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Evaporator core

(2004 BMW X3)
in Naples, FL on April 01, 2009
I have 45,000 miles on my x3 and the evaporator core is leaking. I have a quote for $2,100.00. Any one else having problems with there air conditioning? Seams like low miles to be having these kind of problems on a BMW.
Displaying 26 answers & 19 comments
Popular Answer
on April 02, 2009
I worked in a BMW shop and I did lots of work to the A/C climate control systems. I replaced every component you can think of, including the very expensive climate control computers. You may want to get a second opinion on the diagnosis. What problem is your climate control having? There is a special tool for pressurizing the evaporator that uses a calibrated leak down to determine if the evaporator is defective. Be sure the shop is using this tool or they may be guessing. It could be a simple o-ring used in the connection of the evaporator and not the unit itself.
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on August 15, 2010
I recently worked on a very expensive Range Rover with about 40k on the odometer. They, the very large British Motors dealer, had just replaced the Evaporator Core ( a 30 hour job, not covered by warranty and was $3500 ) and guess what, the A/C system still lost pressure slowly. So I was given the job and you know what I found, a split O-ring in the tube that connects the aluminum A/C line to the Evaporator. The car has run for 6 months with out any A/C issues. The customer is suing the big British Dealership and they are a Stanford Law School trained Corporate Litigator. This Dealership is in for a world of hurt. Oh yeah, the repair took 2 hours and the parts cost $3.00 $1.50 for each O-ring. This is some food for thought folks. Be sure that the Diagnosis is spot on, I used to work at a really big European Dealership and not all the Techs there 'walk on water' so to speak. I have SEEN A/C components replaced when the real issue was a fatigued O-ring. I just replaced 2 O-rings, ( about 3 weeks ago ) in a late model Mercedes S class for the same type of problem, for a European shop that had just replaced the Compressor !! They were stumped and sent it over to me.The car has excellent A/C performance, no leaks.
on October 26, 2010
We have the same problem. 2005 x3 71,000 miles 12 hours labor and $2000 later. Is there an alterantive?
on December 04, 2010
i feel sorry for you guys. i had the exact same issue while working in ft lauderdale. the quote was closer to $3000.00 from a bmw repair shop. left the car with them overnight, then decided wasn't comfortable with the diagnosis or the quoted cost to repair the vehicle. went back the next day and asked to take my car home. they said "i couldn't" as they had already opened the work order. miraculously i got a free loaner vehicle AND they got bmw to cover the cost of the repair. i paid not one penny to them. it was obvious they did not want me leaving the repair shop with my vehicle, as the repair was not necessary, and they were going to take me to the cleaners.
i have always owned honda and toyota. i have had nothing but very expensive repairs on my bmw x3. can't wait to unload this piece of garbage.
on July 22, 2011
I was just quote $2,1000 to replace the evap core on my wife's 06 X3 with 70k miles.
I am going to look up recalls to see if there has been one issued
on November 09, 2011
My 2006 X3 BMW air stopped working and BMW dealer could not find a leak after running the "diagnostic" test, so they charged the A/C and added dye. ($358) Took it back to BMW, they did not see any dye leakage, but told me it was the evaporator and would cost $2500 to repair.
I do not trust these people: what to do?

UPDATE. March 2013 (one year after above repair) the air conditioner stopped working again- the dealership told me I needed more Freon and they added dye to see if it was leaking!!! Hummm, that is exactly where I started w/this .......back to square A
on May 04, 2010
I have identical problem on my 2006 X3 with 51,000 miles. A new AC charge leaked and I was told that the dashboard had to be taken apart to get at the evaporator, a $2500 cost. I'm taking back to dealer, who said hasn't been a recall.

