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2008 Toyota Highlander
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Toyota Nation,

I don't know about you; but I don't think Toyota are made like they used to be. My ac has a low side pressure of about 40 psig and high side is 425 psig. It is cooling good, but this high side pressure will eventually cause a leak etc. The ambient temperature is 90 degrees F and the fans are blowing I think they should be running on high with all this heat being generated by the condenser. I'm sure the high side pressure drops while driving with air blowing across the condenser and radiator.
1. I think it's could be overcharged.
2. I think the temperature sensor for the fan speed is working properly?

Any suggestions?

Thanks, Disabled Veteran
 

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05 camry 07 tacoma
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2,759 Posts
Maybe air in the system. Recently charged?
If so probably needs to be purged/checked for leaks/refilled to spec.
 

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2008 Toyota Highlander
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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe air in the system. Recently charged?
If so probably needs to be purged/checked for leaks/refilled to spec.
cj1, I did charge it recently; but I bled the charge hose prior to putting any refrigerant into it. I went to an HVAC trade school during high school 42 years ago. Things change over the years and some things stay the same such as recharging a refrigeration system. We didn't have R-134a back then and you might be right on removing the refrigerant and pull a vacuum and check it for leaks and then weight the R-134a and put the exact amount back in there. I don't have a recovery unit so to follow the law I would have to take some where for that. I've fixed a lot of ACs on cars over the years but I used to live near the military auto hobby shop and they would do this for dirt cheap. The nearest to me is Fort Campbell and It's cheaper to pay so one else than drive there and it's probably closed due to COVID-19. As for me it doesn't matter how much experience I have; I can come across a strange symptom that stumps me and then in these modern days you can go and ask someone like you. Thanks for your response and have a good one. DV
 

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イリジウム
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12,276 Posts
Overcharged sounds like a possibility and you’re more of an expert with your experience.

Spray some water on the condenser and see how the high side changes. I wonder if local junkyards will evac for cheap? Dunno. They’re required to recover all fluids AFAIK.

was the truck in the shade as well? On recirc and not drawing engine heat?
 

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AvConsult
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3,579 Posts
You sure the HIGH side gauge is accurate? You have an IR gun to check pipe temp at the high side hose connection? At bottom of condenser? Top of condenser? If overcharged I'd expect LOW side pressure to be at least 70 to 80 PSI with 425psi on HIGH side. And if I recall the HIGH side cutout is under 400psi.
 

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2008 Toyota Highlander
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Overcharged sounds like a possibility and you’re more of an expert with your experience.

Spray some water on the condenser and see how the high side changes. I wonder if local junkyards will evac for cheap? Dunno. They’re required to recover all fluids AFAIK.

was the truck in the shade as well? On recirc and not drawing engine heat?
John GD, The junkyard is a good idea! I was in the sun and on recirculate. I never spray water on a hot condenser before and it should low the pressure. Thanks for your support! DV
 

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2008 Toyota Highlander
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Discussion Starter #8
You sure the HIGH side gauge is accurate? You have an IR gun to check pipe temp at the high side hose connection? At bottom of condenser? Top of condenser? If overcharged I'd expect LOW side pressure to be at least 70 to 80 PSI with 425psi on HIGH side. And if I recall the HIGH side cutout is under 400psi.
AVConsult, I sent your a request last week! Thanks for your response. I don't have an IR gun. The gauges are brand new Chinese I'm sure. I've seen the high-side peg to 500 psig and the over-pressure valve blows off refrigerant. I think the over-pressure valve is set for 450 psig. If I see 500 psig then the gauge could be off by 50 psi. The high service valve will burn you taking it off. The high-side is really getting hot to the touch. The rest of the story: I had a leak which by process of elimination it was the evaporator. I could smell refrigerant after a recharge. I put probably 10 cans in last summer. Then I bought a set of gauges and a vacuum pump. I research a lot about leak fixer and I wasn't going to pay 2 grand for the evaporator swap.
I used super seal and then recharged it using the gauges and it seemed to work. I didn't add anymore until last week. The AC worked at the start of the cooling season. I was sure it would leak out all winter. So, I slowed the leak down to a manageable state. Then my son said it only cooled on the passenger side for a single zone system. I knew that I was low on refrigerant. I have a leak detector and didn't get an indication inside the car with the probe stuck in the vent or lying on the floor. I didn't get a leak indication at the drain hose either. The dye test showed no leaks under the hood or in the condensate water coming out the drain hose. Refrigerant smell after recharge was my only indication the evaporator was leaking.
I got screwed by the guy I bought it from bad ac, clear coat falling off the top, oil cooler recall not do in time and a leaking cv axle boot. All these were hidden problems and if I wouldn't go to jail we would meet again at the time of my choosing. I contacted him about these issues and he was a smart mouth about it. I don't like cheating people; it's not the way I was raised. The Golden Rule is the only way to live! Thanks for your reply, DV
 

