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Old 08-02-2019, 10:21 AM   #21
Mango
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At my mileage, it's a miracle anything works.
i'm getting echos of non-e46 related things here, too. lol... i suppose we'll all get there. keep that gummipflege on standby
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:55 AM   #22
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What hose would be best to clamp off? Going from block to water valve? Should it matter whether I clamp the inlet or return...I'd be blocking the flow in either case. (I can get to the return easily with a clamp, but don't want to miss something obvious and blow up my car.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:06 PM   #23
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Nevermind! After reading a bit I decided I'd order a water valve and take my chances. There's enough anecdotal evidence to suggest clamping off the hose might not be a good idea for a number of reasons.

First the risk of damaging the hose and they can be a royal pain to get to. Second, apparently there's often some flow...and it's nice to have a second radiator at the ready just in case something fails and I need extra radiation.

Many stories suggest that the water valve isn't closing as much as it should.

I'm not sure I have a blend door issue, but the seals may have failed on them by now and they're letting air leak...or I messed up one of them somehow. But, I did read that there isn't one between the heater core and the evaporator. I doubt many have been in there to look, but if you have, it'd be good to know.

I will report back in case someone else suffers from sucky AC at times. (BTW, I know I ignored some of your thoughts--thank you for them all. I have the system full, clean cabin air filter, new compressor, expansion valve. I do not want a new condenser and/or evaporator, so doing the best I can with what I have. I've seen temps down to low 40s...but also at 60...and on a balmy 100 degree NJ summer day with 90% humidity...not good.

I do have a backup 1997 Camry V6 with only 50K miles on it (my dad's car)--it drives lovely, but it's not fern green.
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Last edited by dmax; 08-02-2019 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:36 PM   #24
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I do have a backup 1997 Camry V6 with only 50K miles on it (my dad's car)--it drives lovely, but it's not fern green.
It wouldn't kill you to get a brush and paint it.

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Old 08-03-2019, 01:20 AM   #25
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From my E46's maintenance book: "197 395 km: replaced AC evaporator". Maybe it's just gone? 70€.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:37 AM   #26
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From my E46's maintenance book: "197 395 km: replaced AC evaporator". Maybe it's just gone? 70€.
I don't think so, but it still could be very dirty. I'm very disappointed in myself that I didn't clean it when I replaced my blower motor recently.

But, the system does get cold and blows out of the center vents close to 43F...but as I get some warm from the top and bottom vents, I'm thinking that the water valve is a pretty good guess. After only 378,000 miles, though, I'm also very disappointed in BMW for putting such crappy parts in our cars.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:02 AM   #27
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I don't think so, but it still could be very dirty. I'm very disappointed in myself that I didn't clean it when I replaced my blower motor recently.



But, the system does get cold and blows out of the center vents close to 43F...but as I get some warm from the top and bottom vents, I'm thinking that the water valve is a pretty good guess. After only 378,000 miles, though, I'm also very disappointed in BMW for putting such crappy parts in our cars.


I had the same top cold-warm bottom air coming out as you when my water valve failed.

Or possibly didn’t fail but there’s a fault in the computer. Since a new valve didn’t fix the problem.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:15 AM   #28
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After a complete vacuum for an hour, and recharge of the system I have no issues. I'm not dealing with 100+ degrees but the AC blows ice cubes when its ~95 out. Pulling the entire dash for an evap cleaning is not feasible/not worth it. I would just do the lysol spray into the cabin air filter area and pray for the best...Gonna do it soon, the musty wetness of turning on the car, first thing, is horrible. My bandaid is to just max blast the air after turning off the AC a few minutes before i get to my destination
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:46 PM   #29
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I had the same top cold-warm bottom air coming out as you when my water valve failed.

Or possibly didn’t fail but there’s a fault in the computer. Since a new valve didn’t fix the problem.
So much for my hope! I might just have a clog somewhere that can't be cleared from a compressor failing...but as I do see 42 degrees at times...and sometimes only 52 degrees coming out (after its sat in the sun for some time), I'm also beginning to suspect either the pressure sensor or there's a temp sensor for the evaporator too...maybe one of those is messed up?

It's shocking that something could be wrong, though...it's not even at 2 mu.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:11 PM   #30
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Dmax-

I was doing some research today and stumbled on this thread:

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showth...topics/1258791

Markusmarkus mentions the “refrigerant pressure switch”.

He says “the first thing I’d check is the refrigerant pressure switch. Simply remove the connector to see what happens. I believe the switch closes (0 ohm resistance) when the refrigerant pressure is above a specific pressure. Use a digital ohm meter to see what the resistance is across the pressure switch. The meter will show either 0 ohms or infinite resistance. If it shows infinite resistance I’d use a paper clip to short the 2 pins in the connector to see what happens. If the system works fine then the pressure switch is the likely culprit. “

My only problem is that I have no idea where that switch is. Hahahaha. Any ideas?


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Old 08-06-2019, 08:48 AM   #31
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Dmax-

I was doing some research today and stumbled on this thread:

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showth...topics/1258791

Markusmarkus mentions the “refrigerant pressure switch”.

