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G30 (2017 - Current)
The next generation 5 Series, chassis code G30, arrives at dealers in February 2017. Looking like a scaled down 7 Series and riding on the CLAR platform, the new 5 Series will have a focus on lightweight and sporty performance. Engines options will come from BMW's new B family for the 530 and 540 and a turbocharged V8 for the M550i. Read more about the 2017 5 Series

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  #1  
Old 08-24-2019, 02:35 PM
KTBD KTBD is offline
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G30 540i Design Flaw

Has anyone else (I know of at least one other in my town) experienced this issue? If so how did you get it fixed?

SYMPTOMS: When air temps are in the high 90s - low 100s, the cabin AC system will randomly SHUT DOWN, becoming non-responsive to console temp or fan controls. It stays off for 5-10 minutes, then turns itself back on.

COMMENT: 5-10 minutes without AC in southern AZ is just plain unacceptable. We have never had that issue with the other 3 BMWs we have owned, and plainly not with any other of the numerous makes of cars we have owned that cost much less than this one.

DEALER "DIAGNOSIS": Local dealer service dept and (I was told) an out of town "BMW engineer" say the system is working "as designed." They cited AC working fluid pressure exceeding limits, so system shuts itself off until pressures drop. Nowhere was there any statement about WHY the system was in overpressure - no troubleshooting at all.

OBSERVATIONS: Air temps in Tucson can be above 110F for long strings of weeks/months at a time. So it looks to me like BMW has under-designed the 540i AC system, making one that is inadequate for cars that have to operate in the deserts of the world. I get that intermittent problems are hard to deal with. But with 2 cars in the shop at the same time for the same problem should be a clue that the problem is real and should be addressed. Having a dealer not being aggressive about seeking root causes is off-putting, to say the least.

As well as the G30 5 series, has anyone heard of this issue in other current generation models? Or is just the 540 "special"?

Software developers: should we be chatting about environmental control software upgrades?

Glad we leased this car. Sad it's a 3-year term.
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2019, 03:12 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTBD View Post
AC working fluid pressure exceeding limits,
The only way that a saturated pressure system can get above saturation pressure is for it to go solid - that is, be overcharged filled with all liquid refrigerant with no room for any vapor.

I just noticed, two cars with the same problem explanation but at the same shadetree. Whoever is lying to you has no physics.

How is your battery, its age and its charge? The ECU can defeat non-vital comfort services.

Nuclear power PW reactors operate under saturated conditions. There is a steam volume maintained much hotter than the average coolant temperature to maintain plant pressure way above saturation pressure for normal operating temperature. The only way to get pressure above saturation for the pressurizer temperature is to charge the coolant 'refrigerant' volume solid with no vapor space. Then the pressure relief valves start lifting like they did at TMI.
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Last edited by Doug Huffman; 08-24-2019 at 03:19 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2019, 08:22 PM
KTBD KTBD is offline
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Not sure it's lying. Maybe just people with a limited experience base, none of whom took high school chemistry or physics. They all appear to be younger than my adult children.

I can think of at least 4 chains of troubleshooting that apparently were not even attempted. The first one being capture back 5% of the Freon in the system for just your scenario. Then see if the problem recurs. Maybe 5% isn't the correct number. But still....

The car was shipped to USA from Bremerhaven after Nov 25, 2018. Leased to us Dec 20, 2018. Could it be that the factory overcharges the system for the transport across oceans, with the expectation that Port Hueneme or the dealer will prep the AC for real use?

When brand new, I placed its battery on a tender until the tender went into maintenance mode. The car returned 2 weeks ago from a 1K mile road trip. So I doubt low charge issues with the battery.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2019, 05:33 AM
SteveinArizona SteveinArizona is offline
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I am in greater Phoenix where the temperature is higher than Tucson. While my car is normally garaged, it does sit in the sun at golf courses for hours (thank goodness for climatize now) and I have not had any experience of my AC shutting down no matter the temperature. Your dealership is BSing you if it tells you that this is normal for a luxury automobile. Normally, I would advise you to seek another dealership but I believe there is only one in the Tucson area.

I did a search and here is one old thread about a similar problem on an older car:

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=386661

Keep pressing the dealership or start dealing with BMWNA directly.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2019, 07:09 AM
Benbrooks Benbrooks is offline
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Houston here. I've never seen this with my 540, and I've driven in some miserable heat for hours at a time.
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2019, 07:43 AM
luigi524td luigi524td is online now
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Hot and humid here in the Garden State (Southern NJ). I bought my '17 540xDrive (G30) early in 2017 - March / April - it was an "early" production model. First exposure to warm weather and the AC exhibited some real short-comings ... well documented and frequently discussed on these and other forums for many many months. There were some early fixes (?? software-firmware ??) applied by my BMW service center AND some RE-EDUCATION on my part to overcome/modify what I thought to be the "correct" settings for temp-fan speed-etc etc.

