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Pray you never have an Evaporator die

6190 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Supercourse
Our 07 X3's evaporator had a leak and the AC stopped blowing cold. Its a $3k job at the dealer!!! Luckily its covered under the CPO program.

If your AC does go out, just pray, pray hard, its one of the pressure lines or the condenser. The condenser is pricey, but much easier to replace then pulling the entire dash forward to get access to the evaporator.
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wow! i will add this to my prayers as you suggest. "Lord, please allow me to outlive my X3's evaporator. Thank you, Lord!"
:)
Really? the entire instrument panel has to come out to access it? While it's possible, that would be a terrible design by BMW--Hondas and Toyotas don't require dash removal to replace heater cores and evaporators.
Yes, BMW dashboards are one huge freaking piece. The only way to access the evap, at least in the X3/E46, is to pull the dash forward.
Really? the entire instrument panel has to come out to access it? While it's possible, that would be a terrible design by BMW--Hondas and Toyotas don't require dash removal to replace heater cores and evaporators.
It's actually pretty common any more. This is a Chevy:



http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f136/2000-chevy-blazer-heater-core-replacement-419854/#post6766427

I also found a YouTube video of an X3.

Really? the entire instrument panel has to come out to access it? While it's possible, that would be a terrible design by BMW--Hondas and Toyotas don't require dash removal to replace heater cores and evaporators.
The evaporator coil (A/C) went on my wifes 04 X3 almost 2 years ago. Lucky for us it was covered under the CPO warranry, but would have cost us around $2200 to fix.

Since the warranty was good for 80,000 miles and the X3 had 78,000 on her when this happened, we sold the X3 right away and bought a 2010 Acura RDX cpo.

BMW's are great cars, when in warranty.
I was all ready to say you got ripped off etc. But after watching that video......

The dealership didn't charge you enough :yikes:

That is absolutely ridiculous to have to go thru that much effort to do an evap. I thought the dash removals Ive done before were bad.
All E46s are pretty much like this. My AC guy who takes care of most of my cars needs that I can't/won't tackle, asked if my X3 was CPO...he suggested I complain to BMW that the AC is intermittently warm prior to the CPO expiring just for this issue.
That video was ridiculous.
Hows the RDX treating yeah with it horrible gas mileage & terrible ride:rofl:? I work on those every day, reliable for the most part but would not trade a same year X3 for one thats for sure.
The evaporator coil (A/C) went on my wifes 04 X3 almost 2 years ago. Lucky for us it was covered under the CPO warranry, but would have cost us around $2200 to fix.

Since the warranty was good for 80,000 miles and the X3 had 78,000 on her when this happened, we sold the X3 right away and bought a 2010 Acura RDX cpo.

BMW's are great cars, when in warranty.
I've heard of evaps conking out on the current design M3s as well. I wonder how common this is accross brands and models?
Not too common I'd say, with no make or model particularly at risk.
But BMW is certainly well represented if you google 'evaporator core failure'.

I see the Mercedes S Class in the '90's had quite a problem because of incompatible materials in construction of the core.

In general, as with any refrigeration component, if you have a less than ideal weld somewhere it could start leaking at some point.

Other than manufacturing defects, this article provides some insight on how things can go wrong otherwise:

http://macsworldwide.wordpress.com/...is-an-important-part-of-your-car's-ac-system/

Moral of the story might be to watch out for damp leaves getting past your cabin filter, be suspicious if your conditioned air doesn't smell good, and of course, run A/C regularly for a few minutes even in winter.
Keeping seals lubricated isn't the whole story, but worth watching out for.
I wonder how common this is accross brands and models?
Wow. What a terrible design. Evap/heater cores in and of themselves aren't that expensive---jus tear out the entire instrument panel to change it.
Actually the ride is very good and getting 20mpg. Not bad considering I was getting 21 with the X3.

Thanks for asking.
Hows the RDX treating yeah with it horrible gas mileage & terrible ride:rofl:? I work on those every day, reliable for the most part but would not trade a same year X3 for one thats for sure.
Got the X3 back with a cold AC. The radio wasnt re-installed flush, and the passenger side vent was loose. All but 15min of work to resolve myself (I've removed the radio before, it can be tricky to put back flush). Other then those two minor issues, the dealer did put the dash back together great and there are no rattles/scuff marks. I am happy.
I had two leaking evaporators on an E30, which normal approach requires for the entire console/instrument panel to be removed! However, a skilled local bmw garage had another approach. Since removingmthe panel on a 20 year old car is not ideal, since after all those years of sun cooking of the plastics you will either damage, crack something and at the end will end up with something like a rattle snake... They instead loosened the bolts holding it into place, raised it by a few centimetres (at least as much as needed) to have decent access to remove the evaporator and swap it. They did this twice and the good thing is that it was much less effort and less labour..... However, i pray to the bmw god that my x3 doesn't killl its evaporator and don't have to find out if the same trick can be applied! The worst thing for me, was the wet carpet which both times happened during winter time and was so much trouble drying it out, was driving around for about a week with full heater on and a window open to get the moisture out!
I don't see what the big deal is. In that video, the guy started with the X3 apart. So based on the time it took to reinstalled the dash being the same as to remove it, the whole job took only about 10 minutes. You just need to find a guy as fast as the guy in the video.
But he doesn't understand English that well, and the customer only asked for a tire rotation.
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