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2000 Toyota Sienna AC -offline for 5 years; worth fixing?

I’ve got a 2000 sienna with about 178k. In 2006 the AC condenser was identified as a leaker. I was too cheap to fix it at the time. I think that I can replace the condenser with my own labor for around $100. New moisture filter and evac/recharge is probably around $100 at my favorite local garage. I’d like to get the AC working again, but I’m concerned that there may be other hidden costs that will show up once the system is recharged. Have I let this problem go on too long? What are the likely outcomes of going this route?

If you replace the leaking parts and properly evacuate, dry, and recharge it, the AC should work.

are there any other system components that are likely to fail after sitting out for so long?

On cars with working air conditioning, drivers are advised to start the air conditioning up every once in a while in the winter to keep the compressor from seizing and to keep the seals in good shape. I would bet you will need a new compressor.

Air conditioning is generally not a do-it-yourself job. If you’ve lived without air conditioning this long, you obviously don’t live in the South. I think you should either continue to live without it, or let your favorite garage handle the whole job, but only if they employ a certified air conditioning technician.

Whitey - my favorite garage does have a certified AC tech. And I know that full service air conditioning is not diy. I can most likely replace the condenser without getting dirt in the system and then let the experts do the rest. Is there any way to test the compressor without charging the system? I know that this Sienna used to run AC automatically when the defrost was selected to dry the air and reduce interior condensation. I’m wondering if there is some kind of pressure sensor in the system that keeps it from coming on when there isn’t anything to compress.
Thanks for your sage advice. I live in NE Ohio, but I get ornery when the temps get above 80. I’ve been riding a Honda Shadow in the summer to beat the heat, but it’s out of commission at the moment. And I’m getting older - looking for comfort!

I don’t know of any tests you can do on the compressor at this point, but someone else might. However, since you live in Ohio, I would just live without air conditioning. I am living in Florida with no air conditioning in my car, so you will get no sympathy from me.

Can you afford it, and do you want it? Then it’s worth it. I’m in the same boat as you. The AC on my MR2 hasn’t worked since I caught a rock in the condenser 5 years ago. I’m biting the bullet and having it fixed, because I’ve been leaving it at home more often than not lately in favor of the daily driver that has working AC as temps soar above 90 on a fairly routine basis. What’s the point in having the thing (especially in my case as a summer-only car) if it’s unpleasant to drive during a good chunk of the summer?

Whitey - you’re tougher than you look! :wink:

shadowfax - I guess you’re about right there. Cost is all relative. Car is paid for. New or used car is $3-400/month. This one’s probably got another 50 - 60K in it. That’s probably 2 -3 years easy the way we drive it. And it is a really nice people mover. Except when all 7 bodies are hot and sweaty…

If you do decide to repair the A/C, the receiver/dryer should be replaced along with the condenser. The reason being with the system being opened up that long moisture has saturated the desiccant material used in the dryer. And one thing you don’t want in an A/C system is moisture.