AC recharge issues; dealer says electrical

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by AVS1, Jun 24, 2021.

  1. AVS1

    AVS1 Junior Member

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    Took my 08 250k mi car in to get the AC charged. Last year it blew cold air low and faint, and decided to bite the bullet and charge it this year. They fill it, and say that the compressor or condenser is not turning on. Citing it could be electrical. I didn’t want to spend the $250 to charge it, so obviously not happy about a $495 electrical diagnosis.

    Any thoughts on this? I guess it’s a moot point as I’m not going to sink any more money into it. I guess Ill chalk it up to a $300 oil change.
     
  2. spdracrm3

    spdracrm3 Member

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    Common for the compressors to fail when run low on freon . Had to replace mine in my 04, its electric and pruis specific so expensive. I was lucky and found a good used one . Flushed the system and its working good so far 2yrs on.

    SM-G960U ?
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    they charged you $500. for a diagnosis?:eek:
     
  4. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    It's a variable pressure system that requires you to evacuate all the refrigerant into an expensive AC system machine that precisely measures the amount of refrigerant by weight and then puts it back in the vehicel. If I had to guess the people working on it don't know how to do it and they damaged your system and are making up excuses. If I were you, I'd start leaning on them in a way that makes them feel legally liable and then work out an agreement to get your money back. You'll probably need to take it to a reputable AC auto servicing place to get proof they damaged it too.
     
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  5. AVS1

    AVS1 Junior Member

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    hmm well - I am an attorney so I do know how to put appropriate pressure on, but I see this as a he said she said. And I can’t truly get the underlying issue without an electrical diagnosis. Should I take it to another dealership? This is the second time I took it to a dealership under the fallacy that they would understand a Prius and figure this out.
     
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  6. Valiant V

    Valiant V Member

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    Your original post didn't specify, but your latest one implies - did a Toyota dealer do the recharge you mention in the original post?

    Assuming(?) that a Toyota dealer would be familiar with the idiosyncrasies of a Prius A/C system, I don't think the damage PriusCamper proposes should be the issue.

    I would also think that a Toyota dealer - again - assuming they know the Prius - would do a "recharge", hit you up for $250, and show empty hands when the recharge didn't take.

    Not an A/C expert (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express at one time - and have added refrigerant to several A/C systems) but refrigerant is usually added to the "low side" of the system with the compressor running. There are pressure switches that will prevent the compressor from running if there's low/no refrigerant.

    Again - if it was a dealership that did the recharge, they should certainly be bright enough to know if adding refrigerant will make a system work or not - without having to charge you an additional $495. Especially if they'd like you to buy a new car from them somewhere down the road. (IMHO)
     
  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Yea... To clarify, when I first read what you wrote I didn't realize it was a dealership saying this. They probably have the equipment to do the refrigerant properly. But when it comes to diagnostics dealerships are warranty oriented so they never look for simple inexpensive fixes for older cars, but simply start replacing all the expensive stuff rather than looking for less expensive work around. So if I were you, I'd find an auto AC specialist near you that will find the least expensive fix.
     
  8. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Why are you taking it to the dealer for ac repair? They can barely fix your engine and will drill you for every little thing. Probably $200 an hour.

    Chicago must have a hundred ac shops Prius is very common car they all know about hybrids.

    you have a leak. You have been driving it with low Freon. That’s very hard on the compressor.

    cost me $150 to have my ac diagnosed. They charged it up injected dye found the leak in my underdash ecoil replaced that $1100 out the door
    And freezing again.

    as that ac guy said to me you were lucky you did not burn up the compressor as that’s very expensive……

    so the moral of the story for G2s with low charge is get it fixed ASAP and don’t use it till you do as it will be very expensive to fix.
     
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