jlangham
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: Which versions of the AC compressor have people had failures with?

Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:24 am

alohart wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:03 pm
jlangham wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:36 pm
No AC in 110 degree heat is not good, but dont' want to pay more to "fix" my AC (and possibly have it happen again) than I paid for the entire car!
You might have significantly reduced power on very hot days because the A/C compressor also cools the battery pack. With no battery pack cooling, the battery management system will protect the hot battery pack by reducing its power output.
Yes, as I said in another thread, I was able to "hotrod" my car in Comfort mode in 113 degree weather. After about 4 jackrabbit starts off the line, the BMS stopped that and put me in granny mode until I got home.

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

Re: Which versions of the AC compressor have people had failures with?

Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:23 am

jlangham wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:36 pm
I'm also in Phoenix, my AC never was really good when I bought it from the Dealer in Chandler, but now it was only blowing hot air. Took it to the dealer. Long story short, quote to fix air conditioner, brake service and two new tires was $23K. Compressor supposedly shredded apart causing metal shavings in the coolant lines (sound familiar Alan). Compressor work only is quoted at $3800, but still have the $542 air conditioner service added. They wanted/suggested replacing all lines, valves, compressor, etc. is why the quote so high. Ended up (after I got up from the floor after passing out at the quote) was told them to put it back together and I'd pick it up. So, ended up paying $542 for a car wash (and not even a good car wash).
Very sorry this happened again. That puts my reasonably well documented instances at 7 now.

I have two recommendations for you:

1) Appeal to BMW to fully cover the cost of all but the compressor itself. I have heard that they have done this after they already closed my case. That means you will have to pay $3800 to get your car fully repaired. I suspect this is the preferred path for BMW to handle this issue.

2) Grab Kelly Blue Book, Edmonds, etc., quotes for the fair market value of your car before the AC failed. Then get trade-in quotes for your vehicle as fair market salvage value. The difference is your actual loss. Document your numbers, add the $542 loss for the worthless service, and send that bill to BMW USA and Chapman BMW.

Give them the option of 1 or 2. 1 will cost BMW more, but they rejected me on 2. However, taking care of someone with 1 before does not mean they will give you the same benefit, nor does the rejection of my demand (2) mean they haven't reconsidered this option more fairly.

Feel free to let them know how much I publicize their refusal to honorably handle this BMW-specific problem to insure it becomes well know among potential BMW customers, and whether you might be considering continuing the same "protest" should they decide not to take care of you fairly. That is, it may actually be more profitable for them to take care of you, then missing many sales from people being too unwilling to take a chance on notoriously insane repair costs of BMW products well publicized by people like me. (If you end up going this route, make sure you stick strictly to the facts that you can document, and otherwise be reasonable and VERY CLEAR about any opinion being opinion.)

Since you too are in Arizona, I can tell you the legal system is strictly on the side of BMW/Chapman here due to the near impossibility of collecting legal fees even if you win, where such fees will almost certainly exceed the $23K quote. You could potentially collect $1500 (I believe that is our max) in small claims court. You might want to roll your dice with the arbitration spelled out in your original sales contract, but that tends to have poor odds unless you consider splitting the difference worth it (the usual arbitration result when the claim is not cut and dried). That is, arbitration might get you $4K-$8K is my best guess, and is likely to get you nothing. Finally, the TV and newspaper "On-Your-Side" teams may be interested, but I did not have success getting interest from any of them.

Good luck!

jlangham
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: Which versions of the AC compressor have people had failures with?

Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:28 am

i3Alan wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:23 am
jlangham wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:36 pm
I'm also in Phoenix, my AC never was really good when I bought it from the Dealer in Chandler, but now it was only blowing hot air. Took it to the dealer. Long story short, quote to fix air conditioner, brake service and two new tires was $23K. Compressor supposedly shredded apart causing metal shavings in the coolant lines (sound familiar Alan). Compressor work only is quoted at $3800, but still have the $542 air conditioner service added. They wanted/suggested replacing all lines, valves, compressor, etc. is why the quote so high. Ended up (after I got up from the floor after passing out at the quote) was told them to put it back together and I'd pick it up. So, ended up paying $542 for a car wash (and not even a good car wash).
Very sorry this happened again. That puts my reasonably well documented instances at 7 now.

I have two recommendations for you:

1) Appeal to BMW to fully cover the cost of all but the compressor itself. I have heard that they have done this after they already closed my case. That means you will have to pay $3800 to get your car fully repaired. I suspect this is the preferred path for BMW to handle this issue.

2) Grab Kelly Blue Book, Edmonds, etc., quotes for the fair market value of your car before the AC failed. Then get trade-in quotes for your vehicle as fair market salvage value. The difference is your actual loss. Document your numbers, add the $542 loss for the worthless service, and send that bill to BMW USA and Chapman BMW.

Give them the option of 1 or 2. 1 will cost BMW more, but they rejected me on 2. However, taking care of someone with 1 before does not mean they will give you the same benefit, nor does the rejection of my demand (2) mean they haven't reconsidered this option more fairly.

