We generally take our air conditioner for granted, expecting it to work flawlessly every time we go for a drive.
That is until the aircon stops working.
When your air conditioner is no longer blowing cold air into the car, it can be the result of various different problems or a combination of system failures.
If your Toyota Prius AC is not working properly, then it could be a result of a build-up of dirt in the cabin air filter, a leak in the refrigerant pipes, or possibly a clogged condenser. Other causes include an evaporator that is clogged or dirty, a faulty blower motor, or a faulty compressor.
Another common fault associated with air-conditioners not working is the HVAC actuators not working. These actuators direct airflow into the cabin. When they fail, the hot or cold air will not reach the occupants.
You may also have an electrical system fault that causes the air conditioner to malfunction. These faults include blown fuses, loose connections, and corrosion of wiring and terminals.
Toyota Prius AC Not Blowing/Fan Not Working
As your vehicle ages, various components will either wear out or require maintenance.
Problems with the Toyota Prius air conditioner not blowing or the fan not working is a known problem on older models. The fan motor wears out and requires replacement. Tapping the glove compartment will kickstart the fan as a temporary solution, but a permanent fix requires a new fan.
Despite air conditioner fan failure being a notorious problem, drivers still struggle to locate and fix the problem.
Replacement fans are available for between $50 and $80 online. It will take under an hour to remove the old fan and replace it with the new fan.
If you are familiar with commutators and how to clean and replace the accompanying brushes, then the faulty fan can be removed and opened up. Cleaning the commutator and replacing the brushes will have the fan working again for a fraction of the price of purchasing a new fan.
To remove the fan, you will have to first remove the glovebox compartment. This requires a Phillips screwdriver, a #20 Star driver, or a small flat head screwdriver.
The white plastic fan housing is located behind the kickplate under the floor mat. You’ll also have to remove the transmission control unit before removing the plastic fan housing.
3 Star-head screws hold the blower motor which, once removed, allow you to remove the fan after unplugging the wiring harness connection.
You will then be able to fit the new fan or fix the existing one and then replace it.
Toyota Prius AC Not Cold/Not Cooling
The most common complaint concerning air conditioners is that they are not cooling the cabin.
The problem is usually one that progressively gets worse. This makes it difficult to discover until you eventually notice that the air con is just not getting cold at all.
When a Toyota Prius AC is not getting cold or not cooling down the cabin, you can be sure that it is most likely a refrigerant leak. Leaks are common problems that get worse over time. Other air conditioner cooling problems relate to the electrical climate control or the air conditioner compressor.
Refrigerant can leak from the system over months or years. If this is the problem, then re-gassing the system is the quickest fix.
However, this does not fix the root cause of the air conditioner not working. If you do not isolate the leak, then the refrigerant will just leak out again. It is best that you have a professional technician diagnose the problem and fix the leak.
If the refrigerant is fine, then you may have a failed compressor.
You can identify this as the problem if the air conditioner blows hot air into the cabin or if there is whining, squealing, or a grinding sound when you turn on the AC.
Toyota Prius AC Compressor Not Working
After checking your Prius’ refrigerant levels, the next possible cause of the AC not working is a compressor failure.
If your Toyota Prius AC compressor is not working, you should first check to see that the serpentine belt is correctly tensioned and turning the compressor pulley. Older models may have a dedicated belt. A clutch engages the pulley when the AC is switched on. First, check the condition of the belt.
Copyright protected article by Know My Auto and was first published on May 6, 2022. .
If the belt is worn or missing, then you should replace it and test whether the air conditioner turns on.
If the compressor is still not working, then listen for the sound of the compressor switching on. As you switch the air conditioner on, you should hear a faint thudding or clunking sound to indicate that the clutch is engaged.
If the clutch engages, then the compressor has either failed or there is a wiring problem that prevents the clutch from receiving a signal to engage.
With the engine switched off, attempt to turn the air compressor by hand. If it turns freely, then you can continue searching for the problem. If it doesn’t turn freely, then it is a sure indication that the compressor needs replacement.
It is also a good idea to check the air conditioner fuse to make sure that it hasn’t blown.
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You can also test whether the air conditioner clutch is engaging correctly. The clutch is operated via a magnet so you will hear it as it engages.
Identify the AC relay in your fuse box. Remove the relay and, using a piece of wire or a paperclip, connect the two power connectors. You’ll hear a clicking sound as the clutch engages.
Toyota Prius AC Won’t Turn Off
While having the air conditioner on in summer isn’t a problem, when it comes to winter, it can be a real problem.
When a Toyota Prius AC won’t turn off, you may have a failed thermostat or relay switch. Other reasons for the air conditioner not turning off could be that the evaporator coils have frozen or the filters are clogged. Dirty condensers or broken switches are other components that you should check.
If the AC doesn’t turn off, you may have set the climate control temperature very low. This will result in the air conditioner running constantly to keep the cabin at the set temperature.
Toyota Prius AC Button Not Working
There are sometimes very simple fixes for what at first appear to be complex problems.
If your Toyota Prius AC button is not working then the on and off switches may be stuck. Sometimes the switch gets caught under the plastic edge of the cover. By pushing down on the button and wiggling it from side to side and up and down, you can often get it to release properly.
Toyota Prius AC Not Turning On
There are many reasons why your air conditioner does not turn on.
When your Toyota Prius air conditioner is not turning on, you should first check the fuse book for a blown fuse. Then check that the belt driving your compressor is working properly. They can sometimes break after many years of use or the serpentine belt may stretch or wear.
The electromagnetic clutch may also not be engaging when you switch the air conditioner on. This could point to a wiring problem.
If the compressor is worn out, it may not turn when the clutch engages. You can test it by turning the pulley by hand with the vehicle switched off. The pulley should turn freely.
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KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on May 6, 2022 and last updated on .