Air con issues - F20

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whodareswins1
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Air con issues - F20

Post by whodareswins1 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:11 pm

I've recently noticed some odd issues with the air con in my 2012 F20. For one, certainly when it start, it smells a tad funny, not an eggy smell just like an old fridge I guess.

Secondly, when I turn it on and off there's a loud rush of air noise. It's not the blower fan as that's right down low. Even if I leave it turned on. When I start and switch off the car I get a bit of a noisy blowing of air. When it starts this blows hot air into the cabin.

Is this a common issue?
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by Nottsknots » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:54 pm

"Old fridge" is bacteria and sh!te in the evaporator; you can buy "air con deodoriser" treatments, but they dont work (after a couple of weeks, the bacteria will be back). Only way to deal with it properly is to physically clean the evaporator (but I REALLY wouldnt recommend it, unless you have a couple of weeks and dont want to drive your car). Best bet is to just leave it running to keep the bacteria cold, and get used to it.

Air rush is probably the vents directing air to the windscreen; its a very "clever" control system, that works hard to keep your windscreen clear. I reckon if you stick your hand against the bottom of the screen as it goes from no-rush to rush- noise, you'll notice the airflow change.

When it starts, of course it'll be warm air; there are pipes full of air that have to be blown through, and even then the aircon system itself has to get cool, and that takes a few seconds/ minutes depending on conditions and health of the system). Aircon is a convoluted system, not some spontaneous cooling magic :D

All sounds perfectly normal to me.

Only thing to watch out for is "snow" coming from the vents; if you get a really fine white powder all over the interior of your car, thats the surface of the evaporator corroding, and its either a warrenty fix, or an expensive problem.
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by OneTwenty » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:19 pm

Try running the air on system very hot for a while, up at max temp. This can get hot enough to kill the bacteria off but is tricky in summer.

Make sure aircon is on year round as well.
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by Nottsknots » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:56 pm

Does the max temp method work? I thought the air went over the evaporator (if the aircon is on, that dehumidifies the incoming air) before going over the heater matrix (to adjust the temp to the selected value by re-heating the already dehumidified air). If it was the other way round, the hot air would be blown over the evaporator, which would be thermodynamically inefficient design. Doesnt that mean the hot air wont make it across the evaporator?

It appears there might be a way to decontaminate though; not sure how the "special lance" works, or what pressure it runs at - I certainly wouldnt run a home pressure washer up there, but it might be worth a bit of research.
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f20- ... ng/2gWSJiy
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by whodareswins1 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:32 pm

Nottsknots wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:54 pm
"Old fridge" is bacteria and sh!te in the evaporator; you can buy "air con deodoriser" treatments, but they dont work (after a couple of weeks, the bacteria will be back). Only way to deal with it properly is to physically clean the evaporator (but I REALLY wouldnt recommend it, unless you have a couple of weeks and dont want to drive your car). Best bet is to just leave it running to keep the bacteria cold, and get used to it.

Air rush is probably the vents directing air to the windscreen; its a very "clever" control system, that works hard to keep your windscreen clear. I reckon if you stick your hand against the bottom of the screen as it goes from no-rush to rush- noise, you'll notice the airflow change.

When it starts, of course it'll be warm air; there are pipes full of air that have to be blown through, and even then the aircon system itself has to get cool, and that takes a few seconds/ minutes depending on conditions and health of the system). Aircon is a convoluted system, not some spontaneous cooling magic :D

All sounds perfectly normal to me.

Only thing to watch out for is "snow" coming from the vents; if you get a really fine white powder all over the interior of your car, thats the surface of the evaporator corroding, and its either a warrenty fix, or an expensive problem.

Thanks for the help. I think i'll start with replacing the pollen filter as I have no idea what it's like. Assuming it's a nice easy job? Behind the passenger footwell I believe?
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by Nottsknots » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:27 am

Not sure on the F's, but assuming this instruction is for a LHD, then you're right:
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f20- ... r/GzPgksPd
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by fez_7 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:28 am

Do most people get their air con re-gassed every couple years as "recommended'?
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by Nottsknots » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:29 am

Nope. And I'll bet "most people" wouldnt even know it was possible unless their servicing folks tried to sell it to them. Now, "most informed people" would probably re-gas when it stops working efficiently.

