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Help...my wife's 2006 328i needed a new evaporator core (according to BMW). They quoted us $2,500. I took it to a local shop that is well-reviewed and has done good work for me in the past on my X5, and uses original BMW parts. They quoted $1,700. Sold!

Once we got it back, now the cooling fan is incredibly noisy! I mean incredibly! You can hear it inside the car...you can hear in another car in front of my wife. It sounds like a jet engine now. I took it back and they simply told me there's nothing wrong - they checked for leaks, hooked up the diagnostic computer, etc. it clearly doesn't sound right though. What could they have done?
 

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Do you mean the cooling fan in front of the radiator or the HVAC blower motor under the glovebox? I don't see how the radiator fan could have been effected by the repair, its almost entirely inside the car that is disassembled/re-assembled. Unless you mean the condenser was replaced?
 

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Do you mean the cooling fan in front of the radiator or the HVAC blower motor under the glovebox? I don't see how the radiator fan could have been effected by the repair, its almost entirely inside the car that is disassembled/re-assembled. Unless you mean the condenser was replaced?
I do mean the radiator fan. It's bizarre.....they hooked the diagnostic computer up and you can watch the fan speed ramp up when the a/c is turned on. Not like the incredible noise isn't enough. I couldn't see how they were connected. But they just kept telling me nothing is showing any fault. Then why does my fan suddenly sound like a GE-90 turbofan? I don't know if they replaced the condenser or not....ill check the paperwork later when I get home.
 

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I do mean the radiator fan. It's bizarre.....they hooked the diagnostic computer up and you can watch the fan speed ramp up when the a/c is turned on. Not like the incredible noise isn't enough. I couldn't see how they were connected. But they just kept telling me nothing is showing any fault. Then why does my fan suddenly sound like a GE-90 turbofan? I don't know if they replaced the condenser or not....ill check the paperwork later when I get home.
Well, have a look under the bonnet. See anything amiss?

Only when AC activated you say? Sounds like something connected incorrectly, giving system signal to go into high gear....

[How to detect bad evaporator]

When an evaporator leaks you usually detect eau de lube. Did you smell the musty AC odor? Evaporator replacement:

https://youtu.be/IYVBcn4LB7I
 

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CAL, I thought the musty smell is from the mold/mildew that forms on the evaporator core and that the way to get rid of it is to either run the fan with the AC off or to run the heat. Are you saying that a musty smell means the evaporator is leaking?

Well, have a look under the bonnet. See anything amiss?

Only when AC activated you say? Sounds like something connected incorrectly, giving system signal to go into high gear....

[How to detect bad evaporator]

When an evaporator leaks you usually detect eau de lube. Did you smell the musty AC odor? Evaporator replacement
 

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In my experience, the radiator fan turns on within a minute or so of turning on the AC compressor. It increases air flow over the condenser which is the "outside" portion of the air conditioner located near the radiator. Mine does this every time, although when its really hot outside it does it faster and you can sometimes hear it in the car when you are sitting at a light. So its technically "normal" to some extent for the radiator fan to run when the AC is turned on. Why its louder now than before, i'm not sure.

When my evaporator leaked it smelled like chemicals when I enabled the AC - not mildew. I'm not impressed with the quality of the HVAC system in this car. My evaporator leaked at less than 20k miles. I'm guessing its bad QA/bad part from the factory. But it makes me nervous going forward.

BMW dealers seem to not acknowledge this as a common issue, so their "go-to" repair is to put more chemicals in there to try to "kill the mildew" - which of course only confuses things if its actually the evaporator leaking.

BMW4Lee, I read a bunch of your posts on the AC issue before I realized that was what was going on with mine. Did yours fail again after the repair? If so, how long did it take?
 

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CAL, I thought the musty smell is from the mold/mildew that forms on the evaporator core and that the way to get rid of it is to either run the fan with the AC off or to run the heat. Are you saying that a musty smell means the evaporator is leaking?
Can be that, or refrigerant lube. The smells are different. But so's everybody's nose!

Saw Star Trek over weekend - more o'the same, but well done indeed. Saturday kinda stuff. Rock & Roll Saves The Universe, good for something at last....
 

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asus389, it has not failed again. Aside from the smell in your car, how did you know you had a leak? Did it stop blowing cold?

BMW4Lee, I read a bunch of your posts on the AC issue before I realized that was what was going on with mine. Did yours fail again after the repair? If so, how long did it take?
 

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asus389, it has not failed again. Aside from the smell in your car, how did you know you had a leak? Did it stop blowing cold?
Just the smell. It never stopped blowing cold. I would also get symptoms of chemical exposure when running the AC. And occasionally I would hear rattling from under the car with the AC on. I was told sometimes the compressor makes funny noises when the refrigerant gets low.

It was very annoying to get fixed. I took it in 3 times before they would even look at the AC pressures or put dye in the system. They kept telling me it was mildew and then suggesting they put disinfectant in the system. My previous E90 had the mildew problem and it smelled nothing like this, so I persisted.

Originally I was pretty convinced the chemical smell was actually antifreeze because the car had an antifreeze leak that had previously been fixed, but I went out and bought a CFC sniffer on Amazon and stuck it in the vents. It went off strongly when the AC was turned on and slowly stopped alarming when the AC was disabled. It didn't go off when the heat alone was on.

I took this info to the dealer and they then tested the AC. It was diagnosed based on dye in the condensate draining from the car and less than a normal amount of refrigerant recovered when they tested the system.
 
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