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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 08-05-2004, 08:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey, im tryin to fix my air conditioning now that its pretty hot. It has never worked since i bought the car, (2 months ago) but i was wondering if it wouldn't be to expensive to fix. It still blows, and works, but i was wondering if it just needed more freeon (spelling), actually i think freeon will do something, thats just wat my old man told me. Any suggestions and how much does it cost. Or could it be bigger than just refilling the thing. (I dont know how long the car sat before i bought it, got it at an auction.) 93 318i -Thanks-
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Old 08-05-2004, 08:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There should be a sticker on your car. What referigerant does it take? R-12 or R134a?


If it takes R12, your screwed, you'll pay out the wazoo at the dealer (or a certified tech) to replace the R12 and diagnose the reason it stopped in the first place.

Some people will tell you to buy an R-12 to R-134a conversion kit, but I don't buy it.

If your car has R-134a, then breathe a sigh of relief and head to walmart (or your local Napa) and pick up a recharge kit. Make sure you get oil with it too.


Recharging R-134 is so easy...

Good Luck
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Old 08-05-2004, 08:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I just had my 97 M3 checked out and servived at an indepentant shop here in San Diego. The basic pressure test and diagnostic was $39.00. The 134A coolant was about another 25 or 30 bucks.

I saw the pressure test and my system was way low. They filled it and pressure test again, electronically test for leaks then I went back in two weeks so they could check/detect any dye leakage any where. When they charge it make sure they add dye to the colant as well as oil.

They leave your ticket open for 30 days so if in that time period some other problem is found your are not charged for any other diagnostic work.

Actually a great deal I thought.

Technically the system does not use coolant to operate and if it's low you've got a leak some where period. Lots of people including myself used to think that coolant/freon was consumed in the course it's not.

I went back for my recheck, no leaks detected at this time. Two months later still blowing nice and cold but still not as cold as the older systems that use freon. I either have an extremely slow leak somewhere or had a leak that some how or other sealed itself.

The mechanic showed me the coolant hose it's the one that's isulated. He said when the ac is on you can feel the pipe that goes into the compressor where it's exposed it should be real cold.

I would shop around for a good price and stay away from the dealer. This is not rocket science.

Let me know how you make out...
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Old 08-05-2004, 08:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you live near Mexico guys here are getting their R12 charged pretty reasonably.

Agian I did alot of research on this you shoul have it pressure tested and flushed.

Sur my first inclination was to just charge the system. Kragen has some real nice do it yourself kits some with dye, light and special glasses to check for leaks.

At 39 bucks for a diagnosis it seemed like a fair deal.

If you've got a leak you just pay for coolant again plus a diagnosis.
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Old 08-05-2004, 07:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Where is the sticker which say what kind of refrigeration unit i have. the one that say R12 or R134? I cant find it.
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Old 08-05-2004, 07:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How ironic. My car's AC didn't work either. Never tried to use it until last week and once activated I got nothin, just hot air. Luckily for me, one of my employees is EPA certified to work on AC systems. So yesterday he filled my car up with R-134 and I'm now cool as ice B) .

As for your car, he says most likely it is R-12. Apparently most automakers didn't go to R-134 until 1994. He said it is no problem though. According to him, you can purchase a retro kit and then use R-134. He says the compressor will run it fine, with no worries. As a matter of fact, the retro kit merely changes the valve fitting so the can of R-134 will fit. :wink
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Old 08-05-2004, 08:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So lets say i did buy a retro kit, then buy another recharge kit, do you think i could do this all by myself or would i have to take it to the stealer or an independant shop. Aproximate prices?
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Old 05-29-2005, 08:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by liltrig99@Aug 5 2004, 07:59 PM
So lets say i did buy a retro kit, then buy another recharge kit, do you think i could do this all by myself or would i have to take it to the stealer or an independant shop. Aproximate prices?
[snapback]159450[/snapback]
hey... here's a nice link that'll give directions on how to install the retro kit as well as where to buy... it says 150 including the valves which i think is a damn good deal. anyhow, hope this is helpful. it's for the 5 series, but i think you should be able to figure your way around.

http://www.bmwe34.net/e34main/upgrade/AC_upgrade.htm
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