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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 05-20-2013, 02:06 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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AC Delay 528i 2008

Well, Ive got a terrible delay between starting the car, and the AC blowing cold air, after the car has sat overnight, or for more than a few hours, it blows Hot air (whatever the air temp is inside or outside) for 3 to 5 minutes, then all the sudden the cold air will come out, and remain blowing cold air for however far I drive it. 2008 528i, only 45K miles.

Pressing"MAX" does nothing, pressing the AC on/off does not make cold air blow, nor does pressing/depressing any other AC or vent button, or turning entire AC/Vent system on/off.

The AC will also starts working instantly upon turning the car off and then back on as long as it doesnt sit for more than about 3 to 4 hours. Such as going to store, mall, etc, but NOT for work unless you drive at lunch...

My car is out of warranty, and my experiences at dealers have been negative to the point of avoidance, Im hoping someone here knows if this is only fixable via a new compressor (and if so why?) or if a new blower resistor or other fix has helped others.

Thx all
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2013, 02:06 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Here is what I can say for certain:
a) Its Not the Blue/Red vent settings in iDrive. They are 100 blue. Ive adjusted them in winter and summer, and have it set 100% blue.
b) It is Not a matter of the AC gradually getting colder, there is NO cold air whatsoever for 3 to 5 minutes, then all the sudden it blows ICE cold air and remains doing so.
c) Upon starting the car after sitting for 20 hours I got out and saw that the main fan on the engine side of the radiator was blowing (when the Engine was running and the vents blowing out 100-deg outside air when with AC on). I then drove around for about 4 minutes then the cold air started, so I popped the hood, and it seemed like that same fan on the engine-side of the radiator was blowing MUCH harder.

d) I have no "Auxillary" or "pusher" fan on my model, the 2008 528i has One, variable speed fan mounted on the engine-side (inside) of the radiator, and pulls air thru the radiator and AC Condenser coils.

e) Its not the freon levels, they were checked are are good.

f) I have Scoured this and the 5series forums. Hours, and Hours...below I will post links to several threads, but almost all of them have just dies off.

g) The most promising thread ended with a post in 2008 about replacing a blower motor resistor...many other posts stated the dealers wanted to replace the entire Compressor...Does anyone know if there is a NON compressor replacement fix for this issue, such as the AC control unit or this blower motor resistor.

h) I know there is a TBS on this, I downloaded it, it doesnt really help - SIB 64 03 05 - No car Ive ever had, much less a luxury one EVER had a compressor not work upon starting up Ever. Period.

With a mechanical engineering background, I find it extremely strange that replacing the compressor should be the fix...I know these are variable compressors not with the old style clutches, but how could it just start working all the sudden and compress for hours on end, and also work instantly when the car has been off for 3 hours, but not after 8 hours?

To me, it appears the AC system is waiting to detect the engine being warm...a sensor, or pressure switch or perhaps something in the AC control unit..

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I dont feel like dumping $1500-$2000 into a compressor only to keep the same problem.

Here are some links to other threads Ive read:
http://forums.5series.net/e60-discus...4/#post1506647

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=614411

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=538076

http://forums.5series.net/e60-discus...l-55722/page4/

http://forums.5series.net/e60-discus...tioning-89840/
http://forums.5series.net/e60-discus...t-79928/page3/
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2013, 08:06 AM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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So is it just not blowing air out of the vents or it is blowing air but it is hot air? If it is just blowing hot air during that time can you see if the compressor is engaged or not?
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:07 AM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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See OP: Vents Blows Hot*******t air for up to 5 minutes, sometimes longer. Then suddenly ice cold will start coming out for however long I drive it. will also start blowing cold air immediately upon restarting the car after "short" stops, such as 1 to 3 hours stops at store etc. Then after car sits, and engine cools off, it has the delay. Usually when sits for more than 4 hours.

I need to check somehow if compressor is engaged, but my understanding is that BMW uses a variable compressor thats basically always "engaged", and uses internal valves to regulate whether or not its actually compressing. From everything Ive read, there isnt the normal compressor clutch on/off on these BMW's?

I did get out to see if radiator fan was blowing when AC button on - it was, But once the AC started blowing clod air that same radiator fan started blowing much faster.


