A/C Takes a Bit to Get Cold

Discussion in '2014 + Toyota Corolla' started by clarkemode, May 10, 2015.

  1. clarkemode

    clarkemode New Member

    I have a 2015 corolla LE that I bought new in December 2014 with a production date of October 2014 in Canada. Now that we are out of the deep freeze in the Northeast, I have noticed more and more that when I turn on the car on warm days and the a/c switch is on, the air from the vents does not start getting cold for about 1-3 minutes. It will blow the stale air during this time frame. Has anyone else experience this "delay" in the a/c starting to get cold once the car is turned on in warm weather? When the a/c button was on all the other cars I have ever owned, I almost immediately started feeling the air become colder. Strangely enough, if the a/c is on for a while after the car warms up and I turn the a/c off, wait a few minutes, then push the a/c button again, the air from the vents starts getting colder immediately. It seems to be a "cold start" symptom.
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  3. jolly

    jolly New Member

    I've never measured the time frame before fan blows cold air in any of my car, so I can't say if the delay. But I've always assumed a short delay is required to first get rid of the X cubic feet of hot air accumulated in the the ducts running between the AC and the dash.
  4. Vitrox

    Vitrox New Member

    I believe the factory cabin air filter is paper, which can restrict airflow, but I'm no car pro tho. But I would recommend getting a better Cabin air filter if possible. Currently its getting about 95f where I'm at and the Cold AC gets cold pretty quick IMO, but sometimes it takes about 2-3 mins with a setting on 76f.
  5. Donabed Kopoian

    Donabed Kopoian 6 Speed Master

    That's physics. Nothing you can do about that.

    Jolly, it isn't so much the hot air in the ducts from the evaporator casing to the dashboard vents, as much as it is that the Freon needs to be in it's normal cycle to function efficiently.

    1. Compressor turns low pressure gas Freon into a high pressure gas.
    2. Condenser turns high pressure gas into a high pressure liquid.
    3. TXV Expansion Valve turns high pressure liquid into a low pressure liquid.
    4. Evaporator Casing (where the magic happens) turns the low pressure liquid into a low pressure gas.

    As the car sits there, the liquid Freon from the evaporator casing to the TXV expansion valve slowly evaporates to gaseous Freon, so when you first turn on the Air Conditioning system, the lines needs to cool down enough in order to keep the Freon in liquid state until it hits the evaporator casing, which is where the delay comes from. The delay depends on how long the line is from the TXV to the evaporator and the diameter of the line, as well as the quality of the insulation covering that line.
    DJ G-Roc and jolly like this.
  6. OP

    clarkemode New Member

    Thanks Donabed! I was guessing that the TXV expansion valve might have had something to do with it. When this happened the other day, I propped the hood and started the car with a/c on and felt the a/c lines. There was no difference in temperature of the lines until about a minute after the car was on and then the suction line started to get cold and the vent temp immediately got cold. I noticed there is no insulation covering the suction line from the compressor to the TXV.
  7. CorollaKid

    CorollaKid New Member

    I have a 2015 Eco and noticed the same thing, that the AC takes 2 or 3 minutes to start to blow cool air. However, once it gets going, I find it to be very effective and have to turn up the temperature so I don't get too cold!
  8. Curious63

    Curious63 Corolla User

    I have realized that if the car is running the AC gets cold fairly fast, but if the traffic is very heavy, the AC blows kind of fresh air and not as cold as when the car is at a faster speed, I think it is normal?
  9. le+14

    le+14 New Member

    I have noticed there is a slight delay when the AC is set on "Auto" . We have had some "100 Degree Days" lately but other than that seems to start cooling quickly . I usually have it set on 76 degrees for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter.
  10. HanSolo

    HanSolo New Member

    Absolutely normal. When you are moving, the air is blowing over the coils. When sitting in heavy traffic, it is dealing with very hot air generated by your car and other heat sources around you.
  11. Black64

    Black64 New Member

    Really strange, my A/C cools down almost instantly. My advice is get it checked out and use a sunshade.
  12. Floridapizzaman

    Floridapizzaman New Member

    This is not a phenomanom. I know exactly what Clarkemode is experiencing. My brand new 100miler 2015 does it. Every car I ever owned with AC will turn on the compressor within seconds of ignition or motor running. You'll get cool air or at least air that is not as hot as cabin air coming out the vents. This has nothing to do with the car moving. I'm talking parked.