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on March 16, 2013
This is clearly a recall item or class action lawsuit on the basis of impunity. Instead of waiting for the suit, we should each take BMW to small claims court. Don't hire a lawyer, summarize all the info on the web, present your case. Do infor BMW NA your intention of going to the court, before filing your claim. Good luck to all of us
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on July 03, 2013
My 2010 128I convertable had a leak in the evaporator with about 20,000 miles on it (less than 2 yrs old)and the dealer replaced in summer last year (2012). Was told that this evaporator was designed poorly and would likely spring a leak again (something rubs against it, I guess). Just found out that they do NOT put the same replacement in anymore and there is a new, improved one now. Called Cust Svc in Ohio - and of course they will not switch out the old model with the new one until it fails. I only hope this one fails under warranty (again). "Sarah" tried to tell me recalls are federally initated - I had to inform her those are for safety issues and that BMW could initiate a recall based on inferior and failing part IF they wanted to. Apparently they don't. May go back to Acura - but in the meantime...class action suit? Count me in!
on April 18, 2011
yesterday, as we were leaving the house turned up the a/c in my X-3 2006 and a funny smell like like if a first aid cabinet was opened came out of the air vents. No cool air but climate control was at 59f. I had the evaporator replaced in dec. 2009. That was at about 33,000 miles now the problem is back at 45,000 miles. I called the Autogermana BMW dealership in PR they told me, " I'll get back to you." It's 7:37 PM and still waiting for an reply. I was going to trash the people over here but after reding all the other answers It's the BMW company as a whole that are inefficient. This is totally not acceptable. BMW must acknowledge manufacturer defect and recall. We must pressure with class act. This is not right. Kenneth R.
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on November 09, 2011
I too have an X3 2006 with 59000 miles: they want $2500 to replace the evaporator> did you contact BMW?
on July 04, 2010
I have a 2005 BMW X3 75,000 miles and my evaporator core needs to be replaced at a price of $2,000.00. I really thought I was the only one having this problem. I am upset I thought I was buying a quality car, why is this happening?
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on August 20, 2009
I wonder what happened w/ your a/c repair.
I was just quoted $2,750 to repair evaporator when my ac
quit working. they say it requires removing dash. 2004 x3 60,000 miles. Seems super expensive!
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on September 20, 2010
53,000 2006 X3. Started car 3 days ago. A poof sound (like a pop gun), bunch of what I thought might have been water vapor - but smelled a bit funny comes out of the air vents. AC initially worked fine. 3 days later, no AC.

Dealer cost to replace evaporator coil plus and expansion valve - $900 in parts and 15 hours of labor. Same statement about having to get at the part through the dash.

Now in the market to find a smaller shop that can do the job for less or offer an alternative solution.

