Toyota Venza AC working intermittently

My 2009 Toyota Venza has had this issue off an on for about a year now, but it’s becoming more frequent lately. When you start the car, the AC is often not working. It will be lit up, and on full power, but there is little, if any, air coming out of the vents. And then, if you get up to speed on the highway, or hit a bump, suddenly it’s working. When it works, it works well, but when it doesn’t, there’s nothing you can do besides wait.

The mechanic looked at it today and couldn’t diagnose it because it was working when I arrived and he wasn’t able to duplicate the problem. They checked the blower motor and the connection and they were both fine. He said to come back when it’s not working and try not to hit a bump on the way. I’m a little frustrated. Any ideas of what it could be?


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Do you mean the fan is not blowing? Or the fan is blowing, but the air is hot?

the fan is not blowing.

Does it not blow on all speeds? Simple check if so rework the connections on the blower variablereistor, if it is some speeds, or maybe all a variable resistor is a cheap probable fix. If it has 2 fans make sure the second fan is engageing when turning on ac, could be a bad fan or connection causing that problem also. Try to narrow it down!

It doesn’t work at all when it’s going through whatever is wrong and then boom it works like nothing whatsoever is wrong.

If the Venza has climate control, it may be difficult to actually discern when it works. The controls in this car can be confusing and a problem might not be obvious to any mechanic. This is one of those times when you take it to a dealer. A mechanic who isn’t familiar with the system will have trouble diagnosing the problem. Another option is an air conditioning specialist.

Sometimes it’s as simple as pushing the ‘automatic’ button. Just make sure you’ve read the manual and have the settings right. If they are correct, then, like @dagosa said, I’d take it to the dealer.

It was the service department at the local toyota dealership. It’s definitely not climate control but it may just be a case that it’s not quite broken enough yet to diagnose it, I guess. I just found out that a friend with an older Prius having a similar issue.

Thanks for your assistance.

It’s listed as having automatic temp control. With a thermometer in the cabin, Push the auto button and set the temp on the car at something lower then the outside and observe how well it maintains the temp.

I would forget the dealership and take it to the pros…a local independently owned AC shop.

I will look for an AC shop, thanks!

Yes, I’ve tried the auto button and the lower temp but it’s really not that because there is no air at all and then we make no changes to it and the air suddenly comes on at full blast. We’ve set it to “Max Cold” which is 65 or below, and the air temp was 78, but it would not come on. We’ve only owned the car for two years, but there’s a definite difference between what it’s doing and what it’s supposed to do.

Make sure if you use an independent they are familiar with the automatic air system controls and how to diagnose it.

The next time the blower motor doesn’t work, with fan set on high, reach under the passenger side of the dash and with the handle of a screwdriver tap on the blower motor.

If the blower suddenly starts working replace the blower motor.


It may be an electrical problem with a loose connection that just might take someone going behind the dash and in the engine compartment. If it works after you" hit a bump" , what else could it be ?

I’m a 2009 Venza and I could’ve typed that word for word. My dealership told me the same thing. I asked a mechanic I know bc I thought it was a loose wire but it also sounds like a leaf in the fan. The fan motor needs replaced and it’s way cheaper to buy it through Amazon and watch YouTube and put it in. It doesn’t look complicated.

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Yes, we eventually replaced the fan motor. It finally died enough for them to figure it out. It works fine since we did that. Good luck!

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I have a 2013 Venza and I’m having the same issue! I will look into this solution.