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    1. · Registered
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      375 Posts
      Discussion Starter · #1 ·
      Last time my AC got lame some freon did the trick. But I want to know:

      1. I assume refreshing the freon is super easy that even I can do it in under 10 minutes?
      2. Is there anything subtle to look out for while doing it that an amateur might miss and screw up something?
      3. Is there a check I should do before assuming it is freon?
      4. How often do you guys replace freon in these e46? I think its been about 2 years for me, and I live in South FL so it is on every day pretty much

      Is something like this for $40 ok?
       
    2. · Premium Member
      2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
      Joined
      ·
      2,223 Posts
      Last time my AC got lame some freon did the trick. But I want to know:

      1. I assume refreshing the freon is super easy that even I can do it in under 10 minutes?
      2. Is there anything subtle to look out for while doing it that an amateur might miss and screw up something?
      3. Is there a check I should do before assuming it is freon?
      4. How often do you guys replace freon in these e46? I think its been about 2 years for me, and I live in South FL so it is on every day pretty much

      Is something like this for $40 ok?
      So I always hear people talk about needing more refrig so that means all those people, there is a leak somewhere in the hosing or connector? There shouldnt there be an obvious leak spot under the car since I park in the exact spot spot every day?
      The BMW procedure to filling the AC with refrigerant is by weight. Since you don't know how much refrigerant remains in the system, you do not know how much refrigerant to add by weight. Therefore, the recommended procedure is to evacuate the system, then fill it to the proper weight. For my 330, the spec is 740g +/- 25g. I use a digital scale when I filled my AC system last time. I also hooked up dual pressure gauges to monitor the high and low side pressures of the AC system. Those cans you buy from the auto parts store are really not that good because you're using a single fairly rudimentary pressure gauge monitoring only the low side pressure of the AC system. You're guessing how much refrigerant is actually in the system.

      A common can of refrigerant you buy from an auto parts store is 12oz, which is roughly 340g so you would need a bit more than 2 cans to fill an empty system. The cans you buy is under pressure which is why if you shake it, you can feel the liquid inside sloshing around. This is similar to a can of spray paint in that if you shake it, you can feel liquid inside. As already noted by TobyB, you will not find a leak spot on the ground from the refrigerant as it would be in gaseous form if it leaked from your AC system.

      You do NOT want to overfill an AC system by doing something stupid like turning the can upside down. When you turn the can upside down, you're letting liquid refrigerant into the system and liquid is incompressible. Your AC will stop working if it's overfilled.

      Since there really isn't all that much refrigerant inside the AC system, if there was a leak such that you need to top off the refrigerant every 1-2 years, then the leak is extremely small. You can inject dye into the system and look for a leak using UV light and special glasses, or you can use Freon "sniffers". My experience is that if you only need to top off every 1-2 years, you would have a really hard time finding the leak as it is so small.

      Please do NOT simply dump your existing refrigerants into the atmosphere. Use a proper evac/recovery system. Freon is very bad for the atmosphere.
       
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