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CaryW

Air Conditioner Error Code & Symptoms

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Hi all,

Trying to save my sister in law a couple of grand. The AC on her 92 ES300 runs fine for a few minutes and then completely cuts off. The local mechanic says,,of course,,,compressor, clutch $2000.00

The error code showing on the self diag test is a flashing 21 with a beep and the ac button that shows the air blowing to the floor is flashing. It is not making any terrible noises like the clutch is going out .

Ideas...Also, if it is the compressor or clutch, any good internet parts sources?

Thanks in advance,

Cary

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Sometimes all it takes to fix that is to add more refrigerant to the system. I'm not too sure of the lexus systems, but the shutting down of the compressor is a safety feature so it doesn't destroy it when low a low refrigerant situation is sensed.

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this was originally posted by k9 crew

TROUBLE SHOOTING

SELF-DIAGNOSTICS

An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) within A/C-heater control

panel monitors system circuits and stores trouble codes in memory if

problems are detected. All codes, except Codes 22 and 23, are stored

in memory. Malfunction is current if Code 22 or 23 is displayed. To

retrieve stored codes, see RETRIEVING CODES. Codes are displayed at

temperature display. See Fig. 2.

RETRIEVING CODES

1) Simultaneously press and hold AUTO and recirculated air

switches. See Fig. 2. Turn ignition on. All indicators will flash 4

times, at one-second intervals. Tone will sound when indicators flash.

2) A/C system will enter self-diagnostic mode. To end

indicator check, press and release OFF switch. Read codes at

temperature display.

3) If trouble code is displayed, proceed to appropriate

trouble shooting procedure. See DIAGNOSTIC CODE IDENTIFICATION table.

Codes are displayed in ascending order. To slow rate at which codes

are displayed, press fresh air button to change display to step

operation. Each time fresh air button is pressed, display changes by

one step.

4) If tone sounds as code is displayed, problem currently

exists. If tone does not sound as code is displayed, problem occurred

in past and does not presently exist.

Code Diagnosis

00 ................................................ Normal

11 (1) ............. In-Vehicle Temperature Sensor Circuit

12 (2) ................ Ambient Temperature Sensor Circuit

13 ................. Evaporator Temperature Sensor Circuit

14 .................... Coolant Temperature Sensor Circuit

21 (3) .............................. Solar Sensor Circuit

22 (4) .................... Compressor Lock Sensor Circuit

23 (4) ........................... Pressure Switch Circuit

31 .................. Air Mix Door Position Sensor Circuit

32 ................ Air Inlet Door Position Sensor Circuit

33 ............... Air Outlet Door Position Sensor Circuit

41 ....................... Air Mix Door Servomotor Circuit

42 ..................... Air Inlet Door Servomotor Circuit

43 .................... Air Outlet Door Servomotor Circuit

(1) - If in-vehicle temperature is -4 F (-20 C) or less,

Code 11 may set even though system is normal.

(2) - If outside air temperature is -58 F (-50 C) or less,

Code 12 may occur set though system is normal.

(3) - If testing is done in a dark area, Code 21 may set

even though system is normal. Shine a light at solar

sensor and recheck codes.

(4) - Malfunction is current. Code is not stored in memory.

ACTUATOR CHECK

1) Perform step 1) of RETRIEVING CODES. When system enters

self-diagnostic mode, press recirculated air button. Each mode door,

motor, and relay will operate at one-second intervals. Press fresh air

button to display codes one at a time, and perform step-by-step

actuator check.

2) Check airflow and temperature by hand. Tone will sound

each time display code changes. Each display code is associated with a

system operating condition. See Fig. 3 or 4. Press OFF button to

cancel actuator check mode.

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I have similar problem: My 1995 ES300 80,000 mi recently developed an air conditioning problem, having no a/c work done prior. The a/c works fine on days when the temperature is in the 70’s, producing output temperatures of 43 degrees at the dash. On very hot days (90’s out, 125 degrees in car after sitting in the sun, and high humidity), the a/c works immediately when turned on, dropping to 58-75 degrees quickly, but after a few minutes, the temperature stops dropping and begins to slowly rise until it is hotter than the air outside. I’ve disconnected & plugged the heater hose to rule out a water control problem. The a/c test codes come up 00, normal, except when in garage 21, which is normal for a darker area. Sometimes it works ok even on a moderately hot day, but most of the time not. This problem came on suddenly. The shop didn’t get to it until a cool day when it worked fine and said the pressures were ok. I’ve observed the compressor clutch and find that it works when in this failure-to-cool mode. Most of the times the sight glass is clear (is this normal for 134a?). Any ideas what else I can check before taking it back to the shop? I’d like to know the problem before they start changing parts at my expense! I’ve done my own a/c work in the past, but no longer have a vacuum pump. Jim

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I have a '94 Lexus ES-300 and am experiencing the exact same symptoms with the A/C. It blows ice cold when the car has been sitting in the garage but if it has been in the sun for a few minutes it starts out real cold and then starts blowing warm air. I have had the system evacuated and recharged but it did no good. Lexus dealership says they think my compressor is slowly breaking itself apart and throwing out minute pieces which clogs the A/C system. Sounds like a lot of hogwash! They recommend I change out the entire A/C system. This really sounds like a design problem with the Lexus. I wonder if there has been a recall. If not, perhaps there should be! Anyone else had similar problems ? any suggestions?

