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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 04-20-2005, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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its hot today, and my AC is weak. How can check the frion level? I wanna be sure its the frion, before having a mechanic refill it. I have '97 328i, w/ manual.
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Old 04-21-2005, 03:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally posted by vmelikRUS@Apr 20 2005, 10:17 AM
its hot today, and my AC is weak.* How can check the frion level?* I wanna be sure its the frion, before having a mechanic refill it.* I have '97 328i, w/ manual.
[snapback]335476[/snapback]
It isn't the freon level because your car was made after they banned freon for destroying the environment. Do you have a leak?


EDIT: You haven't put freon in your car before this, have you?!
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Old 04-21-2005, 04:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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She's right that your car doesn't have Freon per se...Freon is a type of refrigerant.

I think by "Freon" you mean refrigerant.

Cars manufactured after 1994 use R134a refrigerant (before this, R12 was used which is now INSANELY expensive and you have to have a license to buy it). There is a port on your a/c system (usually covered by a blue or black dust cap) that you can put a gauge on. This is the low pressure side. There is also a red dust cap over the port to the high pressure side. You want to gauge and add refrigerant to the LOW PRESSURE SIDE ONLY. Messing with the high pressure side is not advised. You can buy a gauge for cheap from just about any auto parts store. Also you can buy canisters of R134a for $3.50 each. A typical automotive a/c would take 3 such canisters to fill assuming it was empty when you started. (your system is likely not completely empty, I was just stating this to give you an idea of how much 1 can really is in relation to how much is in a full system).

One thing of note though, your a/c is a closed system. If it is low on refrigerant then that is because some has escaped somehow. When the a/c is not used for long periods of time and when it gets cold outside, the seals in the a/c system can contract slightly allowing some of the refrigerant to escape.

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally posted by BYOCOM@Apr 21 2005, 03:16 AM
She's right that your car doesn't have Freon per se...Freon is a type of refrigerant.
There is a port on your a/c system (usually covered by a blue or black dust cap) that you can put a gauge on. This is the low pressure side. There is also a red dust cap over the port to the high pressure side. You want to gauge and add refrigerant to the LOW PRESSURE SIDE ONLY. Messing with the high pressure side is not advised. You can buy a gauge for cheap from just about any auto parts store. Also you can buy canisters of R134a for $3.50 each. A typical automotive a/c would take 3 such canisters to fill assuming it was empty when you started. (your system is likely not completely empty, I was just stating this to give you an idea of how much 1 can really is in relation to how much is in a full system).

One thing of note though, your a/c is a closed system. If it is low on refrigerant then that is because some has escaped somehow. When the a/c is not used for long periods of time and when it gets cold outside, the seals in the a/c system can contract slightly allowing some of the refrigerant to escape.

Hope this helps!
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thanks alot for the information. This helps alot. So R134a type is the only type used in newer cars. Also has anyone done this? So I need a gauge and couple of canisters, sounds cheap and easy. Also, is this procedure covered in Haynes or Bentley manuals??? Thanks again.
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, I found some info in the Bentley manual, but nothing that tells me how to refill the thing, only how to replace them. If anyone has done the refilling procedure on there own, please post a mini (DIY - (forgot acrynom)/tutorial). Thanks
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i'll find out for you and keep you posted.
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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get a recharge kit at any autoparts store. Follow the directions that come with it. This is very easy to do yourself
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally posted by 93 325i@Apr 21 2005, 10:54 AM
get a recharge kit at any autoparts store. Follow the directions that come with it. This is very easy to do yourself
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I KNOW THEY SELL THOSE RECHARGE KITS AT AUTO ZONE AND R&S STRAUSS...
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Old 04-22-2005, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I KNOW THEY SELL THOSE RECHARGE KITS AT AUTO ZONE AND R&S STRAUSS...
[snapback]336040[/snapback]

Ow, my ears!

Yeah, just buy the recharge kit and it'll have instructions on it. You'll want a gauge of some sort, a refill hose, and some refrigerant. Really easy to do. You'll be a pro in no time. B)
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