    Near as I can tell, perhaps toyota has programmed a warm up feature. It sucks. I live in Florida, I set the computer to remember my recirculate and ac always on settings. I run manual mode LO setting all the time in summer. Regulate cabin temp with fan speed. Here's what happens. When the car sits for a significant timeframe like overnight, the ac compressor does not engage until after 45-60 seconds of engine running. You can tell the exact moment the vent temp changes. The engine is at room temp and doesn't register on the coolant temp gauge. once the car is warming up, I can shut car off, wait a couple minutes, then restart the car. The ac will blow cool air immediately. The rest of the day I can go about my business and the ac works like a 'normal' ac does for the past 40 years or so. It's very repeatable. It's a pain in the @ss to have to start the car at lunchtime to run first errand and let it run for a couple minutes to energize the ac - like warming your car up in the dead of winter. My guess is emissions ....the compressor turned on puts a load on the cold engine?...it appears the climate computer is taking a read on the coolant temperature imo since the symptom in my case is related to the duration of time the car is parked. Doesn't seem to happen once coolant temp will register on the dashboard guage. I want to look into it further by purposely turning off the ac some night and then warming the car up in the morning with the ac off. Then turn the ac on and see if the compressor immediately engages and pushes cool air out the vents. I'll post an update once I learn more.
  13. Curious63

    Curious63 Corolla User

    When the car has been parked under the sun, it helps to open down four windows and let the hot air get out for a minute or two with the AC at full blast, then roll windows up and the interior will cool down faster. Also a good way to get rid of contaminants that are inside the cabin.
  14. OP

    clarkemode New Member

    Thanks Floridapizzaman, you have described my issue with the A/C perfectly! I am glad I am not the only one who is experiencing this. I wonder if this is a normal Toyota A/C operation now. I had 3 other Corollas (2002, 2006, 2010) and none of them had this A/C compressor "delay" that my 2015 has.

    Floridapizzaman or others: Has anyone also experienced A/C cooling loss when traveling above 20MPH and then coming to a stop, like traveling highway speeds for a bit, then exiting to a stop? I notice that when i am doing city driving around 40MPH, and then I slow down to below 20MPH, my A/C becomes warmer for a bit, then slowly begins to cool again.

    I also wonder if the same delay would happen if we start the car with A/C off, let the car fully warm up, then turn the A/C on. I may try it today when I leave work after the car has been sitting for about 10 hours...It is still in the 80's in NJ.
  15. klinetime574

    klinetime574 New Member

    I'm in Texas where it get's pretty hot. My 2015 Corolla S Plus does nothing out of the ordinary when parked in the sun all day. I do recommend a windshield sun screen, keeps the heat off the dash.

    I get in my car, crack the windows, maybe the sunroof too, and give the AC a few minutes to catch up. Once I start moving I roll the windows up and it is comfortable to me. I rarely turn my AC below 70, the system can only cool to an extent. If you have a Corolla that can maintain a 60 degree cabin temp when it's 100 out I would love to see it!
  16. Floridapizzaman

    Floridapizzaman New Member

    Clarkemode, I haven't noticed a change in vent temp depending on speed up or slowing down. Is this in auto mode? I don't use auto mode, I just keep it set to coldest LO on the dial and play with the fan speed. So I'm less likely to notice what you are describing. Sorry.

