctic breeze after the initial delay. I felt I had no choice but to let him try it and then, when it made no change at all, he was pretty well stumped.

I tried searching this thread and could not find anything like what I am experiencing. I find it hard to believe I have the only E60 that has ever done this, and hoping someone here has some ideas for me. I'm very grateful to you.

Last edited by BMW420; 07-28-2010 at 10:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2010, 10:39 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=469766
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2011 X5 35i Sport Activity|Plat Gray/Beige/Dk Poplar|Conv Pkg|Cold WX Pkg|Tech Pkg|Prem Sound|Comfort Seats|Hitch|
2008 535i Mon Blue/Dakota Blk/Dk Poplar|Sports Pkg|Prem Pkg|Cold WX Pkg|Nav|RTTI|PDC|L7|HD|I-Pod/USB|PWR Rr shade|Sports Auto - paddles|Active Stg|Comfort Access|F/D R/seats|Rr DMS Airbags|Adaptive Xenons

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  #3  
Old 08-04-2010, 07:25 PM
glenn.ellin glenn.ellin is offline
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Hello Nube1, I have EXACTLY the same problem in my 2005 530i. Hope someone has a suggestion.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2010, 10:02 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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I think you need to go to the thread I referenced and ask the OP if they fixed his issue, and go from there. My opinion is that it is a minor issue caused by a degraded AC compressor allowing more than normal refrigerant to leak back through the check/control valve. Check the SIB linked below.

http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B640305g.htm
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Nube1Kenobi
2011 X5 35i Sport Activity|Plat Gray/Beige/Dk Poplar|Conv Pkg|Cold WX Pkg|Tech Pkg|Prem Sound|Comfort Seats|Hitch|
2008 535i Mon Blue/Dakota Blk/Dk Poplar|Sports Pkg|Prem Pkg|Cold WX Pkg|Nav|RTTI|PDC|L7|HD|I-Pod/USB|PWR Rr shade|Sports Auto - paddles|Active Stg|Comfort Access|F/D R/seats|Rr DMS Airbags|Adaptive Xenons

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  #5  
Old 08-04-2010, 10:34 PM
sbrown712 sbrown712 is offline
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Why would low freon cause the compressor to not work and then start working after a few minutes? I get the impression that people who are reading these threads aren't understanding what is being said by the OP. I have the same problem with my car. Something is causing the compressor to not work at all for a few minutes and then it works as it should. The blower comes on when the car is started a full blast blowing hot air. Once the compressor comes on and cools the car the blower then slows down as it should. It seems to me that the problem is in the climate control board not the compressor. How does the compressor cause the blower to blow at full force then slow done? The only thing that I have thought is if it is somehow programed that if the interior temp is high that the system turns the blower on full speed to try to get the hot air out of the car and then turns the compressor on to start cooling the car.
I would love to hear a remedy for this issue.
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:19 PM
dallas528 dallas528 is offline
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Mein Auto: '08 528i, '08 Tahoe
I had the same problem with my 2008 528i and this is when it is 100+ outside. I had to take the car in twice for this issue over 2 weeks. At first they could not find a problem, the second time after I called and said I would not accept the car until this issue was fixed, they replaced the whole compressor. Issue resolved. It cools immediately, just like when I bought it. Mine was still under the factory warranty so I paid nothing. Hope this helps.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2010, 11:39 PM
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Nube1kenobi Nube1kenobi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrown712 View Post
Why would low freon cause the compressor to not work and then start working after a few minutes? I get the impression that people who are reading these threads aren't understanding what is being said by the OP. I have the same problem with my car. Something is causing the compressor to not work at all for a few minutes and then it works as it should. The blower comes on when the car is started a full blast blowing hot air. Once the compressor comes on and cools the car the blower then slows down as it should. It seems to me that the problem is in the climate control board not the compressor. How does the compressor cause the blower to blow at full force then slow done? The only thing that I have thought is if it is somehow programed that if the interior temp is high that the system turns the blower on full speed to try to get the hot air out of the car and then turns the compressor on to start cooling the car.
I would love to hear a remedy for this issue.
Given: Cavitation kills pumps; think of the compressor as a pump.

I think what they are saying is that with less than optimum amount of liquid to push due to leak back, the pump is gradually brought to full speed to prevent cavitation and the destruction of the pump. The blower motor is totally separate from the heat exchanger. The blower system senses the need for mass air flow due to control setting and high cabin temperature, it blows... hard, to compensate as fast as it can. Unfortunately, the temperature across the heat exchanger fins and ducting are still hot until the compressor is sufficiently on-line to compress the refrigerant to effect the heat exchange . Once the cabin is cooled sufficiently the blower slows down as the cooling demand is reached. So the cooling delay is due to the AC compressor not operating at 100% fast enough... a bad compressor can leak internally as well and delay the cooling. As far as the blower blowing hot air at a high rate for that first few seconds, I'm sure that can be programmed in with another heat exchanger sensor... but it appears like they did not do that.

There's no fee attached to this opinion but you do not have to read my explanation.
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Nube1Kenobi
2011 X5 35i Sport Activity|Plat Gray/Beige/Dk Poplar|Conv Pkg|Cold WX Pkg|Tech Pkg|Prem Sound|Comfort Seats|Hitch|
2008 535i Mon Blue/Dakota Blk/Dk Poplar|Sports Pkg|Prem Pkg|Cold WX Pkg|Nav|RTTI|PDC|L7|HD|I-Pod/USB|PWR Rr shade|Sports Auto - paddles|Active Stg|Comfort Access|F/D R/seats|Rr DMS Airbags|Adaptive Xenons

Do not argue with an idiot else he lowers you to his level and beat you down with experience..

