In this video I bring you along as I replace the AC condenser in a 2016 Toyota Rav4. Not a terribly difficult job in my opinion. Make sure you have the refrigerant evacuated before starting and you should be a OK!
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South Main Auto Repair
47 S. Main St
PO Box 471
Avoca, NY 14809
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Hey there, viewers welcome back to the south paint home channel. That's the 2016 toyota, it's the rav4. It's got 34 000 miles and it's got no ac uh. The condenser is leaking i'll, bring it up and to do this job, the bumper cover has to come off.

So we're to pull a few of the jiggly bits out of the top here uh. So we'll start right here, i guess with some 10 mils so i'll. Take those two out, try to remember the configuration of your fasteners here. It's the only! This is kind of the only oddball one here.

These take a phillips a couple of these little fellas and then we've got a couple push retainers here, i'll pop them out, but this one has a funny shape thing here on the top. I don't know what it's let's push on something, but i don't see anything it pushes on, but we got that little fella right there and then these a couple of these can't really goof them up. I guess so and that now you could take the cover off without removing the tire, but i like to get it right out of the way grab the bar of praying. If you have hubcaps, remove them and then remove the wheel, we'll need a flathead.

You got this little guy right here, one way or the other it'll turn. Ah, you want our slot going that way and then very gingerly to go work it out. It's like a pin there, so it's a quarter, turn type deal and then there's an eight mil up here that we got to get through and that's just like a you know of course screw like that. So when we come down under we'll just take this front mud flap off now, i believe yeah.

So the three screws in the mud flap are a little bit longer than the other one. I just took out so kind of keep track of. You know who's who here for your own, whatever now, let's see here and then that should yeah that should release our full and fender liner here to see what else we need to take off and then i believe, just these screws across the front here we should Be in good shape to start popping the bumper cover so just keep track your jiggly bit, so this should pull out of here. So yeah you have to look at this clip when you put it back, i don't know they haven't opening a slot on the inside.

That slides over this, it's on both sides so just be mindful that you'll you'll figure it out you're a smart guy and then we should be able to pull and just get the bumper cover to pop loose on the corner. Yeah boom she's loose. Now we got ta do the other side and, depending on your model, you're gon na have to look because if you have fog lights, you have to reach behind there and unplug those or anything else you see plugged in front. But this car is pretty plain: jane.

Yeah, so, even though this one didn't have the fog light package, you see when i pulled the bumper cover off, i should have took my own advice, but this was just plugged into a dummy, connector uh. Perhaps this is for the fog lights or some other options, but this was on the driver's side here. Maybe i think these now these ones right here this is for the fog lights, so this one's taped up. So i don't know what this one's for um.
I don't think it went into anything. Let's have a look, i looked, it was just a dummy connector, so we'll pull off the styrofoam here, the little absorber there we'll set that to the side and then it disappears. We've got a bunch of plastic stopped. Um looks like this has to go.

This has to go. I think what i'll do at this point. I know the bumper cover had to come off we're looking service data, because if this plastic has to go, then this has to go i'll kind of see the order of operation here the lines look easy to get to, but i'd rather not do anything unnecessary. If we can avoid it, so let me take a look where there's a lot of model options depending on the production date of the vehicle, so it must be some kind of mid-year thing for toyota we're going to pull the headlight out.

I think it's pretty straightforward. Uh well, as far as what we got to do, i think we do have to take. We have to take this up right here. Support bar off here we have to pull the headlight out, feels kind of solid, so another bolt here on the inside.

So it looks like four bolts on the headlight wraps yep. That feels a little looser. That feels better i'll. Show you this here.

I don't think we need to disconnect it so i'll just set it right up here, on top be out of the way set it right there. So there's the four bolts you got three uh wood screws and one regular machine type bolt. We have to take that off to get to this bolt here, so we can pull this little upper support off. So we can get the plastic off so we can get the condenser out.

So i'll do the same thing. On the other side, they've got the three core screws on the top there and then one on the side and the bumper cover well on the you know the little bracket that the bumper cover clips into and that's how you do that want to stick this to The side too you can, you can unplug them if you choose to, but you don't want to fill the connector. That's fine too! Then we got ta work on getting this little guy loose. That doesn't look too terrible.

