Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

AC repairs

Hi, In June I spent $2800 getting a lot of work done on my 2005 Toyota Matrix – some of which were needed because we’ve spent the last 5 years using it as an off road vehicle (oops!) After having it sit undriven all summer while we were away, the Toyota’s AC kept going in and out. Took it for one estimate, and they said that the compressor was burned out. Took it for a second opinion, they said the same thing. So we left it there ($830). Since then, the AC has worked in the morning (when it’s 92 degrees out) but not during the day (when it’s 115 degrees out). They’ve done some kind of vacuum sucking but that didn’t help. So today they told me that an expansion valve is sticking “open” and it needs to be replaced for $385. Question: shouldn’t they have found this sticking valve at the onset? Getting this done will equal $4,000 (which could have been a nice downpayment on a new car). I’m getting depressed. Have I spent too much $ on a car with 104,700 miles? Or am I going to be happy because after this it will last me to at least 200,000 without anything big being spent on it? Answers to any or all of these questions would be greatly appreciated!

An A/C system that cools, stops cooling, and then cools again doesn’t point to a compressor problem. Because when a compressor fails, that’s it! It never works again.

If any of these people knew what they were doing, they would have ruled out the compressor from the description of the problem you described. And when an A/C system acts in this manner and it utilizes an expansion valve, the expansion valve becomes the first suspect. Because that’s how they usually fail.

Sorry you spent all that money for a wrong diagnosis.


You could have installed central air conditioning in your HOUSE for the money you have spent repairing your automotive system…And it STILL does not work…

Apparently even licensed home HVAC guys are not always to shelf. While visiting my youngest son a couple of weeks ago he told me that the central A/C was not cooling well and a guy had come out and replaced the filter which was said to be dirty.
My response was BS because the outlet vent air is not that cold even after I cleaned out the horribly clogged condenser. Since I did not have my R-12/22 gauges with me I suggested he get someone else out.
(The filter he installed was 2" too narrow and 4" too long so the guy bent one end up and replaced the lid. The lid forced the too narrow filter to bow up on the opposite end with the end result being that little air was even being filtered.)

Next week another company sends a guy who claims that 90 degree outlet air is normal on a 110 degree day.
Here’s the part that some of you will get a chuckle out of.

He told my son as part of that 65 dollar service call that washing a condenser out will always cause the loss of a little Freon
So no we know the primary reason for A/C failures; rainwater. :wink:

He’s now waiting on call No. 3.