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2007 Sienna A/C Problem

hanistorhanistor Posts: 5
edited December 2013 in Toyota
I have a 2007 Sienna with the following problem. The A/C coming out of the front left two vents is warm while the two vents towards the right seem to be emitting correct cool air.

First of all, what is probably the issue?

Second of all, I have an extended Toyota warranty. Will this problem be covered under it?

Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not sure what the cause is but I do expect a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty would cover the HVAC system.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,733
    You didn't tell us whether this was a manual system (CE/LE) with single front control, or an automatic (XLE/Limited) with split front temp control, so helping you is very difficult.

    It could be a dash control issue, or a problem with the damper server control motor (or air door) on the blower assembly buried deep under the dash.

    Still under warranty? Check the warranty paperwork for these terms to see if you are covered.
  • hanistorhanistor Posts: 5
    edited June 2011
    Sorry...

    It's a manual system (CE/LE) with single front control. It's very puzzling because in the middle of the dash there are two vents right next to each other. The one on the right (along with the vent next to the passenger window) blows cold while one on the left (along with the vent next to the drivers window blows cold.

    I have an extended warranty and took it to the dealer yesterday. They wanted to evacuate and recharge the system for $189 and put in a dye "then if you really have a problem, we'll be able to pinpoint the problem". I told them forget about it!

    Any educated guesses?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,733
    Base unit. Interesting… I was betting on it being the split system based on your left/right temp disparity.

    If it is blowing cold from some of the front vents, and if it blows cold from the rear system, then a evacuation & recharge sounds unnecessary. But as you walked, I’m willing to bet that you already knew that! Go to an autoparts place and pick up a $5 AC thermometer and record the actual air temp differences. Make sure the vehicle is in the shade, and run long enough that any hot dash pad issues don't factor in.

    Warranty – Gold or Platinum? Looking at what’s covered with either plan, I see a collection of parts, but no mention about performance. If all lines and tubes, the compressor, evaporator, condenser, receiver/dryer, fill valves, seals and gaskets are covered, I’d then assume that it’s considered to be closed & sealed, so no leakage should occur. Therefore, I’d say that any recharge service needed because of a part failure should be on them. But I’ll bet that they don’t see it that way. They’d probably replace a leaking fitting, but stick you with the bill for sucking it down and recharging. Caught in a technicality….

    Now lets assume that your split performance is due to a damper door motor issue. Unfortunately, the damper servo is only covered by the Platinum plan. So you might be out yet again.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the troubleshooting section of the shop manual, so I cannot see details of the operation & airflow, just a listing of parts. Let me see if I can find something else out on the web.
  • hanistorhanistor Posts: 5
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I truly appreciate it.

    Of course, as you probably realized, i meant to say "while one on the left (along with the vent next to the drivers window) blows warm".

    By the way, I have a 8 year 100,000 miles Toyota Platinum Zero Deductible Warranty. Car has 52K miles.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,733
    You are most welcome! Still looking for details on the normal operation.

    As you probably already realize, if you look down the center with a flashlight, the vents are indeed totally separate branches. It makes sense to me that the halves could run at different temps if a door is stuck, as that's by design what the upgraded system is supposed to provide.

    In the old days, a manual control system ran with levers and cables. On this vehicle, the 'manual' controls are connected to a circuit board, and all operation is totally electronic. It shares a lot of elements with the fully automatic, dual control system.

    I'll keep looking, but ultimately you will have to battle it out with the dealership. Present them with temperature output values to support your case. You might have to find another dealership if yours won't cooperate.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,733
    edited June 2011
    OK, I think I’m ready to make my prediction. It’s based on scant evidence, but here goes! If I get this right, you owe me a virtual beer. Maybe two….

    The manual models and the automatic dual zone models use a very similar, but not identical mixing box called out in the exploded diagram as a “Radiator Assembly, Air Conditioner”. There is no interior detail offered. Only the things that plumb into it from the outside are individually identified.

    Part number for the CE/LE is **050-08050, list price is $1,250

    Part number for the XLE/Limited is **050-08060, list price is $1,500

    It is basically a mixing box with the following: evaporator core of the AC on one side, the heater core on the other, and a variable baffle between them. Plus the inlet from the fan unit, and output doors to the defroster, floor vents (left & right), and the dash vents (left & center-left, and center-right & right).