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Another member reported to me w/private msg that the problem I describe is common with the ES, and the expansion valve is the suspect. With temps in the low to mid 70's today, my a/c worked flawlessly, it seems. That would eliminate particles clogging things up because it wouldn't make sense that the clog unclogs for beautiful weather! Whatever is wrong can't stand a heavy load, & I don't know if there is any other component, other than sensors that read ok on the codes, that could fail under load. I assume pressure from the compressor is regulated to stay about the same whether weather is warm or hot, so I don't think compressor is my problem. Anyone else advise?

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I also have the same problem with my air conditioner. It works when the temperature I moderate but shuts down when the temperature is above 85. I have owned the car since 1995. The problem was diagnosed as an exapnsion valve. The cost for repair will be $900. I was just surfing trying to get an idea about what an expansion valve is and I saw one for $37. I know labor is high, but what else should I be looking at here. I don't want to put big bucks into this car righ now. I have 127,000 miles on it.

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From my past experience, typical a/c work that requires a recharge will require not only the expansion valve and freon, but a new receiver/dryer. And of course enough money to keep the dealer in business. A do-it-yourselfer can quickly cap the receiver/dryer & reuse if the system hasn't been opened to the atmosphere. But it takes a vacuum pump to remove all air from the system before recharge. An old refrigerator compressor works great for that, fitted with an a/c guage hose.

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From my past experience, typical a/c work that requires a recharge will require not only the expansion valve and freon, but a new receiver/dryer.  And of course enough money to keep the dealer in business.  A do-it-yourselfer can quickly cap the receiver/dryer & reuse if the system hasn't been opened to the atmosphere.  But it takes a vacuum pump to remove all air from the system before recharge.  An old refrigerator compressor works great for that, fitted with an a/c guage hose.

I just bought a 94 ES 300 and of course the first day it hit 90+ the AC quit. Now it is going through the same thing as discussed in several posts here, so I suspect it is the expansion valve as it comes and goes.

So a couple of questions.

1. Why would you have to replace the receiver/dryer for an expansion valve?

2. Anyone know the general cost? And can I do it myself and have someone else vacuum and recharge? I saw where the valve is about $50, and the dryer is also about $50. Now that is me buying it and not add on for a repair shop.

Thanks

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ADD another $100 and get the lexus original repair manual it is worth its weight in platinum for diy repairs done properly

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I had the expansion valve replaced on my wife's 94 ES 300 in April. The receiver-drier was also replaced.

I understand that the receiver-drier collects debris which could contaminate your new charge; therefore, it is best to replace it when the expansion valve is replaced.

My work was done by an independent auto air specialist. It cost $430.00. The local Lexus dealer had originally quoted me $420.00 to have the work done; however, they called me before they started the work and told me it would be $700.00. I went to the dealer, retrieved the car, and found someone else to do the work.

The air works better than it has in years.

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There could be a lot of things cause this problem. But my suspect is the expansion valve. The only way to know for sure is hooking up the a/c gauge, we need to know the low and high side reading. We can't guess on a/c work. I'm sure there is an Independent lexus repair shop in your area. Everytime the a/c doesn;t work, it doesn't have to be the a/c compressor.

JPI

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I have a different AC problem.

2004 ES 330. On very hot days, it taks a long time for the car to cool down (10 minutes or more). My 2000 Acura TL was cooler in 5 minutes than my Lexus is in 10. Just to be clear, the AC blows cool air right away, but not enough to cool the car quickly.

I took it to the dealer and they said the AC is operating normally. Can anyone give me guidelines on how fast the car should cool down on hot days?

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To cool down the car quickly you should use manual operation instead of automatic.

1- Lower the temperature control to the lowest degree. I think the lowest is 60°.

2- Manually turn on the fan speed to the highest.

3- Make sure the recirculation indicator is lit.

4- Turn off the air vent control to the rear seat, unless you have passengers there.

5- Make sure all the front vents are open completely.

6- After the car is satisfactorily cooled you can once again press the 'Auto' button and re-adjust the temperature control.

The automatic position will cool the car much more slowly since it regulates the temperature & fan speed at a more moderate rate then manual operation.

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JR what colour is your interior and your acura?

Millenium pearl with gray interior.

That's the other odd thing. My Acura was dark blue - so it was even hotter than the Lexus after sitting in the sun. Yet it still cooled down faster.

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To cool down the car quickly you should use manual operation instead of automatic.

1- Lower the temperature control to the lowest degree. I think the lowest is 60°.

2- Manually turn on the fan speed to the highest.

3- Make sure the recirculation indicator is lit.

4- Turn off the air vent control to the rear seat, unless you have passengers there.

5- Make sure all the front vents are open completely.

6- After the car is satisfactorily cooled you can once again press the 'Auto' button and re-adjust the temperature control.

The automatic position will cool the car much more slowly since it regulates the temperature & fan speed at a more moderate rate then manual operation.

Actually, the display showed that the fan speed was maximum and recirculation was on even in automatic mode. I've tried changing the settings to manual and didn't see much difference - at least in the early stages. Later on, as the automatic mode starts to slow down there is a difference, but not when the car is completely hot.

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jragosta, what was the refrigerant in your Acura, R-12?

Similar to what you have cited, I do notice the same thing in my 02 which has R-134a. It does get cold but no where near as fast as my previous '93 SSEI, which had R-12.

steviej

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jragosta, what was the refrigerant in your Acura, R-12?

Similar to what you have cited, I do notice the same thing in my 02 which has R-134a. It does get cold but no where near as fast as my previous '93 SSEI, which had R-12.

steviej

I have no idea what the refrigerant was in the Acura. It was a 2000 model TL if that helps.

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I have no idea what the refrigerant was in the Acura. It was a 2000 model TL if that helps.

The 2000 Acura's used R-134a. Honda Motors switched from R-12 in 1994 or 1995.

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