Mine was 7 years old when it was first done, and now another 5 years later I'm thinking about it again.
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by fez_7 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:33 pm

Nottsknots wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:29 am
Nope. And I'll bet "most people" wouldnt even know it was possible unless their servicing folks tried to sell it to them. Now, "most informed people" would probably re-gas when it stops working efficiently.

Mine was 7 years old when it was first done, and now another 5 years later I'm thinking about it again.
This is why I said "most people" deliberately. :lol:

I think mine needs doing too as it's starting to smell funny and I doubt it was ever done previously.
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by stevesurrey » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:24 pm

Nottsknots wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:29 am
Nope. And I'll bet "most people" wouldnt even know it was possible unless their servicing folks tried to sell it to them. Now, "most informed people" would probably re-gas when it stops working efficiently.

Mine was 7 years old when it was first done, and now another 5 years later I'm thinking about it again.
The A/C in my 11-year old car is definitely not as icy as it used to be so contemplating having mine regassed. Where did u have urs done ? I've been hoping BMW will do another promotional offer as I've seen them do in the past, but guess they wont in the summer (current price at my nearest dealership is £99) :(
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by Nottsknots » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:13 pm

I've just had a promo email from Halfords. They're doing it for £50! (Shops, not Autocentres, go figure). I've previously had it done at my local indy, also for about £50 iirc.
E87 118d, stock, plus PDC control unit drain, Parrot, debadged, Mothercare baby shades (but no babies), and occassionally a good layer of wax. Instantly forgettable, and thats the way I like it.

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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by Nottsknots » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:28 pm

fez_7 wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:33 pm
Nottsknots wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:29 am
Nope. And I'll bet "most people" wouldnt even know it was possible unless their servicing folks tried to sell it to them. Now, "most informed people" would probably re-gas when it stops working efficiently.

Mine was 7 years old when it was first done, and now another 5 years later I'm thinking about it again.
This is why I said "most people" deliberately. :lol:

I think mine needs doing too as it's starting to smell funny and I doubt it was ever done previously.
Smelly aircon wont be anything to do with regassing; thats down to bacteria in the evaporator. The F models can be decontaminated, but E's its a lot messier. Has your filter been replaced? Do you run the aircon all year round? Old filters can sometimes let sh!t through and contribute to the smell. Turning aircon off for prolonged periods can also allow it to warm and breed bacteria in the condensate on the outside of the evaporator (i.e. In contact with the air you breathe).
E87 118d, stock, plus PDC control unit drain, Parrot, debadged, Mothercare baby shades (but no babies), and occassionally a good layer of wax. Instantly forgettable, and thats the way I like it.

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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by fez_7 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:03 pm

Nottsknots wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:28 pm
fez_7 wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:33 pm
Nottsknots wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:29 am
Nope. And I'll bet "most people" wouldnt even know it was possible unless their servicing folks tried to sell it to them. Now, "most informed people" would probably re-gas when it stops working efficiently.

Mine was 7 years old when it was first done, and now another 5 years later I'm thinking about it again.
This is why I said "most people" deliberately. :lol:

I think mine needs doing too as it's starting to smell funny and I doubt it was ever done previously.
Smelly aircon wont be anything to do with regassing; thats down to bacteria in the evaporator. The F models can be decontaminated, but E's its a lot messier. Has your filter been replaced? Do you run the aircon all year round? Old filters can sometimes let sh!t through and contribute to the smell. Turning aircon off for prolonged periods can also allow it to warm and breed bacteria in the condensate on the outside of the evaporator (i.e. In contact with the air you breathe).
So how do you know when it needs regassing? Mine isn't always turned on so it probably is down to warmth but my Mrs Ibiza is also the same (probably worse) and that's never been re-gassed either after a number of years?
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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by Nottsknots » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:49 am

fez_7 wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:03 pm
So how do you know when it needs regassing?
When it doesnt get icy cold any more. :idea:
E87 118d, stock, plus PDC control unit drain, Parrot, debadged, Mothercare baby shades (but no babies), and occassionally a good layer of wax. Instantly forgettable, and thats the way I like it.

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Re: Air con issues - F20

Post by whodareswins1 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:41 pm

It's definitely not to do with the vents changing. The noise kind of sounds like waves washing up against the shore. Also pulsates at the same kind of tempo. Very peculiar. As soon as I turn offf the air con it disappears. Not so prevalent at higher speeds or with the music on.

Also, when I turn the air con off I can hear a water trickling sound. Is this normal? Nothing dripping underneath however.
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