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Scion tC 1G ICE & Interior In-car entertainment and electronics...

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Old 08-25-2011, 06:07 PM   #1
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Default Air conditioner problem: blows cold occasionally on 100k mile TC

So my air conditioner hasn't been working correctly lately, my car is a 2005 Scion TC with 98k miles and located in Texas where we have had 50+ 100 degree days this summer and it has been in Texas the past 7 years. Frequently my car thermometer reads 110+ when getting in the car.

Driving home yesterday, it was working fine with no issues blowing cold air. During lunch today it was blowing lukewarm air, only slightly cooler than the air outside. It has been doing this the past month and I will be taking it in for my 90k mile service in a few weeks and plan to have it checked out. I usually leave it on max. cold with recirculation all the time. I have not installed a cabin air filter, but recently replaced the regular air filter.

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas why it would work fine one day, then blow hot air the next. I am stumped at the moment.

Although mostly unrelated: these are the issues I am now experiencing on my close to 100k mile TC:
OEM cd player rarely ejects cd's (done this forever)
hatch handle broke off over a year ago (currently held up by tape, was epoxied)
Shocks or struts make loud popping noises and creak when going forward and going over bumps especially turning (plan to have dealership look at this, uncertain what's wrong)
Sunroof opens occasionally when jamming button down, but mostly doesn't work
AC not blowing cold air about half the time, worst during the day when it's hot.
My car was idling rough this summer also and was occasionally stalling out due to low rpm (may have been an air filter issue which has been replaced)
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:16 PM   #2
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First, this is from personal experience from other cars and my 05 TC too, I'm at 110K miles ;) but live in Wisconsin, other side from you lol.

A/C - i would suggest getting it checked by shop, i believe certain cars in 05 or 06? had weak A/C blowers / compressors, one of those... so check TSB on that as I'm not 100% sure.

OEM cd player, just get a new one aftermarket, I had a stock 6-disc changer, thing is heavy and cumbersome, cool colors though.

Hatch handle, it's been covered before; suggest using JB weld and weld in some new bolts or old ones if they haven't been broken. Epoxy does NOT work. I've tried it.

popping noises: struts are blown especially at 100k miles, u need new ones. springs last longer than struts. but you could change em all. also check rear sway bar.

rough idle? Clean MAF sensor with CRC maf cleaner, also clean throttle body with throttle body cleaner.

U should be maintaining the car more than this at 100K miles or prior to now, u wouldn't have come across most of these problems. it's okay though, normal for this kind of wear and tear at 100k ;)
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:17 PM   #3
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search and you can see what I've explained.. but in GREATER detail
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:18 PM   #4
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good luck man since i live out here in cali and my ac compressor just died on my 05 tc with 103k miles when i was in vegas. have your compressor checked out cause my ac acted exactly like how yours is until it pooped.

and fongyz hit it on the spot with all the rest of the items esp the one about maintaining the car
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:39 PM   #5
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I wasn't needing too much info on the other things, just figured I would mention them. I expect a few things like that at 100k.

My current plan is too take it to the dealership for the 90k mile service along with having them check out the other things. I haven't done much on the maintenance end other than just taking it in for oil changes and changing out the air filter. Gonna see what they recommend, but will try to do as much as possible on my own. The a/c is one thing I know nothing about, so it will need to get fixed professionally most likely. I was just wondering who else may have experienced this.

The only other car issues I had experienced was my throttle body failing twice and that was covered and replaced by warranty twice, but now it's out of warranty. The 90k mile service is $260 at the dealership near me, but only $105 at the one 30 minutes away. Wish I would have known that earlier.

Thanks also. Still feel free to add any more input or links if you have experienced this.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideincircles View Post
I wasn't needing too much info on the other things, just figured I would mention them. I expect a few things like that at 100k.

My current plan is too take it to the dealership for the 90k mile service along with having them check out the other things. I haven't done much on the maintenance end other than just taking it in for oil changes and changing out the air filter. Gonna see what they recommend, but will try to do as much as possible on my own. The a/c is one thing I know nothing about, so it will need to get fixed professionally most likely. I was just wondering who else may have experienced this.