I think there's a couple bolts and then we've got a horn there, so we'll unplug it and then one more bolt and some plastic retainers. Apparently so. There's that we'll pull this plastic piece off here so we'll get these little containers out a few of them. That looks like there's uh, whatever these retainers here are, you might have to hold up on them and then turn them, maybe yep so they're kind of like a christmas tree fastener they just push down into this threaded hole.

So they're not really threaded per se, but it does help them come out because it pushes against the you know the female half of the threads anyways, but when you go to put them in, you can just click them in. Take that out set that up here. So here's a potential dilemma: we've got to pull these upper supports off here. These just hold the top of the radiator so set that to the side, but we've got to get this bolt out of the radiator and something this this one looks pretty friendly.
These can be miserable. These can break off right in the radiator, but they're the up. It's essentially this whole upper plastic support goes on the donger here for the condenser, so we're just gon na give it a little clunk. So this one come right out piece of cake, easy peasy, and it is the same bolt that goes up here, but i've seen where these are so crusty they get unfriendly.

You could probably live without one, but the problem is: if the other one breaks and you didn't quote out a radiator, you could be kind of screwed on your estimate, but some of this stuff's unforeseen you know lucky for us. They both came out. So this plastic thing should come up just enough to get our condenser to move forward here. Oh look at that and then we'll take off the other little support for the horn.

I don't think we have to pull this plastic here. If we wanted to, we could pull it just a little bit. We could release just the upper little dollar here. It holds it in little fingers at it.

You know if you thought that you had to kind of pull that out of your way. I guess any anytime you're messing with plastic, you always risk breaking the retainer, so i don't think we even need to to move it, but that'll give us a little extra room anyways. We can do it on this side, too. Push push boom and then that'll give us just that little extra room to tip things to the side.

Those horn connectors are awfully tight. So there's that wrong side spell there's that we'll get that right out of the way, and i think that should be it because now she should slide up. We have to unhook the lines make sure you discharge your refrigerant before you do that, though, this is where all the magic happens. Folks goes into.

The gas comes out of the liquid by condensing in the condenser. All right cover your eyes, just in case you got to discharge it. Oh, we didn't, plus this has a big old leak, so it was discharging itself naturally into the environment. I'll show you where these things leak we're kind of a piss pot to test inside the vehicle, but i learned my lesson on these a while back and right here.

Folks is where these things leak and they will leak profusely and i've seen it. This is my third one that i've seen and no oil staining no nothing. You could fill this thing full of dye it'll leak out overnight. Every night and you'll never see anything gather here, but it leaks like a sieve under these brackets and it's kind of a pisser to see.

But you get your gas sniffering up here and you get even close to this thing. It starts going crazy, but with all the crap on it, it's kind of hard to see these. But if you've checked everything on these ravs and you don't find a leak, take the time to tear some plastic off and get up here, and i guarantee you that 60 of the time every time it'll be leaking right there there. It is folks.
I get these little guys right from toyota now, toyota, even themselves, they have their good brand and their crappy brand or their cheaper line, they're, not a huge difference in price. This is their oem one right here, we're going to add just a whisker over an ounce of oil to it. Nice thing about to it comes with it: uh, so uh, some nd8 car air conditioning, compressor oil, 40 cc's, that's just a whisker over and out it's like an ounce and a quarter or so so we're just gon na dump her here, because there's always a bit Of residual that gets left in the condenser, usually, if you look in service data a lot of times, they'll have generalizations in place for component replacement, for example, if you're replacing a condenser, you know you add an extra. You know ounce of system if you're doing an evaporator.

You had too much compressor lines so on and so forth. Well, there's a different spec for doing compressors, but you know what i'm saying and then it's weird when you buy these from toyota. They come with the desiccant pack and the plug that goes in the dryer here on the end of it, but it already comes pre-installed. It's really bizarre.

I don't know why they send it, but they do so. There's that i'm gon na put the uh plug back on here. Just so, we don't get it contaminated. Let it sit like this for una momento and uh.

