jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Air conditioning failed

Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:30 am

The a/c system not only cools the cabin, it also cools the batteries, so if the compressor destroys itself and gets metal bits in the lines, it is a major issue to remove all of them (often by replacing parts, but getting to them is part of the issue).

So, probably only BMW has the real stats on this, while it can happen, doesn't seem to be a major problem. IF it does, it's expensive to repair. I suppose they could have made the two systems separate, but that would also mean more weight. Everything is a tradeoff.

FWIW, not all a/c fails would throw metal particles into the system, and usually (not always) that would be preceded by some funky noises or loss of performance that, especially in this case, should not be ignored! Even in the wintertime, to dry the air, the a/c system can run, so you'd notice it then, as well as in the summer.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

i3Alan
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:19 pm

Couple of issues.

1) Most auto AC systems have traps in the dryer to catch non-refrigerant particles that aren't supposed to be there. Apparently, BMW chose to leave the trap out, trading off slightly higher AC efficiency for robustness of the system. I am guessing that the i3 Rex would likely be slightly less expensive to repair than the BEV because it only has 1 heat pump loop and 1 regular AC loop, rather than 2 heat pumps, so there would be a few less parts involved.

2) It appears that the catastrophic AC compressor failure which takes down both the cabin and battery heat pumps in the process is rare, and the only cases I have heard about are in i3s that are at least 4 years old. I have not yet seen any reports on 2016 or later model years, but have seen reports on 2014 and 2015 model i3s.

3) Last I heard, BMW started covering all but about $5K of this >$20K repair. I don't know if that is their new policy on this issue, but I do know it is not retroactive, as all I got was a $2000 "goodwill" check that did not even cover 10% of the cost. To cover my actual losses, BMW owes me $7838.62, accounting for what I loss in trade-in value on my i3. I presented BMW with an documented itemized claim for this amount, which was denied.

panamamike
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:21 am

Re: Air conditioning failed

Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:48 am

i3Alan wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:19 pm
....

3) Last I heard, BMW started covering all but about $5K of this >$20K repair. I don't know if that is their new policy on this issue, but I do know it is not retroactive, as all I got was a $2000 "goodwill" check that did not even cover 10% of the cost. To cover my actual losses, BMW owes me $7838.62, accounting for what I loss in trade-in value on my i3. I presented BMW with an documented itemized claim for this amount, which was denied.
How did you learn of this new policy? Is there a link?

i3Alan
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:24 pm

panamamike wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:48 am
i3Alan wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:19 pm
....

3) Last I heard, BMW started covering all but about $5K of this >$20K repair. I don't know if that is their new policy on this issue, but I do know it is not retroactive, as all I got was a $2000 "goodwill" check that did not even cover 10% of the cost. To cover my actual losses, BMW owes me $7838.62, accounting for what I loss in trade-in value on my i3. I presented BMW with an documented itemized claim for this amount, which was denied.
How did you learn of this new policy? Is there a link?
I have read two i3 owners say that BMW paid for all but what would have been the cost of just an AC compressor replacement. One was somewhere here on myBMWi3.com, and one was on the Facebook i3 group page. There were enough differences that I am pretty sure these were different individuals. Others have suggested that BMW tries to follow consistent policy on such things, and it made sense that 1) they should try to establish a policy, and 2) any such policy will take time to formulate after the first few cases materialize. However, the idea that BMW has an official policy is only an assumption on my part. I hope they do, as that would be good. I would also hope this would be retroactive, as such actions usually are (as is typical when companies offer to refund costs paid for things that are later covered in a service bulletin).

It has been about 8 months since my catastrophic BMW failure, but no such reach-back from BMW to me has yet occured. I am only asking for about half of what they are paying for repairs in their assumed new policy in order to make me whole.

jlangham
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:43 pm

i3Alan wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:13 pm
Update. Two weeks later and the AC went out again. This time making clicking noises (in the rear, where the compressor is located). Dealer said the compressor self-destructed, throwing metal fillings throughout the refrigerant lines, requiring all of the AC components to be replaced.

Total repair estimate was over $21,000. TWENTY-ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

In a good will gesture, BMW will contribute $2000 towards the purchase of a new BMW, with the dealer kicking in $4000 as a trade-in (for a totaled car!).

I think I'll pass. On BMW. Forevermore.

Anyone interested in salvaging a 2014 Giga BEV i3 in Tempe, Arizona?
Same thing with my AC. Same quote from, possibly, the same dealer service department. Had to pay $542 just to pick up my car and they did a semi-car wash. I think this is their standard quote for any AC failure. They didn't offer me anything on a new car trade in, so maybe mine's worse?

i3Alan
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:27 am

jlangham wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:43 pm
Same thing with my AC. Same quote from, possibly, the same dealer service department. Had to pay $542 just to pick up my car and they did a semi-car wash. I think this is their standard quote for any AC failure. They didn't offer me anything on a new car trade in, so maybe mine's worse?
Forgot to mention, if you wait 30 days, Chapman BMW will send you a coupon for 10% off the service quote should you decide to go ahead with the repair! :mrgreen:

ronin
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:08 pm

And sell your personal information to Sirus XM so you get junk mail, spam and robocalls for 3 years.

BenPrice
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:59 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:24 am

Just adding myself to the rolls of those who have had the air conditioning fail on their 2014 i3 Rex. Car is still under CPO warranty until June 2021.

I took it in back in July here in Denver, because, at 56,000 miles, the AC started working only intermittently. I told them I had to keep it set on 60 degrees and control it manually to get it to work. They returned it to me with a note, "System working, unable to replicate symptom."

I returned it to the shop last week. After a few days, got a video by email from the technician - compressor has failed, threw metal filings throughout the system, needs to be replaced. The shop called me shortly thereafter, said it needs between $10k-14k worth of work, they will have to get approval from BMW NA, because all the AC lines, the compressor, and the condenser would need to be replaced (as described in other's posts on this thread). I told them I had read these threads, was alarmed at all that would have to be done and what the cost would be, so to please let me know as soon as they got word back from corporate. They said it could take a while to hear back from corporate, then 8-15 days to order the extensive list of parts required, then time for the labor.

That was Friday, this is Tuesday. I got a text this afternoon stating that my car was ready, and they emailed the invoice. All the work was covered under warranty, but they replaced only the compressor and 3 gaskets, with the following notes: "Metal in lines, created TSARA case, stated replace compressor and perform running in test plan. Replaced and performed required test plan. System now operating at high capacity and acts like normal. TSARA did not require for system to be flushed. Dryer filter will clear system and trap one contaminates."

I called BMW NA and was told they defer to the dealer. I called the dealer, and was told they defer to BMW NA's regional technician and can only do the work authorized by them. So I wasn't left with a choice, and I picked up the car last Wednesday.

The good news is, it's still under warranty until June of next year.

I guess we will see what happens in the coming days/months and I'll post an update. I don't feel confident that this isn't just going to happen again down the road.

jlangham
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:39 pm

Well, at least your AC will be working again. Mine is dead. I am going to take it to another BMW shop that claims to have ONE factory trained tech for the i3. I can/will replace the compressor ($1800 from BMW) and let them do the flush and work. Hope it's around $3-4k total. It's worth it for Phoenix heat to have the AC working.

Keep us up to date on how yours is coming.

alohart
Posts: 2368
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Air conditioning failed

Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:57 pm

jlangham wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:39 pm
It's worth it for Phoenix heat to have the AC working.
Because the A/C cools the battery pack, the output power of the battery pack would almost certainly be limited due to overheating due to a non-functional compressor. This would significantly limit the maximum power of the propulsion motor.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

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