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Old 07-20-2015, 12:16 PM   #1
Handsomecore
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How do I tell if my AC compressor is working or not working ?

My AC was working perfect last summer when I brought this car . This summer it's not working . It's blowing hot/warm air . Went to one shop he said it's the condenser and the compressor works . Went to 2nd shop he said it's the water Valve , finally went to 3rd shop he's saying it's the compressor . My question to you guys is how do I tell if my compressor is working or not ?
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:33 PM   #2
BMWCaptain
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Here is a test to see if your compressor is coming on:

Open your hood
look for your compressor on the right lower part of your engine
start your car with the AC off.
look at your compressor front and see that the front end is not spinning.
now turn on your AC
look at the front of your compressor to see the front end of it (the clutch) is turning.

Let us know what you see.


.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:39 AM   #3
Handsomecore
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Thanks BMW captain,

I did that and yes the clutch is engaging . I turned the AC off clutch stopped spinning I turn it back on again clutch started spinning and also the AC fan kicks on everytime I activate it . Now the strange part is why my BMW tech told me my compressor is no good . I spent a lot of money with him (3,000) and he's done a lot of work to my car . Last week I went to him to try to get the AC to blow cold he did a few test with gauges put freon in the system etc the outcome was he said my compressor was toast . But I always thought if the compressor is spinning that means it works . He said no , it can still be bad even if it's spinning . So he swapped it out for another used compressor he had lying around . He said the total cost will be 250$ I said ok . So he changed it added freon car was blowing cool not cold and that was only for the 10 minutes I had it running . Once it didn't work he told me hey your luck is bad cause this compressor doesn't work either . He said I'm not gonna charge you I was relieved : ) but still aggy cause he didn't fix the problem . I just find it strange cause normally he knows when a used part works or not . Do u think he took my compressor ?
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:41 AM   #4
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Also my outside temperature sensor does not work it's telling me it's 40 deegrees outside and it keeps beeping flashing 40
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:43 AM   #5
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More than likely just incompetent. If the original compressor failed, more than likely trash was introduced into the system. The trash can block the expansion valve screen and prevent refrigerant from flowing properly. Head pressures will tell this story. And/or the trash destroys any replacement compressor. The system should have been opened and flushed properly.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:45 AM   #6
Teddy7
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If you're outside temperature shows -40 your A/C will blow warm/coolish air. That may have been your problem all along. Just google that topic and you'll see people experience the exact symptoms you are describing.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:18 AM   #7
Handsomecore
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Originally Posted by David F View Post
More than likely just incompetent. If the original compressor failed, more than likely trash was introduced into the system. The trash can block the expansion valve screen and prevent refrigerant from flowing properly. Head pressures will tell this story. And/or the trash destroys any replacement compressor. The system should have been opened and flushed properly.

Now that I know how the compressor operates the original compressor was working. The clutch was spinning . Before him I went to another BMW shop and he told me he thinks it's the condenser but to come back another day so he can make sure . He also charged the system and sprayed water on the AC fan when he did that the AC blew cool . He also didn't chsrge me because it wasn't cold cold just cool . So I went to the other shop in New Jersey called .............
Vanos Motorsport I'm sure people on this site heard of him he does good work . So when I went to him he check the pressure in the system and told me there was no freon in it just a little but . He said the previous guy sold you AIR !!!!!!! I said wow . So now I know that the first compressor was working and this one now is working . So my guess is it's the condenser cause when he sprayed the AC fan it got cool . Correct me if I'm wrong the condenser cools the air and makes it cold right ? I just wanna make sure it's that before I order one Fcp has a nissens brand for 97$ shipped .
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:21 AM   #8
Handsomecore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy7 View Post
If you're outside temperature shows -40 your A/C will blow warm/coolish air. That may have been your problem all along. Just google that topic and you'll see people experience the exact symptoms you are describing.

It's blowing strictly warm/hot air ... It only blew cool when they put freon in it and that only lasted a hour if that . Yeah I'm gonna order that sensor now I think it's located below the drivers side headlight .
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:28 AM   #9
Handsomecore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy7 View Post
If you're outside temperature shows -40 your A/C will blow warm/coolish air. That may have been your problem all along. Just google that topic and you'll see people experience the exact symptoms you are describing.

I just seen your thread about the AC lol
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:04 AM   #10
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I just seen your thread about the AC lol
I'm having a similar situation - the compressor kicks on well after I start driving the car, and the air is not always cold. My Freon levels are perfect. The outside temp gauge shows -40 and I discovered my ambient temp sensor is missing. I ordered a new sensor and will install it this week. This should fix my a/c issues.
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:00 PM   #11
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Yes, a compressor can spin and still be bad. You need your mechanic to tell you WHY he thinks it is bad. It could be the compressor is worn and unable to compress the gas anymore.