That seems to be behind us now and under most conditions the AC cools the cabin (my BMW is Black Sapphire BTW) just fine. As a matter of fact I generally set the "temp" at 74 degrees on both sides and feel comfortable even when outside temps are in the sunny and in mid-90's! I have noted that on a BRIGHT SUNNY LATE-DAY when the sun beams into the car at a lower angle AND I'm wearing dark (black) clothes ... (meeting all those conditions simultaneously is RARE) that I can feel a lot warmer and might lower the temp on that side of the car.

All that said - I have NEVER experienced what the OP has written about. IF I had I would expect a comprehensive interrogation of the car's HVAC system - IMHO something is not correct - NOT EVEN FOR A low-priced economy car. IF your dealer can't replicate the situation and diagnose I'd recommend some way for the OP to document the situation whenever it occurs. Cell phone video ... thermometer ... independent third part written documentation = whatever the OP can provide to document in detail what is going on with the vehicle. Even as techno-heavy as new cars are they simply don't / can't capture even detail of operation. And if I (the dealer) can't see it or document it then they might fairly say "we can't fix it".

Good luck - try to keep your cool :-)
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2019, 09:12 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Have spent way too much time here on BF over the years, never heard of a problem like yours, certainly not on the G30.

Two 540's in the service bays for the same issue? By any chance were both 504's purchased from / prepped by the same dealer? Is it possible that dealer is doing something incorrect with prep, like over-filling / over-pressurizing the A/C?
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2019, 09:15 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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PS: While I understand your frustration, using the term "Design Flaw" in the title of your thread is a bit much, don't you think? It's only a "design" flaw if the problem you experienced was due to an inherent problem with the system's design. If there were, it would affecting hundreds or thousands of 540's being operated in hot climates. That is not the case. You may have a lemon (it happens) or you may have a car which was incompetently prepped / serviced. Rather churlish to blame your problems on the BMW designers or the brand, don't you think?
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2017 540i MSport
2016 428 GC MSport

Prior BMW's
2015 X1 35i xDrive
2015 X1 28i xDrive
2014 535i MSport
2014 328i SportWagon
2011 535ix MSport
2011 X5 35D
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2008 X5 3.0
2007 X5 3.0
2006 X5 3.0
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2019, 12:50 PM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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Climate activists are claiming the end of the world, for extreme hot weather overhere (hmmm). Luckily my AC is perfect.
No sweat what so ever over this sublime BMW feature. The climate control of the car is working like a dream.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2019, 01:00 PM
SteveinArizona SteveinArizona is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
PS: While I understand your frustration, using the term "Design Flaw" in the title of your thread is a bit much, don't you think? It's only a "design" flaw if the problem you experienced was due to an inherent problem with the system's design. If there were, it would affecting hundreds or thousands of 540's being operated in hot climates. That is not the case. You may have a lemon (it happens) or you may have a car which was incompetently prepped / serviced. Rather churlish to blame your problems on the BMW designers or the brand, don't you think?
To be fair to the OP, he was likely referring to the dealership informing him that it was normal. If it was normal, then I would agree that it is a design flaw. But as can be seen from the replies to this thread, it is NOT normal.
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2019, 10:09 PM
KTBD KTBD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
PS: While I understand your frustration, using the term "Design Flaw" in the title of your thread is a bit much, don't you think? It's only a "design" flaw if the problem you experienced was due to an inherent problem with the system's design. If there were, it would affecting hundreds or thousands of 540's being operated in hot climates. That is not the case. You may have a lemon (it happens) or you may have a car which was incompetently prepped / serviced. Rather churlish to blame your problems on the BMW designers or the brand, don't you think?
You & others took the bait of my title, which was my intent. I was out to gather data quickly about how frequently this issue was occurring elsewhere. Two same models in shop at the same time for the same issue says something could be wrong with a production batch or a "dealer prep" batch -- which happens for AZ cars in Port Hueneme CA, not at the dealers.

I appreciate everyone's timely comments and reports. I have an appointment with the service manager tomorrow to see if I can get some cooperation in troubleshooting, which I understand is an alien concept in most repair shops now. If not, I have some other choices up I-10 a ways.

FWIW, I have driven and rallyed in BMWs before BMWs were a thing in this country. I can attest that these latest cars and the people who design them are different now than their predecessors.
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2019, 05:52 PM
JoeRock550 JoeRock550 is offline
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I have a 2017 340i and the AC shuts off at random once in a while, then it won't do it for a couple of weeks, and then it will start doing it again. I never bothered to mention it to the dealer because I can't replicate it, and they won't do anything about it if they can't see the problem. Frustrating.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:23 PM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTBD View Post
You & others took the bait of my title, which was my intent.
So "baiting" the active members here is a strategy you think is okay? Worked for you once, probably won't work a second time. Welcome to my Ignore list.

