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Why does my air conditioner only work sometimes (intermittently)?

Why does my air conditioner only work sometimes (intermittently) in my 2000 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner? It stopped working last summer and a few days later it was cooling again. It seems to work when it wants to but it does seem to stop cooling if I've been out driving a couple hours. I may not drive for a couple days and it will cool again. Does anyone know what would cause this and how to fix it?

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According to my mechanic, it is the A/C Expansion Valve.

Because it is behind the dash somewhere, that has to be taken apart so it will cost more than $500 to fix and the part is only around $40 the last time I checked. I guess I just won't be going anywhere during the summer. LOL! Thanks everybody who shared their input. Much appreciated. Have a blessed day! :-)

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Tammy sorry to hear that. Yes, it is never easy and never cheap....Thanks for letting us know.

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Tammy start of by checking the refrigerant level. For that you can either take it to a shop or use one of the refills you can purchase at automotive supply places. Of course you also want to check to ensure that your compressor comes on appropriately and that the compressor clutch is working.

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Thanks, Oldturkey03. That sounds like a good place to start but it seems if the refrigerant was empty it would not cool at all? I suppose I will have to take it to the shop to have my mechanic check off your list. Thanks again for your input! Have a nice day!

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I found out what it was but I don't remember the part name but it's a $35-$40 part that will cost over $500 to fix because part or maybe all of the dash has to come off to fet to it. Very didappointing with the summer heat. I appreciate veryone's input/advice. Have a blessed day!

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Please overlook my typing errors above. Thanks!

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I looked up my notes. My mechanic said it was the "A/C Expansion Valve".

Why couldn't it have been simple and cheap to fix. $500+ is a lot for a $40 part. I realize they'd have put refridgerant back in or whatever but it's still more than I can afford. :'(

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You may also want to check the relay for the air conditioner as when old week relays get hot they tend to stop working until they cool down

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Is that different from an a/c expansion valve?

Thanks!

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Tammy 가/이 대단히 고마워 할 것입니다.
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