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I need a little understanding about my A/C that the owners manual does not explain.

I own a 2002 RAV4 I believe it is the Canadian C version (?) I have an A/C switch on the dashboard that illuminates when depressed to indicate the A/C is on.

However during a recent trip through the Southern States I happen to notice very cool air coming through my vents when the temp guage was positioned in the deepest of the blue section (fully counterclock wise). I imagined this to be cool air from the outside of the car. When I stopped in a rest area I noticed that there was condensation dripping from underneath as I would have expected if the A/C was operating.

But I did not have the A/C button depressed yet the A/C was functioning. If I turned the temp dial up to heat I got heat. But if I turned it down to cool it cooled.

My question is this. When the temp switch is in the fully counterclock wise postion is the A/C always on and possibly affecting my gas mileage.

By the way on my trip I drove 2600 miles and my 2.0 engine only averaged 25 mpg. I expected higher mileage on the highway using cruise control set at 76 mph.

One notable comment on my trip....not a drop of oil was lost after 48 hours of hard expressway speeds.

Thanks in advance for any help

alepel
 
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Discussion Starter #3
This happens with me too, regardless what the setting is. My setting was just on my feet and I could feel cold air when the A/C button was not depressed.
 
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I experience the same thing too. In fact, when I first bought my RAV4 two summers ago, I noticed condensation on the outside of my windshield whenever I leave the temperature control all the way to COLD and have the fan running on low. In addition, I would have the condensation drip under the RAV4 on certain really hot summer days, regardless of whether my A/C had been turned on or not, which, according to some is "normal" for vehicles with A/C, but I'm not totally sure.

Initially, I thought my A/C was stuck on! However, I would notice that, after tuning on the A/C, the air would feel even colder than the already-cold air without the A/C!

I notice that the regular fan air, when the thermostat is turned all the way to blue, is pretty cold, unless I'm in a really hot, dry place, like Yakima, Washington or Kelowna, BC in the summertime, in which case turning on the A/C would be a necessity.
 
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EHinthe604.....I believe that you are experiencing the same thing that I am.

I think that this still begs the question to be asked....is the A/C running thereby affecting gas consumption? And how do you turn off the A/C completely.

I had the same experience that you described. With the A/C temp in the deepest blue with the fan switch on low I felt very cool air. But I had to turn on the A/C control switch to really get chilled air. So there is a difference.
 

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Do you guys have it on defroster or legs/defroster only or on the other settings? When i leave it on defroster or legs/defroster that's when i get the cold air, but if i have it on the other settings, it's just cool air. The a/c comes on and off on defrosting setting (i think read that somewhere a long time ago, probably here), but it's not as gas consuming as if you were to had the a/c on all the time.

Here's what i found doing a search on the forums :arrow: Link
 
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That sucks! I always have the switch set to floor/def. So that means my A/C is running all the time?? Screw that. I only get 24MPG anyway, I don't need the A/C surreptitiously sucking money out of my wallet too.
 
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I'll be a son of a b!t%$. It is on when the mode switch is set to FLOOR/DEF or DEF. You can hear the compressor click and come on in both settings, BUT THE LIGHT DOESN'T COME ON. That is such a crock of S. I didn't see if it was also dependent on the temperature setting being set to cold either. I can't believe that I've been driving for 9,000 miles with the A/C on 95% of the time. I'm so f*%@ng pissed. Now wonder it accellerates and shifts so much better now, especially from 1st to 2nd. To contrast, my S2000's A/C would come on in DEF mode, but the light would come on and you could do a sequence of button pushing and ignition key turning to disable this feature. What a joke. I'm glad I read that post.

EDIT: The temp dial at cold doesn't affect this.
EDIT: The owners manual only states that setting the dial to FLOOR/DEF or DEF activates "defogger mode", or something to that effect. No explanation given for what this 'mode' is or that the FREAKING AIR CONDITION RUNS IN THIS SETTING. Totally lame on Toyota's part for this utterly moronic and poorly explained feature.
 
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OMG, I knew it all along! :roll::? Initially, I thought it was just a joke, but now, I've learned that the A/C stays permanently ON when my fan is turned to floor/windshield or windshield-only! Actually, I tried a bit of a controlled experiment by closely watching my tachometer as I "cycle" though the different settings. I notice a slight RPM increase when I have the fan turned to floor/windshield and windshield-only!

I knew something was up when condensation would form on the OUTSIDE of my windshield in the summer, since I normally leave my fan on LOW, with the setting on windshield-only or floor/windshield! No wonder I've been burning so much fuel.

The sneaky part is that the A/C light doesn't even come on! :roll:
 
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It happened again! Last night (after reading some of the other posts more carefully), I did the same thing as I did in my last post. I cycled through the settings, and both the WINDSHIELD/FLOOR and WINDSHIELD-ONLY settings caused to the tach to jump a little and made a litte click.

OK, from now on, I'll leave my fan on LOW and the control on VENT/FLOOR under normal conditions, unless I need to keep the windshield clear.

As JohnnyG mentioned, the temperature control makes no difference.

