Following up on Toyota Highlander A/C Issue

Asked by Jul 23, 2017 at 04:48 PM about the 2012 Toyota Highlander Limited

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I can't figure out how to add to a question you have already replied to. So have more info and wondered if you could help me be informed when I take it back to the dealer. We bought it on June 30th, 2017 and they still haven't figured out the A/C issue. We did get a written guarantee that in the next 24 months if anything with the A/C we will not get charged one cent for repairs.

To recap previous question and things I've documented since.

Its a Toyota certified highlander. On our test drive revealed A/C issues which should have been caught during the 160 point inspection but it was passed. It was running cool and fan full blast barely kept us comfortable. Our salesman had someone add Freon. A/C worked fine on the trip home, 40 minute drive. Next day on a 2 hr (one way) trip A/C was very intermittent. Mostly blew hot air.  Following is the exact wording of the service order.
Op-Code 2301

Concern: Recharge A/C system with R134A Freon. Add dye to system - black light test inspecting the A/C system for leaks. $199.92 (Price includes labor, ac dye and up to two lbs of R134A Freon).

Cause: Freon Level at 2.56 lbs, should be at 1.7
Correction: Add Dye and adjusted Freon Level, no leaks found and working as designed.

1. Running the A/C for over 6 hrs with it overcharged as stated above can that cause damage to show up in the future.
2. When its 90* and hotter the A/C directly it front of the vent is not freezing. At least not like in the Ford Transit, no comparison. The temperatures at 85* or below it seems to run freezing with my hand right on the vent. Is this normal or am I correct in thinking something is still not right with the A/C and the dealership is just band-aiding it until it becomes my problem. They sold it with passing all of Toyota's 160 point inspection. When it's hotter and doesn't seem to be working like it should you can have the fan on high and after time (seeing how the whole car needs cooled) has passed with it on high I should be needing a jacket. This is not the case, I'm comfortable.

So now they’ve done 2 things, one the day we bought it; add Freon without justification in my opinion.  First actual service order adjusted the Freon level.

So after this 1st service work order you suggested putting a thermometer to get a reading.
Left it for 30 minutes, it didn't go below 57*.

So back to the dealer for a 2nd service write up.

Op-Code CS1

Concern: Not working properly, only to 57*

Cause: Schrader valve on high side is leaking. Recommend evac and recharge with new valves.

Correction Schrader valve on high side is leaking. Recommend evac and recharge with new valves.
+tech made adjustment to Freon level

So once again we go back in to pick up the car. We never left the parking lot as we decided to run the A/C to see if it got cool. We’d left the thermometer home.   It did not so we walked back in and told them still not right.

3rd Service order got added to 2nd, so it didn’t look like a 3rd order.

Got a call once again telling us it was fixed. This time they said the Freon level was just under maximum level so they backed it off to half way between the max & min level.   Told us  A/C is cooling to 47* Operating as designed.

So this time we took the thermometer with us. (we tested the loaner car, it read 43*) We sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes with the thermometer it only got to 51* but as soon as we put the car in gear it went up to 53*. Service department closed at 8 p.m. so we headed over to the dealership and spoke to a manager. I take it back in on Monday and the head service guy will be who I talk to and will see what he can figure out. Not once have they done a pressure test on the compressor.

So today the humidity is lower as is the temperature, 79* -88* . When outside temp was 79* the A/C temp got down to 42*. It seems to be temper mental and related to outside temp. Even though when we picked up the car from service at 8p.m. the temperature was hotter than it was today, today was overcast skies and lower humidity and temp.

I’ve read where a leak can cause moisture to get into the system and cause the kiss of death. I still think as I did from the very get go that it’s the compressor. One site said that if you retrofit one part and not other necessary parts that the system will not run at optimal efficiency.

Sorry this is so long but wanted to give you as much information as I could so you could best diagnose it. Thank you for your time, it’s greatly appreciated.


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