2012 Blue Toyota Prius V
Peter Neilson's picture

What Not To Do When Fixing Your Toyota Prius AC

Has your Toyota Prius quit cooling? If so, and you want to fix it yourself, here are a couple of tips to avoid a larger cost repair.
Advertisement

Summer is pretty much here, and you all know what that means. Time to crank up the AC and chill out while driving. Though the AC may not blow cold for some of you, on a Prius, that usually means a refrigerant leak.

Before you head out to the local auto parts store, let me give you some information to help you make an informed decision on what to buy.

What To Buy And What To Avoid
I helped a fellow Prius owner the other day get his AC up and working again, and it got me thinking, do people know what to get when they come in? Probably not.

If you want to get your AC going without doing a repair, do yourself a favor and get the correct refrigerant. Get the stuff with leak detection dye.

R134a Leak Detection Can

The dye will help you find the area where the refrigerant is leaking out. That way, it will be easier to diagnose the root issue with your AC problem.

Avoid putting anything in your AC system that says "stop leak" or "sealer". The reason is, if your leak is large enough, the sealer will not plug the hole, but now your whole system is contaminated with that junk.

AC sealer, to me, is still a mystery why it is being sold. I guess auto parts stores love to sell parts? Probably. You will likely end up replacing all of your AC system if you put that in there, so just avoid it.

What To Fill Your System With
Newer Toyota Prius models come with a new type of refrigerant 1234yf. Make sure you check the label under the hood to know what kind of refrigerant you need. If you are using the mentioned type, go see the dealer, you are probably still under warranty.

Toyota Motor R-1234yf Placard

For the rest of us, the most common refrigerant is still R134a. If you are going to DIY and fill your Prius, get a fill hose that shows you the system pressure.

The gauge on the hose will show you where your pressure should be while you fill the system. While it is somewhat of exact science, that little gauge will help ensure you do not overfill.

Conclusion
AC troubles are the worst when it is hot outside. Be the savvy owner about taking the proper steps to ensure you are doing the right thing for your AC system.

If you need further help on the matter, find me on Twitter @the_hybrid_guy or on Toyota Prius Owners Club on Facebook.

Thank you all for reading, and have a pleasant day. I look forward to seeing you in the following article. Want to know if my recent venture on a Camry hybrid has been worth it? Take a look.

Check out this wild new battery tech that Tesla has and why it will forever change the auto industry.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.


Subscribe to Torque News on YouTube.


Follow Torque News on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Comments

Your stories do not help at all. It is very confusing. If you have a suggestion, it should be short and to the point. If you do not have a short and concise advice, this is to defraud in other words for commercial purposes.
Actually, there are hundreds of people who have given me loads of compliments on my helpful articles. I am sorry you do not feel the same way. If there is something that needs to be clarified let me know.
Mr. Neilson is trying to give you free and nice advise for your prius. If you don't like it, don't pay attention to it. And besides, Have you seen the Six fingered man?...
Mr. Neilson is trying to give you free and nice advise for your prius. If you don't like it, don't pay attention to it. And besides, Have you seen the Six fingered man?...
Mr. Neilson is trying to give you free and nice advise for your prius. If you don't like it, don't pay attention to it. And besides, Have you seen the Six fingered man?...
To whom it concerns this article might cause Prius owner's an extreme amount of money. If the wrong oil be it with dye or not is installed into a Toyota Hybrid system it can cause multiple very expensive repairs. Regular AC oil can conduct electricity and with the Hybrid system this can cause multiple error codes which will shut down the AC system.
Tracy, the reason that pure R134a with dye is suggested in this article is that it is OK to use on a hybrid compressor. It does not change out the ND8 oil that is required for HV isolation. Hybrid repairs can be expensive, yes, but if you use the required refrigerant you will not have an issue. If you are using a refrigerant with PAG oil or anything other than the required ND8 then you can cause a no isolation fault. Give us some credit here, we are not out to send anyone to the repair shop.
Lmao, you're a dumbass!
I recently replaced the AC condenser on my 06 Highlander Hybrid, as it it started leaking. I'm wondering if I can charge the system myself, or should I take it to a shop. A friend told me I could rent the equipment to purge and charge the system at AutoZone. Your thoughts please .
I recently replaced the AC condenser on my 06 Highlander Hybrid, as it started leaking. I'm wondering if I can just charge it myself, or do I need to take it to a shop? .. A friend told me you can rent equipment at AutoZone, to purge and charge the system , if that is needed? .. Your thoughts please.
I recently replaced the AC condenser on my 06 Highlander Hybrid, as it it started leaking. I'm wondering if I can charge the system myself, or should I take it to a shop. A friend told me I could rent the equipment to purge and charge the system at AutoZone. However, I'm not sure I even need to purge my system? Your thoughts please .