At least my dad's 2000 Honda CR-V is HONEST about when the A/C is actually on (as JohnnyG mentioned about his S2000). When you put the setting on WINDSHIELD and turn on the fan full blast, the A/C comes on, along with the indicator. In most cases, the A/C is unnecessary, so you simply flick off the A/C, and it's taken care of. However, with the RAV4, the A/C continues to run in "stealth" or "phantom" mode. :roll:

No wonder I have condensation forming on the outside of my windshield on hot, humid days, even at night! :?

Lesson learned... but still a little IRKED to say the least. :(
 

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I coud've sworn our Rav does not do this, will try to check and observe tom if it does this as well. Then again, we may have a different set-up in our Rav here. Does it go on in both "fresh" and "recirculate" settings?
 
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Autobeat said:
I coud've sworn our RAV does not do this, will try to check and observe tom if it does this as well. Then again, we may have a different set-up in our RAV here. Does it go on in both "fresh" and "recirculate" settings?
Perhaps it is a North American phenomenon with the RAV4s. I'll definitely check the FRESH vs. RECIRC settings later when I leave the house.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
All of this talk about having the selector set to floor and defrost and the A/C being on....this I understand. It makes sense.

However my problem occured when the selector was on floor and vents and the temp was in deep blue. I could feel the very cool air and I saw condensation dripping on the ground. This would suggest that the compressor is operating at floor/vents as well as floor/defrost. In the floor/vent mode if I turn the temp dial to the red zone the temp gets warm.

This is proving to be a really strange.
 

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I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all but this topic keeps coming up every year........and if you search you'll find lots of threads regarding it.
If you put your htr cntls in defrost or defrost-floor the A/C compressor runs on about a 50/50 cycle, not always easy to hear inside but step outside and you will hear the compressor cycling. This feature definitely hurts gas mileage and is totally unnecessary unless one lives in a hot & humid climate year round..... And yes, I know it's to dry the air.........
I got caught like many of you, ran my 4.2 for about 6 months before I heard the compressor one day. The dam* thing even runs in quite cool wx, so this winter I pulled the 5 amp A/C fuse under the hood so I could leave the htr in defrost-floor for the winter. It's a good idea, if you do this, to put the fuse in once a month and run the A/C to keep seals lubricated.
There is a thread here somewhere that describes how to defeat this annoying feature by opening up the heater control and removing a "ring" of some sort on the air direction shaft that brings on the A/C when turned to the two cw positions. I looked into it but it was just too much trouble......easier to pull the fuse....
If I remember correctly, my 4.1 did the same thing in the two cw positions but the A/C lite would come on to alert you to the fact that the compressor was now cycling. I guess some bright engineer didn't think this alert was necessary in the 4.2s.....DAH!!! :idea:-NOT!!!

If anyone has the A/C wiring diagram, I'm still interested in finding out which easily accessable wire I can cut and put a switch into, in order to have better control over this feature, rather than pulling the fuse when I want defrost only.......
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Bluenoser said:
I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all but this topic keeps coming up every year........and if you search you'll find lots of threads regarding it.
Yes, agreed. But I would never have known about this if I hadn't seen the repeat thread. Should be a sticky or something. I'm getting 25 to 26 MPG now as opposed to 22-24.
 
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Hmmm... I'm not sure whether this is factual or just a self-fulfilling prophecy, but since I've been leaving my control on either Vent Only or Floor/Vent (as opposed to Windshield Only or Windshield/Floor, I've noticed a slight improvement with acceleration. Again, it could all be in my head.

If the A/C compressor is operating only at 50% capacity, then it shouldn't have a major impact on performance or fuel consumption compared to manually turning on the A/C full-tilt, but still... "on" is "on", 50% or otherwise.

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I first had my suspicions in the first month of owning the RAV4 when I discovered condensation forming on the outside of my windshield while driving on hot summer days.

(However, with all of the hot weather as of late, I've been using the A/C for the past few days. :8)
 
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Yes, to me, ON is ON too. I don't know how it could be 50%. If it is, then my gas mileage with the actual A/C will be worse than with the FLOOR/DEF setting? I can't see that, but I guess I'll find out soon enough. My guess is that it will be the same as having the A/C on.

I'm trying my best to run as many tanks w/o A/C as possible to gauge mileage. It's definitely much imporved, as is the accelleration and shifting.
 

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Let me clarify what I meant by "about a 50/50 cycle"......
When I listened to the compressor, it sounded like it was on about 50% of the time and off for about 50% of the time........I didn't put a stopwatch on it , so don't hold me to the 50/50.... :wink:
I didn't mean to imply that the compressor was running at 50% revs...... yes, on is on and off is off for a compressor.....
We don't have a lot of hot days here, but when I switch on my A/C the normal way on a hot day, it seems that the compressor is on 80 - 90 % of the time....... If that seems excessive, maybe I should have my freon level checked..... :roll:
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Regardless of how long it runs, what it amounts to is that on my last tank of gas I got 27 MPG, that's TWENTY SEVEN MPG, which was 60% highway and a normal run for me, whereas the same tank was only getting me 23-24 with this stupid stealth A/C issue. Unbelievable.
 
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