BMW X3 (F25) Service & Repair Manual: Air conditioner refrigerant

BMW X3 (F25) Service & Repair Manual / HVAC / Air conditioner refrigerant



The refrigerant Freon R12 is used in most BMW automobiles with an air conditioner up through the 1992 model year. It has a boiling point of -29.8ºC (sea level), at which the refrigerant is transformed from a liquid into a gaseous state.

This boiling point, however, is not constant. It is displaced in the direction of higher temperatures as pressure increases.

Freon R12 complies with the requirements expected of a safety refrigerant. Freon is not combustible and does not turn into an explosive mixture with air. It is also odorless and non-toxic. Conformance with certain safety regulations is essential to the handling of refrigeration systems.

There are currently no BMW-approved alternative refrigerants to R12.

Safety Warning

Avoid any contact with liquid refrigerant, since this could cause frostbite. Protect eyes with safety goggles and hands with gloves. Contact a doctor without delay in case of an accident.

Freon R12 is heavier than air, so this refrigerant must not be discharged in closed rooms. There is danger of asphyxiation in a sunken work area (pit). Do not store bottles of refrigerant at temperatures above 113ºF/45 ºC or heat them.

Never weld on or near a system filled with refrigerant. Heat could cause excessive pressure and an explosion. In addition, Freon R12 will decompose at high temperature or when subjected to an open flame. The resulting decomposition products would be hazardous to health.

Make sure you read the container label instructions completely prior to use.

Obtain and use the correct type of refrigerant recovery/recycling machine. Follow the directions included in the machine's instruction manual.


The refrigerant HFC-134a (also known as R-134a) is used as of the following models with an air conditioner:

1992 E32/M30 from March 1992 production
1993 E34, E36, 325iC. E31, E32 from August 1992 production

This environmentally friendly refrigerant performs similar functions as Freon R12, but the refrigerants Freon R12 and R-134a must NEVER be mixed or combined in any way under any circumstances.

Safety Warning

Always wear eye protection and gloves while handling refrigerant or servicing air conditioning systems.

Avoid breathing R-134a and lubricant vapor or mist. Exposure may irritate eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Use only approved service equipment to discharge A/C systems. If accidental system discharge occurs, ventilate work area before resuming service.

If refrigerant or compressor oil contacts the skin or eyes, large quantities of cool water should be used to flush the affected area.

Never heat a refrigerant container with an open flame. Keep all refrigerants away from open flames, since burning refrigerant can produce poisonous gas.

Under no circumstances should R-134a service equipment or vehicle A/C systems be pressure tested with air/R- 134a mixtures. Some mixtures of air and R-134a have been shown to be combustible at elevated pressures.

The use of compressed air (shop air) for leak detection in R-134a systems could result in fire or explosion causing injury or property damage. In addition, introducing compressed air into A/C systems or components contaminates the system and/or refrigerant with moisture.

Obtain and use the correct type of refrigerant recovery/recycling machine. Follow the directions included in the machine's instruction manual.

Operating fluids - air conditioning and heating
1.0 REFRIGERANT R134A In order to fulfil the environmental compatibility requirements of BMW products and to reduce the ozone pollution of the ear ...

Refrigeration oil
2.0 REFRIGERATION OIL OIL USED IN FREONÂ-CHARGED SYSTEMS A mineral-based oil is used. The oil level in the compressor must be checked before fillin ...

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BMW X3 (F25) Owners Manual > At a glance: Integrated Owner's Manual in the vehicle
Vehicle features and options This chapter describes all standard, country-specific and optional features offered with the series. It also describes features that are not necessarily available in your car, e. g., due to the selected options or country versions. This also applies to safety-relat ...