Just like other European brand cars, BMW is not known for having issues with air conditioning. Nearly every automotive air conditioning system follows the same basic layout, making it easier to diagnose potential problems. You first need to know the problem before deciding on whether to repair the air con yourself or bring it to the shop.
How The AC Works
The air conditioning system of a BMW pulls air from the atmosphere or recirculates it in the car’s cabin. It goes through vanes full of super cold fluid called R134a. When the air is cool, the fluid becomes warm and expands into an evaporator. The compressor of European brand cars brings the refrigerant back down and allows it to continue blowing cold.
There are also some external parts involved in the system such as the HVAC control, the vents which directs airflow, and the fans for circulation.
Leaks. Leaks may cause the air conditioning system not to work. Some systems use fluid that can be seen in black light. Check for stains in your garage or parking space. Repairing leaks on the air condition of your BMW can be done by yourself. You can buy the fuel refill and complete the repair in less than 15 minutes.
Failure. Air conditioning systems of most European brand cars can break from the inside. When the refrigerant breaks down inside the compressor, the internals will degrade and gets jammed. So make sure to have the AC evaluated regularly.
Other Issues. Aside from leaks and compressor failure, there are other potential problems that can happen in the air con of your Bimmer.
- Air is not moving well. Check if the electric fan and the HVAC dash control is working.
- Air is cool but not cold. This could be due to a failed compressor or clutch or there is an issue in the plumbing. Call a professional to have it repaired.
- Foul Odor. Change the cabin air filter of your European brand car and clean molds from the evaporator case.
BMW is known for providing the ultimate driving experience. But on a hot sunny day and your air conditioning is not working, the experience will be the opposite. Knowing how to detect problems with your AC can be crucial in ensuring the comfort of your passengers.
Robert Janitzek provides tips and guides on European cars. Check out his blog at www.robertjanitzekautos.com.