MKH wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:44 am
That is a shame, too bad they aren't finding a way to make this right or at least let folks know how it avoid/fix the issue. Is the noise obvious? Is there a warning before the failure? Symptoms to look for.
My advice is before the warranty is up, take it in and just tell them the AC seems to be making more noise than normal. BMW apparently has a test plan in place for the AC system. They should then run the test plan, and according to what happened with mine, if the test plan comes back inconclusive or marginal, they replace the AC compressor. At minimum, they will purge the system, and refill with refrigerant and oil to spec, and you will have it on record with BMW that you had concerns about the AC while the car was under warranty, should it fail after the warranty expires. After warranty, i figure on having the system purged and refilled every few years, which would bring it up to full pressure, and make sure it has enough lubricating oil in the system for the AC compressor.
My AC went out at 5 years, a full year out of warranty. I took it in when it was quiet, but not cooling. They did a diagnosis resulting in nothing wrong, as in no leaks found, but refrigerant was low. They added refrigerant and sent me on my way with a $268 bill. Two weeks later, I have almost identical symptoms, except there was a slight clicking sound that seemed to be coming from the rear. Just a click-click-click that probably could not be heard at all if the radio was on, or an any speed over perhaps 40 MPH. That was the sound the other service writer was commenting to me about as he noticed it when I drove into the service drive. I was charged another $108 for the final diagnosis and repair quote of $22,292.65, consisting of many pages of parts (mainly) and labor.
My assumptions are:
1) My dealer, Chapman BMW in Chandler AZ, service department failed to properly diagnose the already existing AC compressor failure on June 12, before it became catastrophic two weeks later;
2) Chapman improperly serviced the AC on June 12, perhaps by overcharging the refrigerant, failing to add the requisite oil with the added refrigerant, or other; and/or
3) BMW failed to properly design the i3 AC system to avoid or minimize catastrophic system failure in the event of a compressor failure as might have been accomplished with a dryer trap commonly used with other auto AC systems.
Any combination of the above are possible. Neither (1) nor (2) are easily provable.
Even if all the above scenarios are incorrect, it is still unjustifiable that a vehicle one year past the new-car warranty, fully maintained per BMW service schedule, and showing no indication of external damages or abuse, should fail with such catastrophic self-destruction of the entire automobile.
I found the value of my BMW ignoring the AC failure as provided by Kelly Blue Book on June 10 to be $15,940. The highest trade in value I was offered from numerous BMW and non-BMW dealers was $8477 from a Nissan dealer. Including the $376 AC work charged and paid to Chapman, my claim to BMW was the lost value of $7839. After numerous pleas with Chapman and BMW, in person, on the phone, and in writing, the grand total of help I was given was $2000 as strictly "goodwill" from BMW, and, six months afterwards, an offer from Chapman to complete the repairs at a 10% discount.