He says “the first thing I’d check is the refrigerant pressure switch. Simply remove the connector to see what happens. I believe the switch closes (0 ohm resistance) when the refrigerant pressure is above a specific pressure. Use a digital ohm meter to see what the resistance is across the pressure switch. The meter will show either 0 ohms or infinite resistance. If it shows infinite resistance I’d use a paper clip to short the 2 pins in the connector to see what happens. If the system works fine then the pressure switch is the likely culprit. “

My only problem is that I have no idea where that switch is. Hahahaha. Any ideas?


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Thank you! I believe it's on the receiver/dryer just behind the headlight. I also believe you need to have the system evacuated first...so for now, I'm monitoring and praying and waiting on my water valve...which did its time no matter what.

Thank you for the tips...although I'm not sure about the 'shorting' out issue. If the switch is still good, wouldn't shorting it possibly ruin it?
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:15 PM   #32
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Thank you for the tips...although I'm not sure about the 'shorting' out issue. If the switch is still good, wouldn't shorting it possibly ruin it?
I believe markus was referring to shorting out the electrical connector on the wiring harness side. If 0 ohms is the signal from the pressure switch that the DME is looking for to allow the compressor to turn on, then shorting the two wires together on the wiring harness would simply replicate that signal and should be ok to do.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:17 PM   #33
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Dmax, FYI. AutoZone carries an AC flush kit in their tool rental (i.e. deposit refund on tool return) program here. Haven't done much research but believe this geared to clear blockage. Of course need to empty/add freon and pag oil for use. GL
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:57 AM   #34
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I believe markus was referring to shorting out the electrical connector on the wiring harness side. If 0 ohms is the signal from the pressure switch that the DME is looking for to allow the compressor to turn on, then shorting the two wires together on the wiring harness would simply replicate that signal and should be ok to do.
My compressor comes on, but in any case, usually when a 'fix' involves 'shorting,' I decide it's not for me. If I felt competent with a multimeter and electricity beyond soldering wires I might try more workarounds. My car has probably been better off that I haven't. I'm going to put in a new water valve and see if that helps...I wanted to get down around there anyway to clean my icv and throttle body. That's easier, for now, than getting deeper into my AC system.

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Dmax, FYI. AutoZone carries an AC flush kit in their tool rental (i.e. deposit refund on tool return) program here. Haven't done much research but believe this geared to clear blockage. Of course need to empty/add freon and pag oil for use. GL
They flushed it thoroughly at the shop, but it may still be clogged in a way that they can't flush it. I'm not sure what a compressor sends out when it fails, but I know that the particles could clog in a way they can't be purged. I can't hold it against the condenser...if it's that. It did its time. Thank you for the tip...I will look into it. If I get into the AC myself further, I'll give this a shot...thank you!
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:04 PM   #35
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i have cleaned evap on house and window ac, never a car , always thought rain took care of that

my 04 330 is colder than my 12 mazda3 , and that's a smaller car


something else is amiss
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:29 PM   #36
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i have cleaned evap on house and window ac, never a car , always thought rain took care of that

my 04 330 is colder than my 12 mazda3 , and that's a smaller car


something else is amiss
The evaporator is the one in the housing with the heater core...I've cleaned the condenser in front of the radiator really well...but that cleaning won't help a clog if that's what it turns out to be.

I've currently got AC that ranges from 42-52 and sometimes 60 out of the center vents. I hope our 100 degree days are gone for now and I'm managing for now. Glad you're keeping cool!
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:32 PM   #37
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Ah, thought you'd already replaced heater valve. Very easy job; maybe 15-20 minutes (like changing the windshield washer pump). Just remove intake w/ upper hose and it's right there on sidewall. Spray a little silicone on hose connections first and no need to clamp/drain coolant, just lift hoses when disconnecting. Under twenty minutes to complete. Of course TB and ICV are more involved
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:04 PM   #38
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The evaporator is the one in the housing with the heater core...I've cleaned the condenser in front of the radiator really well...but that cleaning won't help a clog if that's what it turns out to be.

I've currently got AC that ranges from 42-52 and sometimes 60 out of the center vents. I hope our 100 degree days are gone for now and I'm managing for now. Glad you're keeping cool!
ah, my bad
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:47 PM   #39
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My compressor comes on, but in any case, usually when a 'fix' involves 'shorting,' I decide it's not for me. If I felt competent with a multimeter and electricity beyond soldering wires I might try more workarounds. My car has probably been better off that I haven't. I'm going to put in a new water valve and see if that helps...I wanted to get down around there anyway to clean my icv and throttle body. That's easier, for now, than getting deeper into my AC system.







They flushed it thoroughly at the shop, but it may still be clogged in a way that they can't flush it. I'm not sure what a compressor sends out when it fails, but I know that the particles could clog in a way they can't be purged. I can't hold it against the condenser...if it's that. It did its time. Thank you for the tip...I will look into it. If I get into the AC myself further, I'll give this a shot...thank you!


Dmax-

Did you end up repacking the heater valve? Did that work?
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