The only other car issues I had experienced was my throttle body failing twice and that was covered and replaced by warranty twice, but now it's out of warranty. The 90k mile service is $260 at the dealership near me, but only $105 at the one 30 minutes away. Wish I would have known that earlier.

Thanks also. Still feel free to add any more input or links if you have experienced this.
most of the time the "defective throttle body" is usually gunked up with carbon deposits and the electric dc motor cannot move the throttle plate, the dealer sees the check engine code and just replaces the throttle body. But.. if you keep up with the throttle plate/body cleanings then most of the time this can be avoided. Now in some situations the motor just dies completely and that is just a bad motor. but had to jump in here to tell you that you could help avoid the situation by keeping the throttle plate/body bore clean

I know on some other cars I've had, the a/c would blow cold then not blow cold, it was a pressure leak in the a/c system. As the heat exchange happens the pressure increases in the system, so if it's in the morning (cooler) the a/c would blow cooler but the minute it needs more cooling it won't keep up and you'll get warmer air. In my older car (not tC) it was the condenser had a leak. A lot of places like the dye added to the refrigerant to see where it's leaking, but Toyota doesn't like that, they recommend using a "sniffer tool" that can sniff out leaks.

the idle issue is most likely you need spark plugs now, and to clean the MAF sensor..and unless your dealer goes the extra mile, most won't clean the MAF sensor. They'd rather sell you a new one. You might be better off cleaning it yourself, it's two screws and an electrical connector, spray it down a couple times, let it dry, that's it. like a 10 min job.

hope that helps
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
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Cool, thanks.

And as stated, my a/c was cold this morning driving to work, but not at any other point in the day yesterday. I am going to pressure wash it off later today to see if that makes any difference. It looks like it needs to be done, but I am siding with the possibly leaking. It's cooler to drive around with the windows down in 100+ heat right now. Which sucks.

Most likely I will take it in tomorrow for my 90k service and let them recommend whatever and do as much as I can myself. A/c will probably need to be done professionally one way or another.

What would I need to spray down the MAF with and same with the throttle body?
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:20 PM   #8
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Cool, thanks.

And as stated, my a/c was cold this morning driving to work, but not at any other point in the day yesterday. I am going to pressure wash it off later today to see if that makes any difference. It looks like it needs to be done, but I am siding with the possibly leaking. It's cooler to drive around with the windows down in 100+ heat right now. Which sucks.

Most likely I will take it in tomorrow for my 90k service and let them recommend whatever and do as much as I can myself. A/c will probably need to be done professionally one way or another.

What would I need to spray down the MAF with and same with the throttle body?

hey you're welcome.. to answer your question..
as fongyz was saying, and I agree, it's CRC brand MAF sensor cleaner. I picked mine up at Autozone for about $6. The throttle body cleaner is actually called "Throttle Body Cleaner", simple I know. I picked up the CRC brand (just like their stuff), you spray it on a rag then clean out the throttle plate, bore. I think there is a DIY here somewhere, but basically you have someone turn the car to the ON position without starting it, have them press the gas pedal down, that will activate the throttle motor and open the plate so you can clean on the back side. Don't spray the throttle body cleaner into the throttle bore, because this chemical is safe to spray onto a rag and clean the plate, it's not safe for the plastic intake manifold. When you're done, you put the air tube back onto the throttle body throat, making sure you get the c-clamp back on firmly. Then let it dry for about 10-20min, just to be safe. Then you're done.

there are DIY for the MAF sensor too, it's just two screws and an electrical connector holding it in, it's right in the air tube to the left of the air cleaner hump.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:58 PM   #9
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I took my car in to the dealership Saturday to have checked out. I thought I was paying for the 90k mile service listed here:

http://www.vandergriffscion.com/scio...ce-pricing.htm

which has the 90k service at $102.35 which is $140 cheaper than my dealership, but I ended up getting (unknowingly) the Toyoata 90k service which included fuel injector cleaner, throttle body service, battery cleaning and one or two other things at $412.35. I realized that to late, and I am not disagreeing it was needed, just wanted to do the throttle body myself and save money.

Besides that, I had my oil flushed, hvac cleaned and they emptied and recharged my a/c. They said my compressor was fine and recharging was their recommended a/c fix for now, but it did not help at all. I left the dealereship and my a/c was still blowing hot air. Basically no change, I ended up spending $746 for the general maintenance with 10% off they gave me abut my a/c still doesn't work.

