Air Con not coming on

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Technical Discussion' started by The Professor, Mar 22, 2022.

  1. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Gen 1 must have been the only islandy one. B14xy DTCs are shown starting in the Gen 2 repair manual. My Gen 1 book shows only the two-digit codes.
     
  2. The Professor

    The Professor Senior Member

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    Took it to the Dealership. They found no gas in the system, but insisted that while some cars never need topping up, and some cars need topping every couple of years, needing a top up after 4.5 years is absolutely normal, even with no obvious leaks in the system.

    They then did the following:
    • Evacuated the system and flushed the system.
    • Carried out vacuum test - no leaks detected.
    • Air conditioning service - Recharge, check/replace filters, check/clean system, check pipes/hoses/connections.
    • Added new A/C gas (R1234YF) including UV leak dye.
    • Check for gas leaks.
    • Check for correct operation and measure temperatures (dropping ambient air temperature by 8C/14F).
    • Advised rechecking in a month to see if any leaks/UV dye visible.
    Took about 2 hours, a lot of which was waiting for the vacuum test to complete.

    Cost £170 (US$220 at current exchange rates).

    The only weird thing is that I can now clearly hear when the aircon is on through the vents - I'm sure it wasn't that noisy before. Maybe it'll calm down after the new lube spreads around. It's not overly noisy, but it is obvious.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sounds good. very interesting about some cars leaking faster than others, but undetectable.
     
  4. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Active Member

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    Did they add some oil? Since the Freon seeped out, there's a good chance some oil leaked too. Running a "dry" system, without significant lube will eventually kill your system. A blown compressor on these modern cars, will require a total system replacement. $$$$$$
    Check your external heat exchanger connectors, in front of your radiator. I bet you'll see some oily dirt there. There was a TSB about these units leaking/seepage there and corrective action.

    Hopefully I'm wrong about this......:sleep:
     
  5. The Professor

    The Professor Senior Member

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    Meh - spoke too soon. The noise got slightly louder over the next few hours (about 4 in total), and now the aircon doesn't turn on again and we're back to error 23.

    Took it back to the Dealership and turns out all the gas has gone. They did another vacuum test which it passed, again, then went to fill it with Nitrogen but their Nitrogen bottle was empty. They also can't see any UV dye anywhere, so they're not sure where it's leaking from.

    Gotta go back when they have Nitrogen and they'll remove the front bumper so they can see things better. Will keep you updated!
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    wow, what a really unusual story so far, can't wait for the end, i hope it turns out well!
     
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  7. dacoobob

    dacoobob Junior Member

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    i was surprised when they claimed they couldn't find a leak, a totally empty system means there's a significant leak *somewhere*. hope they look harder next time.
     
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  8. The Professor

    The Professor Senior Member

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    Took it back to the dealership today so they could try and identify where it's leaking from. They filled the system with Nitrogen and used a FLIR camera to find the leak. It's in the bottom corner of the condenser oriented towards the ground, hence no trace of the dye (it's probably sprayed all along the road back to my house).

    It still passes the vacuum test, which everyone admits is puzzling - but I guess the hole could be creating a valve-type seal under vacuum.

    Anyway, it doesn't look like it was damaged by any kind of impact. They said it looks like a metal to metal join has failed. So they've photographed it to send the pics to Toyota, in the hope they agree. If they agree, it'll be done under warranty.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    glad they finally found it, let's hope they agree!
     
  10. The Professor

    The Professor Senior Member

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    Still broken!

    So I took it to the dealership today and they replaced the condenser. However, it's still not cooling.

    When the aircon is on, you can hear a kind of hissing or metal to metal rubbing sound from the vents that increases in pitch for a couple of seconds as the compressor spins up. It's not very loud - about the same volume as the noise from the fan when it's on about 2/3 the way up. The sound remains until you turn the AC off and then it spins down and disappears in a couple of seconds. It never made that noise before and the air doesn't get noticeably colder. I would describe the sound as what you might imagine the noise a Compact Disc would make if it was spinning pretty fast, and you touched your fingernail to it. It's only barely audible from outside the car.

    Going back there in a couple of weeks for them to spend a whole day fixing it if needed. We're all suspecting the compressor, but they've never heard that kind of sound before from a Prius AC and there diagnostic data from the AC are all within normal spec. No warnings or error codes either.

    As they fixed the condenser under warranty (and hence they're accepting responsibility it being a part failing in a way it shouldn't have failed), I'm hoping they'll fix the condenser, if it is that, under warranty too, based on the argument their condenser failed, which leaked all the lubricant out of the system, which is a common cause of a failed compressor.
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    wow, what a wild ride. i hope they get it fixed before summer.
     
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  12. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Active Member

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    It's 83 degrees, "feels like" 86 degrees now. I'd be pretty unhappy going that long without AC. Reliable AC is the main reason I make car payments on a newer car. Hell, if I could get by without reliable AC I'd have some hot-rod to drive around in.
     
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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yeah, no a/c in fl would be a bummer. even in winter, i use it a lot down there. just parking in the sun on a cool day will really heat things up.
     
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  14. The Professor

    The Professor Senior Member

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    FIXED!

    So I took it back a couple of days ago. They had the car for around 5 hours and they admitted they're not entirely sure what the problem was or exactly what fixed it.

    They checked the gas level and it was low again, but not low enough to trigger the pressure sensor.

    They tested the compressor, and it was fine. I'm not sure if they removed it to do this.

    They found a couple of seals that they could tighten so they tightened them.

    They took some valve off (didn't say which or where or what it does) and manually operated it to check it's function, and it was OK.

    They put it all back together, vacuum checked it, re-gassed it, discovered it was now working fine with no weird noises. Checked the pressure over a couple of hours. Tested it again - still working fine, so handed it back to me.

    I've had it back two days now and it's been fine since. It smelled bad each time I returned to the car after some time and the aircon switched on at the start of the journey, which suggests it hasn't worked properly for quite a while (I normally have it on all the time). But the smell has completely gone now, so it all seems back to normal.
     
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i'll reserve judgement for awhile :p but wish you all the best, summer is coming. (y)
     
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