A/C in BMW 325i

Last summer I had to have a new a/c put in my 1994 325i. It worked well for a few days (3-5), then did not cool. It’s as if it has a slow leak. I have returned the car to the place of repair, but they tell me they can find no leaks, etc. This doesn’t make sense to me & I don’t know what to do next. I have used this particular garage for years and have always found them to be fair & honest. Please advise. I’M BURNING UP HERE IN THE SOUTH!

If they put in the new AC last summer and it worked for only 3-5 days, why are you only just now taking the car back to them? If you had done that last summer as soon as the AC stopped cooling, you would have had more leverage to make them fix it.

But if you have used this shop for years, as you say, and have found them fair and honest, I would take it back to them and politely but firmly try to appeal to them as a loyal customer that they should at least be able to find out why the AC is not working. If the refrigerant hasn’t leaked out, then maybe the compressor isn’t turning on, or the compressor has failed.

You didn’t say why you had a new AC put in last summer. If it was because of a failed compressor, it’s possible that metal fragments from the failed compressor were not fully flushed out of the system when the shop put the new system in. Those metal fragments would then cause a new compressor to fail. So it’s possible that the shop didn’t do the work properly, resulting in another compressor failure. And it’s possible they suspect that, and don’t want to deal with it.

Since your car pre-dates 1995, I assume the garage had to retro-fit your system for the new R134 refrigerant (instead of R12). Perehaps the mechanic missed a seal that had to be replaced with the others. That could explain the slow leak. I had a similar problem with retro-fitting. The R134 refrigerant didn’t stay in the system very long. So, every time I recharge it, I use the R134 with a leak stopper additive. That solved my problem, anyway.

The molecular structure of R134a refrigerant is such that it will seep through the hoses that were designed for the old fashioned R-12. Those seeps are small and difficult to detect as they may be happening the entire length of each A/C hose. Ask your shop if there is ANY refrigerant in the system. If not, they need to figure out how to fix the situation.

I agree that you should have complained last summer, not this one.