Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Toyota Highlander Air Conditioning

I took my Toyota Highlander 2002(6 cylinders)to the dealer because the air conditioning was blowing warm air only. I was told the evaporator was leaking, that this was determined by them injecting a dye. I left the car overnight. The day I picked up the car, I notice that the air was not cooling. I decided to drive it for a little while to see if it would start to get cooler. It didn’t happened so I returned immediately to the shop and explained that the air conditioning was still blowing just warm air. They look at the car and told me that now the condenser was leaking from the right side. They explained that when the evaporator was fixed probably the pressure damaged the condenser. I found this odd, because how couldn’t they have noticed right away. They told me they needed to order the condenser part. I was without air for almost a week. Not trusting the original dealer, I took my car to another, far away Toyota dealer. This dealer told me that the condenser was leaking from the right side and that the radiator cap was broken. I had my car fix there, and kept the parts. I spoke to the mechanic who told me and showed me the damage to the condenser. He said he had never seen any damage like this before. That the odds of a rock to had hit the condenser on that edge were minimal. When fixing an evaporator, is there really a possibility of damaging the condenser because the pressure is restored to the system? I’m out of $2,500 ($1,500 the first dealer, and about $1,000 the second dealer).

nothing suprize me about any dealer.i had a extended warranty on my chevy.every time i went for a oil change that allways found something that was under warranty to replace.the manager and mechanic both made a commision.when i got a survey in the mail they asked me to brind the survey to them and they would fill my tank up with gas.the things i seen their was amazing.especially what they try to get over on the edlery or someone that is not experince with cars.the some dealers are known for this.and what happend to you is not after my experince with the dealer i learnd to do most of my work on the car myself.good luck rob

Absouletly no connection between the work replacing a evaporator and a condensor leak. But I can see a slight possibility,was the system ever open to the air for a extended period of time? if yes this may hve allowed corrosion to degrade the condensor.You say the damage to the condensor appears to be from a external source.This doesnt go well with the theory of internal pressure causing condensor failure.

Using dye to diagnois a evaporator failure is odd.These leaks are usually found by using a electronic sniffer through the evaporator housing.Did they show you the old evaporator and where the dye indicated a leak? Evaporator leaks do happen but are not anywhere near a common as condensor leaks.Asking the first dealer if you can see the old evaporator probably wont get you anywhere,they can put dye on a likely leak spot and scam you.But pressure testing the evaporator will tell if it has a leak.I would request the old evaporator and have it leak tested.Your leak probably was at the condensor from the very beginningIMHO

Up-selling factorywarranty was forbidden.Upselling extended warranty was highly encouraged. Much harder for fraud to be detected. The customer pays a deductible based on the number of claims filed not on the total cost of the repair.Some dealers/mechanics put everything they think they can get away with under one work order. After all your just ripping off a insurance company,who cares?

I’m with oldschool. The original dealer’s claim that the pressure from repairing the evaporator caused the condenser to fail is pretty lame, or an outright lie. Good luck proving it, however.

They also didn’t do a proper job of checking their work after the “repair” was completed, or they would have detected something wrong.

I had same experience with Toyota. My 2002 Toyota Sequoia AC cost me more than 4000 dolars to repair. Now just replaced the 2003 highlander AC compressor for more than 1600 dolars yet same experience as you had. It did not work!!! Now I was told I have to spend another 900 to replace the leaking condensor. How high is the possibility for both compressor and condensor broke at same time. The dealer do not think the repair job has any thing to do with the leak.
I just had two Toyota. Both AC system broke and both compressor broke. I do not think it is just bad luck, it is the bad quality!!!

Perhaps the air conditioning system for the Toyotas is bad, and Toyota hasn’t made a recall and own to it. Or just maybe the dealers’ sales are not too high. They need to bring in more money by any means. In my case, to add insult to injury, I spoke with the owner of the dealership, and he told me my car was old, that he could give me a good deal in a new one!!! Next time I’ll stay away from dealers.

The things that are being allowed to pass as quality work are not a good representation of the auto repair industry. In my day (I retired in 2006) there was a very large amount of pressure from the management to do a complete and accurate diagnosis.If you failed at this requirement you were gone. I just cant explain to you how your AC system was diagnosed with a compressor failure and a condensor failure was missed.

Most people on this forum are very anti-extended warranty programs.In my experience a expensive AC or transmission repair is almost certain.

The prices you paid are incredible $4000.00 for your Sequoia and $2500.00 for your Highlander and this is Toyota.