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AvConsult
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Sorry, I don't get on TN very often these days. Mine had an evap leak (about 6 week leak down as well) and I too tried super seal as well. Worked fine for about two weeks, then clogged the compressor control orifice. Replaced the compressor, condenser and TVX in Sept 2018 . The condenser desiccant and passages were FULL of that hardened super seal. After I got AC working again, in the Summer of 2019, the leak worsened to 7 to 9 days leak down. I went through 22 cans.

So....my guess is that your condenser is mostly clogged, where the gas-liquid compression isn't able to give up heat and goes to the accumulator at 200F+. I am surprised the TVX is able to throttle it down to 40 PSI at the evap. Good for Denso. Alas for you, it's probably a condenser, TVX and compressor replacement to get back to just your evap leak. BTW, in DFW, the cheapest quote I got was $1200--very labor intensive. At 170k miles and 12 yrs, along with hardening bushings, increasingly sloppy steering, and a BASE modeI, decided to trade it last Dec for something newer, with better amenities and working AC.
 

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2008 Toyota Highlander
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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry, I don't get on TN very often these days. Mine had an evap leak (about 6 week leak down as well) and I too tried super seal as well. Worked fine for about two weeks, then clogged the compressor control orifice. Replaced the compressor, condenser and TVX in Sept 2018 . The condenser desiccant and passages were FULL of that hardened super seal. After I got AC working again, in the Summer of 2019, the leak worsened to 7 to 9 days leak down. I went through 22 cans.

So....my guess is that your condenser is mostly clogged, where the gas-liquid compression isn't able to give up heat and goes to the accumulator at 200F+. I am surprised the TVX is able to throttle it down to 40 PSI at the evap. Good for Denso. Alas for you, it's probably a condenser, TVX and compressor replacement to get back to just your evap leak. BTW, in DFW, the cheapest quote I got was $1200--very labor intensive. At 170k miles and 12 yrs, along with hardening bushings, increasingly sloppy steering, and a BASE modeI, decided to trade it last Dec for something newer, with better amenities and working AC.
Sir,
Your reply makes sense to me. The first thing I thought of when I saw the high-gauge take off like a speedometer was a clog somewhere on the high-side. From what I read that if you have a clog your pressure would drop. Common sense tells you that it should rise; but I guess it where the high-side service valve is located and limited refrigerant making it to the service port and the TVX throttling you could see a lower high-side reading? With such high temperature head filled refrigerant going to the metering device I don't see how it works at all.

At 120K and various issues including a slight fender bender damaging the front bumper cover and passenger fender and a $2700.00 check from the other guy's insurance company it's probably time for me to say good bye to this hot nightmare. I made sure that Toyota did the estimate and the estimator told me that I should go to the service department and see if they would paint your top for free. I said it's too old and he said that he has seen older than mine get painted for free. It was the start of the pandemic and I didn't want that exposure at the time. I know that I over-paid for it $9500 in 2018 with 118K and yes my wife doesn't drive much at all. She is a Korean and is pissed off at Toyota and wants an American car to replace it. I don't know of anything made in the USA that is reliable? Besides Tesla and she doesn't want an electric car. She doesn't want a Korean car either. I'll just get her a 2020 Henway LE. Thanks for your time! I assume AV is AudioVisual or Air Conditioning and Ventilation , it's got to be the second one because I've read a lot of your post and you are the man when it comes to Refrigeration and it is the production and maintenance of an area or space below the ambient temperature and relative humidity by the removal of heat from the conditioned area to a space outside where it doesn't matter. We had to learn and memorize this definition because it was on all of all tests in HVAC trade school in high school. As an AC repairman I don't remember seeing a lot of clogged condensers in the commercial application. Take Care my friend!
DV Master Sergeant USAF Medically Retired. Unable to do much anything anymore; can't stand very long or walk very far but yesterday I prepared myself to do a lot of things and reach some success in all of them! I prepared for my future work life and it didn't come. I had a great time achieving everything that I became!