Oh before you take your other one and head off to the scrap yard, to get your 50 cents make sure you pull the rubbers off the little dongers that stick out on the ends here so because you're gon na have to transfer them over. Sometimes once in a while, these will stick inside the vehicle. Make sure this plastic plug here in the end is tight. It's quite a long plug goes up in there, and this is where the desk pack sits so be.

Mindful of that, like i say it does. Come with one, you can always double check to make sure yours has it in it, but uh yeah. That's that i've never tried putting an aftermarket condenser in these. I don't know if they fit or if there's problems there, but usually, if i'm doing condensers i like to buy oem because you just know they fit all right.

Everything is looks good down here, except for this leaf. Get that out of there make sure you don't gouge up the radiator or the condenser on the way in very gingerly set it down. You might have to pull that bottom line out a little guide yourself, man and that's that then just put it together and you're done pretty easy right, but yeah in all reality they're not too bad to do about like most ac condensers and cars. Nowadays, when you pull the bumper cover off and yada yada as they say, yada yada make sure that's down.

Don't go hog wild on these ones that go in the radiator. They they literally go into plastic. Yes, there's a metal sleeve in there, but you got ta calm down, don't use the half inch ugga dugga gun use the 38 sucker dug a gun. If you can't control yourself use a ratchet okay and then don't forget to click the plastic thingies back in here.
All right, so it lines up, keep peeing a little bit of our oil. There now make sure you check the condition of your o-rings and replace, if necessary, or just replace them if you're unsure these ones look to be in beautiful condition near mint. So i've elected to reuse them now. Maybe you guys down in the comments section, can comment whether or not you've used the toyota economy brand of ac condensers.

Before i always thought it was kind of odd, like when you check with toyota, and the first question i asked them, is, you know, do they use them and the answer there was no, because they're not allowed to use them for warranty purposes. So i thought that was hot, like i said, they're, not a huge savings anyways now those just go into aluminium, so obviously use your noodle and as if, as most of you know, who watch our channel for any time, you know i'll be coming back to torque. All these to factory specs anyhow, so we're just doing this kind of just for show and tell at this point that baby's gon na have to move so we'll leave that a little on the wiggly side doing it wrong right he's got to go on first. This little guy yeah you betcha huh, put the card ahead of the horse.

Classic won't be the first time you do something like that, but that'll piss, you off, you get everything all tightened down and ready to go only to find out. You got ta. Take it all back apart right and then the metal piece goes on. Yes, sir, i think that's correct, because remember we had the plastic clips that went through there.

There are four we have to do it in this order boom. Now we're talking so put our two plastic retainers in here. I knew something didn't feel right. Then we've got the bolts.

We got these little guys got all these little guys, so oh bring the headlights back around town now these headlights do have a little reveal right here that goes around this fender, so you kind of got to be careful figure out the right method. Here, let's see that one that goes down to that slot right there, just making sure we got it going the right way, so the little peg. Let me show you something here, so the little yellow peg that screw goes through the light, actually picks up over it and clicks onto it, because it sticks up a little so make sure you get that on there before you just go whacking it down with the Impact and that's where the little coarse threaded screws go is into the plastic, so just use your noodle. Let me get an impact here.

Let me show you just don't be stupid all right. That's why i tell my kids all the time. Just don't be stupid. That's all i ask and then there's one screw from the side: that's a machine type screw and then just do the same thing so so yeah.
It's kind of funny that the you know cars really aren't made up much in the front end. You know. There's people down in the comments right now saying how crappy this thing's made and how chintzy they look. But honestly, you pull the bumper cover off any car, there's really not a lot behind it, and it is quite amazing to me how engineered how well engineered they are uh, not just toyota, but cars in general.

As far as safety, you know you look at them and you think, oh you got to have these big chrome bumpers, like back in the day back in the day when you stuck your face through the dashboard like a man, but you know those cars would kill. You, you know non-collapsible columns and just you know, big massive, full, framers and stuff, and then you compare them to a you know, crash data of you know a car like this. It looks like a tin can and these hold up better. It's pretty pretty good engineering.

If you ask me cars in june amaze me, i know people get pissed like oh. I can't believe my car quit. I'm like. I can't believe the damn thing runs to begin with.

