• Prevent AC Compressor Failure to Stay Cool and Save Money

    Posted on July 30, 2023 by Michelle Travis
    Close up view of the AC of a 2018 BMW 750. Concept image of “Prevent AC Compressor Failure to Stay Cool and Save Money” | Bavarian Motors in Capitol Heights, MD.

    When you turn on your BMW (& Rolls-Royce &MINI’s) air conditioner, does the air from the vents feel icy cold? If not, you might have trouble brewing in your air conditioning system.

    A marked decrease in its cooling power is a red flag, letting you know that it’s time to visit our BMW repair shop in Capitol Heights, MD. Ignoring the warning signs might be tempting, especially if it’s not all that hot out, but that move could lead to AC compressor failure and much higher BMW repair costs.

    Wondering just why that is? Let’s look at why you should get AC service at the first sign of a problem.

    Why Get Timely Service If Your AC Doesn’t Blow Cold

    BMWs rarely have outright AC failures. Instead, the automotive air conditioning system typically feels like it’s not blowing cold air out of the vents. In most cases, this happens due to insufficient refrigerant circulating through the lines.

    That’s not particularly alarming since it’s likely due to a simple leak. But it’s important to know that the refrigerant is more than just a specially designed cooling liquid. It also carries the oil needed to lubricate the moving metal parts inside the AC compressor. Without it, the parts inside the compressor could seize, much like what would happen if you ran your engine without oil.

    When that happens, the best-case scenario is that you’ll need a new AC compressor in addition to fixing the refrigerant leak and refilling the system. Worst case? The seized compressor sends metal particles through the system, damaging or contaminating many other parts, and a full system repair is required.

    Are all BMW / MINI / Rolls-Royce AC systems the same?

    This is a great question! The operation of the system themselves are very similar.
    However, depending on which year and model vehicle you drive (even if it’s a non-BMW), we’ll need to determine what type of refrigerant is in the vehicle. There has recently been a law change, and all automotive are switching from the older and more cost-effective R134a to the new and more expensive 1234YF refrigerant.

    A big surprise many vehicle owners are discovering currently is that their vehicle is equipped with the new 1234YF refrigerant, which is roughly 8X more expensive when compared to the old R134a refrigerant pound for pound.

    As a client of Bavarian Motor Repairs, we’d note this as an even better reason to make sure the system is properly maintained and working to avoid full system failures!

    Other Signs Your BMW Needs Prompt AC Service

    Poor cooling power is the most common sign of a refrigerant leak, but it’s not the only thing that could alert you to the problem.

    Other signs you may need BMW AC service include:

    • Unpleasant odors coming from the vents
    • Increased humidity in the cabin space
    • Air conditioning cycling on and off too quickly
    • Strange noises whenever the AC kicks on

    Because automotive AC refrigerant converts to a gas, it will often evaporate immediately, leaving little to no trace when looking with the naked eye.

    How We Can Restore the Function of Your BMW’s AC

    Whenever you notice any signs of a poorly functioning AC system, it’s time to bring your BMW into our European car repair shop for a diagnosis. We’ll do what it takes to track down the cause of the issue and recommend the right repairs.

    Our ASE-certified technicians will thoroughly inspect your vehicle while taking photos and videos of any problems they find. If that doesn’t reveal the issue, we can perform additional diagnostic tests, including AC leak detection steps.

    We have all of the right tools to get an answer accurately and quickly! In fact, we have equipment that will help us pinpoint leaks so small that it would take up to 7-YEARS to notice as a driver (now that’s a very small leak)!

    Once we pinpoint the exact issue, we’ll provide our professional repair recommendations. If you come in before additional damage occurs, we can repair the leak and recharge the system. Otherwise, we may need to replace the compressor or any other parts damaged by a cascade of failures that can occur.

    Got AC Compressor Failure? Give Us a Call

    At Bavarian Motor Repairs, we want to help keep your BMW in optimal condition while saving you money on its care. To do that, our team always goes above and beyond in identifying developing issues and letting you know how to fix them before they worsen. We only use the highest quality parts and factory-recommended fluids when completing your repairs.

    Feel free to come to us anytime you suspect your AC doesn’t blow as cold as it should. Or if you notice any other signs that your car’s air conditioning system doesn’t work properly.

    To make your appointment, call (240) 552-9988 to reach our team. If you’d prefer to stop by, you’ll find us conveniently located at 8527 Walker Mill Rd. Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

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