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Originally Posted by l1tech View Post
So is it just not blowing air out of the vents or it is blowing air but it is hot air? If it is just blowing hot air during that time can you see if the compressor is engaged or not?
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:59 PM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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You mentioned the blower motor resistor in your 1st post which made me think that you were actually having an issue with the blower speed. First things first we need to know if the compressor is actually engaged when this is happening. If it is you will see the center hub on the front side of the compressor turning, if the compressor is not engaged the center hub will be stationary. If the compressor is engaged then I think you may have a sticking expansion valve.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:06 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Well, thats the thing...later-model BMW's dont use an elecro-mechanical clutch on the front of the compressor. The compressor is "always" turning - it uses some type of internal valves to regulate whether or not, and how hard, the compressor works.

This is quite different than most US cars, where the compressor is engaged by the front clutch receiving energy and locking the inner compressor shaft with the pulley.

Ive verified this visually as well - without the AC button on (and without defrost, etc) starting the engine turns the entire front of the AC pulley. With engine running, pressing the AC button on/off has no impact on the front of the compressor, no clicks, nothing, yet the Air will get warm when the AC button is off, and cold when pressed. This verifies the compressor is regulated internally to either spin freely without compressing, or to "work" and compress.

Ive replaced A/C expansion valves before, and to me this does not seem to be the problem, there is a definite correlation between the speed of the radiator fan and whether or not the AC blows cold air. Something is delaying the compressor from "compressing".

Does BMW use a different type of expansion valve also?

The only reason I mentioned the Blower resistor, is because someone on one of the threads I linked to said he was told his AC not blowing cold are was due to that...after looking more into that issue, I have learned the "resistor" or FSU doesnt control the compressor or radiator fan, but the interior blower....which is not a problem in my case.




Quote:
Originally Posted by l1tech View Post
You mentioned the blower motor resistor in your 1st post which made me think that you were actually having an issue with the blower speed. First things first we need to know if the compressor is actually engaged when this is happening. If it is you will see the center hub on the front side of the compressor turning, if the compressor is not engaged the center hub will be stationary. If the compressor is engaged then I think you may have a sticking expansion valve.
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2013, 09:13 PM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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Some late model BMW's do still use a magnetic clutch, it's screwy how they determine which models do and don't use it. Anywho, you have a variable displacement compressor that is electrically controlled by the IKHA. The IKHA duty cycles the solenoid inside of the compressor to change the dispalcement of the compressor depending on various inputs. If you have a lab scope you can tap into the wires at the compressor and check the duty cycle to get an idea if the compressor is being commanded, of course having a BMW cpable scan tool to look at the info in the IKHA is almost essential. If you have a set of ac gauges you can look to see if the compressor is engaged by monitoring the pressures.

As for your cooling fan speed. It will speed up and slow down depending on what the ac high side pressure is to keep the pressure in check. WIth the ac on and under alot of load expect the cooling fan to run on high.

I have heard that on this system it sometimes will take a few minutes after starting for the ac to start operating. It has been said that this is a failsafe as after the vehicle has sat for a while and it is hot outside that the liguid refrigerant will pool in the compressor adn if the compressor were to start working at 100% it could damage the compressor. I agree that it could damage the compressor but I have yet to see this actually happen and I have not been able to find any technicial information on it either.

Without any perssure readings when the problem is happening and also without any scan tool data it is really impossible to guess what the problem may be.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:48 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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I can get hold of the scopes (in due time), used to use them back in the day :-).

Concerning what you mentioned about "liquid" coolant draining back into the compressor...this is something Ive never heard of before hitting the SIB on this issue. BMW actually has stated exactly that...but I have a problem about that type of "explanation". Especially related to AC and really what AC is. Your fairly knowledgeable in it, so let me explain why I think their SI B64 03 05 is lacking, if not downright wrong.

All refrigerant-based AC systems use the basic principal of "heat transfer", and while people explain and use different phrases to explain the same processes going on, its all based on compressing a substance significantly (Freon) (on the opposite side, the compressor "sucks" so hard that it creates a partial vacuum aka the "low" side (which is actually still several PSI higher than atmosphere, the compresing of the freon significantly heats it, so the freon then goes thru the coils in front of the radiator (the condenser) - at this stage the freon is actually liquid, and under very high pressures. From there it goes thru the drier, accumulator etc, and then to the expansion valve...this is where the magic happens...that liquid on the high side wants to pass to the low side - and does so thru the expansion valve, when this happens the high pressure liquid expands rapidly, and physics 101 says that an expanding substance changing from one physical state to another becomes cold....from there its accumulated once again and sucked into the compressor.

