This has nothing to do with air conditioning, but it’s information that may prevent some headaches and save your customer some money.
BMW is recalling 2009 and 2010 X5 models equipped with a diesel engine to address a potential fire hazard. The X5 xDrive 35d “Sport Activity Vehicle” has a 3.0L straight-six diesel engine with two turbochargers, common-rail direct fuel injection and all the latest diesel emission-control equipment. With a peak torque of 425 pound-feet at just 1750 rpm, it’s definitely fun to drive. To make sure the fuel keeps flowing in cold weather, there is an automatic heater built into the fuel filter assembly.
The recall notice says that on vehicles built between June 13 and November 9, 2009, the fuel filter heater may suffer “an electrical overload condition and become permanently activated.” Two problems may result: the heater might remain on even when the ignition is off, which would kill the battery; and/or the heater could overheat and cause a fire.
BMW is currently notifying owners that authorized dealers will replace the fuel filter heater, free of charge, although we suspect that since it operates automatically, the repair may require a software update too. The safety recall began earlier this month, and BMW owners may contact customer relations at 1-800-525-7417. According to the federal (NHTSA) recall notice, this is an expansion of safety recall 11V-441. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to http://www.safercar.gov.
There’s also a recall from Hyundai for the 2006-2010 Sonata and 2006-2011 Azera. Technically it applies only to vehicles registered in ‘rust belt’ states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
Road salt and water can collect in the rear crossmember and cause corrosion. If the pick-up points for the rear control arms corrode, it may allow the control arms to move suddenly while the vehicle is being driven, throwing the rear wheels out of alignment and increasing the risk of a crash.
Hyundai will notify owners of vehicles that are registered in the states listed, and dealers will repair or replace the crossmember assembly. However, it’s possible that owners of some affected vehicles will be missed, so it’s a good idea to check all that come into your shop. The recall is expected to begin by the end of September 2013. Owners may contact Hyundai at 1-734-337-9499 and ask about recall number 113. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to http://www.safercar.gov and look for NHTSA Campaign number 13V354000.
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When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 34th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Power Up will take place January 16-18 2014 at the Sheraton New Orleans.