How to recharge BMW AC Yourself - DIY Instructions

BMW Recharge Instructions
Published by YOUCANIC Automotive Experts 
Last Updated Nov 1, 2018 

In this guide, you will find instructions on how to recharge BMW Air Conditioner (AC) with R134a refrigerant (freon). Follow the step-by-step instructions below and make sure to watch the how-to video as well.  

If your BMW blows hot air but no cold air, it may be an indication that the A/C system is low on refrigerant. Even though other problems can cause a BMW to stop blowing cold air, low refrigerant due to is often the problem. Recharging BMW 5-Series AC system with freon will sometimes fix the problem. The good news is that you can recharge a BMW 5-Series A/C with freon yourself.

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Symptoms

Here are a few symptoms that may indicate that your car's air conditioner is low on refrigerant. 

  • Hot air blowing from air vents
  • A/C clutch doesn't engage
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Before you start

  • Instructions that are provided with your A/C recharge kit supersede these instructions.
  • A/C pressure will be in the high range when the engine is turned off. This is normal.
  • If you A/C works for a few days then stops blowing cold air, it is usually an indication of a large refrigerant leak. 
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What you will need

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Step-by-step Instructions

Start Engine

Start the engine and let it idle.  air conditioning recharge bmw instructions

Turn on A/C

Ensure your vehicle is in Park. Start the engine while keeping the vehicle in park. If your BMW has keyless start feature with a START/STOP button, press START to start the engine.
With the engine running turn on the air conditioner system on your car. Set the temperature to MIN and blower fan to MAX. Make sure the A/C button is pressed or is switched ON. recharge ac bmw

Open Hood

Pull the hood release under the dashboard. Secure the hood in the up position. Ensure the hood does not fall down on you while you are charging your BMW 5-Series with refrigerant.bmw x5 ac recharge 
 
 Watch a video on how to open BMW hood. 

Locate A/C Port

Locate the low-pressure air conditioner charging port. Remove cap from the A/C charging port.location of ac port bmw 5 series 525 530 545 520 535 e60 m5

Connect A/C Recharge Kit

Connect the a/c recharge kit to the low-pressure line. With the engine running take a reading and ensure the refrigerant pressure is low zone. connect ac bmw 5 series
Connect the A/C recharge kit, start the car. With the A/C recharge kit connected read the gauge. Continue to the next if the A/C pressure reading is low.

Charge A/C

With the engine running, recharge the A/C system until the reading falls within the 45 and 55 psi. Make sure to follow the instructions on the back of the A/C recharge kit carefully. 

Check A/C System

Once you reach the recommended pressure level stop adding refrigerant to your BMW 5-Series AC. Overcharging a BMW 5-Series A/C with refrigerant does not make the air blow colder air and can cause damage to the air conditioner system. 
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BMW AC Recharge Cost

Average cost to recharge BMW AC system is between $90 and $150. Note that this is the cost to top off a system that may have a small leak. If your BMW AC system is completely empty and needs to be filled with R134 refrigerant, the cost will be between $150 and $300 depending on the refrigerant capacity of your BMW.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The most common problem is vent actuator in vehicles with dual zone A/C. They can get stuck in one position and do not switch when you change the temperature. In vehicles that use duo-valves they can also get stuck in which case half of the car blows hot air and the other blows cold air.

The cooling fan for the condenser may not be working.

The blower fan may be defective.

AC may be low on freon. Also check low-pressure switch. If defective it can prevent the compressor from operating.

 

 

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DIY Cost
$15-$35
Mechanic
$90-$120
Dealer
$120-$180