flyboy320
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:56 am

MKH wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:24 am
Took the car back in a week later when the parts were in, and got both the new rubber boots and the new AC compressor installed - for $0.
Did you notice anything amiss (perhaps the sound) from the A/C compressor before you took it in, did you suspect it might be failing?

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MKH
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Posts: 606
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Air conditioning failed

Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:59 am

Did you notice anything amiss (perhaps the sound) from the A/C compressor before you took it in, did you suspect it might be failing?
To me it sounded the same as when I bought it over a year ago, my wife had said at the end of the summer that she thought it sounded a little louder to her and I mentioned that to the Service Advisor.
AC Replacement.jpg
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Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

i3Houston
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:11 pm

flyboy320 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:56 am
MKH wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:24 am
Took the car back in a week later when the parts were in, and got both the new rubber boots and the new AC compressor installed - for $0.
Did you notice anything amiss (perhaps the sound) from the A/C compressor before you took it in, did you suspect it might be failing?
Just like MKH, my wife told me that car is making more noise than it normally does. Don't think I would have heard it from inside the car.
TM3 Reservation holder/ 2015 i3 Rex

i3Alan
Posts: 294
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:00 pm

MKH wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:24 am
Maybe BMW is taking notice of the possible AC compressor failure in the early i3's. Took my 2015 in...
The good news is that it looks like BMW is starting to take responsibility for their time-bomb AC compressors.

The bad news is two-fold. First, this was a 2015, and the previous reports I've seen on failed AC compressors have all been 2014s.

Second, is BMW is still taking no responsibility for how they screwed me out of my i3, leaving me with salvage value and a pitiful $2K goodwill gesture (calling it goodwill is denying responsibility). As far as I am concerned, BMW still owes me $5800 as I have stated in a claim letter to them which has been ignored completely, other than acknowledgment of receipt by the dealer when I asked in person. The $5800 is the difference in the book value immediately before and after the catastrophic AC failure, minus the "goodwill". That is why I am driving a new Leaf SL+ now while waiting for the Tesla Y. Had BMW given me $7800 credit on a new BMW when this happened, I almost certainly would be driving a new i3 now.

It seems that BMW is less bothered by never seeing me own another BMW product, and making sure I will tell as many people why not for many more years, then they would be bothered by the loss of $5800 to make this right by me. So far, I am pretty sure I stopped two new BMW vehicle sales. I am pretty certain BMW is going to be out far more than $5800 because of what happened to my i3 and BMW's pitiful response to it.

i3Alan
Posts: 294
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:02 am

Just an FYI for those interested in following the trail of a salvaged vehicle.

A $22K AC failure turned my i3 into salvage. I thought got a decent trade value for the car at nearly $8500, figuring the battery, body components, motor, etc. would be worth about twice that. The car went to auction in July. I assumed it would be stripped down pretty much, and given a salvage title pretty soon thereafter, if not before hitting the auction block. What I find interesting is that the car just went "off-line" yesterday, according to BMW, finally disconnecting me from Connected Drive). Six months seems like a long time to me.

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

Re: Air conditioning failed

Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:57 pm

Are there any other know cases of this issue occurring?

i3Alan
Posts: 294
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:03 am

panamamike wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:57 pm
Are there any other know cases of this issue occurring?
When I drove into my dealer, a service writer (not mine) in the drive asked me if I was having AC problems. I asked how he knew. He said another i3 with the same clicking sound (heard outside the car) that he wrote up last week had the same symptom. I asked how that went. He said I really didn't want to know. My service writer confirmed that mine was not the first the dealer has seen.

After getting my $22K repair quote, I called the other BMW dealer in town to see if this quote could be reasonably possible. He said their shop has also seen i3 AC problems with repair quotes over $20K.

I have seen other mentions of this on the i3 Facebook page. In my case BMW offered $2K in goodwill, but no additional assistance at all. After my non-help from BMW, I heard of another i3 customer where BMW offered to fully repair the AC system, and only charge the customer for the price of the AC compressor and labor for the compressor, which I believe brought the total customer costs down to the $3K-4K range. I suspect that this is the current policy of BMW regarding this issue now, but that is just a guess.

So, extrapolating from my anecdotal evidence, I would guess this has happened to dozens of i3s in the US, but probably not hundreds.

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

Re: Air conditioning failed

Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:58 am

i3Alan wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:03 am
panamamike wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:57 pm
Are there any other know cases of this issue occurring?
...BMW offered to fully repair the AC system, and only charge the customer for the price of the AC compressor and labor for the compressor, which I believe brought the total customer costs down to the $3K-4K range. I suspect that this is the current policy of BMW regarding this issue now, but that is just a guess.

So, extrapolating from my anecdotal evidence, I would guess this has happened to dozens of i3s in the US, but probably not hundreds.
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.

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MKH
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Location: Dallas

Re: Air conditioning failed

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.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

i3Alan
Posts: 294
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Air conditioning failed

Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:27 pm

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.

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