j051

AC Gurgling noise in IS300h

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Hi all, 

Long time forum reader finally registering for some advice. I drive an IS300h in Switzerland, it's a silver 2013 model just sitting at about 130k KM. 

Since I bought the car used in March 2019 I have noticed a gurgling noise coming from the AC system upon startup. It is definitely the AC as the noise goes away when I turn off the AC, and comes back when I turn it back on.

 

The noise always goes away after about 30-60 seconds after startup of the car and does not come back for the remainder of the drive. It comes back after I shut the car down, let it sit for a while and restart - at which point it will again only last 30-60 second before it goes away 

The AC is ice cold for as far as I can tell, it is definitely way colder than my previous Honda ever was. The noise is very similar, if not exactly the same, to what is shown in this video.

Anyone with a similar issue, or thoughts what it could be? I have considered it may be low on refrigerant, but as the air is so cold, not sure that could really be the case. My old honda did not cool properly when it was low on refrigerant. 

 

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i had the same thoughts as yourself, getting low on refrigerant

and if it is low just imagine how cold it will get when its been refilled

brrr brrr brrr

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Thanks, yeah I guess I will get it checked out. Nobody else on here who got their AC system refilled? Any symptoms or indications of when (mileage / age) it needed a refill?

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i am on my 3rd lexus since 2013 and have never had to have an aircon refill,

refilling will depend on usage, using the aircon on a regular basis is the

best practise to keep it in good working order , if its not used regulary

the seals can dry out and stick to the compressor shaft and when you turn the AC

on the seals can be damaged

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I had the compressor seal go at 40,000 miles 5 years. Replaced and refilled under extended warranty.

This was manifested as a hiss from the engine bay when a/c was on. It went away when all the gas had escaped.

Your gurgling sounds like you lost some gas but then the leak fixed itself.

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5 minutes ago, 200h said:

if its not used regulary

the seals can dry out and stick to the compressor shaft and when you turn the AC

on the seals can be damaged

Was there not some information here recently that states the compressors are submerged in some fluid, and so are not prone to drying / cracking seals?

Regardless, I leave mine mostly on. Just to stop the musky smell from developing!

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I indeed keep the AC on at all times, winter or summer. Had some issues with a musky smell when I bought the car, now this is mostly gone, probably also because I always try to disable the recirculated air setting. 

Thanks for your thoughts everyone, I'll stop by the dealers in the course of next week or so, and will let you know the outcome

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4 hours ago, j051 said:

Thanks, yeah I guess I will get it checked out. Nobody else on here who got their AC system refilled? Any symptoms or indications of when (mileage / age) it needed a refill?

I've had mine refilled once circa 105k miles when it was 11 years old. Car was left in the garage untouched for 12 months prior to that. Took it to Lexus, where it passed the pressure test prior to regassing, and never needed topping up in the two years that followed.

So I guess there is some truth to the aircon gas escaping if the system is not used for prolonged periods. Also, I read on here somewhere that the aircon gas used for hybrid Toyotas are different to ones used in normal aircon systems. As such, Toyota and Lexus dealers have a separate regassing machine for hybrids so as to not contaminate the system with ordinary refrigerant.

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All, I thought I’d provide a quick update on this for anyone’s future reference or benefit. My local dealer checked the issue twice on two separate occasions. The air is as cold as it should be and the level of refrigerant is in order as well (apparently there is an inspection glass somewhere). So, we’ve left this as-is. The noise seems to be completely gone during very hoge weather (35 C and above), and is more present when the weather is cooler. 
 

im not bothered by it and it’s been running like this for over 1.5 years now (since I got it). If I ever find out more I’ll keeps you guys posted. 

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Curious...

When you say your local dealer, 'checked'...

Do you know if they re-gassed, i.e., took ALL the gas out and put what was required back in, or was it one of those dubious, 'visual checks'?

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They definitely did not evacuate the refrigerant and put it back in. I once had it with them for the whole day just to check the A/C and they just ran it to check whether it is cold enough. They also said the inspection glass showed the appropriate level of refrigerant. Just a few weeks ago I had it with them again for major service (150k km) and they performed the same check. If it gets worse I’ll ask them to remove and replace/add actual refrigerant. For now, on a recent trip to south Italy where we had 40+ C the AC actually performed flawlessly. 

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once they hook it up to the aircon machine it will remove all gases and oil

check for a leak by applying a vacuum and then refill both automatically

it should only take about 1hr

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I would get it 're-gassed' at my trusted independent... 

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3 hours ago, PCM said:

I would get it 're-gassed' at my trusted independent... 

The gas or refrigerant used in our cars are different from what I have read here previously. I think trusted is a very important word here.

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11 minutes ago, matt8 said:

The gas or refrigerant used in our cars are different from what I have read here previously. I think trusted is a very important word here.

There are different refrigerants out there and the correct one must be used however it is the oil that is extremely important on a hybrid as the compressor is electric and conventional oil is conductive which will cause energy leakage and a shock hazard. ND-OIL 11 must be used.

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