    Here’s where it gets interesting. The CE/LE has one exterior mounted “Servo Subassembly Damper for Air Mix” mounted on the fan (passengers) side. The LE has this same one, plus a matching damper on the drivers side. Otherwise, the drawings and almost all of the other part numbers are identical.

    Here’s my theory: On the dual climate system, the damper is split and each side is run independently (left & right servos). On the manual system, that one servo runs a double length damper, or two dampers connected by a linkage. In your case, something in this connection between left & right damper is stuck or broken, and only the directly connected half is responding properly.

    And structurally that would make sense - you said that the right side seemed to work right, the left side isn't.

    Do you have kids? Any chance someone dropped a pencil down the left-center vent? I hate to see you eat a $2k parts & labor bill if you could pull something out of there!
  • digodigo Posts: 1
    Hi, Hanister,

    My 2007 Sienna LE has exact same AC problem with yours. The driver side AC is much warmer than the passenger side. I just discovered this issue 2 months ago (because of the hot summer in Texas). So far after I drive for 20 minutes, the driver side AC will get colder most of the time (but not always). I am afraid it will get as worse as yours in the near future. Let me know if you find the DIY solution instead of sepnding 2K from the dealers.
  • hanistorhanistor Posts: 5
    Sorry for not responding earlier, Fibber2. I did not see your post till today...

    To answer your question, yes, I do have kids. 7 of them. That's why I'm driving a Sienna and not a Sonata, for example. I'm looking forward to the day when I can buy a regular car, once again.

    Thanks for the detailed hypothesis. You may ultimately be correct but, in the meantime, I drove my car to a friends repair garage 60 miles away. His guy thought it would be a good idea to top off the system. Ultimately, (it was a cool day) they did evacuate the system and refill it (~$120) and it has worked well for the 8 days since. I'll keep you posted but will gladly buy you a beer if we ever meet up, either way.
  • hanistorhanistor Posts: 5
    I had a garage evacuate the system and refill it (~$120) and it has worked well for the 8 days since. Got the Pep Boys circular this week and they are offering a free A/C check. Maybe you want to try that first, if you have one in the area.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,733
    Not a problem. I only have 2 kids and they keep my busy enough that I only get to check in here occasionally to see what's new!

    I see I had a typo in my write-up. I repeated LE, should have been XLE/Ltd has the two servo system. But you probably got the gist of what I meant.

    Over the past week I popped in a thermometer into the dash vents. I don't get to drive the van much, but I did notice that the left is ever so slightly warmer than the right. Either way, that system rocks - it chucks ice cubes! I saw an outstanding low of 38'F on recirc on a partly cloudy afternoon.

    Curious... It really didn't sound like you needed to be pumped & refilled, yet it seemed to help. I'm starting to think that the single servo units just must suck in more warm air on the left side, and that is reflected in the outlet temp. Keep us posted on how it goes as we move into high summer.
  • kreftokrefto Posts: 1
    I have the exact same problem on my 08 sienna, however I need to add one more weird twist. If I put the system on max (recirculate) and turn the rear blower on high, I can get the left side to blow out cold air, most of the time. It works more often if I start from a cool garage or early in the day before the day heats up. This does not work when the system is brining in fresh air from the outside. Although cold, it is still warmer than the left side, The right side always works great in the front and back.

    Does anyone have a clue how this process allows it to work? Thx krefto
  • TWO WEEKS AGO, WE TALKED OUR DEALERSHIP DOWN TO 500 DOLLARS TO REPLACE THE
    A/C O RING AFTER THE DRIVERS SIDE A/C BLEW ONLY HOT. THEY SAID THE RING HAD A SMALL LEAK. IF IT HAD BEEN ME, I WOULD HAVE RECHARGED IT AND DRIVEN IT UNTIL THE A/C BLEW HOT AGAIN, BUT MY HUSBAND WANTED IT REPAIRED AND I WAS TOO BUSY AT WORK TO DEAL WITH THEM.