    Klinetime574, thanks for the tip. I do use a sunscreen in my black truck and it helps. Clarkemode and I are more concerned with what the compressor is doing initially upon engine startup. High cabin temperature is beside the point for our complaint. The problem is clear cut. There are certain conditions under which the compressor is not being told to engage or turn on depending on your verbiage of choice, and this delay is significant.

    Try sitting in your hot car next time, turn the key to on but DONT start the engine, and turn your fan to max or 7 bars if you have the climate computer. Make sure your vents are aimed at your body. Count or wait 60 seconds on your watch or smartphone and then tell us how comfortable you are? This is the what our complaint is. Shade trees, window tint, and sunscreens all help reduce peak cabin temp but they don't control the compressor. I question why toyota did this on purpose, and if they did not, then why didn't their million mile pre production testing catch it if it is only happening on a small percentage of corollas? Not every owner is complaining...either they don't notice, they do notice but don't care, or their car is not defective. That's leaves a minority such as clarkemode and me scratching our heads looking for a solution. Thanks for reading!
  17. klinetime574

    klinetime574 New Member

    @Floridapizzaman If you don't start the engine the compressor will not turn so why would you expect the air to get cold with the engine not running? (Unless I'm misunderstanding your post here)
  18. Floridapizzaman

    Floridapizzaman New Member

    Klinetime574, you're exactly right. The compressor has to be turning to cool the car. I wasn't trying to be sarcastic...just trying to put a simulation into words what the precise problem is. If you were to sit in your car and do as I suggest, you will feel exactly what the complaint clarkemode and I are experiencing. Hot cabin air is being blown out the vents for 45-60 seconds and this air is not being cooled until the compressor kicks in. This compressor turn on delay should not be happening. It's a defect of some sort; whether it is a software bug or an external switch/sensor, something is definitely not right. I've owned nearly a dozen cars with factory air conditioning and none has ever blown hot air on me for this long before you can finally feel cooler air coming out the vents. I hope this is a clearer explanation and I appreciate your comments.
  19. jolly

    jolly New Member

    You might be right about lowering emissions when the engine is cold (they're at their worst, then).
    I must say I haven't noticed the delay (would have to pay attention) since my experience is different than yours with other cars : I've always experienced some delay before cold air blows, so whatever is happening with the Corolla doesn't appear different to me (might be system brand related). What I've noticed, though, is how the compressor is cycling a lot !
    I'd go with "duration of time the car is parked" as the accumulated heat in the ducts under the (black - it absorbs heat) dashboard has to go somewhere first (and the system has to treat close to a 100 ft³ of hot air). (plus see Donabed Kopoian explanation about freon).
    I also have this old habit of lowering all windows for the first couple minutes of driving : it dramatically decrease cabin temp.
    I wonder what those who owns LE Eco+, which have the eco button that dulls everything including AC, think about it.
    On the other hand, I and many others find the car slow to heat in the winter...
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  20. klinetime574

    klinetime574 New Member

    All this being said... If you want quick AC and quick heat, get something with a V8. Big motor, big compressor, lots of heat.
  21. Floridapizzaman

    Floridapizzaman New Member

    Yea, my beater v8 truck has an awesome heater but rarely gets exercised here in central FL. But interestingly it has only an adequate cooling system and by no means stellar. Definitely brand related...bought it new and its performance has stayed constant over the years...always underwhelming. Heat is easy. Cool takes some accurate number crunching during r & d to get it right.

    My benchmark is the little sister to my new 2015. My 2004 Corolla 130k miles cools the way ever car should. Turn the key and cool air starts flowing. Now. It will freeze you out in no time even in the hostile tropics I live in during August/September. It is a lighter color car and has top of the line heat reducing window tint. So I suppose I am spoiled. This new 2015 will cool pretty good after a few minutes (once the compressor wakes up) whether it's parked or moving. I agree with all the tricks everyone has mentioned. Parking in the shade, using a sunscreen, window tint, cracking the windows etc. Most floridians know all these tips to reduce peak cabin temp and interior heat absorption.

