I had a 2011 Toyota Yaris for 5 and half years. During that time, the efficiency of the AC system went noticeably down although it still cooled somewhat. I never had the AC serviced. From this, it can be concluded that the system was slowly leaking. I assume these slow leaks are common, as AC services are widely advertised.

What is the most typical location of this kind of slow leak in the AC system? Is it the compressor seals or something else?

I'm interested in this because my new 2016 Toyota RAV4 hybrid has a hermetically sealed electric compressor, and thus, there are no compressor seals to leak. This kind of compressor doesn't need to be used once a month during the winter to reduce chances of leakage past the compressor seals. If it's the compressor seals that usually leak, I understand that this hybrid vehicle should require absolutely no AC services during its lifetime.


With components of the different automobile manufacturer's being made by different companies, I don't know that there is a way to put a finger on "typical location" of leaks. Even within a given manufacturer, say Toyota, they may have multiple suppliers for the same part.

In all AC systems there are common areas that have potential to leak; seals, hoses, condenser, dryer, connections, etc.

The Toyota Hybrid AC system not needing service is misleading. That would have to be under perfect conditions, which do not exist. No matter how sealed the system, external damage to the system can cause leaks. If debris damages the condenser coil or a hose, the system can be compromised.

On top of that, systems can fail.

| improve this answer | |

Most common leaks are rubber hoses (they slowly deteriorate until they're porous) and the radiator/condenser (depending on weather: if it freezes in winter, water gets between the thin metal sheets, freezes, expands and distorts them, eventually a weld will break).

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.