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      05-04-2017, 11:27 AM   #1
sdarc
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Intro of new guy and some advise needed

Hi everyone, I am the new owner of 2011 E90. Car is fantastic. I have done some lurking and searching on the site for all sorts of info.

An issue that just showed up is that the AC does not always function. Started maybe 2 weeks ago. Leaving work there was no AC, just warm air. Went home checked the fuses and they were fine. Next day AC was back operating. Fast forward 2 weeks and again no AC. This time for 2 days. I searched the forum but didn't see anyone with this issue. It is my understanding that the compressor is not a clutch type. FWIW the engine rpm's do change when I engage the AC. Strange though the cooling fan is not running all the time when the AC is on. I would have thought it would be as in other cars I've had. And no it doesn't cool going down the road.

Any thoughts before I take it to somebody?
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      05-04-2017, 11:47 AM   #2
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I had a similar issue and BMW replaced my a/c evaporator, HVAC blower motor, and blower motor resistor aka FSU (final stage unit). The evaporator is the most expensive of these and also pretty sure hardest to replaces as the dash has to be removed. Hope this helps.
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      05-04-2017, 01:02 PM   #3
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Inspect the Final Stage Unit, it is not uncommon for the contacts to get burnt. It happened on my 08 M3, just replaced the FSU, cleaned the contacts and everything was good. Cheap and easy. (If that is your issue of coarse)
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      05-04-2017, 01:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean_Himself View Post
Inspect the Final Stage Unit, it is not uncommon for the contacts to get burnt. It happened on my 08 M3, just replaced the FSU, cleaned the contacts and everything was good. Cheap and easy. (If that is your issue of coarse)
I like this idea. Uh but what is a Final Stage Unit? This is a term I'm not familiar with. Is it a BMW "thing"?
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      05-04-2017, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdarc View Post
I like this idea. Uh but what is a Final Stage Unit? This is a term I'm not familiar with. Is it a BMW "thing"?
It controls the speed of the blower motor. I'm not sure if it's unique to BMW. Other manufacturers may call it something else, but I think most modern cars do it.
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      05-04-2017, 01:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cclinard1 View Post
I had a similar issue and BMW replaced my a/c evaporator, HVAC blower motor, and blower motor resistor aka FSU (final stage unit). The evaporator is the most expensive of these and also pretty sure hardest to replaces as the dash has to be removed. Hope this helps.
And this is what I'm hoping it's not.
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      05-04-2017, 01:45 PM   #7
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My blower motor seems to operate fine. All speeds are available on the switch. MAX AC it blows hard. It has changed speed when in :Auto: mode
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      05-05-2017, 04:03 AM   #8
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You better check the refrigerant pressure first. If the refrigerant pressure is low, it indicates leaks in the ac system. Sometime a/c system lose refrigerant slowly year by year. Try recharge refrigerant with uv dye integrated (You can inspect leaks with uv light), if it loses pressure so fast like a week, or a month. You will need to bring it to the shop.

I have ac leak with my 11' 135i. The dealer found out the a/c evaporator is leaking. They replace the evaporator and it's blowing cold now. The evaporator replacement probably cost $800+ with parts and labors because it's so labor intensive.
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      05-05-2017, 07:09 AM   #9
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Thanks for the answers everyone. I will check the refrigerant first. Just hope it not a BAD leak in the evaporator.
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      05-08-2017, 09:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomoPirate View Post
You better check the refrigerant pressure first. If the refrigerant pressure is low, it indicates leaks in the ac system. Sometime a/c system lose refrigerant slowly year by year. Try recharge refrigerant with uv dye integrated (You can inspect leaks with uv light), if it loses pressure so fast like a week, or a month. You will need to bring it to the shop.

I have ac leak with my 11' 135i. The dealer found out the a/c evaporator is leaking. They replace the evaporator and it's blowing cold now. The evaporator replacement probably cost $800+ with parts and labors because it's so labor intensive.
You literally need to remove and disassemble almost the entire dash to get to the evaporator. It's a repair that I'm dreading but will come eventually. I was quoted $2500 by an independent for the work.
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      05-08-2017, 09:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BombaE90 View Post
You literally need to remove and disassemble almost the entire dash to get to the evaporator. It's a repair that I'm dreading but will come eventually. I was quoted $2500 by an independent for the work.
The evaporator replacement is warranted by CPO in my car so I don't have to pay anythings. It's crazy for the price.
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      05-08-2017, 09:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomoPirate View Post
You better check the refrigerant pressure first. If the refrigerant pressure is low, it indicates leaks in the ac system. Sometime a/c system lose refrigerant slowly year by year. Try recharge refrigerant with uv dye integrated (You can inspect leaks with uv light), if it loses pressure so fast like a week, or a month. You will need to bring it to the shop.

