520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - Tewy

My air conditioning is not working due to a perforated Condenser caused by stones going through the grill. At first BMW refused to repair under warranty and at a cost of £600.

I have since found out there is an acute shortage of Condensers (design fault?) and supplies are taking at least four to six weeks.

Be very aware of buying a BMW with a grill low to the ground.

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - gordonbennet

Seeing these condensers are nothing more than a radiator, why can't they be solder repaired like cooling rads used to be. most towns had a radiator shop where you could get your old sludged up rad re-cored, thats where i'd be taking it.

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - slkfanboy

Like many dealers they don't repair things, just replace modules. You would have to take it to an Indy to get it soldered up!

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - skidpan

Old radiators that you simply got soldered or brazed had copper cores.

Modern radiators and A/C heat exchangers tend to have alloy cores with pressed on plastic ends. Quick and cheap to manufacture but virually impossible to repair.

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - Hamsafar

Twenty years ago, I priced up having an old BMW E28 radiator soldered up. It was £80 vs £120 for a brand new one from GSF.

No wonder it died out (as well as the later switch to aluminium)

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - Lord jackson

Just read your thread my wife's 320d 2012 has exactly the same issue had a problem with the heating system/ air conditioning when we bought the car in the winter never used the air conditioning back into Sytner to be told a external source has damaged the the condenser, quoted £680 to replace which is a joke. There is def a problem with the f10 5 series condensers and are replaced when serviced at main dealers, my local specialist is struggling to locate one! Coincidence!! No I think there is a problem here. I have owned 8 bmws and never suffered a condenser problem that has been caused by a external source either it is a design flaw or jut a bad batch which bmw are covering up.
Not the ultimate driving machine anymore
Please let me know how you get on
I am sure my older 3 series use to have a mesh behind the grill to prevent anahe

Edited by Lord jackson on 17/06/2017 at 19:20

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - corax

Condensers are always getting damaged by stones e.t.c due to their location right at the front of the car, some models are more prone than others, but it is far from uncommon.

£680 to replace is a joke, I'll agree with you on that.

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - Galaxy

When I needed to replace the aircon condenser on my Ford Mondeo several years ago a genuine Ford one was going to cost me £400!

I shopped around and found I could obtain a condenser made by German company Hella for £105.

So, guess which one I bought, then?

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - bazza

As well as stones, they're very prone to corrosion, being, as SP says, thin aluminium alloy. Salt spray plays havoc with them. Well worth using the hosepipe on them, and a regular dose of WD 40 or ACF to inhibit corrosion. I had one go on a 2 year old car as previous owner had clearly not done that.

It's also quite easy to fabricate a plastic mesh or even a steel one using the type of stuff sold to make rabbit hutch fronts. A pair of tin snips and half an hours work. Zip tie behind the grill. Or you can buy bespoke fan-boy mesh grills at massive cost but the end result is similar for a couple of quid. Worth doing.

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - veloceman
Interesting.
My condenser is leaking on my beloved Alfa 3.0 GTV.
Alfa have now stopped making any parts as it was last manufactured in 2005.
I see many pattern parts for sale but most seem to cheap rubbish from made in China.

I will try hella. A brand I have heard of I think.
Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks.
520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - Cyd

Hey VM, if you're anywhere near Cov, try JJ Radiators for a rebuild.

Back in my rallying days the "go to" bodge for a leaky rad was P38 on the affected area. It might work on a condensor - at least long enough while you wait for a new one.

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - John F

It's also quite easy to fabricate a plastic mesh or even a steel one using the type of stuff sold to make rabbit hutch fronts. A pair of tin snips and half an hours work. Zip tie behind the grill. Or you can buy bespoke fan-boy mesh grills at massive cost but the end result is similar for a couple of quid. Worth doing.

I unscrew the black trim by the bonnet closure and slide a couple of cardboard separators from wine boxes between the condenser and the grill on our Xreg Focus from September to May. Reduces the chance of stone damage but still leaves enough airflow. Haven't had one fail yet on any car.

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - RT

It's also quite easy to fabricate a plastic mesh or even a steel one using the type of stuff sold to make rabbit hutch fronts. A pair of tin snips and half an hours work. Zip tie behind the grill. Or you can buy bespoke fan-boy mesh grills at massive cost but the end result is similar for a couple of quid. Worth doing.

I unscrew the black trim by the bonnet closure and slide a couple of cardboard separators from wine boxes between the condenser and the grill on our Xreg Focus from September to May. Reduces the chance of stone damage but still leaves enough airflow. Haven't had one fail yet on any car.

I don't understand - the grid of wine separators are about 50mm - the maximum gap on any grille is usually much less than that, about 10-15mm - so I don't see what the wine box gives you.

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - corax

It's also quite easy to fabricate a plastic mesh or even a steel one using the type of stuff sold to make rabbit hutch fronts. A pair of tin snips and half an hours work. Zip tie behind the grill. Or you can buy bespoke fan-boy mesh grills at massive cost but the end result is similar for a couple of quid. Worth doing.

I unscrew the black trim by the bonnet closure and slide a couple of cardboard separators from wine boxes between the condenser and the grill on our Xreg Focus from September to May. Reduces the chance of stone damage but still leaves enough airflow. Haven't had one fail yet on any car.

I don't understand - the grid of wine separators are about 50mm - the maximum gap on any grille is usually much less than that, about 10-15mm - so I don't see what the wine box gives you.

Apart from that, surely it's going to fall apart after a few rainy days.

I've got some aluminium mesh - might give that a try to protect the new condenser on my mums Yaris..

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - John F

I don't understand - the grid of wine separators are about 50mm - the maximum gap on any grille is usually much less than that, about 10-15mm - so I don't see what the wine box gives you.

Apart from that, surely it's going to fall apart after a few rainy days.

They are the cardboard pieces which slot together in a box creating twelve spaces for bottles. They don't fall apart - I have only recently removed them this year, they are good enough to re-use!

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - RT

I don't understand - the grid of wine separators are about 50mm - the maximum gap on any grille is usually much less than that, about 10-15mm - so I don't see what the wine box gives you.

Apart from that, surely it's going to fall apart after a few rainy days.

They are the cardboard pieces which slot together in a box creating twelve spaces for bottles. They don't fall apart - I have only recently removed them this year, they are good enough to re-use!

But how are they close enough together to stop anything smaller than a tennis ball?

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - sandy56

Very strange.

I have owned various BMWs over the years and never had a problem with the AC. My brother in law runs a 5 series, newish, for years, and has never had a problem.

My now elderly Peugeot has never had a problem with the AC.

Is this due to a local problem on certain roads? or is it more widespread?

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - John F

I don't understand - the grid of wine separators are about 50mm - the maximum gap on any grille is usually much less than that, about 10-15mm - so I don't see what the wine box gives you.

Apart from that, surely it's going to fall apart after a few rainy days.

They are the cardboard pieces which slot together in a box creating twelve spaces for bottles. They don't fall apart - I have only recently removed them this year, they are good enough to re-use!

But how are they close enough together to stop anything smaller than a tennis ball?

They are two of the three transverse slotted separators in a twelve bottle cardboard wine box trimmed to 33cm x 22cm which rest vertically against the condenser providing protection (and possibly quicker winter warming) while still allowing sufficient cooling airflow in our Sep-May maritime climate. All clear now?.

520D SE auto - BMW Condensers - Terry W

There seem to be several suppliers on ebay ranging from around £100-250 for a 520D. There are a few variants in design and fitment so this would need to be checked - I assumed a 2015 car.

Fitting would be on top + I assume an aircon recharge. But lots cheaper than BMW and could be done in a few days.

 

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