Now...id like to know just who thinks ALL A/C systems dont have "liquid" coolant (freon) in them?? The 2 to 4 lbs of freon in all our systems is under such pressure when not running that it is in a semi-liquid if not liquid state all the time. Thats why when the freon is low, the systems wont engage the compressor...

Not only that, but SI B64 03 05 only has two scenarios: 1) Permanent insufficient cooling - which they say is caused by: "Compressor Failure due to damaged internal control valve" and 2) It may take UP TO 2 minutes to displace the liquid refrigerant from the compressor In Extreme Conditions (Like 82-deg outside? LOL) - I have Neither problem, and Dozens of other forum users do too...and not a single one actually locates the real source of the problem...some have done the $1700-$2000 fix with success, but a lot of those posts are 4-6 yrs old...Id really like to not have to get rid of an otherwise very nice car...

I think Im gunna have to do this the old fashioned way, and maybe also try to use a scope...Im really thinking this is a sensor/control unit issue, or its just possible whatever controls the variable displacement inside the compressor itself is either sticking, or being told to stay open longer than 2 minutes! :-(

I can guarantee what a dealer would say: Replace the compressor for $1700, and if that doesnt work, replace Everything else down to the expansion valve...Not gunna happen my friends, if It comes to that, I will be selling and getting another Lexus :-( heck, my 1998 GS has 260K miles on it and I still drive it weekly! WITh Ice Cold Air!

Quote:
Originally Posted by l1tech View Post
Some late model BMW's do still use a magnetic clutch, it's screwy how they determine which models do and don't use it. Anywho, you have a variable displacement compressor that is electrically controlled by the IKHA. The IKHA duty cycles the solenoid inside of the compressor to change the dispalcement of the compressor depending on various inputs. If you have a lab scope you can tap into the wires at the compressor and check the duty cycle to get an idea if the compressor is being commanded, of course having a BMW cpable scan tool to look at the info in the IKHA is almost essential. If you have a set of ac gauges you can look to see if the compressor is engaged by monitoring the pressures.

As for your cooling fan speed. It will speed up and slow down depending on what the ac high side pressure is to keep the pressure in check. WIth the ac on and under alot of load expect the cooling fan to run on high.

I have heard that on this system it sometimes will take a few minutes after starting for the ac to start operating. It has been said that this is a failsafe as after the vehicle has sat for a while and it is hot outside that the liguid refrigerant will pool in the compressor adn if the compressor were to start working at 100% it could damage the compressor. I agree that it could damage the compressor but I have yet to see this actually happen and I have not been able to find any technicial information on it either.

Without any perssure readings when the problem is happening and also without any scan tool data it is really impossible to guess what the problem may be.
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  #9  
Old 05-21-2013, 10:39 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Well, this doesnt necessarily fix my problem in any way, but it now gives me a much better idea of how these variable displacement compressors work: http://www.brakeandfrontend.com/Arti...mpressors.aspx

Wobble Plates...Swach Plates...Oh my...good thing is I "get" what they are doing. Key thing is that the displacement the compressor is allowed to do is directly controlled by a valve...which receives an electronic signal, which can be monitored.

So...now I need to have a lot of patience, figure out where and how to tap into the wires going to the Compressor, and take some readings both with AC button on and with button off when its blowing cold air...this will get me a baseline. Then Im gunna have to let the car sit, overnight and pull the readings again with button on and off, and see if its getting the same readings. If it is, then it would lean toward the controller valve being bad, not the actual compressor...whether or not the valve is replaceable is another story...Im betting not.

Before I do all that, Imma gunna try one more test, so see if the issue is related more toward the engine temp or sensors, rather than the actual AC system: Im gunna get in it after its been sitting for a long while and have the AC button OFF...im gunna drive for 5-10 minutes sweating my @#$ off and then press the AC button...If it still takes 2-5 minutes to blow cold air, then i know its 100% related to the control unit or compressor...if it gets cold instantly, then it could be telling me its engine temp related, and/or related to the radiator fan.

Im kinda hoping maybe its related to the radiator fan being weak, or whatever controls it not telling it to blow hard for whatever reason at first.

Crud....no wonder all the other threads dies off...however this problem gets fixed, or the car is a gonner.

What are the chances BMW USA customer relations would do a compressor fix on a 2008 with only 48K miles?
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2013, 06:55 AM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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Yes all ac systems do have liquid refrigerant in them but the compressor is not supposed to actually move liquid refrigerant. Why? Because we can not compress a liquid. This is the exact reason why they may ramp up the operation of the compressor so as to avoid this from happening.