Dont just accept what they tell you, but find out WHY?
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Handsomecore View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong the condenser cools the air and makes it cold right ? I just wanna make sure it's that before I order one Fcp has a nissens brand for 97$ shipped .
Wrong: The condenser cools the compressed refrigerant. The cooled refrigerant then travels from the condenser to the expansion valve (EV). The EV meters the transition of the refrigerant from liquid to gas. The transition from liquid to gas is what makes the refrigerant cold. The gas travels through the evaporator inside the car. The blower fan pushes air across the evaporator coil and you feel the cold air.

Now, the more air you can flow across the condenser the better the condenser can shed the latent heat in the refrigerant. The less heat in the refrigerant before it is changed to a gas, the colder the gas will be. The old R12 refrigerant was more efficient at getting rid of latent heat and thus the condenser was smaller than those utilizing R134a refrigerant. The point here is that R134a is less efficient at shedding latent heat and needs help in the way of fans and larger condensers. So, if the fan is not working, the refrigerant is getting too hot and the pressures start to climb. On a hot enough day, you risk dumping the refrigerant charge via the pressure relief valve on the compressor. So, if you spray the condenser with water, you are in affect improving the performance of the a/c system as you are cooling the condenser and thus the liquid refrigerant.

Not sure if this helps....
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:26 PM   #13
Handsomecore
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Yes, a compressor can spin and still be bad. You need your mechanic to tell you WHY he thinks it is bad. It could be the compressor is worn and unable to compress the gas anymore.

Dont just accept what they tell you, but find out WHY?

Ok I didn't know that . So the one I have currently installed just might be bad like he said . They cost a pretty penny , do you know where I can buy one at a reasonable price ?
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:29 PM   #14
Handsomecore
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Originally Posted by David F View Post
Wrong: The condenser cools the compressed refrigerant. The cooled refrigerant then travels from the condenser to the expansion valve (EV). The EV meters the transition of the refrigerant from liquid to gas. The transition from liquid to gas is what makes the refrigerant cold. The gas travels through the evaporator inside the car. The blower fan pushes air across the evaporator coil and you feel the cold air.



Now, the more air you can flow across the condenser the better the condenser can shed the latent heat in the refrigerant. The less heat in the refrigerant before it is changed to a gas, the colder the gas will be. The old R12 refrigerant was more efficient at getting rid of latent heat and thus the condenser was smaller than those utilizing R134a refrigerant. The point here is that R134a is less efficient at shedding latent heat and needs help in the way of fans and larger condensers. So, if the fan is not working, the refrigerant is getting too hot and the pressures start to climb. On a hot enough day, you risk dumping the refrigerant charge via the pressure relief valve on the compressor. So, if you spray the condenser with water, you are in affect improving the performance of the a/c system as you are cooling the condenser and thus the liquid refrigerant.



Not sure if this helps....

Yes it helped me you enlighten me , thanks. Now I kinda understand how the system works .
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:43 PM   #15
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If your ambient temp sensor is missing it'll show -40 but if your twist the 2 wires together it'll show 122 F.
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:11 PM   #16
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Ok I didn't know that . So the one I have currently installed just might be bad like he said . They cost a pretty penny , do you know where I can buy one at a reasonable price ?

Go to Citifield and make a left onto Willets Point Blvd..
drive until you see the big BMW roundel sign on the right.
talk to the big guy in the office.
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:12 PM   #17
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Or you can just order one off Amazon for $226.00.



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Old 07-24-2015, 11:01 AM   #18
Handsomecore
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If your ambient temp sensor is missing it'll show -40 but if your twist the 2 wires together it'll show 122 F.

I checked it yesterday & it read 67 degrees . Are these sensors 100% accurate or are they allowed to be off ?
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:05 AM   #19
Handsomecore
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Go to Citifield and make a left onto Willets Point Blvd..

drive until you see the big BMW roundel sign on the right.

talk to the big guy in the office.

Lol I see you are familiar with queens . I think I'll just go the amazon route
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:25 PM   #20
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Lol I see you are familiar with queens . I think I'll just go the amazon route
Good choice.

That makes sense because if you get a used one, you have the added expense to evacuate and charge again if it breaks.

You are saving yourself some potential aggrivation.


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Last edited by BMWCaptain; 07-24-2015 at 02:27 PM.
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