Senior Biomedical Equipment Repairman, Ground Radar Repairman, Mechanical Engineering Technician, HVAC Repairman
 

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AvConsult
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The AV is Audio Visual, and I've been on the design side of that for 13 years, after many years as an integrator, and prior to that multimeda development (with Philips when they were creating MPEG video and audio codecs). As for my A/C experience, I've worked on many R-12, R-22 and R134a systems over the last 40 years, and took the time to understand what I was doing. Enough to reliably diagnose and do my own work, but no where seasoned to do A/C or any other mechanic work as a Pro. Those guys spend many hundreds of hours in training and of course the experience of wrenching multiple thousands of vehicles in a life time, rather a hundred, like me.

Seems you've thought this HL situation through. Good luck on a future vehicle. And a sincere appreciation for your military service. --AVC
 

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2008 Toyota Highlander
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Discussion Starter #13
The AV is Audio Visual, and I've been on the design side of that for 13 years, after many years as an integrator, and prior to that multimeda development (with Philips when they were creating MPEG video and audio codecs). As for my A/C experience, I've worked on many R-12, R-22 and R134a systems over the last 40 years, and took the time to understand what I was doing. Enough to reliably diagnose and do my own work, but no where seasoned to do A/C or any other mechanic work as a Pro. Those guys spend many hundreds of hours in training and of course the experience of wrenching multiple thousands of vehicles in a life time, rather a hundred, like me.

Seems you've thought this HL situation through. Good luck on a future vehicle. And a sincere appreciation for your military service. --AVC
Sir,

It was my distinct pleasure to service my country for over 21 years; even though I was medically retired and I'm 90% disabled I would do it all over again. Thank you advancing AV development during your career and for all the expert advice you give to us DYIers. Have a nice day and may God keep you and yours safe from COVID-19.

DV
 

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IQS (Initial Quality Survey) is in no way a measure of quality. All it does is count how many times the owner complains about the car in the first few months of ownership. If a new car has lots of electronics and the owner can't figure it out because they couldn't bother to read the manual, is that the fault of the car? Also I know for a fact that many brands and dealers will ask new car owners to bring their IQS survey into to the dealer in exchange for a free oil change service. So they are gaming the system.
 

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Sir,

It was my distinct pleasure to service my country for over 21 years; even though I was medically retired and I'm 90% disabled I would do it all over again. Thank you advancing AV development during your career and for all the expert advice you give to us DYIers. Have a nice day and may God keep you and yours safe from COVID-19.

DV
DV,
Thank you for your service neighbor. I live in in South Central Ky, not far from the TN border.
Randy
 

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2008 Toyota Highlander
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Discussion Starter #16
Not a Quitter,

First a thanks to my neighbor Randy! So I decided to keep trying on my current problem. I pulled a vacuum for at least an hour and it held. So my original leak must be small. I was planning on weighting the refrigerant and make sure it had the correct amount and when I went to charge the darn thing; the compressor will not start. I know the low pressure cut-off switch with prevent this until you get some pressure in there I think 20 psig. I tried to by-pass the switch that has 3 terminals on it. There is 5 volts and two terminals and 0 and the other that think is ground for the switch. This switch is normally closed with enough pressure in there and opens when it's low enough. I jumped every combination there is and still can't get the compressor to start! I checked an ac fuse under the dash and didn't pull the large 50 amp in the engine fuse box. They were good prior to pulling a vacuum and I just wanted to make sure there wasn't any air in there. My static pressures weren't equal after sitting overnight. The high-side was probably 100 psig higher than the low side. They are equal now with no compressor running.

