Noise coming from A/C at low fan speeds

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by lostinheadguy, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. lostinheadguy

    lostinheadguy Junior Member

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    Hey everyone -

    I currently have approximately 62,000 miles on my 2013 Prius v wagon. Recently I've been getting some noise from the HVAC system. Here's what's going on:
    • After the car has been sitting turned off for a while, and I power the car on and turn the HVAC system on a low fan speed, I begin to hear a consistent noise, as if you were to put a playing card in a wire-spoke bicycle wheel.
    • When I increase the fan speed, the noise either is drowned out or goes away.
    • When I turn the fan speed back down, the noise is gone. Likewise, when I turn the HVAC system off and then back on after this, the noise isn't there, even at low fan speeds.
    • The performance of the A/C system does not appear to be affected by this.
    • This all of a sudden started happening, I've been blasting the A/C in the hot Florida weather for almost an entire year with no issues.
    • The noise happens regardless of whether it's using heat or air conditioning.
    • It doesn't happen every single time I turn the A/C on after an extended period (6+ hours) of not driving the car.
    The noise appears to be coming from the passenger side, near or underneath the lower glove box. If I'm not mistaken, this is where the blower motor is. Perhaps some debris got in the blower motor? I'm not the DIY type when it comes to ripping the dashboard open. If it is debris, would it be something that might eventually work its way out? I've heard of blower motor failures happening when the cars are older or have more miles, so it seems a bit premature for the motor to fail on mine...right?

    EDIT: Possibly resolved - debris stuck in the air duct, see below.
     
    #1 lostinheadguy, Feb 18, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  2. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Debris in the air channel. Clean out the tray below the wipers, then pull and clean (or replace) the cabin air filter from behind the glove box.
     
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  3. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I don't know if you can see the actual fan with the cabin filter removed or not, might be worth taking a look.

    Troubleshooting is a logical approach and usually begins with a visual inspection.
     
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  4. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    What sounds like debris on the fan is usually just debris flapping in the air duct.
     
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  5. lostinheadguy

    lostinheadguy Junior Member

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    I thought that the dealer replaced my cabin air filter during my last service but apparently they did not!

    I didn't realize how easy the process was to clean / replace it. I pulled the glove box down, pulled the filter out (which will need replacing next go around), reached up in the air duct, and pulled out a pile of dust and debris the size of a gerbil.

    The fan had a few tiny pieces in it, I think I got them out.

    I did a quick test afterward and no noise, hopefully that solves my problem in the long term - we'll see. Thanks for the recommendation!
     
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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    What did the invoice say? Hopefully they didn't charge you for it. Probably just some vague "service" name?
     
  7. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Now you can save some money and change your own cabin filters (and engine filters are even easier). If you plan ahead you can get OEM parts on Ebay or Amazon, sometimes for 1/2 the price the dealer charges. Parts 1780137021 and 8713902090.

    Example of a combo purchase of genuine Toyota parts (with aftermarket replacements 1/2 of this online price)

    Toyota Prius PriusV RAV4 Hybrid Air & Cabin Filter 17801-YZZ12 Genuine OEM | eBay

    Or OEM Engine Filter with Aftermarket Carbon Cabin Filter from Amazon:
    amazon prius filters.jpg
    Amazon Link (see "Frequently Bought Together")

     
    #7 rjparker, Feb 18, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  8. lostinheadguy

    lostinheadguy Junior Member

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    Even though I requested the 60,000 mile service, they did not change the filter, but they didn't charge me for it. Very weird.
     
  9. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    It probably did not need it. That’s a good sign that you found a decent dealer.
     
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