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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 05-18-2013, 02:29 PM   #1
2001bimmer330i
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Air Conditioner low side has high pressure

I have had pretty much no A/C for a while now. I can recharge it and it gets cool, but after a couple of days it is blowing hot air again. When I checked the pressure on the low side it was in the "red" section of the tester I used. I have read that it could be related to the condenser but I don't have a clue how to trouble shoot that. Do any of you have experience in troubleshooting the A/C system?
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
jasonsjwou
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I had this exact same problem.
If your AC compressor is not engaging (for whatever reason) you will see the pressure on LowSide port through the roof (on my Wal-mart AC charge kit with the gauge)
It's pretty obvious problem. One of these problems.

1. Relay is bad (everyone hope it's this, but rarely it is)
2. refrigerant is SO LOW that the safety limit switch has been tripped. (You can't recharge it yourself at this point - you have to take it to AC shop. But the bigger issue is, for the refrigerant to be that low, there's usually a leak somewhere)
3. AC Clutch (Coil or Stator, sometimes called) is bad. $60 part. $100 labor. If this is the case, you get off easy.
4. Bad connection to AC Coil (This was my case. Clean the plug, put it back in, works like a charm. Cost $0. let's hope your problem is like mine)

Be very vigilant as many shops "RIP OFF" customers on AC on hot day.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:07 PM   #3
2001bimmer330i
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Thanks for the reply. I will go through your list. You are right...I don't want to spend $1500 to have them just go replace everything. I'm thinking it isn't a total loss and hoping I can fix it. Do you think I can find DIY's for what you suggested here?

Last edited by 2001bimmer330i; 05-18-2013 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:21 PM   #4
jasonsjwou
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If you can see the AC compressor running (you may have to put a can of R134 like you have been).... then you eliminate most electrical issues. At that point, you should look for a leak...

Last edited by jasonsjwou; 05-18-2013 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:40 AM   #5
mach460
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Well on mine I had BMW shop charge it put dye in it and blows 45 out vents and with in a week starts getting warm,took it back so they can look for leak with black light and they said they can't find any leaks so here is there answer.
"don't know what to tell ya when it get warm add a can" so now what ??
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonsjwou View Post
I had this exact same problem.
If your AC compressor is not engaging (for whatever reason) you will see the pressure on LowSide port through the roof (on my Wal-mart AC charge kit with the gauge)
It's pretty obvious problem. One of these problems.

1. Relay is bad (everyone hope it's this, but rarely it is)
2. refrigerant is SO LOW that the safety limit switch has been tripped. (You can't recharge it yourself at this point - you have to take it to AC shop. But the bigger issue is, for the refrigerant to be that low, there's usually a leak somewhere)
3. AC Clutch (Coil or Stator, sometimes called) is bad. $60 part. $100 labor. If this is the case, you get off easy.
4. Bad connection to AC Coil (This was my case. Clean the plug, put it back in, works like a charm. Cost $0. let's hope your problem is like mine)

Be very vigilant as many shops "RIP OFF" customers on AC on hot day.
Can you elaborate on what connection to the AC Coil you are talking about? Where is the plug to the AC Coil.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:56 PM   #7
2001bimmer330i
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Not sure how there could be a leak. If the pressure is in the red zone...or high...wouldn't that mean there is no leak? Or do you mean there could be a leak and it still overpressures?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonsjwou View Post
If you can see the AC compressor running (you may have to put a can of R134 like you have been).... then you eliminate most electrical issues. At that point, you should look for a leak...
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:13 AM   #8
BMWCaptain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2001bimmer330i View Post
Not sure how there could be a leak. If the pressure is in the red zone...or high...wouldn't that mean there is no leak? Or do you mean there could be a leak and it still overpressures?
That is why it is better to use a real ac gauge set to diagnose the ac system. You need to know what is going on with high and low sides as well as whether compressor is coming on.

You have to diagnose the whole system to see if you have a leak or other problem. R134a is just one part of it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
2001bimmer330i
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OK good suggestions. I'll see if I can get a loan from Auto Zone or somewhere for the testing equipment
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