I'm exhausted and my left hand has burns all over it. I'm so pissed off at Toyota that I'm ready to trade for a Ugo. Any suggestions besides a stick of dynamite? My original symptom returned with the passenger-side cold and driver's side hot. Which usually indicates a low charge. That's why I decided to try this before spending a ton on it to get back to a leaking evaporator?? If I could only get the darn compressor to run and see what I have wrong with it now. Help from Johnny Cash and Harold Jenkins (Conway Twitty) hometown.
DV
 

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AvConsult
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3,579 Posts
I'm confused; if the compressor shaft isn't spinning, then HIGH and LOW side pressures will be equal, and NONE of the vents should currently be running cool. If you drew a vaccum and then used that vacuum to pull in fresh refirgerant, that's more than enough to activate the low limit switch and engage the clutch. Note that the HL compressor is variable capacity, where it can spin and produce zero to full capacity based on the signal going to the control solenoid. The clutch almost never cycles with engine running and A/C selected. If the control orifice is clogged or nearly clogged , the compressor will produce zero to a fraction of the commanded capacity. If the condenser is getting further clogged as time goes on, it'll eventually reduce refrigerant flow where the evaporator is starved, which has the same one vent hot, one vent cold symptoms of being low on charge.
 

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イリジウム
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The sealant that solidifies can be a nightmare. I suspect it may be a source of the problem.

Variable compressors usually have the bleed type expansion valve that will take a while to equalize. But overnight is too long may be sealant related.
 

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イリジウム
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Looks like Toyota made the weird decision, probably during transition, to put a clutch on at least some variable compressors.

Sounds like OP's 3-pin connector may be the clutch and sensor connector. Triangular near the clutch?
 

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2008 Toyota Highlander
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Discussion Starter #20
I'm confused; if the compressor shaft isn't spinning, then HIGH and LOW side pressures will be equal, and NONE of the vents should currently be running cool. If you drew a vaccum and then used that vacuum to pull in fresh refirgerant, that's more than enough to activate the low limit switch and engage the clutch. Note that the HL compressor is variable capacity, where it can spin and produce zero to full capacity based on the signal going to the control solenoid. The clutch almost never cycles with engine running and A/C selected. If the control orifice is clogged or nearly clogged , the compressor will produce zero to a fraction of the commanded capacity. If the condenser is getting further clogged as time goes on, it'll eventually reduce refrigerant flow where the evaporator is starved, which has the same one vent hot, one vent cold symptoms of being low on charge.
AV,

I'm more confused than you! So the original symptom returned passenger side cold and driver side hot. I hooked up my 1st class Chinese gauges and it indicated a low-side pressure. The hoses are real stiff and if don't tighten them real good they come loose by moving the gauges around. I moved the gauges from hanging on the hood latch down on the radiator top and when and turned the car off and when to do something. I came back a time later and the high side hose had came loose I guess when I moved the gauges and I didn't heard a leak when I walked again for awhile. So when I returned and found the leak most of the refrigerant had leaked out. That's why I bleed a little bit out and pulled a vacuum for a hour and the vacuum held so I decided to charge the system. I charged the system and the compressor never came on. I don't see the inside of the clutch running at all or heard the compressor.

THE REASON I TRIED THIS I WANTED TO MAKE SURE AIR IN THE SYSTEM WASN'T CAUSING MY PROBLEM AND PUT THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF REFRIGERANT IN IT. My gauges have equalize out now 90 psig LS and 100 psig HS. I thought that I could bypass the low pressure cut-out switch and run the compressor just get a little bit in there to over come this low pressure switch. This doesn't work. I didn't know about the variable capacity compressor. That's why I tried to bypass the LP cutout switch like the old days.

So I really wasted my skin and time trying this. This VC compressor theory is something I need to read up on. Since it never took any refrigerant in the low side by running the compressor. How can I proceed now? I feel really stupid right now. I have always been able to charge a system even large commercial systems to a Air Force Tent Hospital until. What controls the the control solenoid? I wanted to get this working temporary so my wife wouldn't burn up waiting on me to get some parts. Do you think my compressor is shot or can I change the refrigerant flow valve that I've seen on-line for it? 1. compressor, Condenser w/filter drier, and thermal expansion valve and probably blow out the lines when the compressor and condenser, THV are removed. This ain't fun; I wanted to buy a Venza when I got this; but my wife thought it was too far away; same engine and probably same problem!

What do you think about the Mazda CX-9? I've read somewhere that you have a CX-7 this must have been your Highlander replacement. I've got a 99 MX-5 42K miles; and a 99 Mazda B3000 on second engine needing a third. You can put a Taurus engine in there by swapping a lot of things over from a front wheel drive to rear wheel. You can buy a low mile Taurus engine cheaper than getting your heads reconditioned.
Thanks DV
 
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