If you BMW 2002 is equipped with A/C and is more than a few years old, check the low-pressure refrigerant hose(s) for signs of wear or weakness in the form of bulges. The one on the 6er blew out soon after the system was charged up with Freon, not only wasting a couple pounds of the stuff but also creating quite a scare amongst those standing nearby. The low pressure line is the rubber hose coming off of the compressor and fitting to a metal pipe which disappears into the firewall, ultimately hooking up to the condenser.

Again, check for worn or scuffed areas or for ballooning, a telltale sign that the hose reinforcements are giving way. If replacement is called for, have your mechanic capture the existing Freon in the system so that is can be saved and recycled. The hose assembly can then be removed. As for the hose itself, you can go to the dealer for a replacement or you can take it to a hydraulic shop and have a new assembly made up. Some of the older BMWs actually used standard Aeroquip hoses with reusable fittings; all you need to do is by a suitable length of the correct hose and attach the existing fittings. Just make sure that the O-ring seals are okay.

Having a new hose assembly made took about 15 minutes and cost a tad under $40; that hose from the BMW dealer listed for $114 and would have taken a week to get. While you're replacing the hose, do go ahead and replace the receiver/dehydrator as the desiccant within tends to fall apart with age, resulting in a clogged expansion valve, which you really don't want to have to replace, since it's buried deep behind the dash. Once everything is back together, all that's needed is a recharge with Freon (if your mechanic is really friendly he might credit you for the Freon he removed from your system in the first place). Go over the charged system with a "sniffer" to make sure there are no leaks. Then, go forth and be cool!

Author: Dwight Derr