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Re: AC Condenser Damage - 2015 BMW i3 REX

Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:55 am

I have my #5 stainless steel woven wire mesh (74% open area) and look forward to reading your installation instructions.
Posted in Mods and Acc.

"AC Condenser Protection - A How To"
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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Re: AC Condenser Damage - 2015 BMW i3 REX

Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:04 pm

Hey guys! In the process of doing this my self.

Do I absolutely need a new AC manifold(intake pipe)? I assumed all I would need is a new condenser in addition to the refrigerant & oil.


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Re: AC Condenser Damage - 2015 BMW i3 REX

Wed May 29, 2019 11:11 am

First off, you NEED to be sure that the condenser has a drier in it. You need that. This write up completely overlooks that, I just put everything back together(1 week of down time). Now I have to go through the process all over again and buy the correct condenser with a drier in it.

ALSO, remove the condenser through the BOTTOM of the car. Praying and forcing it by taking out of the top and “trying not to damage all the fins” is completely unnecessary. I just dropped it in & out through the bottom - 2 screws hold a plastic price below the radiator/condenser.

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Re: Condenser Damage - 2015 BMW i3 REX

Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:38 am

Unfortunately I am in this same position with my 2014 Rex. I have a third party warranty and I thought it was safe taking my car to the stealership to diagnose what was wrong with the AC system. After a $250 diagnosis they determined that it was a rock in the condenser and it would cost another $1100 to fix it. It kills me that their diagnosis cost more than the labor they have for replacement. Ok well it's my turn to fix it the same way and add some sort of screen in front of it so that I also don't end up with it happening again. I do have some questions based on my on research.
kallisti5 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:30 pm


BMW was as confusing as possible around the AC oil. It seems like they couldn't make up their minds
on which oil to use since all the documentation is conflicting. (Hell, even the can of BMW AC oil is conflicting.

However, additional research shows PAG-ANYTHING will damage the electric compressor and your car. Even though the SP-A2 is
labeled for R1234yf (and even says *DO NOT USE ON R134a systems* on the can, it is compatible with R134a and R1234yf per this: ... ils_EN.pdf

My 2015 has a BMW part number for the AC oil, which matches the can of Sanden SP-A2. My car is also R134a. I feel like BMW were going to have all BMW i3's use R1234yf, but changed their mind to R134a at the last minute for the 2014, 2015 years. The SP-A2 can saying "do not use on R134a" is really saying "don't use it on traditional mechanical compressor vehicles (since it won't mix with PAG-ANYTHING).

To make matters even more confusing, the BMW AC sticker says "PAG 2339920" which when you look up 2339920 you find a the SP-A2 (which i'm pretty sure is a POE oil, not PAG)

The electric compressors require an AC lube with a high "dielectric strength" since it co-exists with the motor windings for the AC compressor. Using something conductive like PAG-ANYTHING will result in arcing within the compressor and damage your compressor/battery.

tldr: use SP-A2 if your car says "PAG 2339920" and DON'T use any PAG.

As far as I could tell you are wrong about the PAG. From what I read here
Sanden has made a version that they call SP-A2 and they use it in both their mechanical and electrical compressors – that very interesting indeed due to
the fact that most of the other OEM producers use POE oil with a very high di-electrical strength in order to avoid any possible conflicts between the motor
windings and the lubricant. It might be that Sanden have added some features that improves the di-electrical strength so it reaches the same level as the
POE will require a separate analysis and test to find out the di-electricak strength of the SP-A2.
You are correct in that normal PAG oils will create arcing if the oil comes in contact with the coil winding. It seems that BMW used R134 and R1234YF at the same time depending on the market the car was destined for, but both types of refrigerant in the i3 used the same SP-A2. More information is here ... 1VnXj85WOR

I had one question I had about the amount of oil to add though. It seems that they recommend 40ml of additional oil when replacing a condenser with the integrated dryer. ... s/1LEbCldB

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