bocabimmer
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:31 pm

Odd Pump Noise

Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:30 am

So I have begun to notice an 'unhealthy' sound coming from my i3 when it's running and charging. It almost sounds like some kind of circulation pump is not doing so well. Of course my paranoia of reading about compressor failures and other costly issues are all coming to mind. I've included a video. Does anyone else's sound like this (my previous one didn't sound this loud and raspy)?

https://youtu.be/EQNRphZLq_E
2018 330i (F30)

2014 i3 BEV - Sold
2007 328i (E92) - Sold
2013 X5 35i (E70) - Sold
2014 i3 BEV - Lease return
2006 325i (E90) - Sold

alohart
Posts: 2405
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Odd Pump Noise

Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:21 pm

Sounds like the A/C compressor to me. This compressor is on the left of the car just forward of the rear axle, so that's where the sound would be the loudest. It's difficult from a video to determine how loud the sound actually is because the distance of the microphone from the sound source affects the perceived loudness. However, if this sound has intensified over time, something is changing and needs to be diagnosed before a potentially very expensive failure.
Aloha,
Art

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

bocabimmer
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:31 pm

Re: Odd Pump Noise

Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:10 pm

Unfortunately that’s where the sound is primarily coming from. Are there symptoms or precursors that come before catastrophic failure? I wonder if it can be mitigated before it gets out of hand.
2018 330i (F30)

2014 i3 BEV - Sold
2007 328i (E92) - Sold
2013 X5 35i (E70) - Sold
2014 i3 BEV - Lease return
2006 325i (E90) - Sold

alohart
Posts: 2405
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Odd Pump Noise

Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:44 pm

bocabimmer wrote:
Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:10 pm
Are there symptoms or precursors that come before catastrophic failure? I wonder if it can be mitigated before it gets out of hand.
Increased noise seems to be a precursor to failure. If cooling seems to be abnormal (i.e., less cooling), maybe the A/C system needs to be recharged and any leaks fixed. I don't know whether low refrigerant pressure might increase the compressor noise. If cooling seems normal, the only apparent fix is to replace compressor before it fails.

I'm just repeating what I've read, so maybe someone who has had a similar problem will comment.
Aloha,
Art

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

bocabimmer
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:31 pm

Re: Odd Pump Noise

Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:58 am

Believe me, in the grand scheme of things, even though it may not be cheap, if I can avoid writing off the car that’s a win in my book.
2018 330i (F30)

2014 i3 BEV - Sold
2007 328i (E92) - Sold
2013 X5 35i (E70) - Sold
2014 i3 BEV - Lease return
2006 325i (E90) - Sold

User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 838
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Odd Pump Noise

Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:57 am

My AC started making that same noise, I pointed it out to the dealer when I had the car in for the brake flush service, and they replaced the AC compressor - thankfully was about a month before the end of the warranty.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

bocabimmer
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:31 pm

Re: Odd Pump Noise

Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:11 pm

I have a shop scheduled to look at it next week. Best case: I’ve been reading too many Internet forums and have a case of “autohypochondria”. The part itself looks to be around $1500, yikes.
2018 330i (F30)

2014 i3 BEV - Sold
2007 328i (E92) - Sold
2013 X5 35i (E70) - Sold
2014 i3 BEV - Lease return
2006 325i (E90) - Sold

EVNick123
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2021 12:07 am

Re: Odd Pump Noise

Fri Jun 11, 2021 12:35 am

This sounds a lot like the old thread “Air Conditioning Failed”. Quite a few horror stories there.

Joining the club - 2014 (registered in 2015) Rex 26,000 miles. Aircon is working but loud humming from rear when preconditioning, charging and driving. We live in Singapore (hot climate) so it is instantly clear that this is a compressor issue. Took to BMW. They say the compressor is on its way out BUT also that they have to replace the condensor as well. With a few o rings and refrigerant they are quoting: ~USD 3,000 for parts and ~USD 422 for labor. Parts quote seems about USD ~1000 more than can be sourced online.

On one hand this is a huge repair bill, but compared to the 20K other people seem to have had, I somehow feel lucky (one moment) and then angry the next!

I get it that the compressor will fail for these 2014 models, but no one seems to say anything about the compressor needing replacement as well - removing that would knock off 1,000 from the bill.

Dealer seemed to say that there would be a 2 year warranty on the replacement parts, which gives me some comfort around the risk that we are putting new parts into a system that could be full of contaminants.
Here in Singapore we have to renew our “entitlement” to own a car every 10 years. That costs USD45K alone at today’s prices. Cost/benefit analysis for me is another 4 years of motoring until the car gets shipped off to another country in SE Asia.

User avatar
MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 838
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Odd Pump Noise

Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:32 am

I get it that the compressor will fail for these 2014 models, but no one seems to say anything about the compressor needing replacement as well - removing that would knock off 1,000 from the bill.
... assume you mean "no one seems to say anything about the condenser needing replacement...

Many AC techs will replace the condenser to be safe as well. The condenser has very small channels which will trap and collect any debris, like metal filings shed by a failing AC compressor. What they do, is remove both the old condenser and old AC compressor, flush the system to remove any possible debris (which if left in the system could damage the new AC compressor), install the new AC compressor and a new condenser that they know is 'clean', then recharge the system. It is almost impossible to flush clean a condenser that has trapped stuff, so it gets replaced. Replacing a $150 condenser, to protect a $1500 AC compressor is well worth it.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

bocabimmer
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:31 pm

Re: Odd Pump Noise

Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:24 pm

Well, I'm officially on the list of unfortunate souls too. My repair costs will be a significant portion of my initial cost of purchase, so it's time to move on from this one.

I'm really of the opinion that these are great cars overall. It's unfortunate, but not entirely unexpected that the first generation of an entirely new propulsion option for cars has some issues. With the new and used market so upended right now, I'm going to have to really see what's out there. A newer i3 is still in contention for a replacement vehicle, and I'd consider the i4 in a few years too.
2018 330i (F30)

2014 i3 BEV - Sold
2007 328i (E92) - Sold
2013 X5 35i (E70) - Sold
2014 i3 BEV - Lease return
2006 325i (E90) - Sold

Return to “Problems / Troubleshooting”