Q: Air conditioning is useless now and it’s summer

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The air conditioning stopped working the other day in my 2008 Toyota Sienna. I really hate when that happens because you only discover a broken air conditioner when it’s hot enough to want air conditioning. The van only has about 85,000 miles on it. It’s been hot all week. What’s the fastest way to get this fixed?

A: Greetings and thank you for writing in with...

Greetings and thank you for writing in with this question! A/C problems can be caused by a number of failed components. Does the vehicle have rear A/C? If so, does the front work while the rear doesn’t? This would indicate that the mechanical portion of the system is functioning properly and that the failure is likely electrical. If the entire system is inoperative, it could be due to a failed fuse, compressor, serpentine belt, belt tensioner, electric fan, or condenser. Unfortunately, when A/C systems fail, the repairs can be expensive. I wouldn’t recommend attempting to charge the system with parts store refrigerant. This could cause further damage to the system and can contaminate the existing refrigerant. The fastest way to get your A/C fixed is to contact a local mechanic (like those with YourMechanic) and have the system inspected and diagnosed.

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