A common misconception made within the automotive industry, is that if your cars air-conditioning system isn’t working i.e. not blowing cold air, it must need a regas.
This however isn’t necessarily the case. Your vehicles air-conditioning system is a sealed system, therefore it isn’t designed to leak down.
A few weeks ago, we had Toyota Townace van visit The Automotive Clinic after being regassed by another workshop. The customer used this Townace for work however he was ready to get rid of it as he couldn’t bear to work out of a van that didn’t have a functioning air-conditioning system. We advised the customer to book his vehicle in for fault diagnostics so our team could correctly diagnose the issue preventing the A/C from working.
What we found:
Upon initial inspection we found that the system was indeed full of refrigerant, the switch would light up when pressed but we had no compressor clutch engagement. We confirmed this by checking that we had no 12v signal to our compressor clutch. This system isn’t a standard ac system, its all controlled by an ac amplifier module under the dash. Our next point of call was to inspect the amplifier module itself and to see if we have an output from the module and a broken wire in-between.
When we removed the glove box assembly, we were able to confirm that the amplifier was not outputting our 12v signal to the compressor clutch.
This is where knowledge and experience about modern electronics comes into play with repairing vehicles. Even though this vehicle was manufactured over 20 years ago, it essentially has a module-controlled ac system.
We were able to effectively and efficiently remove and inspect this module under a microscope in house. Upon inspection we found our culprit! after repairing the PCB we were able to install the module back into the car and check for correct function.
After the module repair, we had working AC, our compressor was being controlled and our vent temperatures were good. Some people may say we should just replace the unit but these modules are dis continued at the dealership and the last one we were able to find sold went for over $700.00! Being able to repair this computer in house saved the customer a good sum of money.
That wasn’t the only problem
Before we gave the vehicle back to our customer, we performed a pressure test on the system, this showed us a very small leak from a hose join under the chassis rail, we were able to repair this fitting, re test and confirm that or customer will have a perfectly functioning AC system for a long time to come.
Having your cars air-conditioning regassed under the assumption it will fix you’re a/c issues isn’t always the solution. Instead book it in for an air-conditioning service at The Automotive Clinic so we can correctly diagnose the fault.
To make an appointment with The Automotive Clinic contact our team on 0412205806