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Air conditioning failed

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:48 pm
by i3Alan
My 2014 i3 BEV just had to have the AC recharged. No leaks found, and the cause was attributed to normal seasonal losses. I normally drive a car around 10 years, and very rarely have I ever needed AC repairs/recharges. Did I happen to get the odd BMW i3 AC unit that is incapable of holding a charge for more than 5 years.

Anyone else have to recharge their i3 AC? Since I don't see the topic mentioned in other threads here, I am guessing (and hoping) that this is not a common problem.

Re: Air conditioning failed

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:15 am
by MKH
cause was attributed to normal seasonal losses
No such thing. The AC is a closed system. The only way it loses pressure is through a leak. May be too small a leak to be easily detected through pressure testing, but it's there.

Re: Air conditioning failed

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:13 pm
by i3Alan
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?

Re: Air conditioning failed

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:09 am
by alohart
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.
So sorry about what has happened to you. This is my biggest fear for our 2014 BEV. Regardless of its wonderful construction that should last much longer than a conventional steel vehicle and its drive train's much fewer moving parts, failure of expensive components will likely kill many older i3's. Such a shame…

Re: Air conditioning failed

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:08 am
by vreihen
i3Alan wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:13 pm
Anyone interested in salvaging a 2014 Giga BEV i3 in Tempe, Arizona?
I wonder how well the drive module would mate to a fiberglass dune buggy body? Heck, why not go for broke with a Sawzall and make an i3 convertible? :twisted: Neither would need air conditioning in most climates.....

Re: Air conditioning failed

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:35 am
by MKH
Advertise it on the BMW i3 Facebook group, which is international. Have seen posts by members in Central Europe, buying i3's in the US that are in need of major component repair/replacement, shipping them over and repairing them or parting them out.

Re: Air conditioning failed

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:42 am
by MKH
Hmmmm, just read through this:

viewtopic.php?f=15&p=59829&sid=58fdefff ... aa0#p59829

I wonder if your BMW dealership mechanic, on your first AC 'fix' put in the wrong AC oil, causing the catastrophic failure of the AC compressor.

Does the previous work order list what they recharged the system with? Normally when a system is recharged AC oil is added as well, because if a system has lost freon, it has lost oil as well, and the electric AC compressor for the i3's takes a totally different oil from mechanical AC compressors. Putting the wrong oil in an electric AC compressor will cause the electric winding's to arch, and basically destroy the compressor it seems.

Re: Air conditioning failed

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:40 am
by TOEd
Why not sell it to a Canadian or someone else who doesn't need a/c for most of the year? Our a/c rarely runs, even during L3 charging. We are in Toronto Canada.

Re: Air conditioning failed

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:09 pm
by MKH
Why not sell it to a Canadian or someone else who doesn't need a/c for most of the year?
Problem is, the AC also cools the battery pack. When charging, the i3 will activate the AC to keep the battery cool.

Re: Air conditioning failed

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:44 am
by Srivenkat
alohart wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:09 am
So sorry about what has happened to you. This is my biggest fear for our 2014 BEV. Regardless of its wonderful construction that should last much longer than a conventional steel vehicle and its drive train's much fewer moving parts, failure of expensive components will likely kill many older i3's. Such a shame…
This issue seems to be even more expensive than mount failures. If BMW has updated the parts (compressor/valves, etc.), perhaps it would make sense to get them replaced proactively? Especially if this involves taking the motor down, the mounts could be replaced as well?