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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought an 03 Cooper a few months ago, still under used warranty. Had to fix a couple of faults but main issue being poor air conditioning. It has automatic air con system. Effective air con was one of the main extras why I went for this spec of Mini.
But the air con is no better than a desk fan for cooling, (to give some kind of example), and to drive constantly with highest speed setting of fan to push lukewarm air through the car is not fun or eco friendly.
Have already returned car to dealer twice, once to inspect for faults and aircon, second time for them to carry out repairs of other faults. And to do an air conditioning service, which they said was chargeable. I queried this and was told air conditioning is not covered under the Used Car warranty, and indeed even Mini as a whole do not cover any air condtioning issues or parts.
When I collected the Mini after repairs it was via BMW garage that day and the service manager there cancelled the charge upon my querying. Have done a visual check since under bonnet and they seem to have put some silver insulating kind of foil around what I presume to be aircon pipes, I am sure they were not there before the service. Still no cold air!

So, my questions are now:

1. Should I actually be paying for any future air conditioning service/procedures? The next step they suggested was to take it back to have leaks checked with a dye... how many times do I have to keep going back? Twice for the dye? Maybe another inspection, maybe a compressor after that?
They sold it to me saying the air con worked, with their multi point checks etc .They did an inspection, suggested a service and gave it back to me thinking it was working etc. Will they just keep asking for charges for procedure after procedure until they finally do a proper repair or... this takes me onto question 2...
2. Is the 2003 Mini Cooper air con actually ever cold, do the dealers know this and thus ask for it to be regassed/serviced whatever as much as possible for no real solution?

I have already read some postings regarding air con temps and get mixed views on whether or not 2003 Minis do actually have a cold air con system or not. Today the temp was 26 or so outside, and I am convinced the Mini had nothing like 16C of temp coming out its vents (have tested another couple of German cars and I know their temps are definitely more frosty and cool almost immediately).

Thanks for taking time to read, any advice is hugely appreciated
 

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When I collected my MCS approved used the aircon was about as much use as yours sounds.

Sytner Sheffield regassed the system for me when they had the car back to fix other "issues" and it has been fine since.

They didn't charge me for resolving the issue, and I think if you paying the extra for an approved used car the least you can expect is that everything works!

If they have recharged the system and its still no good it sounds to me like something could be wrong. Have you tried feeling the low-side pipes with the a/c on to see if they are gettting cold at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I shall investigate the pipes as you suggest, many thanks.
(I am going to call the dealer again to flag up that there is still an issue with the aircon and take it in again, I guess. They did the 'air con service' but am not sure of the exact stuff they did (don't have paperwork to hand as I think the BMW service manager took it away to cancel out the charge MINI were wanting me to pay)
What did your dealer say about your issue, did they try to wriggle out of anything? And how is your aircon working now?

Thanks!
 

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I would say that if you are not getting cold air that you need it regassed. Most dealers probably won't warranty this as they do tend to leak a bit over time. So you might try getting it done. I believe that Mikey at NewMINIStuff.com can do it. Might be worth giving him a call and probably cost you a lot less.
 

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I shall investigate the pipes as you suggest, many thanks.
(I am going to call the dealer again to flag up that there is still an issue with the aircon and take it in again, I guess. They did the 'air con service' but am not sure of the exact stuff they did (don't have paperwork to hand as I think the BMW service manager took it away to cancel out the charge MINI were wanting me to pay)
What did your dealer say about your issue, did they try to wriggle out of anything? And how is your aircon working now?

Thanks!
My aircon works fine now, they didn't try to wriggle out at all, I got the sales guy who sold me the car to have a look for me, and he said they would sort it for me, as I had only had the car 3 days.

At the end of the day, approved used isn't cheap, you pay extra for it. So the least they can do is supply you with a car free from faults!

If they still don't sort it / expect you to pay, try taking it up with either the head office of the group concerned, or failing that MINI themselves.
 

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When the A/C system is operating correctly the pressure pipe (3) - condenser to evaporator (see diagram link below) should be warm before it enters the expansion valve (which is on the bulkhead), the evaporator inside the car should of course then be very cold (after the expansion valve), the suction pipe (4) out the evaporator back to the compressor should also be cold, the other pressure pipe (1 & 2) from the compressor back to the condenser should be hot.
Pipe / Hose Diagram :-
RealOEM.COM * BMW R50 One 1.6i COOLANT LINES

Check also if the condenser /radiator electric cooling fan is coming on both speeds especially when the car is stationary, cooling fan faults can lead to excessive condenser temperatures which may operate the compressor high pressure cut-out switch.
Check compressor drive belt and tension is ok (no slipping).

