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  • A/C Not Working....

    I know this must have been discussed, but my search efforts really didn't come up with anything acceptable. My A/C is not working....only today did I try it after over 1.5 years of ownership. I really didn't care much about it when I found the car, as everything else was so good, I thought if it needs work I'll take care of it later.

    Well, now is "later". As long as the added weight of the A/C system is on the car I want it to work! Has anyone put together a comprehensive technical troubleshooting article on stock E30 M3 A/C systems? If so, someone please provide a link if you have it.

    The car has a new receiver Drier and everything appears to be there....so, maybe there's a cut wire or it needs charging....I don't know yet. The Compressor doesn't turn on, but the blower works as does the switch and all dash controls....just no compressor (clutch doesn't engage). The pulley and belt function fine.

    I have some experience with these systems form other cars, so I know the basics. Has anyone used that replacement Freon Refrigerant Stuff (Freeze 12, or other?) I may try that stuff once I get into it. I'd prefer to not do a swap to R134, except as a last resort.

    Any help or advice from those of you who have been through this is appreciated!

    John

  • #2
    1. The compressor won't engage if there isn't enough pressure diferential in the system.

    2. The R134a BMW conversion kit works as good as the R12

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi John,
      First up with safty glasses on remove one of the plastic caps from the a/c charging ports and push down the valve there should pressurised gass escape from the system, if not there is a leak this will stop the compressor clutch from engaging via the pressure switch on the r/dryer.
      Next is to inspect the wire going to the compressor, mine was broken in three places and this is a common problem.
      If the wire looks ok disconect it at the l/h headlight area and connect direct to 12v you should hear a clonk as the clutch engauges if not there is a problem with the wire to the clutch.
      With key in on position for next checks.
      If the clutch engages when clutch feed is connected to 12v reconnect the compressor wire and disconnect the electrical plug on the receiver dryer then connect the two ternimals together on the loom side (with a jump wire) if the compressor goes clonk this means the system is low on charge.
      I would recharge with r134a if the system reguires to be recharged and would not install a blend/replacement for r12.
      I have listed the procedure for r134a conversion here .
      Regards, Dave.
      http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread...highlight=134a

      http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread.php?t=39652

      http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread...2Fc+compressor

      E30 M3 1987
      Mini Clubman GT
      BMW E36 323 Msport
      Toyota Corona
      KTM 200EXC
      Honda CB50 (1979)

      Comment


      • #4
        BMW sells a mini kit that changes the drier and pressure switch to R134a. That is your only hope because if you have a leak recharging with R12 is big $$$$$$$$.
        There'll be Spandex jackets one for everyone ...

        Comment


        • #5
          Hasn't anyone used Freeze 12?

          I've heard of some good results (just google it), and it won't require a complete conversion....it's environmentally friendly, EPA approved R12 substitute, & colder than R134A - or so I've heard, and easy to use, so why not give it a try? Of course, I'll make sure the wires to my compressor are functioning first.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dave @nz View Post
            Hi John,
            First up with safty glasses on remove one of the plastic caps from the a/c charging ports and push down the valve there should pressurised gass escape from the system, if not there is a leak this will stop the compressor clutch from engaging via the pressure switch on the r/dryer.
            Next is to inspect the wire going to the compressor, mine was broken in three places and this is a common problem.
            If the wire looks ok disconect it at the l/h headlight area and connect direct to 12v you should hear a clonk as the clutch engauges if not there is a problem with the wire to the clutch.
            With key in on position for next checks.
            If the clutch engages when clutch feed is connected to 12v reconnect the compressor wire and disconnect the electrical plug on the receiver dryer then connect the two ternimals together on the loom side (with a jump wire) if the compressor goes clonk this means the system is low on charge.
            I would recharge with r134a if the system reguires to be recharged and would not install a blend/replacement for r12.
            I have listed the procedure for r134a conversion here .
            Regards, Dave.
            http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread...highlight=134a

            http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread.php?t=39652

            http://www.s14.net/forums/showthread...2Fc+compressor
            Great info! I just had mine recharged and it's working great but I'm not 100% sure there isn't a leak so this could be handy.

            On another note, I don't think I'll need the A/C very often but the other day I had it on with my kids in the back and it was kind of neat to drive a 22 year old car that had A/C that seems to work a bit better than my '08 A4.

