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Hello Prius Family,

For about the last year and a half, I have been dealing with intermittent problems with my A/C. It started with the a/c just cutting out for about 20 minutes, and then starting back up…during one uninterrupted trip. That happened a few times, and then it just cut out all together. About three days later (on my way to the dealership to get it checked), it came back on. Naturally, they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. It worked normally for about 4 months, then one day I started getting ice cold water(?) dripping on my driving foot directly over the gas pedal and the a/c cut out again. I took it back (to the dealership), and they said that there was a clog in the drain line(?) that “probably” backed up to the a/c fan and shorted it out. I couldn't afford for them to replace the a/c fan at the time and I probably won't be able to get it fixed until June. I'm just wondering... to all of the mechanically savvy people out there, does this sound right? Has anyone experienced this?

Second issue: For the last few months, my driver side door lock has been losing functionality. Currently, it will not lock or unlock from the keyless entry button or the button inside on the door. I actually have to use the little key to manually lock/unlock the door.

Third issue: I occasionally experienced the cruise control turning off on its own, or refusing to turn on. This hasn't happened in a while, but I've experienced it at least 4 seperate times.

I’m just wondering if any of you have experienced these issues. Can you give me some ideas on what I’m dealing with? I know I need to take it back to the dealership, but I was hoping to get some inside information from fellow Prius owners.

This is a 2008 with just under 79,000 miles. I get an average of 46.5 to 47.7 mpg.

Thanks,
Amy
 

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Haven't had these problems with my 2004 Prius, but with other cars I've owned.

Had the A/C drain line plug up on a Volvo. Crud got in the line (along with a spider) and it was blocked. The shop I took it to was able to clear the drain line with out too much trouble (I think they cleaned the tube from under the car where it ends rather than from the inside).

I've had power door lock go out on two cars. Both were the driver's door. The first one I just took the door liner off on and was able to squirt some lubricant on the mechanism. It cleared the problem on one but the other car had to have the electric door unit replaced.

That may not be much help but possibly one of the 'gurus" on this list knows more.
 

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Sweatpea.mars,

A few questions:

* Where are you located?

* What is current temperature and humidity?

* What are air conditioner settings when this occurs?

If you have air conditioner set to "recirculate" and humidity is high (usually above 80%), moisture can condense and freeze on the evaporator coils, effectively blocking air flow. When the coils actually freeze up, very little air comes through the vents, and it will be warm, very humid and usually kind of stinky.

If this occurs, temporarily turn selector from "recirculate" or "maximum" setting to "normal" and turn thermostat controls to WARMEST setting. This will allow evaporator coils to thaw out, and air will flow more freely. As this happens, the air will get really humid, stale and stinky. This smell is from the gunk that you exhale, which was deposited on the coils and is mixed with the condensation (water). It will be especially noxious if you smoke. After the evaporator coils thaw and dry out, and air flow returns to normal, you can reset the air conditioner controls to a more comfortable setting.

Freeze ups can be avoided by NOT using "recirculate" or "maximum" settings, and/or leaving one window open about an inch or so to allow some fresh air in. This will lower the humidity inside your vehicle and reduce the ice formation in the evaporator coils.

The above solution addresses the most common cause for the problem you describe. If this does not work, please post again; and include answers to the questions, above.

Thanks,
Phoenix
 

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Sweatpea.mars,

A few more suggestions/comments:

Fdret44 addressed your second issue.

Regarding the intermittent cruise control button, there could be an accumulation of dust or residue on the switch contacts. Again, this will be more prevalent, if you are a smoker. In any case, this can sometimes be remedied by "exercising" the switch contacts:

With your vehicle turned completely OFF, press the cruise control ON/OFF switch (or other intermittent switch) repeatedly, 30-40 times or more. This will usually remove any residue from the switch contacts. If this doesn't work, you might try squirting contact cleaner (available from RadioShack and other electronics stores) into the switch, and then "excercising" it again. This almost always works, but you should observe any cautions or warnings on the contact cleaner, as the solvent used may damage the plastic parts of the switch. You may wish to test this on a small inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn't dissolve the plastic.

Thanks,
Phoenix
 
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