Total repair estimate is over $3k. UGHHHHH
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on September 24, 2010
I have an 04- BMW X3 with 66,000 miles. The air conditioner stopped working, I took it to the repair shop and was charged $700.00 to replace a hose and o-rings connected to the system, needless to say the repair did not correct the problem. I am now quoted a $2100.00 charge to replace the evaporator core, ridiculous!
on June 25, 2012
I have 2006 BMW X3, the AC unit was not work when I bought it, so I had it checked by an auto/AC and they told me that the suction line O-ring need to be replaced on the compressor side, but they refused to work on it, so I had to fix it myself, after I order the O-Ring form BMW dealer for $3 and I vacuumed the system and waited for about an hour and the system still hold same vacuum, so everything looks ok and I recharged the system with R134a, tested the AC was working very well until last summer, in this summer the system went back to same problem, so I put some DIY in it and its appear that I have a small leak in the Evaporator core. Now I am working one getting it done myself, but the Evaporator core itself will cost me about $550 from dealer. I have done some research on this subject and I found out that all BMW has problem in the AC and especially in the Evaporator, also I have been told by BMW dealer/Part Dep that the Evaporator in the BMW AC unit is a common problem and they have done a lots of Evaporator replacement. Sounds bad on BMW that they know this problem and they don't recall it??!!!!!!!!!
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on August 23, 2010
Have a 05 x3 with 45000 miles evaporator out 11 hours to repair 85.00 per hour evaporator $640.00. Will cost $2,000.00 . Should be a recall!
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on August 13, 2010
Also just discovered this problem on an '04 X3 with 58,000 miles. Dealer quoted $2800 for core replacement. Looking at other options. A little concerned about replacing with a BMW core - might go aftermarket. This shouldn't be happening - should be a recall.
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on June 22, 2010
I have 39,00 miles on BMW X3 and have the same problem with the same repair quote.
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on November 09, 2011
I too have an X3 2006 with 59,000 miles and BMW dealer charged the AC, added DYE ($358) and said to come back that the diagnostic test they ran did not show a leak. Took it back, and they said it was the Evaporator: two days to repair, $2500. They would remove the dash. Bla, Bla, Bla
I did get a second opinion, and they could not see dye leakage and advised me to return to BMW.
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on May 08, 2012
My wife's 2006 X3 also gave out on the A/C 40+K miles. We also took it to the Dealer and was told it had a evaporator leak, however we did a recharge plus minor service,cost $700.0 plus & within the week AC was dead again. Repair cost would be $2800.00. Many months after we found a shop that replaced the evap. blower & resistor for $1380.00... so far so good. Never a BMW again.
on May 20, 2015
I have 187k on my 2005 X3. Just received quote from local garage for $2,100 for a 13 hour job to replace the evaporator core. I see this has been going on since 2009....terrific!!!!!
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on October 17, 2010
Having same issue with my 2005 X3. Dealer charged it last summer. They charged it again 3 days ago and added dye to find leak. Today I went out and the ac air vents were leaking gas/smoke. The car had been sitting for 3 hours not even running. Calling back tomorrow. 900 miles left on extended warranty.
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on October 27, 2010
At dealership now. Have an X3 with 58,000 miles on it. A/c went out, sounded like darth vader, and was not cooling. Dealership says it's the evaporator and it will take 2 days at least to repair it and the estimate was $3100. They even put dye in it to see exactly where it was leaking from. I asked them if BMW was going to do a recall on this since it seems to be a reoccurring thing in the x3 and they said no way. This is my 2nd x3 and third BMW and I have had issues over and over again with the a/c
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on November 03, 2010
Just happened to me today also in my 2004 BMW X3 with 56,000 miles. Evaporator sprung and leak and they don't know why. I was also in the car when the scary mist started pouring out of the vents. Luckily I still had 25 days left on my extended warranty I bought.

Now the question is should I spend an additional 3k for another 4 years coverage... Im thinking no. Im thinking if this happens again... I just trade it in.
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on November 19, 2010
I have a 2006 X3 and live in SoCal. It is $90K miles and haven't had any issues but rarely use the AC. Could this be a problem in regions with high humidity, by any chance. Not sure where most of the folks on this thread are located.

