bmwmilos

450 CDI disassembly and overhaul ( some help needed )

30 posts in this topic

I also went to recharge the AC system. After arguing with the guy at the workshop about gas quantity ( 620g vs 450g he claimed ) he evacuated the system,vacuum tested  and charged it. I went away and the next day again no AC. I went there again to see what is wrong and he wanted me to leave the car there for a couple of days for them to verify where the leak is. We went away for vacation one week so I left the Smart there. I went to pick up the car on Monday, started it and the AC worked,but very weak. It was a very hot day so I thought ok. The guy told me that they checked everywhere for leaks and could not find any. He showed me the special UV lamp, a probe for inserting in air grilles to detect R134a gas leaking from evaporator, and told me that he recharged the system again and the Ac worked for 2 days in front of the workshop.....

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There is an updated hose kit that stops the leaks.  Mine has held firm since 2010.  8 years!

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The next day again no AC ...

I was pissed off, I went there again, he recharged the AC again ( that's a total of 1.8 kg of R134a ) and gave me money back nad told me that I should dosmount the entire car and take it to some other AC tech for diagnosing...

It was 38 degrees C outside so I waited for 8 PM ( a bit cooler then ) and then dismounted the front end in 15 minutes. I took my "special" UV lamp ( 2$ ebay ) and illuminated the condenser and it shined bright green on both sides. I also removed the air filter and checked the evaporator and there were no signs of leaking. I then eemounted the front end and then I realised that the "green" condenser is easily seen through opening in the front bumper.

So now I am waiting for new condenser to arrive, I will install it and then go to recharge the system somewhere else.

This I wrote only so you all can understand why I went to do the engine overhaul myself because most of the workshops here are at the same level of expertise..

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The hoses and connectors showed no leaks,not even on the quick connectors below the car ( I do not know if the hoses are upgraded or not - I did not find what is different about upgraded hoses ). So I think after changing condenser AC will be ok ( condenser is "eaten" by road salt from the looks of it )

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I have worked on a lot of cars that the AC has either failed from lost freon or seized compressors. After assessing the problem most if not all of them are slow leaks somewhere in the system. After evacuating l always use stop leak as a simple repair. Never had one leak afterwards. Stop leak is a must no matter if everything has been replaced. The best insurance l have found.

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