Still not sure what to do next, they do have a dye included to see where it's leaking if so, but i will probably be taking it to my usual dealership since it's closer if I do. I haven't called the dealership back yet that did the work, mainly since i don't think i will be going back there. It's kind of far.

On my other issues, need a new battery, new front struts and mounts, rear hatch handle and possibly replacing the switch for my sunroof. Battery will be the next thing along with fixing my a/c.

Is there anything I can do myself on my a/c? At least to figure out what's wrong?
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:57 PM   #10
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You should return immediately back to that dealership that had charged you that much!!! ridiculous !!! Usually if they are going to charge you more than quoted, they would have notified you PRIOR to doing the work; that's how most places do their business. dude, WTF. lol unless ur okay with paying that amount..

If you want to do your own A/C recharge and checking for leaks, definitely just google "DIY vehicle A/C recharge" or something similar to that. If i recall, you would need to buy a recharge kit, the correct refrigerant, then follow a few steps. caution though, u can ruin ur A/C if you overcharge it... so read thoroughly !
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:20 PM   #11
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My reasoning leads me not to return to that dealership. I can only visit it on the weekends since it's 30 minutes away. I can drop my car off at the location closer. Just didn't realize I signed the sheet on a $400 90k service instead of what I thought I was getting. It did include services not listed on the website and I did chose to get the other services afterwards since some maintenance was needed. Still Want my a/c to work is the main issue. I will probably call this week though. I did note al this on the dealership survey, and they gave me 10% off on all the services i had done.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:39 PM   #12
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I had this problem for about two weeks before my A/C compressor died. Due to money constraints it still isn't fixed. Similar to you it was around 100k and worked intermittently before crapping out. Apparently the way the stock compressor was designed, the tolerances in the magnetic clutch are very small and WILL, eventually, get clogged with road grime that can NOT be cleaned out. At least, that is how it was explained to me...
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:56 PM   #13
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Yup I just ran into the same problem with my AC as well...i'm at almost 120K miles. I took it to a pretty good AC place and i was told that my Compressor Clutch Coil is open. It is gonna cost a decent amount in parts and labor for a compressor clutch to be replaced. They told me that the compressor is probably still good. Fingers crossed it fixes the problem.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:47 PM   #14
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Looks like most of ya having this problem is down south ... now I'm happy I live in Wisconsin! lol jk - ebay for a/c compressor seems reasonable if no salvage yards r around your area.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:52 PM   #15
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Yup I just ran into the same problem with my AC as well...i'm at almost 120K miles. I took it to a pretty good AC place and i was told that my Compressor Clutch Coil is open. It is gonna cost a decent amount in parts and labor for a compressor clutch to be replaced. They told me that the compressor is probably still good. Fingers crossed it fixes the problem.
if it's going to cost you more than a new compressor, why bother fixing an old 120k mile compressor? I just looked up rockauto.com and they have a brand new Denso (Same brand as factory) for $264.79, just copied it below here.
DENSO Part # 4711006
DENSO is the OE supplier for this vehicle; OE-specified O-rings and Oil included.
$264.79

I would think twice about rebuilding it, just replace it, if it's cheaper, of course.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:36 PM   #16
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Since I think we are on the last week of 100+ temperatures during the hottest summer ever in Texas, I will probably wait until next year to get it fixed. I may take it in to my local dealership and see if they can find where it's leaking though. I am not familiar with the a/c system well enough to know where to look for the leak otherwise I would myself. What color would the dye be? Is there any pics online of where I need to look on the engine?
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sciontc_mich View Post
if it's going to cost you more than a new compressor, why bother fixing an old 120k mile compressor? I just looked up rockauto.com and they have a brand new Denso (Same brand as factory) for $264.79, just copied it below here.
DENSO Part # 4711006
DENSO is the OE supplier for this vehicle; OE-specified O-rings and Oil included.
$264.79

I would think twice about rebuilding it, just replace it, if it's cheaper, of course.
Thanks - It turned out to be the entire compressor. I paid a little more for the part but at least i am up and running with nice cold air.
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:34 PM
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