Feel free to let them know how much I publicize their refusal to honorably handle this BMW-specific problem to insure it becomes well know among potential BMW customers, and whether you might be considering continuing the same "protest" should they decide not to take care of you fairly. That is, it may actually be more profitable for them to take care of you, then missing many sales from people being too unwilling to take a chance on notoriously insane repair costs of BMW products well publicized by people like me. (If you end up going this route, make sure you stick strictly to the facts that you can document, and otherwise be reasonable and VERY CLEAR about any opinion being opinion.)

Since you too are in Arizona, I can tell you the legal system is strictly on the side of BMW/Chapman here due to the near impossibility of collecting legal fees even if you win, where such fees will almost certainly exceed the $23K quote. You could potentially collect $1500 (I believe that is our max) in small claims court. You might want to roll your dice with the arbitration spelled out in your original sales contract, but that tends to have poor odds unless you consider splitting the difference worth it (the usual arbitration result when the claim is not cut and dried). That is, arbitration might get you $4K-$8K is my best guess, and is likely to get you nothing. Finally, the TV and newspaper "On-Your-Side" teams may be interested, but I did not have success getting interest from any of them.

Good luck!
Alan,

Thanks for the detailed response. Really, I'm torn. I like my car and want to keep it. Sometimes I feel too old/tired of fighting these type of battles. As you said, Chapman BMW will have a legal team on their side and won't go down without a good fight.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pissed about it. Especially since I got this car from them, CPO - of which, I paid extra for. A part of me says to fight this and make this right.

There is another BMW repair place in the valley that gets good reviews. I spoke to them after this ordeal, and he said they only have one tech that was trained on the i3 - but told him it's an air conditioner problem, not an i3 problem. He said they would look at it and let me know if it is something they could do, but the compressor would have to be purchased from BMW (which is $1800 from their site). And I'll have to make sure they use the correct refrigerant oil. I just might go this route. For about 2k, I could have a working car and air conditioner, and less of a headache trying to make an obviously questionable dealership try to "make good" on a repair I wouldn't trust even to my ex-wife! :D

I'll post on here which direction I'll go. Thanks again for your experience and sorry you've had to deal with this too.

Star63
Posts: 21
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Location: Finland

Re: Which versions of the AC compressor have people had failures with?

Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:08 pm

How difficult would it be to install a screen after the compressor to protect the rest of the system?
2014 BMW i3 REX

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MKH
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Posts: 604
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Which versions of the AC compressor have people had failures with?

Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:36 am

he said they only have one tech that was trained on the i3 - but told him it's an air conditioner problem, not an i3 problem.
Just an FYI, when I had my AC compressor replaced (under warranty luckily), i had to wait three days for the i3 tech to return from vacation - because of the i3 HV systems electrocution danger when working on the car, the service manager would let ONLY the i3 trained tech do the work.

Note: The vehicle's air conditioning system contains the refrigerant R1234yf. Quantity: 750 g. with the fill connections on the right-hand side in the frunk.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

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MKH
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Posts: 604
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Location: Dallas

Re: Which versions of the AC compressor have people had failures with?

Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:40 am

How difficult would it be to install a screen after the compressor to protect the rest of the system?

https://airsept.com/Products/Details/32
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: Which versions of the AC compressor have people had failures with?

Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:52 am

MKH wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:40 am
How difficult would it be to install a screen after the compressor to protect the rest of the system?
https://airsept.com/Products/Details/32
I'm not an expert, but from the many experts I have talked to, the i3 AC issue is the compressor self destructing, taking out everything downstream. This Airsept product is designed to go in front of the compressor to protect the compressor from other components failing. The people I have talked to tell me that BMW should have put a trap in the dryer downstream from the compressor, as most other AC systems are designed.

jlangham
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:01 pm

Re: Which versions of the AC compressor have people had failures with?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:18 am

MKH wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:36 am
he said they only have one tech that was trained on the i3 - but told him it's an air conditioner problem, not an i3 problem.
Just an FYI, when I had my AC compressor replaced (under warranty luckily), i had to wait three days for the i3 tech to return from vacation - because of the i3 HV systems electrocution danger when working on the car, the service manager would let ONLY the i3 trained tech do the work.

Note: The vehicle's air conditioning system contains the refrigerant R1234yf. Quantity: 750 g. with the fill connections on the right-hand side in the frunk.
This repair shop does have an i3 factory trained tech, but he's in Scottsdale location. The guy in Mesa said that he will consult with him and if he believes it's too much for him, then he will have the guy from Scottsdale do the work.

At this point, I'm willing to let them give it a go since the dealer is wanting $20k to "fix" it. Reason I said "fix" it, is because, I believe the same thing can easily happen again. I'm not willing to pay $20k every 2 years for a car I paid $20k for in the first place!

Geez, I think I would have been better off buying a cheap leaf and replacing the battery every 3-4 years. I like my BMW WAY MORE than the Leaf, but BMW is exhausting me and my workmate had his Leaf battery replaced under warranty and got double the range battery on top of that (2017 Leaf).

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