And yes, the G models are a far cry from the 2002 tii I TSD rallied in college. The BMW designers of the 21st century have to deal with CAFE, passenger restraint systems, emissions, telematics, yada, yada. You may as well say your 540 is "different" from your grandfather's horse and buggy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRock550 View Post
I have a 2017 340i and the AC shuts off at random once in a while, then it won't do it for a couple of weeks, and then it will start doing it again.
If you have a 340 (and your sig says you have an F10), that car is an F30 and uses a different A/C system than the G30 540. You may have more luck on the F30 board, where there are several threads on A/C issues.
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2019, 05:24 PM
mustkill mustkill is offline
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Knowing AC systems in general, I would suspect:
1. overcharging - check pressure.
2. Pressure sensor failure, it might be 2 sensors: low and high pressure, good idea to check.
Your dealer definitely have no idea how it works.
GL.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:22 PM
JoeRock550 JoeRock550 is offline
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Originally Posted by quackbury View Post

If you have a 340 (and your sig says you have an F10), that car is an F30 and uses a different A/C system than the G30 540. You may have more luck on the F30 board, where there are several threads on A/C issues.
Had an F10 550, then an F10 M5, both gone, G30 550 ordered. Couldn't care less about the 340 or it's air conditioning problem, frankly, as it's gone in 2 months . Just thought it might be notable that a similar problem to the OP's was occurring in a different model.

Last edited by JoeRock550; 08-27-2019 at 06:47 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08-27-2019, 08:32 PM
KTBD KTBD is offline
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JoeRock550, do you know if the cabin HVAC design on yours is the same or different than the 540 design?

mustkill, Your final observation: I'm now convinced that they do, very well.

For others, this is my final post on this thread. Turns out this behavior in a few G30 540i cars is well known by the dealer shops in Tucson, Phoenix 7 Las Vegas. This is according to the BMW regional engineer for the SW USA. The shop managers and service managers in these 3 locations are just as frustrated that they cannot offer a fix to the relatively few owners who experience these issues as are the owners who experience the issue.

But since only a couple of you reported experiencing this issue, it's not worth board time to provide details of the dialog or compensating methods.

If you, or anyone you hear of experiences the issue and wants to understand what's going on, just PM me. For the rest of you, I'm glad you don't have this issue.

KTBD
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His Prior: 1991 BMW E32 (Totaled by others in a test drive)
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:57 AM
Cool1 Cool1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTBD View Post
Has anyone else (I know of at least one other in my town) experienced this issue? If so how did you get it fixed?

SYMPTOMS: When air temps are in the high 90s - low 100s, the cabin AC system will randomly SHUT DOWN, becoming non-responsive to console temp or fan controls. It stays off for 5-10 minutes, then turns itself back on.

COMMENT: 5-10 minutes without AC in southern AZ is just plain unacceptable. We have never had that issue with the other 3 BMWs we have owned, and plainly not with any other of the numerous makes of cars we have owned that cost much less than this one.

DEALER "DIAGNOSIS": Local dealer service dept and (I was told) an out of town "BMW engineer" say the system is working "as designed." They cited AC working fluid pressure exceeding limits, so system shuts itself off until pressures drop. Nowhere was there any statement about WHY the system was in overpressure - no troubleshooting at all.

OBSERVATIONS: Air temps in Tucson can be above 110F for long strings of weeks/months at a time. So it looks to me like BMW has under-designed the 540i AC system, making one that is inadequate for cars that have to operate in the deserts of the world. I get that intermittent problems are hard to deal with. But with 2 cars in the shop at the same time for the same problem should be a clue that the problem is real and should be addressed. Having a dealer not being aggressive about seeking root causes is off-putting, to say the least.

As well as the G30 5 series, has anyone heard of this issue in other current generation models? Or is just the 540 "special"?

Software developers: should we be chatting about environmental control software upgrades?

Glad we leased this car. Sad it's a 3-year term.
I don't know what may have been done so far to diagnose your problem but I would suggest you have the BMW shop remove the refrigerant charge, evacuate the system and weigh in the proper charge as per BMW. It may be a problem where something went wrong with the scales used to weigh in the proper refrigerant charge at the factory.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:37 AM
Phas Phas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTBD View Post
The shop managers and service managers in these 3 locations are just as frustrated that they cannot offer a fix to the relatively few owners who experience these issues as are the owners who experience the issue.

But since only a couple of you reported experiencing this issue, it's not worth board time to provide details of the dialog or compensating methods.

If you, or anyone you hear of experiences the issue and wants to understand what's going on, just PM me. For the rest of you, I'm glad you don't have this issue.

KTBD
Wait!!...Wait!!!
I don't get it..sorry, so please explain it to me.
The OP describes an issue (I presume to get answers). He/she receives various constructive feedback, but just because only a couple reported similar issues he has decided that it is not worth the boards time to provide details or compensating methods. The OP did use the boards time to provide a detailed explanation of the issue, but not the detail of the results, so why ask the original question?
Your logic Sir, does not compute.
Cheers
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  #19  
Old 08-30-2019, 09:49 AM
bklyn550 bklyn550 is offline
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Never had this issue in NYC up to 100 this summer that being said I feel like the AC is weak


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  #20  
Old 08-30-2019, 01:20 PM
gooselee gooselee is offline
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Atlanta. Drove all summer in the high 90s and no issues like this.

My complaint is the seat ventilation is loud when you don't have the radio on. Sometimes I like to drive with the radio off and just listen to the engine.
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