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Is my AC compressor on all the time?

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Muleears, May 5, 2006.

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  1. Muleears

    Muleears New Member

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    The only time I seem to get uncooled outside air is when the ICE is not running. When the ICE starts to run again the air from the vents cools. The AC button is off, the fan is off, how do I get the compressor off? I have just purchased (last week) this prius classic with 58K miles. The owners manual was little help. Thanks in advance.
  2. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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    If everything is off then the only air you should be getting is outside air coming into the car while it is in motion. If you want to stop fresh air from coming into the car while it's in motion then turn on the air recirculation button.
  3. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Mulears, if this is anything more than a bit of residual "coolness" in the evaporator from the previous compressor run, then your A/C clutch may not be releasing. Hmmm, Prius is supposed to be pretty smart about such things. If you were a little closer than SC (OK, a lot closer) than I would look under the hood while you cycled the A/C switch.

    If you don't want to take it to Toyota, any A/C shop ought to be able to confirm that the components are functioning correctly. The "system integration" happens in one of the computer networks, and you would need Toyota service for that.
  4. bsd43

    bsd43 Member

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    Is there an A/C clutch at all on the Prius? Thought it was an completely electric-driven compressor.
  5. wrprice

    wrprice Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(bsd43 @ May 8 2006, 12:07 AM) [snapback]251328[/snapback]</div>

    The all-electric A/C appeared in the '04 model, the OP's signature lists an '01 -- those depended on the ICE to run the compressor.
  6. Muleears

    Muleears New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(wrprice @ May 8 2006, 02:12 AM) [snapback]251347[/snapback]</div>

    With everything "off" I can change the temp setting and change the temp of the incomming air. Granted, it is a small amount of air but the compressor must be running to cool it. It is already AC season here but I don't want it on all the time. I guess I'll make an appt at the Toy dealership, I need my inverter coolant topped up anyway.
  7. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Muleears don't be scarin' us like that! If you need the inverter coolant topped off, you have a leak or it was not correctly bled in the previous coolant change. That stuff does not just "go away". What is really going on there, please?
  8. Muleears

    Muleears New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tochatihu @ May 9 2006, 12:00 AM) [snapback]251962[/snapback]</div>

    Well the prius is at the toy dealership now to get the AC and the inverter coolant checked, I'll post after I get a report.
  9. Muleears

    Muleears New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Muleears @ May 11 2006, 09:53 AM) [snapback]253417[/snapback]</div>

    I am told by the dealership that I need a new compressor because it leaks, clutch and coil(?) assembly. All to the tune of about $1400. I plan on driving as is until I can find a used compressor and another AC shop.
    Any suggestions?
  10. Muleears

    Muleears New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Muleears @ May 11 2006, 02:31 PM) [snapback]253611[/snapback]</div>

    I picked up the car, having elected not to replace the compressor et al at this time. I asked about my inverter coolant and was told it had been filled. I then drove away, to head for home. As I was leaving the parking lot I turned on my AC as it was about 85*. Remember I originally took it in because the compressor would not turn off. Guess what. The AC did not work at all! I immediately turned around and went back. While waiting for the service writer I checked my inverter coolant, guess what again! It had not been filled. Mr. service writer shows up and I point out that when I brought the car in it had COLD AC. I also pointed out the lack of inverter coolant. He said "I'll take care of it, please have a seat in the waiting room." About 20 minutes later he comes back with the car and tells me they "recharged the system, which is against the law for them to do because it has a leak."

    It looks to me like they let the 134a out of my system to hasten my return for the repair. I am scheduled to have the battery recall item repaired by this same place on tuesday. I am seriously thinking of taking it elsewhere. In the meantime I have bought a used compressor and clutch on ebay. What should I do? Anyone know of a good AC man in Charleston SC?
  11. jeromep

    jeromep New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Muleears @ May 11 2006, 05:50 PM) [snapback]253821[/snapback]</div>

    It is R-12 that has the rules regarding is intentional releasure into the atmosphere. 134a is basically safe. No need to run around expelling it into the atmosphere, but no huge worries either. Dealerships like to use a/c systems as make work money because customers are not generally very sophisticated when it comes to detecting BS about a diagnosis regarding a/c.

    I really don't that your system has a leak. If your a/c system had dissipated its refrigerant you would not be getting much if any cool air at all. I also doubt that your system has anything wrong with it. I really think that it is normal to have some residual coolness coming off the coils after the a/c has been run and you turn off all powered air movement to the cabin.

    Since the a/c in that series of Prius is belt driven you should be able to notice when the compressor engages or disengages based on ICE sound. Listen for that, try to feel it happening. Do things with your climate control while you are driving which will defiantly turn the compressor on or off and see how the ICE reacts.

    Good luck.
  12. Muleears

    Muleears New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jeromep @ May 18 2006, 04:04 PM) [snapback]257655[/snapback]</div>


    With ac off, fan on med. and temp set to 65 I get cold air, when ICE shuts off air warms until ICE kicks back on. It appears if ICE is on, compressor is on. If I turn on AC, ICE doesn't shut down very often (if at all). It has been a week and I still have ice cold AC from my "leaking" compressor. I also now have another compressor for it if/when needed.
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