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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2011 RAV4 4-cylinder, 4WD, 55,000 miles: Air conditioner(compressor) does not kick in till 10-15 minutes of driving, also sometimes after cold start will start blowing cold air after revving engine above 3000 rpm for a while. Also cold air will start after accelerating on highway. When cold air is on, both fans under hood are working (when car is not moving). Any suggestions ? - electrical issue, low freon???
 

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I have a 2006 VW GTI that does the exact same thing. Everything I read pointed to the Refrigerant Control Valve in the AC compressor. www.polarbearinc.com is where I got mine. It helped my problem a little bit. I usually just run the VW in sport mode until the air blows cold. Others have replaced the complete AC compressor to fix it. I rather would spend $60 to do the RCV than a full compressor. I borrowed a vacuum pump and gauges from a friend and did mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, ordpete944, for your reply.
Ran diagnostics at independent AC shop in San Antonio, TX: compressor internal valve is sticking and intermittently pumping.
Since i could no longer suffer the 100 degree San Antonio summer, caved in for the $ 1500 repair - R&R compressor, condenser with drier, transducer switch and Evac & recharge. In hindsight, wondering why condenser replacement was recommended.
Everything working well now. This DENSO compressor did not even last 55,000 miles. Wondering about "Toyota QUALITY" - my next car may not be a Toyota.

Thank you for the link: www.polarbearinc.com - very useful information
 

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Did they replace the condenser with a new one or "r and r" 'ed it? R and r stands for remove and replace the old components. Maybe they had to remove it to gain access to the ac compressor. I wouldn't understand replacing the condenser with a new one unless it was damaged or leaking Freon. The receiver dryer is commonly replaced as a precaution when opening the ac system to avoid call backs, but i have done ac work on my vw and not replaced the receiver dryer. I did pull a good vacuum on the system afterwards. It is a gamble if you don't replace it and i was just lazy with mine. My vw compressor lasted 45k miles and was replaced under warranty due to noisy operation. My rav4 has 137000 miles and I'm amazed the compressor is going strong. Knock on wood,no repairs yet. I do live in Florida and never turn off the ac compressor. I just leave it on and adjust the temperature setting as necessary.
 

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I have heard alot of shops won't waste time with just replacing the refrigerant control valve and just do the whole compressor. That is certainly more expensive than doing the rcv.
 
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