Last edited by Nube1kenobi; 08-04-2010 at 11:51 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2010, 08:20 AM
Jerry Palma Jerry Palma is offline
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Location: Warrenville, IL
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 525i
Not a problem for me.

I get cool air almost immediately if I don't have auto selected and just have the fan turned to about 10 o'clock and have the AC selected.
If I have auto selected, really hot air blows full blast for what seems to be forever. Probably a minute or two.

HTH,
Jer
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2010, 11:26 AM
Alex2004'530i Alex2004'530i is offline
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I have the same problem....
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2010, 08:58 PM
Dallas_528 Dallas_528 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 528i
08' 528i w/ 33k miles. .... same problem. Been leary to take it in as I know the rat-race they will put me through.

Hey dallas_528 .. couldnt you think of a different ID ??

Sounds like I'm headin in for another compressor while its under warranty.
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  #11  
Old 08-07-2010, 08:59 PM
Dallas_528 Dallas_528 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas_528 View Post
08' 528i w/ 33k miles. .... same problem. Been leary to take it in as I know the rat-race they will put me through.

Hey dallas_528 .. couldnt you think of a different ID ??

Sounds like I'm headin in for another compressor while its under warranty.
Ooops .. I gues you have IP rights as of March 2010 .. sorry
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2010, 09:31 PM
dallas528 dallas528 is offline
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Hey it's a good name! Where do you go for service? Classic BMW (the 2nd time) didn't give me any problems about replacing the compressor.
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  #13  
Old 08-08-2010, 06:53 AM
Dallas_528 Dallas_528 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallas528 View Post
Hey it's a good name! Where do you go for service? Classic BMW (the 2nd time) didn't give me any problems about replacing the compressor.
Thanks for the referal -- that's where I'll be taking it them. This will be my first service.
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  #14  
Old 10-24-2010, 04:50 PM
kendenney kendenney is offline
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First time poster but long time lurker.

I have the same exact problem as OP. My 2005 530i will take approximately 5-10 minutes from the time I start it up to the time it starts blowing cold air. All this time, the radiator fan is not turning at all. Some have said that the fan is the culprit but that fan is electronically controlled so if it is true, I do not know what part needs to be replaced for the fan to kick in immediately?
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2012, 07:28 AM
bimmerdan2000 bimmerdan2000 is offline
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Location: Birmingham, AL
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 528i
Delayed Compressor Start

After starting engine I also have a delayed compressor start. It is not a refrigerant issue. When the compressor finally engages everything it "A-OK" until I kill engine then the process starts over. It take 5-7 mins for the compressor to engage. Any ideas?
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  #16  
Old 05-08-2012, 10:18 PM
joe1981al joe1981al is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 530i
I've decided to join the bimmer world, even though I just accepted a job at an Audi / VW / Porsche performance company I still decided this BMW was for me.

My only major thing is the AC, it is slow to kick compressor. I did not check fan, but I have a low side only pressure gauge. Today when I picked up vehicle I checked the AC and it was blowing hot, so I shut it off and connected gauge to low pressure side. It shows about 155, with everything off and no compressor running. I start the car, set both temp dials all way down, turn max ac on, fan wide open (like I was going to charge system) and I get hot air.

I go out and check the gauge still shows 155, no change. I sit and watch it for about 3 minutes, no change at all on the gauge. No gradual pressure change like compressor is creeping on. I walk around and sit in car for maybe 30 seconds and cool are starts, I immediately check gauge and its 52 (correct for 93 degree day outside).

So the 30-60 second slow ramp up seems to happen, after a 3-5 minute delay of even triggering the compressor at all. Is there a sensor it is waiting on, water temp, fan being on? Tomorrow I will check the fan / pressure gauge at same time. If fan kicks on then bam gauge moves down showing compressor kicked on...well at least we'll have more info.

PS-It is ICE COLD once the compressor kicks on, and this compressor isn't like my Tahoe where you can hear it 'click' on, so no clear indication of when it engages, maybe could watch clutch and see when it engages compressor.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2012, 08:24 AM
redhotdave redhotdave is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 535i
I've noticed my A/C lacks for the most part, but when I hit the MAX button it is ice cold and strong. I really thought my A/C had something wrong. Recently I went on a business golf trip, and one of the guys had a 2012 7 series, which recently replaced his 2010 7 series, and he says both of those had crappy A/C's which leads me to believe that BMW A/C just sucks. Granted there have been times I think otherwise, but when it's 90 degrees outside and the air blowing out is just barely cold enough, well, maybe it's a euro / german thing? Do they have something against cold air?

Granted, what is described above is a little more extreme than I'm experiencing.

The best fix I've found is to roll the windows down, open the sun roof and drive like I just stole it. Damn it's fun.
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2012, 11:31 PM
jsarg419 jsarg419 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 530i
5 to 10 minutes to cool

wife's car 04 530 does the same thing does not cool for first several minutes then comes on cold Pressures are 45 and 150 at 75 F amb. blower is on and fan on. leaking past the internal vanes of compressor seems to be the only thing i have not tested. water hose to condensor has no effect. I have ordered a new compressor and will be evacuating system and testing vacuum when it comes in. will repost how it goes and if it fixes problem. will only be replacing dryer, oil, freon and compressor since it does still work after a while.
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