    I'll keep playing around with it and get to the bottom of it. Was hoping a few others knew how widespread this was or what the fix was, but appears only clarkemode is having same issue. I might go take a fake test drive on dealer lot and see what the lot car does when I start it up!
  22. usdmatt

    usdmatt New Member

    Experiencing this exact same issue described by floridapizzaman. Never considered a "cold start" emissions theory. What a ****ing joke! Please update if you or anybody else finds a solution or any other information.
  23. le+14

    le+14 New Member

  24. le+14

    le+14 New Member

    I'm in Texas also. I don't have a sunroof but I do leave the windows down. Crack open maybe 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. I do notice a slight delay of a few seconds when set on "auto." Seems to start cooling quicker when not on "auto." 2014 LE Plus. Seems to cool down comfortably after driving only a block or so. 95 to 100 lately. I did notice a temp showing 110 after parking one day. I usually leave the a/c temp control set on 76. About right in summer or winter.
  25. KidLat

    KidLat New Member

    I started experiencing this exact issue last week. I'm in the Philippines and it is always hot, so I will notice if something changed in my A/C performance.
    I have a 2014 Corolla, and have not experienced this "delay" in the compressor to start giving cold air until now.
    I have experienced this 3x the past week. First, lunch break at work, and I drove my car and it took more than 5 minutes before the air starts to get cooler. The other two instances is when I drove my car in the morning going to work.
    I was looking for feedback and found this forum, but it seems there's no solution yet...
    I will have the dealership look at it on my next periodic maintenance, it could be low on refrigerant or the compressor pressure is low or could be an intermittent thermostat not commanding the compressor to blow cold air...
  26. Floridapizzaman

    Floridapizzaman New Member

    Read this entire thread for enlightenment. It's an effin design flaw. I have the exact same complaint.
  27. Floridapizzaman

    Floridapizzaman New Member

    Some folks say that it "takes awhile for the hot stale air to get moving" through the vents if car has sat in hot sun for awhile.

    Wrong. Start the car, (cold start having sat for several hours minimum) with the ac off.

    Run car long enough to reach operating temp. Shut car off. Restart car and turn on ac. You will feel immediate cool air getting colder...There is NO delay. Just like all the other cars you ever owned. Your complaint is caused by shit software. It's not your car. Technically it's not a defect, since it is being forced on the consumer by design. Can you tell I'm very disatisfied with this Corolla hvac?
    Gee Rrr likes this.
  28. Bunta

    Bunta New Member

    is the re circulate button on? if so try turning it off. i've noticed that mines was also taking a long time but everytime i press the button to turn it off, it's freezing cold in a matter of seconds.
  29. Gee Rrr

    Gee Rrr New Member

    A lot of the explanations offered here by participants in this forum seem to make sense, BUT - there is one thing no one seems to be making clear. My A/C on my 2013 Corolla has always been blowing out cold air from the very moment I start the vehicle. That is, until 1 month ago. THEN IT SUDDENLY CHANGED IN BEHAVIOR. Now I have to drive maybe 1/4 mile or before it goes from " outside temp" to cold, dehumidified air. And when I stop at a light, the air seems to lose its de-humidification characteristics too. Until i get going. Being a part-time Uber driver in Florida, where traffic lights can be excruciatingly long - this is important for passenger comfort.

    My 2013 is coming up on 79,000 miles. I got it used, with 17,000 miles on it. Most everything about the car is good to acceptable. I DO wish I'd gone with a Camry instead, especially whenever I hit a pot hole or even a minor flaw in the road. And the noise level is higher than I'd like it to be. But those are characteristics, not flaws or defects. - pressure must building up in the lines, or in the compressor ? Something changed, that's certain.

    So - has anyone ever gotten a definitive reason ( cause / effect ) for why all of us are experiencing this change in A/C behavior ?

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