            Comment


            • #7
              Do the 134 conversion, and bask in the cool breezes of working A/C.

              If the system is empty, have it vac'd and converted. Then recharge for 1/10th the cost of R12.

              Mine always worked, I converted it 8 years ago and never looked back.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by OnrailsM3 View Post
                Do the 134 conversion, and bask in the cool breezes of working A/C.

                If the system is empty, have it vac'd and converted. Then recharge for 1/10th the cost of R12.

                Mine always worked, I converted it 8 years ago and never looked back.
                I might consider doing that "if" I can do all the work myself. The last time I had A/C work done (on my M5) the 300# bozo working on the A/C sat in my Driver seat and busted the bolster frame! I hate anyone but me and my trusted mechanic around my cars! (and my mechanic doesn't do A/C on older cars) So, if I can't do all this work myself, it just won't get done!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm also in the same process of trouble shooting and found the Freeze 12 alternative. So I too am wondering who has used it? I'd rather not convert to 134a due to the limited cooling. I loved the R12 when it worked, blew really cold, specially for an old system!
                  Chris
                  90 Corrado/91 M3/01 M5

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cramer View Post
                    I'm also in the same process of trouble shooting and found the Freeze 12 alternative. So I too am wondering who has used it? I'd rather not convert to 134a due to the limited cooling. I loved the R12 when it worked, blew really cold, specially for an old system!
                    I using 134a and I find it blows cold. As I said earlier, it's definitely as good, if not better, than my '08 A4.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think that Freeze 12 is some mixture mostly of r134 and some compatible ester oil. I read somewhere and I'm not suggesting this that one can use propane in the a/c system and that it works ok. If you have a slow leak try the freeze 12. I used it once on an old 90 accord and it worked but leaked out in a couple of months. Your biggest issue is if your leak is too big that it wont hold for one season of use. If it is then rebuild it and convert it to the 134. The freeze 12 will show how bad the leak is with some UV leak detection oil. It's usually the compressor seal and our compressors maybe rebuildable...not sure.
                      There'll be Spandex jackets one for everyone ...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I did a 134a conversion in my old Scirocco and was not impressed with the cooling so that's why i'm leaning towards something else
                        Chris
                        90 Corrado/91 M3/01 M5

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          According to my shop, to do the conversion and get enough cooling capacity out of it, you have to replace the condensor as well. It's pretty well a whole new AC system when they are through.

                          Also, for those with AC problems, it appears that BMW has no condensors in the US (or Germany for that matter). I luckily found one today from a distributor that had just one sitting on the shelf.
                          Jack
                          Arlington, TN

                          1990 BMW M3 - Diamantschwarz/Black

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JackinMidtown View Post
                            According to my shop, to do the conversion and get enough cooling capacity out of it, you have to replace the condensor as well. It's pretty well a whole new AC system when they are through.

                            Also, for those with AC problems, it appears that BMW has no condensors in the US (or Germany for that matter). I luckily found one today from a distributor that had just one sitting on the shelf.
                            Yeah, I just checked the A/C on my '88 M5 that sits all the time...and no surprise, the R12 A/C is no longer working. I had it professionally repaired (rebuilt compressor, new rec/dr, etc) in the mid-90's, and it's been fine. But, I understand R12 that isn't used will slowly leak through the lines (normal)...this is why they stopped using it. Before I go to a complete rebuild/swap to R134A however, I am going to try the Freeze 12. It's compatible with R-12 and you don't have to do anything except make sure there is oil in the system and it's fully charged. At least the compressor works in the M5...the M3's compressor doesn't engage, so that may be another issue.

                            Honestly Jack, I'd try the Freeze 12 before going through all the expense of doing a complete conversion. What harm can it do?

                            John
                            Last edited by 02fanatic; 06-15-2010, 07:42 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm not doing the conversion. My shop uses the Freeze 12 and says that it works just fine. But, still got to get that new **** compressor. I typed the wrong "co..." word in the previous post. There are no compressors available through BMW right now.
                              Last edited by JackinMidtown; 06-15-2010, 08:01 AM.
                              Jack
                              Arlington, TN

                              1990 BMW M3 - Diamantschwarz/Black

                              Comment

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