I have ac leak with my 11' 135i. The dealer found out the a/c evaporator is leaking. They replace the evaporator and it's blowing cold now. The evaporator replacement probably cost $800+ with parts and labors because it's so labor intensive.
Not $800 more like $2,500 to $3,000 on the M3. From pictures of the work they have to strip almost all the hundred parts of the front interior down to the very bare steel unibody chassis to get to the freaking evaporator. When i first saw a picture of it, i was shocked. Probably the most inaccessible part in the whole car. Even if you are covered by CPO, chance of getting creak noises and dashboard noises after it's done are probably high unless it's done professionally.
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      05-12-2017, 10:19 AM   #13
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UPDATE: Haven't done a thing to it. haven't brought it in to be checked. But it is working again. Still thinking it is a relay switch of some type.

Fingers crossed.
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      05-12-2017, 10:40 AM   #14
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According to BMW dealer service history, my evaporator was replaced TWICE! Once at 30k miles and again around 40k miles. Found that out during pre-purchase research.
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      05-14-2017, 07:59 PM   #15
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I will share what happened with mine.

Mine worked most of the time, but it would not initially work in the afternoons. I would start the car and it would just blow hot air for the first 5-10 minutes and then it would kick in. I took it in to BMW and they told me my evaporator was leaking and they replaced it. So far so good, but it has only been a few days. Since I am in Texas and it is starting to heat up, I should find out pretty quick if that was in fact the issue.
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      05-16-2017, 07:21 PM   #16
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I noticed that my AC takes 10 secs or so to blow cold air and was about to post about it.
Good thing the Fidelity gold warranty covers evaporators.
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      05-16-2017, 08:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corranhorn009 View Post
I will share what happened with mine.

Mine worked most of the time, but it would not initially work in the afternoons. I would start the car and it would just blow hot air for the first 5-10 minutes and then it would kick in. I took it in to BMW and they told me my evaporator was leaking and they replaced it. So far so good, but it has only been a few days. Since I am in Texas and it is starting to heat up, I should find out pretty quick if that was in fact the issue.
Same exact thing happening to me right now in Austin, TX. On hot afternoons, when the car has sat outside for an hour or so, the AC takes 10 mins to even start cooling down. 20-30 mins to get good enough to be passable. I assume i have an evap leak and there's not enough refrigerant to make it cool down when its hot. Mine is a 2011 with 38K on the clock.

I guess I will get to see how difficult my 3rd party warranty will be to deal with..
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      05-18-2017, 11:18 AM   #18
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Mine does not act the way all of yours seem to. Mine for no known reason blows warm maybe for a day or 2. And then for no known reason works great. Cold enough to hang meat. Even in upper 80* temps.
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      05-19-2017, 10:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdarc View Post
Mine does not act the way all of yours seem to. Mine for no known reason blows warm maybe for a day or 2. And then for no known reason works great. Cold enough to hang meat. Even in upper 80* temps.
Yep - mine works fine as log as the car hasnt been sitting out in 85+ temps for an hour or more. For example, if my car was in my garage, but 95 out, it will blow nice and cold. But if I go park and play hockey for an hour, I come out and it will blow ambient-ish for a good 10-15 mins. Need to make my appt today to get it checked out.
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      05-19-2017, 10:52 AM   #20
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Another AC-related question

I rarely run the AC for most of the year, but summer is coming up in Texas, which makes it a must-have. Last week i noticed that the A/C was coming on, even though I would turn it completely off. I'd turn it off, and 20 seconds later, it was back on. Went through this process 4 or 5 times, turned the car off and it hasn't happened again as far as I can tell.

Has this happened to anyone else? Random occurrence or precursor of bigger issues?
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      05-19-2017, 10:55 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfisher99 View Post
Yep - mine works fine as log as the car hasnt been sitting out in 85+ temps for an hour or more. For example, if my car was in my garage, but 95 out, it will blow nice and cold. But if I go park and play hockey for an hour, I come out and it will blow ambient-ish for a good 10-15 mins. Need to make my appt today to get it checked out.
I thought the outside temp played a part in it too. But nope. Sitting in the 88-90 sun all day. Blows cold right after start up.
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      05-19-2017, 10:59 AM   #22
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Ok another new question. Key fob in pocket. Car will unlock as it is supposed by touching the door handle. But lately it only clicks and then only sometimes it doesn't work. If I walk away a bit and come back it will open. It will always lock. And works fine using the fob.

I love technology.
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