BMW is not the first mfg to have issues with liquid refrigerant in the comperssor, GM has had issues in their trucks for years. You would turn on the ac after the vehicle had sat for several ours in the heat and the compressor would bang and knock like crazy trying to rid itself of the liquid refrigerant.

Monitoring the control valve signal at the compressor only serves to show that the IKHA is commanding it to do something. This signal will change depending on ambient temperature, sunload, coolant temperature, cooling fan speed and alot of other variables and unless you can actually see what the IKHA is commanding you have no idea if what you are looking at is what you should be seeing.

Driving around with the ac off for a few minuites is not going to tell you anything being that the compressor is always running regardless if the system is on or off. During those few minuites that you have the climate control turned off the compressor has already shed the liquid refrigerant and is ready to function normally.

Where are you located in Phoenix? I may be able to refer you to someone that can properly diagnose what is going on with the system that you can trust. I would tell you to come to my shop but I have a rule against working on/ looking at forum memebers cars.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:24 AM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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Well, a few things, I agree a compressor shouldnt be trying to process a liquid, but with the design of the variable and that wobble-swash plate design it could move any liquid out with in very short time. I do remember the chevy issue a while back, apparently they've fixed it, because my 2008 Avalanche produces ice cold air within 30 seconds regardless of the heat...If BMW Engineers are still designing their systems to not account for a known prior issue, then its just plain lazy and unacceptable - coming from an engineer I will accept no less:-)

What good is it to design a compressor that "acts" like its damaged by not getting cold on hot days in order to "prevent" it from getting damaged? LOL ironic to say the least.

Anyway, as for running the car for 10 minutes without the AC button on, I agree it will not prevent the compressor itself from turning and slowly displacing any liquid..But, what it will tell me is if the IKHA system is telling the compressor to start pumping immediately, and will provide me with a little more information:

The thing is, 5 minutes is too long, and its either waiting 5+/- minutes because the IKHA is sending the compressor a signal to not go more than 1%, or its because its waiting for a sensor to come into the proper range to allow the IKHA to send the compressor the signal to start pumping.

Yes Im in Phoenix, NW Glendale actually which is about 25 miles NW of Pheonix.

thank you :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by l1tech View Post
Yes all ac systems do have liquid refrigerant in them but the compressor is not supposed to actually move liquid refrigerant. Why? Because we can not compress a liquid. This is the exact reason why they may ramp up the operation of the compressor so as to avoid this from happening.

BMW is not the first mfg to have issues with liquid refrigerant in the comperssor, GM has had issues in their trucks for years. You would turn on the ac after the vehicle had sat for several ours in the heat and the compressor would bang and knock like crazy trying to rid itself of the liquid refrigerant.

Monitoring the control valve signal at the compressor only serves to show that the IKHA is commanding it to do something. This signal will change depending on ambient temperature, sunload, coolant temperature, cooling fan speed and alot of other variables and unless you can actually see what the IKHA is commanding you have no idea if what you are looking at is what you should be seeing.

Driving around with the ac off for a few minuites is not going to tell you anything being that the compressor is always running regardless if the system is on or off. During those few minuites that you have the climate control turned off the compressor has already shed the liquid refrigerant and is ready to function normally.

Where are you located in Phoenix? I may be able to refer you to someone that can properly diagnose what is going on with the system that you can trust. I would tell you to come to my shop but I have a rule against working on/ looking at forum memebers cars.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:51 PM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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I don't know of any good shops up your way.

Not trying to be a dick but I don't think that you are going to get anywhere with your diagnostic approach as you are simply guessing without any hard data to support it.

The statement about the compressor acting like it's damaged to prevent damage also doesn't make sense being that after a couple of minutes the ac does function properly. So if the system is preventing operation for a few minutes to displace any liquid refrigerant then it seems to me that it is doing exactly what it was designed to do.

You engineer guys are all the same, again not trying to be a dick. I have alot of clients that are engineers at Intel and they always tend to over complicate matters and are always confused by what the actual cause of the problem is...makes me laugh
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:59 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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I haven't read all the details, however, have you done something as simple as had a set of manifold gauges hooked up to it yet to see what's going on pressure wise?

Also, do you have access to INPA?
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:10 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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I wish it were that simple :-) out here in AZ, finding ANY shop to do something like that without attempting to completely bend you over is a challenge. The one shop I trusted a while ago is now..out of business (they didnt hose enough people to make a profit?).

