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Pontiac Vibe Made by Toyota - AC Works Great and Then Stops

AC works great part of the time with cooooold air. Then other times it blows warm. I can’t seem to find a pattern to it. Sometimes it works when I start up the car, other times I start up the car and it never gets cold. Then other times it will get cold after several miles. The only consistent thing seems to be that once it is cold, it stays cold as long as I’m driving the car. And it is really cold! This started immediately after I had the serpentine belt changed. Could that possibly have anything to do with it? By the way, this car is made by Toyota, same as Toyota Matrix, and I believe same motor and tranny as Corolla. Any ideas on what this may be? 2004 1.8L automatic. Thanks so much. It’s way too hot right now not to have AC.

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Well,its possible the mechanic could have put in the wrong belt or damage the automatic tensioner while putting it on. A worned a/c compressor magnetic clutch can also cause that.

My first thought was low Freon/refrigerant?

The problem might be with a faulty expansion valve.,2004,vibe,1.8l+l4,1432958,heat+&+air+conditioning,a/c+expansion+valve,6788

The expansion valve is what controls the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator.

These valves can act erratically where sometimes the AC puts out cold air, and sometimes it doesn’t.


Thanks for the info. I’m working on it, will let you know.

Thanks for the input. I took it to the mechanic and they called and said it was fine, nothing wrong with it, AC running great. I got there and it wouldn’t get cool, which has been the pattern. When it goes to cool it will stay nice and cold until it’s turned off or car turned off (but intermittently), and then it will only blow warm. So, mechanic said probably the relay and changed that out. Said it was running hot, and I believe he said compressor was hot too (couldn’t hear it exactly), but then said either the compressor is overworking the relay causing it to run hot, or the relay is bad and causing the compressor to overwork. Since changing the relay it has been fine, and interestingly it is now what I call a “normal” cold. Before, it was super cold whenever the cold was blowing. So maybe the compressor was overworking. Anyway, I’m hoping the relay is all it is. Thanks again for the input. It was a great help in letting me know what I was possibly getting into. Intermittent problems are so frustrating.

Good luck and please let us know how it stands the test of time - or not. Seems AC work is a stretch for lots of otherwise good mechanics.