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A/C Issue: Blower Motor or something else?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by R_W, Aug 6, 2023.

  1. R_W

    R_W Junior Member

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    Before I buy the part, I thought I'd ask for the opinion of the community.

    Last week, my daughter said the A/C in her 2014 wasn't working. She tried turning the car and the air conditioner on and off a few times, then drove it on an errand anyway, which included turning it off and on at least once.

    When she got home, she texted for me to come to the car and she says that when I closed the passenger door to get inside, it started working. IOW: At this point, I did not witness it broken and it started working without her doing anything. The car was running and the a/c was switched on.

    After that, I drove the car pretty much daily and the first A/C thing I noticed was that (what I assume to be) her compressor was louder than the one in our 2010. Of course, her car is dark blue and the other is white. It is also August in Florida after the hottest July ever recorded. The noise is coming from under the hood.

    Because she's planning a trip, today I went outside with the intention of comparing the two vehicles and seeing what I could learn about her air conditioner, but when I started it, I wasn't getting the loud hum from under the hood and the fan was not blowing.

    The first thing I did was check it again with my Carista while the a/c wasn't working -- no codes -- then I tried rebooting the car several times, turning the a/c from auto to manual, playing with the fan speeds, basically pushing buttons. I also tried opening and closing the passenger door and after maybe six reboots, on like the seventh, the fan and a/c started working normally.

    This made me think it is probably the blower and maybe when I closed the passenger door that time, it jarred something to make it start working. There has been a time or two over the past week, when I have wondered whether it was blowing as much as it should, but I didn't measure with any kind of tool and it may have just been hotter outside at that time.

    Again, I'm thinking it is the blower motor, but the fact that there was no hum under the hood when the fan wasn't working makes me wonder, and I did ot think about trying heat or vent when the a/c did not seem to be working. Since then, I've restarted the car a few times, but thus far, everything seems to be working. (Though it may have been blowing a tiny bit less forcefully and not quite as cold on my way to Publix than it was on the way home, but tat could also be my imagination.)

    Any thoughts? Thanks!
     
    #1 R_W, Aug 6, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2023
  2. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    Check your in cabin air filter behind your glove box or at least the little shock off the door let the door swing down this is the glove box door see the white little door behind the glove box pull that out see all the leaves and crap coming out or? The blower should come on whenever the switch you put the car AC or even fan mode manual and you turn the fan up and down you should have pretty much all speeds from 0 to full blast full blast almost shakes the car when it's like that when you're sitting at a stoplighting It's like unbelievably noisy there's no fix for that I don't believe and then I keep the vents blowing out the top meaning directly at me not the defrost but straight at me right out of the dash It should run you out of the car it's so cold I have to turn my fan down to low but I never set the temperature 73 75 no sir it's on low AC light on fan set on whatever speed I desire at the time nothing is automated You should have a fan anytime you turn that fan on If not you need to find out why
     
  3. R_W

    R_W Junior Member

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    Thanks. I'm a 70-degree guy living where it was 98 yesterday.
    Previously, my Prii have been able to keep up, but it's been extra hot.

    I'll check my cabin filter. To be honest, I don't that I've changed it in years. Leaves aren't really an issue here. The car is mostly only parked near palm trees, but the filter is worth looking it and maybe changing. My concern is that she's going to leave on her trip and the fan is going to unexpectedly give out. Right now, it's been several days between problems and I only have a day to fix..

    You'd also think that if the fan was struggling from the filter, it would struggle to blow instead of completely going out, but the car is certainly smart enough to shut it down to "save" the fan and I don't really know. That's why I've asked.

    I'll check it out. Thanks
     
  4. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    In my generation 2 If the inverter is not staying cool enough by its coolant circulation or what have you the air conditioner is one of the first things to be cut by the car computer whatever so if you're losing air conditioning all of a sudden you may be having a heat problem with your inverter system and it's cooling system I would think you'd get some kind of a code but that's not really my business so when it happens again maybe see in TIS or with a infrared heat gun what the input and output of the coolant going into and out of your inverter actually is maybe it's close enough or to the point where the air conditioner is being cut out by things that are smarter than us It is possible that something to look into.
     
  5. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Worn brushes in the blower motor can lead to it operating erratically. (If I recall correctly, that's a brushed motor except in solar-roof models.)
     
  6. R_W

    R_W Junior Member

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    Thanks @Tombukt2 and @CR94

    I didn't mean to blow you off or seem ungrateful.

    I replaced the cabin filter and air did flow more freely. My daughter says she had changed hers sometime over the past three years, but did not know when, so I changed it again, loaned her an 8mm socket and a ratchet and the a/c did just fine on her trip.

    If it happens again, I guess I'm back to the blower motor, but so far, so good.

    Thanks
     
    #6 R_W, Aug 13, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2023