Now with that said, this problem is not a case of weak AC at all, nor does the AC ever cut out while driving, once it starts compressing it blows ice cold. My experience with AC systems is that low freon will cause the AC to not engage due to low pressure not activating the pressure sensor, as well as AC cutting out while driving for same reason.

Ive replaced many-a-AC parts in the past, including accumulators, compressors, condensor coils, expansion valves, evap coils, etc, every time when the freon was off, it was immediately apparent the refrigerant was the problem. But I agree it does need to be checked for a full evaluation, and I need to do that.

I do plan on having the gauges hooked up at some point, but the way BMW designed these AC systems is to pretty much not allow the compressor to work when refrigerant levels are too high or too low, they have sensors on the high and low sides, as well as inside the compressor, and temperature readings on the high side at the condenser, as well as at the evap...if any of those readings are out of whack, no AC.

Being that the AC will blow cold air immediately after sitting for less than 3 hours, also tells me the freon levels are likely good, and that something reading into the IKHA tells it to engage the compressor only at minimum displacement upon starting only after the car has sat for longer than 3 or 4 hours.

I am not familiar with INPA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
I haven't read all the details, however, have you done something as simple as had a set of manifold gauges hooked up to it yet to see what's going on pressure wise?

Also, do you have access to INPA?
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Last edited by arizona-dave; 05-22-2013 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:13 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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schpenxpl: Thx for Hatip on INPA...looks like diagnostics SW via and ODBII cable :-) ... that may help me a lot.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:06 PM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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It's a drive for you but here is a very good BMW independent, they are just right around the corner form where I live. All of their business is basically word of mouth and they have been in business for quite a while. It just might be worth your time and $$ to have them look it over.

http://www.beyermotorworks.com/
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:17 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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A set of gauges can be had for $50..

I tend to agree that you're over thinking this at this point. Hook the gauges up and see what's going on, see if any errors/issues show up with INPA and go from there.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:39 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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I may end up doing that, too bad they are an hour from my end of town , but may end up being worth the trip, I really enjoy driving the car and am hoping to get this fixed.

TY

Quote:
Originally Posted by l1tech View Post
It's a drive for you but here is a very good BMW independent, they are just right around the corner form where I live. All of their business is basically word of mouth and they have been in business for quite a while. It just might be worth your time and $$ to have them look it over.

http://www.beyermotorworks.com/
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:41 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
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You know, I was just thinking exactly that, guages are not all that expensive, and Ive needed them before.

And it looks like the INPA is also something any hand-on type of person needs for a BMW...if it allows be to look at several systems it will be worth its weight in gold (well, maybe silver) LOL

thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
A set of gauges can be had for $50..

I tend to agree that you're over thinking this at this point. Hook the gauges up and see what's going on, see if any errors/issues show up with INPA and go from there.
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  #20  
Old 05-23-2013, 09:54 AM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
Its a "Dry" Heat
Location: Phoenix, Az
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 151
Mein Auto: 2009 528i
May be on to something...
http://www.polarbearinc.com/Webstore...ategory_ID=945

2008 528i uses a Compressor "type" 7SEU17C (evidently thats not a model number, its the type of compressor how AC techs identify)- however it can be a few different models, with or without diode and a few diff O-ring variations...gunne get the ID marks off compressor and then they will cross reference to the correct Control Valve.

Was told its almost certainly a NippenDenso valve in the compressor.

http://www.polarbearinc.com/Webstore...ategory_ID=951

http://polarbearinc.com/polarblog/?p=78


http://www.latticetech.com/automotiv...rol_valve.html
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2008 528i Black on Black - Pretty well loaded only 44K miles - BiXenon Adaptive Headlights - What a nice car to Drive, first car to Rival my 1998 Lexus GS300!

Last edited by arizona-dave; 05-23-2013 at 10:09 AM.
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  #21  
Old 05-23-2013, 10:27 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i
Put some damn gauges on the thing. Jesus
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  #22  
Old 05-23-2013, 09:59 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
Its a "Dry" Heat
Location: Phoenix, Az
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 151
Mein Auto: 2009 528i
LOL...when? when my wife is driving it every day? at 11:00pm when its still warm?

Patience amigo patience...The car has to be off for a LONG time before it acts up.

Now...How much do you want to bet that the gauges say the freon levels are perfectly fine??? Im putting it at about 95%...If the freon was low, I simply would not be getting ice cold air for 3 hours from Phoenix to Yuma in 105-deg weather...too much freon and in that heat the system would turn the compressor off.

