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General E46 Forum
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:06 PM   #1
GraysonKatz
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Air Conditioning only cold on one side.

Hey everyone,

the title of this post is pretty self explanatory. My air conditioner only gets cold on the drivers side. Does anyone know what the problem could be?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:08 PM   #2
always-there
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Air Conditioning only cold on one side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraysonKatz View Post
Hey everyone,

the title of this post is pretty self explanatory. My air conditioner only gets cold on the drivers side. Does anyone know what the problem could be?

Thanks a lot!
Expansion valve. Have a a/c expert/tech replace it, vacuum it and recharge it, you're good to go.


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Old 08-01-2013, 07:18 AM   #3
lmr2wil
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The E46 wiki suggests that this can be slightly low refrigerant.

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Old 08-01-2013, 07:22 AM   #4
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Air Conditioning only cold on one side.

Low on refrigerant. Careful not to overfill.


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Old 08-01-2013, 07:51 AM   #5
Xrobber
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This happened to me last week. I bought a cheap $25 can of 134A with a gauge on it... the freon was a hair below the green.... I added some to put it in the green,,. and WOW.... its like it is shooting ice cubes at me now on both sides.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:54 AM   #6
2003silver330i
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
VishTheFish
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Had this exact same problem just over a week ago. Cold only on drivers side and slight hissing sound. Took it to BMW and found it was slightly low on refrigerant. Replaced and recharged and its good to go. Just make sure whoever inspects your a/c makes sure you have no leaks first.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
Ken@BavAuto
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If the charge is fine it could be a bad heater valve also. We've see a few stick open on one side and heat wins out over cold every time.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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You could recharge it yourself if you feel comfortable with the idea. You may want to ensure there are no leaks present.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
2003silver330i
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Originally Posted by tenandtwo View Post
You could recharge it yourself if you feel comfortable with the idea. You may want to ensure there are no leaks present.
There is no doubt that it leaks because an a/c system should never loose freon. If it was me I would just top it off every year if it is a slow leak. At the age of most E46s the seals/o-rings are starting to deteriorate.

TIP: Running the air conditioner in the winter also helps keep the components from atrophying over the winter-it prevents loss of the refrigerant, and keeps up the service life by preventing expensive repairs down the road.

Last edited by 2003silver330i; 08-01-2013 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:20 PM   #11
David McMahon
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A/C also really helps clear windows in the Winter
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:49 PM   #12
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A/C also really helps clear windows in the Winter
Does it really? I'm not trying to be funny, just very curious. Here in Calgary, we can get to -30C at time and wonder if this will work or will it just put thicker Rhime ice on the glass.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:20 PM   #13
David McMahon
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Does it really? I'm not trying to be funny, just very curious. Here in Calgary, we can get to -30C at time and wonder if this will work or will it just put thicker Rhime ice on the glass.
Yes, A/C dehumidifies the air, lots of cars engage A/C when the clear windscreen button is pressed.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:03 PM   #14
turnerg1
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AC not cold in middle vents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken@BavAuto View Post
If the charge is fine it could be a bad heater valve also. We've see a few stick open on one side and heat wins out over cold every time.
This happens to me from time to time I think. I can actually hear something moving and the middle blows warmer then the outer vents.
Where is the heater valve located and how do you check this?

Thanks,

Greg
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:01 PM   #15
Ken@BavAuto
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Originally Posted by turnerg1 View Post
This happens to me from time to time I think. I can actually hear something moving and the middle blows warmer then the outer vents.
Where is the heater valve located and how do you check this?

Thanks,

Greg
If you have some hose-clamping pliers (we actually sell these and of course the valve) you can block off the hoses going to the heater core next time you notice it. If everything is then cool and when you release the pliers it slowly gets warm again you need a new valve. They seem to fail open a lot more frequently than closed.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:08 PM   #16
turnerg1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken@BavAuto View Post
If you have some hose-clamping pliers (we actually sell these and of course the valve) you can block off the hoses going to the heater core next time you notice it. If everything is then cool and when you release the pliers it slowly gets warm again you need a new valve. They seem to fail open a lot more frequently than closed.
Got a pic in the engine bay of that?

greg
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:25 PM   #17
Ken@BavAuto
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Originally Posted by turnerg1 View Post
Got a pic in the engine bay of that?

greg
Sorry to say I don't have any of our own handy. However heater valve replacement has been covered here before and if you search for heater valve I'm sure you'll find a few threads with photos of it. Usually it's located on the driver's framerail a little behind the reservoir for power steering. It's kind of a pain to access for diagnostic work but IMO it's better to know something is bad for sure before you just cross your fingers and replace it.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:28 PM   #18
turnerg1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken@BavAuto View Post
Sorry to say I don't have any of our own handy. However heater valve replacement has been covered here before and if you search for heater valve I'm sure you'll find a few threads with photos of it. Usually it's located on the driver's framerail a little behind the reservoir for power steering. It's kind of a pain to access for diagnostic work but IMO it's better to know something is bad for sure before you just cross your fingers and replace it.
Thanks, Im reading some posts on it right now. Unfortunately the one im in has the photo blocked.
Ill keep reading and searching.

Greg
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:33 PM   #19
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Air Conditioning only cold on one side.

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Old 08-02-2013, 01:36 PM   #20
turnerg1
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Thanks. I remember a few weeks ago when changing out the intake boot that that mother was hot the entire time I was working.

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