on November 21, 2010
i have 2005 x3,an a/c shop told me to just sell the car,because he don't even know how to replace evaporator on these cars,mostly because he couldn't even find the manual to do it anywhere.So i prayed and prayed,until this independent mechanic pursued me to try this a/c anti leak in a small pinkish bottle,call red angel or something like that,and with total $150,Halleluyah i drove the car out that little shop with cold a/c and it was a hot summer houston afternoon. believe it or not...!!!!
on December 06, 2010
Same problem - 2004 x3 in the shop 3x's for the same problem. i was told that they would have to remove the dash approx. $2000. i had the extended warrenty and didnt have to pay anything, but my car was in the shop 3x's in a month. there should be a recall.
on May 04, 2018
Hi, my name is Steve, in Lusaka Zambia.
Iam intrigued, what is the exact name of the anti-leak fluid so could purchase it too!!!
I'll be very grateful if you could help.
on May 21, 2010
I have had an A/C problem since we bought our x3. Went to pick it up and the AC wasn't working. Went home in a loaner. Continuous problems since then. Should have said I don't want this one!!
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on June 26, 2010
I have identical problem on my 2005 X3 with 59,000 miles with more expensive repair quote ($3000+). Called BMW customer relationship, who said hasn't been a recall.
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on July 13, 2010
I have 2006 X-3 with 33,000 miles. Evaporator leaking, two day repair, Have to pull dash due to fact that the evaporator goes through the firewall from engine compartment, on passenger side of the car. I bought the extended warranty at $2,000 when I bought the car. My costs of repair $0.
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on July 28, 2010
I have had to replace the evaporator core twice on my 2001 330Ci. This is ridiculous. This sounds like poor design. How do we get this to be BMW's problem?!!
on March 17, 2011
The only way this will be BMW's problem is when we have a class action suit against them. My evaporator was replaced under the warranty in July 2008. It is now March 2011 and I seem to have the same issue. I wrote to BMW and awaiting their reply because I refuse to pay the $$2900 quote that I have been given by the dealer
on July 09, 2012
2004 X3 w/ 150,000 miles
I just got a quote from a repair shop for $2,100 to replace the evaporator ($1,200 labour + parts)
It's a 10+ hour job, as BMW was really smart in hiding this thing behind the dash! Morons!
Anyways, given the mileage on the car, not sure if it's worth it to sink $2K into it just to have a/c
I'm surprised that many have failed with a lot less mileage, maybe it's a time thing,
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on July 18, 2013
I just saw this post, and wanted to let you know that it happened to me at about 50,000 miles, still haven't fixed it - have you? How much was it? BMW did not take any responsibility whatsoever ... will be my last one to have bought from them. Anyhow, thank you for letting me know how you ended up fixing it. Pietra
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on July 31, 2013
I am having the same problem with my 2006 BMW X3! This is my third time recently having to take it in. Just spent $1700+ other repairs and it is doing the same thing! Rrr
Looking at my bill, evaporator replaced, valves and gasket rings but says compressor is ok, but still NOT working. Blowing warm air!
on March 17, 2015
2010 128i no longer under warranty - but AC not blowing cold (at just under 36000 miles). I think the shop is recharging the AC now (only $90) - but perhaps they didn't get the O ring installed correctly when originally replaced evaporator at 20000 miles? My husband owns a 2002 Toyota Tacoma truck, and it blows freezing cold air (and has never had a problem or a recharge). I can't believe that there is not yet a recall for the substandard AC design and parts! Plus - when I called BMW in 2013 to complain - they were extremely condescending and even rude about the potential for any recall. I don't think they're going to take any responsibility - so I just hope that they realize the result of their poor customer service and the number of BMWs that they will NOT be selling in the future! I'm probably going to go back to Acura - or try a Lexus after this car.
on October 26, 2010
You are not alone. We have the same problem. 2005 x3 71,000 miles 12 hours labor and $2000 later. Is there an alterantive? My fear is what will happen again in 4 or 5 more years. Another $2000.

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on September 10, 2010
my wife's Just went at 55000---3.01
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on January 25, 2011
I have an 04 X3. I had the evaporator changed by the dealer under warrenty Mar '07 with 33k miles.
I am experiencing the problem again. 59K miles. 1st an odor from the vents and then the compressor got noisy. Now no AC
should be a recall
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on February 18, 2011
I Have the same problem with my X3 04 with 63000 miles and the dealer quoted me $ 3100, and send it to my mechanic, I charge $ 897.00 and 1 year warranty, the evaporator costs out of the dealer $ 235.00 and labor $ 600.00 I live miami
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on June 15, 2011
I have a 2006 BMW X3 with 69k miles and my a/c went out too. Brought is to BMW for inspection ($120) and told me the evaporator and such needs to be repaced. Cost for repair is $3000. I'm now looking at other alternatives. I only been using the A/C for about 2 1/2 years as I am stationed in Puerto Rico, before i was in PR I was in a state where I didnt have to use my A/C but maybe 1-2 weeks of the year. Very stressful!
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on June 30, 2011
Just took my 2005 X3 (80K miles) to my mechanic to fix my AC problems. They first replaced a hose that was corroded and everything check out with the pressure test, but then called me back and said after they turned the AC on to check it again, a funny smell and a small cloud came from the vents. They are pretty sure it is the evaporator core. They pulled out the manual and said it will take about 12 hours to fix. I have a Volvo XC70 with 130K and never had these type of problems.
on August 18, 2012
Here I am again, one year later after having the evaporator replaced, and once again the A/C goes out on me. I took it in to a BMW repair shop and after doing a diognostic, they told me the evaporator needs to be replaced. Now I am stationed in Texas where it is very hot. I'm at a loss of what to do?
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