I will take a reading, but everything right now is pointing toward the wobble-plate in the compressor not being tilted far enough, and it happens to be tilted by a $75 valve which is controlled by the IKHA controller.

Now...what did Jezus have to do wit it? LOL

PS: In order to even attempt the valve I have to remove the freon, so regardless it will have gauges hooked up before ANY repair attempt is made, if that makes ya feel betr :-)

On another note....is there a way to keep the "parked car ventalation" settings turned on everyday without having to go into the menu daily? Or does it automatically reset daily?

Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Put some damn gauges on the thing. Jesus
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Last edited by arizona-dave; 05-23-2013 at 10:02 PM.
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  #23  
Old 05-24-2013, 07:27 AM
l1tech l1tech is offline
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Location: AZ
 
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Mein Auto: 09 528i
A set of gauges is going to tell you alot more than refrigerant charge if you understand how an ac system works and cause and affect. With todays cars holding very low amounts of refrigerant it is hard to accurately judge charge level by looking at pressure readings and sometimes a couple of ounces here or there makes a big difference but that is almost undetectable with a set of gauges especially to a person who has never realistically diagnosed an ac system.
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  #24  
Old 05-24-2013, 01:19 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1tech View Post
A set of gauges is going to tell you alot more than refrigerant charge if you understand how an ac system works and cause and affect. With todays cars holding very low amounts of refrigerant it is hard to accurately judge charge level by looking at pressure readings and sometimes a couple of ounces here or there makes a big difference but that is almost undetectable with a set of gauges especially to a person who has never realistically diagnosed an ac system.
ding ding ding.

Having a set of gauges isn't just to check whether you have enough freon or not. You could find out the compressor isn't coming on for the first few minutes, it could be coming on but a vent that mixes hot/cold air are adding in hot air when they shouldn't be, etc., etc. It could be coming on and spiking to some crazy pressure then going back to nothing, then turning back on 5 minutes later. The point is, without them, you don't know.
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  #25  
Old 05-24-2013, 07:17 PM
arizona-dave arizona-dave is offline
Its a "Dry" Heat
Location: Phoenix, Az
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 151
Mein Auto: 2009 528i
Hold on a few microseconds guys...First, Im no dummy :-), I am an engineer, and while I may not be an "Expert", I have certainly diagnosed and fixed problems on many other high-end cars, home AC systems, Automatic Transmissions, computer networks, etc, which the "Experts" said were basically "Done - need to replace" - I am NOT an AC expert, I am however an Expert at problem solving and getting down to exactly what the problem is...and ding ding ding, MOST experts cannot do that, and I have tons of first hand experience where My excessive persistence has taught the expert how to properly do their job.

Now...Gauges indeed will tell me several things, and I can correlate the PSI on the Hi and Low side directly with the outside temperature to determine if the hi/low are indeed in the correct range. There is much-a-info on this in the public realm. However gauges WONT tell me WHY the pressure is on or off.

I think there is a disconnect between the Exact symptoms im experiencing, and what most of us are familiar with as far as culprits. I am experiencing a COMMON BMW issue, it has SI B's on it, and the main thing replaced was the compressor in its entirety. Why would a dealer bother removing the compressor, replacing the $75 valve, and reinstalling an "Old and probably almost worn out" compressor when they can just do the whole thing at once?

The compressor simply is NOT compressing upon start-ups after the car sits for a while. Period. Being that its a wobble-plate continuously variable compressor, that tells me for certain the valve is NOT engaging the wobble plate at an angle...Not If, but for sure...the only question now is Why.

And gauges simply wont tell me Why the valve is engaging, they will simply confirm there is little difference in the hi vs low side when the system isnt blowing cold.

remember: It Does start compressing immediately upon start-up if the car has already run and then sat for 30min, 1hr, 2hr, 3hr....after sitting for more than about 3 hours it reverts back to the delay.

Either the valve gets Stuck for some reason after sitting...Or the IKHA is telling the valve to stay off, OR due to the lower temperature after sitting, the IKHA is detecting a lower-than-required pressure reading in the system and thus not engaging the valve...



Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
ding ding ding.

Having a set of gauges isn't just to check whether you have enough freon or not. You could find out the compressor isn't coming on for the first few minutes, it could be coming on but a vent that mixes hot/cold air are adding in hot air when they shouldn't be, etc., etc. It could be coming on and spiking to some crazy pressure then going back to nothing, then turning back on 5 minutes later. The point is, without them, you don't know.
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