    LESS THAN TWO WEEKS LATER, WE HEAR A LOUD RATTLE WHEN WE RUN THE A/C AT LOW DRIVING SPEEDS. REPAIR SHOP/DEALER SAYS UNRELATED TO PREVIOUS REPAIR. ITS THE COOLING FAN IN THE FRONT THAT HAS A BOLT THAT HAS LOOSENED ITSELF, AND THE FAN IS COMING OFF, HITTING OTHER CAR PARTS. ONLY DOES THIS WHEN A/C IS RUNNING, NOT WHEN FAN IS ON BY ITSELF. I SMELL A MAJOR RIP OFF HERE, BUT NEED MY CAR. IT'S ANOTHER 900 DOLLARS. CALL TOYOTA CUSTOMER SERVICE... THEY COULD CARE LESS. SO MAKING MAJOR EXPENSIVE REPAIRS WAY EARLY IN THE VANS LIFE DESPITE REGULAR MAINTENANCE. I WANT MY HONDA ODYSSEY BACK... HAD 150 THOUS WHEN I HAD FIRST MAJOR WORK ON TRANSMISSION...
  • I too had the same problem. I had the freon charged and it worked great for 3 months and now it's back to just the one vent (center right) blowing cold. I'd like a definitive answer as to what the problem is as just the labor people are quoting me is in the hundreds of dollars.
  • I purchased this vehicle in Cleveland Ohio, my first brand new car and I've spent more on repairs than on any of the used cars I have previously owned. So sad, When you purchase a brand new car and pay over $600 per month for 5 years you expect its going to run properly especially when you keep up on service and maintenance. Especially when you think a TOYOTA product is SUPPOSED to last you up to at least 200k miles. Well mine barely made it to 10,000 without costly repairs of some sort. Now at 89k the transmission is deteriorating from the inside, the master cylinder needs replaced and The AC has broken for the 3rd time! The list goes on with repairs needed on this vehicle and at my last 11 months of my loan im completely disgusted paying 617 per month on a vehicle that I cannot even drive! About 4000 miles out of my extended warranty I was informed I need to replace the transmission and master cyclinder. The vehicle was at around 80,000 miles and not even 4 years old. Transmission service or maintenance isn't even a protocol on these vehicle until supposedly 90k-100k, so what gives?? The AC went out on me initially in the middle of 2nd the 3rd year. I lived in FL at the time so obviously it was a priority. Though I had lived in the North from the time I purchased it until 3 months before the AC stopped working. So the AC was never overused and barely used for 2 summer seasons in the North. Initially they couldn't find the leak so I had to pay to fill the freon and the service for AC (the extended warranty would not cover this visit nor refund me) AFTER the 30 days I went back and they found the leak, the warranty covered this minus my $50 deductible. A month before the year anniversary of the repair the AC began the same trouble (blowing hot on the driver side and only working with fan type air not cold, not cool if I turned the rear AC on) The dealership that repaired it would not cover the repair and my warranty had run out! This is all snowballing at me along with the tranny and brake issues. The vehicle has been parked over 6 months and I just cant afford to repair it. I can barely afford the payments. Toyota customer service offered me a $2000 refund if I were t replace the tranny at a Toyota dealer and the cost is over $5000, which I will never have. The refund would supposedly come in 6-8 wks. and they extended this only because of my impeccable service record. Does anyone out there know of any recourse I can take with this? I truly think that Toyota should replace a transmission if it is failing prior to 100k miles and 4 years old. I have poored enough money into this vehicle, brakes, tires, heating elements, AC, windshield washer fluid dispenser, hoses etc. It has been nothing but a disaster and unfortunately cannot fall under Lemon Law because none of the "same" repairs have been needed at least 3xs.
    Sincerely,
    Extremely dissatisfied Toyota owner will never buy again!
  • I know this reply is 2 years old but still. My 2006 sienna had tranny problems. Luckily dealer replaced under warranty. however, they said in the end it was the computer that was really having problems and just needed to be rebooted ? I was without a car for a week. Now, My AC has gone out and needs a new evaportor core which will run me 3k. Will not buy a toyota again !!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited October 2013
    A Dodge or Honda that age would be on its 3rd trans, with money coming out of your pocket....
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