Air conditioning problem

I’ve got a 2001 BMW 325i. Lately, the air conditioning blows cold only from the driver’s side. The passenger side blows warm. I’ve read this is a sign of low freon. The compressor appears to be working just fine although it’s tough to see on my car. Has anyone else heard this? If there was a leak, wouldn’t the whole system fail to be cold? I feel like it could be a simple recharge but have had trouble with that (another story) Please help. I’ve yet to find an honest mechanic. The last one tried to charge me $90 to change a cabin air filter, something I do myself in literally 2 minutes for a cost of $30.

It’s not a sign of low refrigerant. If that were the case there would be no cold air discharged anywhere.

I’m not familiar with the control system on this car but it’s likely going to be in the dash somewhere. A faulty mode door not operating properly or a control problem which is causing that door not to work properly.

In regards to the cabin air filter, you were not being ripped off. You’re comparing the cost of DIY to the cost of a shop doing it. The shop must mark parts up and they also should charge for a repair; even a simple one.
You’re taking up their time (spelled M-O-N-E-Y). If they do a 100 small jobs like this a week for free then they won’t be doing jobs at all in the future; they’ll be belly-up.

You can also omit the surgeon/hospital, perform your own appendectomy, and save money there too.

Thanks for the tip. I actually did recharge the system because the psi was below where it should be and that did get cold air coming out of the passenger vents somewhat but not nearly enough. I twill look into the mode door. Thanks for the advice.

As for my opinion that I was ripped off, perhaps I could have elaborated on the instance I was referring to. I had 2k worth of work done (basically an oil change and replacing brake pads and rotors). So, if I’m already spending all that money and I’m already being charged all that money, I DO think it’s ridiculous to charge me for 30 minutes of labor for a 1 minute procedure. I’m fine with the fact that they mark up the price of the part but not fine with being nickel and dimed so unfairly (rounding up from 1 minute of labor to 30). If I’m already paying a thousand bucks for a few hours of labor, is it really necessary or fair to add on a minute and round up again (God knows they’d rounded up the time spent on all the other work)? To continue your metaphor, I did pay the doctor to do the appendectomy (I paid him a lot). Then, the doctor noticed that I had a hangnail, clipped it for me and charged me for another surgery and another night in the hospital. In my opinion, that’s pretty egregious overcharging and that signals, at minimum, a lack of ethics and, at worst, a shop that will grossly overchage whatever chance they get. Hence my desire to avoid going back unless absolutely necessary.

***It’s not a sign of low refrigerant. If that were the case there would be no cold air discharged anywhere. ***

You’d think so, but I spent years fighting with a household central air conditioner in a previous house that developed various maladies serially. One malady was that a new leak would develop and the refrigerant level would drop. When that happened the compressed coolant would cool only the part of the evaporator closest to the inlet and one side of the evaporator would be cold and the other not.

I’m inclined to agree that the problem is more likely a door not opening, but I’m not sure that low refrigerant can be entirely ruled out.

Are you have BMW do the work? A local independent shop would likely cost a lot less and might even do a better job. Of course you will not get the same grade of coffee in the waiting room.

I did not start doing AC work until halfway through may 35 years in the garage but still I never saw this left side cold right side hot except on dual zone AC systems. The idea that it is caused by the evaporator is at different temps along its lenght is not a strong theory