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Skyvisions
Skyvisions, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Lexus
Satisfied Customers: 14505
Experience:  Lexus Expert
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I have a 96 Lexus LX450. The AC stopped blowing cold so I

Customer Question

I have a 96 Lexus LX450. The AC stopped blowing cold so I took it to a local shop. They replaced the Fan Clutch, the AC Belt and added refrigerant, the service cost $706.59. That worked for a couple of days and then stopped blowing cold again. I took it back and they said it must be the Receiver Drier and replaced it, some O-Rings, and did an AC Chemical Flush - the service cost $404.79. That worked for a couple of days and then stopped blowing cold again. Now very frustrated, I reluctantly took it back to the same place and they said that it must be Evaporator and that it would need to be replaced at a cost of $472 (estimate).
I asked the manager/owner if this will 100% solve the issue for sure - He said you never know with older cars because of the older parts and that the pressure can build up on the older parts and they continue to break. I'm at a loss and have not decided what to do.
In your opinion, is everything they have done to date been correct and in the order that they should have done it? Also, are those prices competitive?
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Lexus
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.
Indication as to what's the low and highside pressures were at when the system quit working? Was there a refrigerant still in the system?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have no idea about the pressure, the manager just stated that the older parts in the AC system may continue to fail with the build of higher pressure in the system due to the newer parts. This makes sense from a physics standpoint, but is his answer reasonable for the issue I continue to have? It seems that I am replacing my entire AC system one visit and several hundred dollars at a time and from my standpoint, I feel like I am being deceived.
Refrigerant was added by shop each time I went.
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.
The manager just stated that the older parts in the AC system may continue to fail with the build of higher pressure in the system due to the newer parts. In the automotive world and air-conditioning the statement is totally wrong. If you have a new fan clutch and belt and the system is properly charged it won't build high-pressure unless they overlook the actual problem with the vehicle and are just part swapping which it sounds like they are. The prices that they charged you for the work they have done so far is in line and reasonable however unfortunately they probably were not the correct diagnosis. Without seeing the actual highside pressure and low side pressure and what's going on with the system when it quits working I can't give you a definitive answer. It is possible that debris is circulating through the system and could be clogging the expansion valve but it sounds like they've already replace that and flushed the system out once already. It's possible that you could just be losing power to the compressor causing it to go off and this could be a simple electrical problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there an easy way for me to determine if it is a simple electrical problem?
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.
Yes simply start the air-conditioner up and see if the compressor clutch engages you should hear a click in the front of the compressor should start the spin. If it's not turning at all and you have pressure in the system then there is some type of electrical problem possibly a magnetic clutch relay that is a common failure.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I did not hear any distinct click when I turned on the AC. Thoughts?
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.
You will not hear this from inside the car did you stand at the front of the car and have someone turn the engine on at idle then turn the A/C on and monitor the air conditioning compressor? It should click on and you should notice and RPM drop provided there is refrigerant full enough in the system.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will try that and report back
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.
ok I will be stepping out soon.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Roger that. It won't be till later since I have to wait till my wife gets home.
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.
ok
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello, so after trying the test again, there is definitely no click when the AC is turned on.
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.
If there is no click from the compressor or the relay going to the compressor clutch this means one of two things, the compressor clutch is bad the wiring going to it or you have a problem with the refrigerant level or static pressure in the system.. You may have a leak somewhere. There's no way of knowing unless you have pressure gauges to put on the system to see with the static pressure is.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for all the information so far. Given my lack of mechanical prowess, I plan to take this to a new shop armed with this information and see what they say.
As you said earlier, it seems that the original shop neglected to actually diagnose the problem and was just replacing parts. I will be sure to give both shops reviews according to the outcome.I will follow up with an update. Thanks!
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome. Let me know how goes and please don't forget to rate the assistance I provided you at three or higher.