Air Conditioning BMW325i 1989

Hello everyone,
I had my freon recharged and my air conditioning system checked for leaks last Friday. There were no leaks and my freon level was very
low- since been fixed- however, my air conditioning does not work- the 'blue light' is active and the idle speed changes when it is pushed. The mechanic says it's a possible blockage and wanted me to authorize a few hours labor to fix it, I am very reluctant to do so. Any ideas why the ac is not activating? Any help would be appreciated, I am by no means a car expert, so if one were to suggest, for example, that I short the compressor, I would have no idea how to do so w/o/ more detailed instructions.
Thanks!
-STEVE
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Steve wrote:

What do you mean "does not work"? Does it blow air, but it's not cool? Blower not working at all?

That should indicate the clutch is working and the compressor is turning. Check to be sure. The clutch should energize with a solid click, and the center should rotate with the pulley. Then a few seconds later it should release with another click, idle speed changes, and the center is stationary while the pulley continues to turn.

If freon level is good, compressor is turning, but no cooling, it could be a blockage, either in the Accumulator/drier or possibly in the orifice. Not sure what these cars use, but last I looked most cars used a variation on the GM/Ford systems.
If it's blowing hot air, it could be a bad heater valve stuck open, or mixer door in the ducts not working. Either of those could be due to a vacuum loss- loose hose etc. Either can usually be worked manually to get some cool until a proper repair is available.
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Rex has some good stuff in his post - be sure to check to see if bubbles and fluid fills the window in the top of the dryer when you turn on the a/c.
Additionally, you say "freon". That system did indeed use R12 when new. However, it's pretty hard to get any more - are you sure your mechanic used R12 and not R34a? It would not be good to use the wrong charge (R12 in a system converted to R34a or R34a in a system not yet converted.)
FloydR
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On Tue, 30 May 2006 09:56:50 -0700, "Floyd Rogers"

On a related note, the AC in my e30 was shot when I bought it. I've had other old GM cars converted to R134a at *kinda* reasonable cost - anyone know what it takes in time, parts and $$ to convert an e30?
I calculated that I would be ahead in the game after the second refrigerant recharge with the last conversion I had done...
--
Dan.

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Dean Dark wrote:

I have heard a lot of reports for successful conversion of lots of different vehicles, with no changes whatsoever. Just charge it with R-134a. It would cost you the price of the R134a. Worst case is you'd have to do all the things you expected to do in the first place - change all O-rings, drier/accumulator & compressor. Success rate gets better as the year-model gets later. YMMV
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IF the OP is interested in converting to R134a, the first thing he should do is check to see whether his compressor is compatible. According to Brett Anderson, the following cars DO NOT have compatible AC compressors:
The following vehicles DO NOT have R134a compatible AC compressors E30 318i (7/85 - 8/85) 325e, 325i, 325iC (7/87 - 10/88) 325iX, M3 E28 528e (7/85 - 3/87) 535i (7/85 - 12/87) M5 (9/87 - 11/87) E24 All E23 All
For Brett's excellent article on R134a conversion, READ:
http://www.koalamotorsport.com/article-airconditioning.asp
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Brett has an article at: http://www.koalamotorsport.com/article-airconditioning.asp Doesn't look like "drop-in" works for an E30.
FloydR
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Okay, first off, thanks to everyone who offered their advice-
to clarify- the vent blows air, but not cold air, and I do use r12, I don't believe I needed to retrofit.
I took the car to a second mechanic, whom I trust, who told me that the compressor is busted and needs to be replaced, which is fair enough, I suppose. What bothers me though is that he said he needs to put freon in again after he changes the compressor, because, since it was shot, it was not circulating the freon, and the orginal mechanic effectively filled it with air, that is, I still need freon, and I effectively threw money away going to the first mechanic.
Does this stuff sound right to anyone out there? As I said, I'm not very knowledgable about this subject.
Thanks.
-STEVE
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Steve wrote:

I'm curious how he determined it was "busted". Perhaps a valve failed internally and it's just bypassing/not pumping? If it's still turning and not making noise, that's good. If you want to check it yourself, you can buy an inexpensive gauge that looks like a pencil tire gauge. I don't recall the High/low pressures, but they are pretty much the same for all R12 cars. I don't buy that part about filling it with air. The SOP is to pull a vacuum, then insert refrigerant. I can't think of a way to screw that up and end up with air instead. But invariably, you will be charged with a new compressor, a new receiver/drier/accumulator, flushing the system, probably a new orifice (no comment), and new freon. Most shops will want to change you to R-134a or an R12 substitute rather than try to source R12. If you happen to be in the DFW area and need some R12, I have a little left that I hoarded years ago, and am now selling. I won't ship it.
Rex
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On Tue, 30 May 2006 14:31:01 -0700, "Floyd Rogers"

Many thanks to you and bfd for that link. Duly bookmarked.
Once I've sorted the completely shagged suspension, I'll go back to the AC.
--
Dan.

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