Not sure whether you have Manual or Auto Climate air con fited?
On manual system the various flaps are controlled by Bowden cables.
On climate control if the flaps (internal to the heater /AC unit) are not being told to open by the control panel and temp. sensors / solar sensor, or opened to the correct positions by the servo motors, the cold air from the evaporator can't be ducted to the vents by the fan.
In this case BMW diagnostics may be required to confirm the actual fault first as access to some parts of the heater / ac involves removal of some or all of the dash..
Climate Unit is shown in detail here:-
RealOEM.COM * BMW R50 One 1.6i ACTUATOR, HEATER AND AIR CONDIT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey thank you everybody, for your replies, gives me a lot more to work on for sure. Will investigate the cooling/pipes further and take it back to the dealer.

Many thanks.

:)
 

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w' all the toys..
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Hi, I have the auto air-con and the car is now just over 3 years old, never been re-gassed, blows very cold - not the coldest I've ever experienced (my Merc was like an Arctic storm) but still very good.

You bought a "cherished" MINI from a dealer and that comes with a premium - the air con should have been working at optimum efficiency when you took delivery of the car.
Stand firm but keep your cool (bad pun) until they sort it out.

Cheers, Geoff.
 

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Booked my 7 month old Dooper to have air con looked at over in Oxford MINI next Tuesday... i hope it doesn't turn out to be a 'nightmarish' experience like yours! (can't believe it's broken down just after 7 months.... makes me wonder what else is going to break down). I hope that bit about warranty not covering the air con bit is garage specific... I'd be livid if they told me it would cost me money to have the air fixed... it's only 7 months old!!

I shall report how smoothly (crosses fingers) it goes.

Best of luck with yours!!!
 

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Should be covered then... He should try another dealer. I never did get that whole cherished scheme. I don't think that we have that here in the USA.

Either way a regas is not that hard.
 

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Don't mean to hijack this thread at all but just to confirm i bought a nearly new Dooper for a rather good price :hmph:

Build date is Nov 07 but registered Dec 07 so has plenty of warranty left on it.

I shall provide an update on how things go for me.

Good advice there on going to another dealer! On a completely separate thing, i only got one key with my Dooper so i had to order a spare one and for security reasons, i wanted them to block any other key that's been registered with the car (obviously they can still open the door to my Dooper but won't be able to start the engine!... good enough for me).

Anyway, on phoning about 3 local Dealers, each and every one of them quoted me between £66 to £110 just so they can go into a computer and set 'enable' to 'disable' on the other registered key...

I finally rang a dealer closer to work and they quoted me £33... shocking i know....

..the relevance of all this? well it highlights how you musn't assume they're all the same! Definitely worth asking around!!!
 

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w' all the toys..
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Don't mean to hijack this thread at all but just to confirm i bought a nearly new Dooper for a rather good price :hmph:

Build date is Nov 07 but registered Dec 07 so has plenty of warranty left on it.

I shall provide an update on how things go for me.

Good advice there on going to another dealer! On a completely separate thing, i only got one key with my Dooper so i had to order a spare one and for security reasons, i wanted them to block any other key that's been registered with the car (obviously they can still open the door to my Dooper but won't be able to start the engine!... good enough for me).

Anyway, on phoning about 3 local Dealers, each and every one of them quoted me between £66 to £110 just so they can go into a computer and set 'enable' to 'disable' on the other registered key...

I finally rang a dealer closer to work and they quoted me £33... shocking i know....

..the relevance of all this? well it highlights how you musn't assume they're all the same! Definitely worth asking around!!!
Yep, you did hijack the thread - why?
A separate thread will get you far more replies, especially considering your issue is fairly important..

Is this a "cherished" MINI?
It's less than 1 year old, why on earth would you hand over the money without "all" the keys that came with the car when new 8 months ago?
If "cherished" then the dealer should be sorting this out for you FOC..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry for delay in posting a result/update.
I took the car into the dealer and said 'please keep it for as long as you need to sort this out' - any payment or more textbook quotes of 'Mini does not cover this under warranty' was not even mentioned. I believe because I had brought it in at least once before and the original complaint had not been resolved and dated back to before the car was sold to me, they realised they had actually to do something FOC?
Having said that, it took about three attempts before they realised they couldn't palm me off anymore with vague technical explanations and statements that they had looked at it and 'it should be working now/we will look at it again if you bring it back again etc etc.'
It makes me wonder if one of my other original queries about the gearbox/reverse gear got the same treatment. ie. you are a female/not mechanical and you know nothing, so we can tell you any old thing and you think it is working/repaired? We'll keep looking at it without actually doing anything? Hmmm...

So, after I was willing to leave the car with them for as long as, the dealer did repair it. It needed a replacement air con compressor and a regas.
Unfortunately, this all had taken so long that we barely had more than a few days left of our non-existent UK summer... but joy! the car has cold air, and I am pleased enough.
Thanks to all those who offered advice etc., and hope the update will help!
 

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Hey just for future....you should really make sure you use your air con on a regular basis. When it isn't used the seals can dry and this is when it leaks gas. It can be used for hot air as well as cold as it clears those misty windows a lot quicker.....

And as for temps.....it was 36 here today and the air con on my 03 MCS worked perfectly!
 
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