AC Maintenance

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by edthefox5, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Here's an easy ac maint thing to do and will result in cooler ac.

    Every spring I clean the Prius ac condenser. Its the radiator looking thing with tiny fins in front of the engine radiator.

    It needs periodic cleaning. And is very easy to do.
    Buy the spray AC Condenser coil cleaner from Home Depot. Its in a tall blue spray can.
    Get down in front of the grill with a hose and wet the entire grill area so if any cleaner gets on the paint it will not do any damage. After 4 years I see no paint issues from this cleaner but its good to wet the paint down first so the cleaner cannot do any harm.
    With the car off spray down the condenser with the hose to get all the bugs out of it. Try not to touch the condenser as the tiny aluminum fins are easily distorted unless you have a soft brush.

    Then after rinsing , from the grill vents hose the entire front of the condenser down with the cleaner. You can get to it from the top also.
    Rinse off any cleaner on the grillwork and or paint.
    Let the cleaner set for a while to let the cleaner do its thing then rinse it off.
    Resulting in a very clean and shiny and efficient ac condenser.
    It really helps.

    I usually bypass the cooling loop to the throttle body also every spring. Its easy. Just disconnect the two small hoses that go into the tb and install a 3x8 by 3x8 barrel.
    Home Depot plumbing aisle.

    Its an old hot rod mod that really helps most cars but I don't think it does anything performance wise to the Prius but does remove 185 degree temps off the tb which is very unneccessay in Florida and just heat stress's out the Tb and the expensive TB motor.
    I usually leave the bypass in all year long but we had a very cold winter year before last so I put it back last year. So of course we had a mild winter this last year. I will say the car runs very strong. BTW, in northern climates you must have heated tb in the winter to prevent vapor lock. But really not neccesary down here.

    Be aware this AC cleaning also translates to the inside and outside condenser in you home.

    Nothing helps make the ac in your home cold than a clean condenser coil in the outside unit.
    Shut off all breakers to the outside and inside unit. Take the top cover off the outside unit. The fan is usually attached to the cover but you can just put the whole deal aside. Clean all the leaves out of the hole.
    From the inside of the condenser using a powerful stream of water flush out the entire condenser. Inside out. The condenser is 360 around.

    If you haven't done this in a while you will not believe how much dirt and debris is sucked into the cooling tiny fins by the fan. If the fins are even slightly clogged you have poor cooling.
    After a good rinse apply the spray cleaner inside & out and let sit.
    Flush again. Put it back together and let it dry out.
    You will have ice cold air if your system is in good working order.
    Plus it will lower you power bill too as the system will be much more efficient.

    I usually replace the compressor and motor start up caps every 2-3 years also but thats out of the scope of this post.
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    all great advice, i'm going to do car and home. thank you ed!
     
  3. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Your welcome! You will not believe how cold both the car & home ac will get with a sparkling clean condenser.

    Since you have pulled the Home top cover don't forget to oil the fan too. Look for a little oil hole on the side of the fan. Squirt this in:

    I found this stuff at Home D made exactly for this purpose:

    3-IN-ONE Electric Motor Oil | SAE 20 Motor Oil Products

    All this work will prevent the horrible failure of your ac system on a Holiday weekend. And save you some serious $$$$$ when you don't have to call the ac guy.

    Never had to call an AC guy to my house yet. They hate me.:mad:

    Plus I love when the wife complains about how cold the ac is.

    Good luck dude.
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    where do they keep these sprays at hd, in the hardware aisle?
     
  5. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    A good post, but one correction

    We need the heated TB up here to prevent the TB from icing up. Then the TB blade could jam

    Back with carbs, there was an elaborate "heat stove" over the exhaust manifold. A duct ran up to under the air cleaner housing, and a vacuum operated door controlled whether the carb sucked air from the normal housing path or up through the heat stove

    The door operated with a temperature sensor inside the air cleaner housing, once the housing was warm enough the flap closed again

    Very complex, prone to failure, and after several years they quit working. Then the car or truck would quit on you, especially at a red light
     
  6. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Its an old hot rod mod that really helps most cars but I don't think it does anything performance wise to the Prius but does remove 185 degree temps off the tb which is very unneccessay in Florida and just heat stress's out the Tb and the expensive TB motor.
    I usually leave the bypass in all year long but we had a very cold winter year before last so I put it back last year. So of course we had a mild winter this last year. I will say the car runs very strong. BTW, in northern climates you must have heated tb in the winter to prevent vapor lock. But really not neccesary down here.

     
  7. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Actually the blue spray ac condenser cleaner is not where it should be in my HD in the HVAC aisle. Its somewhere else and I think you need to ask like I did...but look in the HVAC aisle first.

    The 3 in 1 oil I found at Lowes not HD ...sorry about that.
    But make sure you lube the motor since its out. Some have oil holes in the bottom some the side and some on the top which you need to unscrew the motor from the top case. But all that I have seen have an oil hole.

    Good Luck!
     
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  8. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    Good suggestions, Thanks :D
     
  9. Jarome Iginla

    Jarome Iginla New Member

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    Your ac unit needs to be maintained regularly to ensure its proper functioning. You can also carry out the maintenance process of your ac all by yourself. The condenser of the ac unit is the main component that need proper cleaning. In addition to all this, you also need to get your ac repair performed from time to time.
     
  10. 69shovlhed

    69shovlhed Surly tree hugger

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    vapor lock is incorrect. it happens in the summer. icing can happen in cold wet weather. different, but both suck.
     
  11. zaina1

    zaina1 New Member

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    I also want to keep maintenance of my ac. So I contacted to ac maintenance Dubai and they maintained my ac properly.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    thats a very aggresive move with a tesla in cali :whistle:
     
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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i have contracted with my hvac company to do a tune up annually, for $150.
     
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