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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, Everybody!

I’m writing my first (and dual-purpose) “introduction”-slash-“I need help” post. This forum is great, hoping someone knows what’s up.

I’m in a ’12 Rav4 "Sport" model (4cyl 2WD), and it’s freaking awesome, and not only because I climbed into it after climbing out of an ’06 PT Cruiser. (Don’t ever buy one of those.)

I bought it certified from Don McGill Toyota in Katy (Houston), back in June. A couple of months later, I noticed that when I’m sitting still (at a stoplight or in park) and running the a/c, the compressor was cycling on and off , about once every 20 seconds or so.

I took it into Charles Maund Toyota (Austin) to have them check it out. They discovered that the compressor only had about a quarter-pound of refrigerant in it. They couldn’t tell immediately whether it was leaking, or whether Don McGill just didn’t charge it up before they sold it to me (more about the a/c repair at Don McGill below). They charged it back up to 1.25 lbs, with some dye in it to detect any future leaks, and sent me on my way. I was to let them know if it started doing it again.

Sure enough, I was back to them within a month. This time, when they checked it they said it didn’t lose any refrigerant, and they hooked it up to their computers which told them everything else was operating normally. So they didn’t do anything that day.

I know that when I test drove it at Don McGill before buying it, the a/c wasn’t working. They were in the process of making the vehicle ready for sale, and told me at that point that they were repairing/replacing the condenser. As a side note, it's possible that this repair was related to a collision that was not on the CarFax report (still a little chapped that the dealer didn’t mention that, although I think they priced it appropriately).

I took a quick vid of the fan while the a/c was running:

Is this, in fact, how this system normally operates? Just wondering if someone has knowledge of a specific problem that would cause, or if that’s just how it runs, but that seems weird.

Anyone want to tackle this one? I greatly appreciate any input you’ve got.

Thanks!!

Paul
 

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I have a 2010 v6 sport and have not noticed my ac acting like this...I don't use it much so I'm not sure but I don't think it does...and dealers often will purchase damaged vehicles or get ones back from lease that are banged up and repair them in house to avoid reporting to carfax...
 

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No, that's not right--it's cycling much too often. I would take it back to McGill and show them what's happening. They might have not done something right during the repair. And that refrigerant had to have leaked out somewhere!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, I took it back in to Charles Maund and my service advisor brought over the assistant service director, who told me it's probably working right.

"So, it should cycle on and off three times in 60 seconds?" I asked.

"You timed it?" he responded. I was hoping he'd either say 'yes, that's normal', or 'no, that's not normal'.

"Yes, I did, it's the timing from the video I emailed before I set up the appointment. Does that seem like it might be normal?"

"I'd have to look at another '12 that we have here."

I thought he was going to give me a call, but I haven't heard from him. Dunno why it matters anyway, it was cycling at that rate while he was standing there, he just told me to turn up the temperature or take it off recirculate and it would stop. Needless to say, the next day I sat in my driveway with it on fresh air, with the temp midway between cold and hot for good measure, and it was still cycling on and off every 20 seconds.

I figure I'll let it go a little longer. I think it might be getting marginally worse, but I can't say for sure. I know that when I took it in the first time and they said the refrigerant was at .25 instead of 1.25, I know it hadn't reached a point where it wasn't blowing cold. Maybe that's the point I need to reach before I know for sure.

Still a little curious if anyone else has experienced this kind of thing. Anyway, I'll post developments as they, well, develop. Thanks!
 

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So, I took it back in to Charles Maund and my service advisor brought over the assistant service director, who told me it's probably working right.

"So, it should cycle on and off three times in 60 seconds?" I asked.

"You timed it?" he responded. I was hoping he'd either say 'yes, that's normal', or 'no, that's not normal'.

"Yes, I did, it's the timing from the video I emailed before I set up the appointment. Does that seem like it might be normal?"

"I'd have to look at another '12 that we have here."

I thought he was going to give me a call, but I haven't heard from him. Dunno why it matters anyway, it was cycling at that rate while he was standing there, he just told me to turn up the temperature or take it off recirculate and it would stop. Needless to say, the next day I sat in my driveway with it on fresh air, with the temp midway between cold and hot for good measure, and it was still cycling on and off every 20 seconds.

I figure I'll let it go a little longer. I think it might be getting marginally worse, but I can't say for sure. I know that when I took it in the first time and they said the refrigerant was at .25 instead of 1.25, I know it hadn't reached a point where it wasn't blowing cold. Maybe that's the point I need to reach before I know for sure.

Still a little curious if anyone else has experienced this kind of thing. Anyway, I'll post developments as they, well, develop. Thanks!
I'd go back to the dealer and ask to see a 2012 and check the fan operation while both of you stand there. It's either the same or it's not.
 
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