RAV4 AC Not Working? Here’s How You Fix It

Has your RAV4 AC stopped responding completely? That’s an entirely different problem compared to the AC simply providing inconsistent cooling.

Most times, simply topping up your coolant will fix the issue. However, if that doesn’t work, you must take a few other steps. 

In this article, we’ll share details on all these steps, as well as show how to properly recharge your AC system and all the causes that lead it to break down in the first place.

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RAV4 AC Not Working: Common Issues And Their Reasons

RAV4 AC Not Working? Here's How You Fix It

There are plenty of reasons for an AC system to stop working, we’ll cover the most common ones in this section.

AC Doesn’t Cool Consistently

Does your AC system give off bursts of warm air? This can be caused by a few different issues, such as low refrigerant levels or leaks in the system. Clogged or dirty air filters or condenser coils can also reduce the AC’s cooling efficiency. 

AC Takes Time to Cool

One of the biggest reasons for slow cooling in RAV4s is usually clogged or dirty air filters or condenser coils. A faulty relay or AC flow sensor can also cause this issue.

AC Doesn’t Cool

If the AC turns on at least but it doesn’t cool at all, then it’s likely an issue with the low-pressure switch,

AC Doesn’t Run at All

A car’s AC can stop working completely for various reasons. Some common ones include low refrigerant levels or leaks. Other more serious reasons include a damaged compressor, condenser, or evaporator.

Rear AC System Doesn’t Work Specifically

This is more common in RAV4 Prime models. The system can stop working when oil or debris builds up in it. As a result, the refrigerant flow ends up blocked or hampered. 

RAV4 AC Not Working: Step-By-Step Solution

In this section, we’ll include fixes for all the issues we listed and cover some of the rarer issues. 

Check And Refill Refrigerant Levels

Low or high refrigerant levels or leaks in the AC system can cause poor cooling performance. Use an AC manifold gauge set to check the refrigerant levels and refill according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

If leaks are found, use an AC leak detection kit to locate and repair them.

Clean Or Replace Clogged Air Filters And Condenser Coils

Dirty air filters or condenser coils can cause reduced airflow and cooling efficiency. To clean air filters, remove them and use a soft brush or vacuum to remove dirt or debris.

To clean condenser coils, use a coil cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If these coils are damaged, you’ll have to get new ones.

Replace Damaged Compressor, Condenser, Or Evaporator

Since the AC absolutely needs these parts to work, them being damaged means it won’t run at all.

Check for physical damage or leaks and replace with new ones if found to be damaged or malfunctioning.

Clean Out Accumulated Oil Or Debris From AC System

If you have a RAV4 Prime with a malfunctioning rear AC system, this fix might work for you. Accumulated substances in the AC system can cause blockages or restrictions in refrigerant flow, reducing cooling efficiency.

Flush the system with a cleaning solution and remove any clogs or blockages.

Inspect Relay Or AC Flow Sensor

These components control the compressor, and if faulty, can cause poor cooling performance.

Use a multimeter to check for proper operation and continuity. Replace with new ones according to Toyota’s specifications if faulty.

Repair Or Replace Controls Or Switches

Controls or switches can break over time, causing the AC system to not respond as intended.

Use a multimeter to check for proper operation and continuity. Repair or replace faulty components according to manufacturer’s specifications.

Replace Damaged Low-pressure Switch

This switch monitors refrigerant pressure and prevents damage to the compressor.

It can get damaged sometimes, in which case you can only get it replaced.

Check And Repair Damaged Wiring Or Fuses

Damaged wiring or blown fuses can cause power loss or short circuits in the AC system.

Check and repair damaged components or replace blown fuses with new ones.

Replace Faulty Blower Motor

A faulty blower motor can cause reduced airflow and poor cooling performance. Check for worn brushes or burned-out motors and replace with a new one if necessary.

How Do I Reset My Toyota AC?

Resetting the AC can help clear any error codes or glitches that may affect the cooling performance. To reset your Toyota AC, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the engine and remove the key from the ignition.
  • Locate the fuse box under the dashboard or in the engine compartment.
  • Find the fuse labeled “AC” or “MG CLT” and remove it carefully.
  • Wait for 10 seconds and then reinsert the fuse.
  • Start the engine and turn on the AC. Check if it is working normally.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix AC In RAV4?

The cost of fixing the AC in your RAV4 depends on several factors, such as the extent of the damage, the type of repair needed, and the labor charges. 

However, some common AC problems and their average costs are:

  • Refrigerant leak: $150 to $800
  • Compressor failure: $600 to $1200
  • Condenser replacement: $400 to $900
  • Evaporator replacement: $500 to $1100

These are only estimates and can vary depending on your location and vehicle condition.

You should consult a professional mechanic or an authorized Toyota service center to get an accurate quote.

Tips For RAV4’s AC To Last Longer

Keeping your AC working well isn’t hard, and as long as you put in a little time, you can easily take care of any issues. It’s even easier to keep it running well.

To make sure it lasts longer and performs well, you can follow these tips:

  • Use the AC regularly, even in winter, to prevent the seals from drying out and the refrigerant from leaking.
  • Park your car in the shade or use a sunshade to reduce the heat inside the cabin and the load on the AC.
  • Keep the windows and sunroof closed when using the AC to maintain the cooling efficiency and prevent dust and debris from entering the system.
  • Avoid setting the temperature too low or too high, as this can cause the compressor to work harder and wear out faster.
  • Have your AC system checked and serviced by a professional at least once a year or according to your owner’s manual.


How long does it take for RAV4 AC to reset?

About 10 seconds after you remove and reinsert the fuse. If that doesn’t work, see a mechanic.

How do I know if my Toyota RAV4’s AC system needs to be recharged?

If the air is not cold enough, the AC makes noises or smells, the AC cycles on and off, or the compressor clutch doesn’t work.

How often should I have my Toyota RAV4’s AC system serviced?

At least once a year or as per your owner’s manual.

Can I fix my Toyota RAV4’s air conditioning problem myself?

Only if it’s a simple problem like a blown fuse or a dirty filter. For anything else, go to a professional or a Toyota service center.

Final Thoughts

Your RAV4’s AC system is not just a luxury but a necessity in the hot weather. Don’t let it fail you when you need it the most.

With the sweltering Summer months looming, you want to ensure it’s in perfect condition and ready to keep you cool and comfortable. 

By fixing the current issues and following the easy and helpful tips we’ve provided, you can prevent common AC problems, save money on expensive repairs, and enjoy a smooth and pleasant ride.

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Psst: Do You Know The RAV4 Hidden Menu?