You know, if you think about it. Gosh you got this giant tin can rolling with you know in most cases, nowadays, 25 plus computers in it miles of electrical wiring and in most cases they'll go. You know well over 50 000 miles without having a major issue or a hundred thousand miles. So if you want to put that in perspective, go 100 000 miles in your car, i'm amazed that it runs.

You go 100 000 miles without any major breakdown. You know it didn't. Leave you walking that's enough to drive around the world circumnavigate the globe four times. So think about that, the next time you pissed that your car broke, i mean don't get me wrong.

I think cars are stupid and all the stuff that's on them is getting a little bit ridiculous, but it is quite a miracle that it really works. Most of the time we're going to push this fender liner all back in and then we got to find the bolts here. Let me sneak right behind you. There fella - and i remember this - one - went in all sideways slotted.

Well, these things could be a bit of a piss pop here. Let's see, oh, you know what you ding dong. I was going to plug in that plugger back here. I forgot to do that.

We don't want that thing. Getting of crud okay, my hand up through on the back side, okay, there, she goes she's all the way through now, there's that guy and then we'll take your classic. Oh did you guys even see that that was right here? Well, hopefully, we'll come right, like this. Put that one in and you just give that one a handy - they just go into plastic, so man, i only need to get this correct, so slip that one up in the slot.

So this is that one that has a little that little action going on in there so make sure you get that right, make sure everybody's on the right side of the plastic as they should be. Now it's gon na be your shorter screw. That goes up here. We'll just stick that there and then you've got the three long ones in the uh front mud guard here i guess they call it and then it has a little clicker that you know holds it up in there for you.
Oh that's! It put your wheels on and at this point you have to bust out the vacuum and pull a vacuum on this thing, for you know at least 10 minutes or so getting the moisture out of the system. I suggest, if you uh, do this job. You know. Take it to a shop, have it evacuated, do your repair and then take it back to a shop and have it you know professionally charged that way, you're not using the cans from the parts store.

You make sure all the moisture is out of the system. You know do it the right way, uh. So that's what we did here. We charged her up 550 grams.

Of course, we already put the oil in it make sure the center temperature is nice and chilly uh and another free tip friday for you, when you're putting your caps back on your hind low caps make sure they have an o-ring in it. That's part of sealing up the entire system and that's that ship it send it down. The road make sure you've gone through retorts, all your fasteners back to factory specs, naturally, and then, when you're done doing that head in the comments section. The questions the comments, the inste, the facebook, you guys know what to do and just remember i can do it.

You can do it thanks for watching, hey.

29 thoughts on “2013-2018 rav4 a/c condenser replacement”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bob Haines says:


  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jeff Winter says:

    Doesn't it make your whole day when you go to remove one of those under shields and all the rusted screws/bolts just snap off! ๐Ÿ˜ค It's awesome, Not!

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Don R. says:

    I am a Tundra owner and have been pleased with the dependability and engineering. But my SR5 is an 08 with right at 200 thousand miles. Having said that, it appears the condenser on this RAV4 has an engineering fault

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars says:

    These days. Most cars got to many stuff blocking where you need to go.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Lilian Anderson says:

    Investing in crypto now should be in every wise individuals list, in some months time you'll be ecstatic with the decision you made today.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Spectt says:

    Holy smokes! If my A/C ever goes out on my 2020 I think I'll just roll my windows down and suffer the heat. Ill leave it broke! You had to dismantle the ENTIRE front end! You removed about 400lbs of plastic to get to that part.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Able Lock says:

    Well I like that new license plate that youโ€™re sporting around there on the front of that vehicle. I wonder if that garage is really worth fixing anything. I wonder if they know anything oh theyโ€™ve gotta be good at something. Lol ๐Ÿ˜‚

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Latimer says:

    So many plastic parts on modern cars.
    This being in the Rust Belt, what did cars look like years ago when the panels were made of thin steel, did any car last more than two years without looking like the wreck of the Titanic ?

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Patriot / Kenneth Burlingham says:

    I think Mrs. O is Amish! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars david wharton says:

    Boy ya gonna love modern technology huh๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿฅบ more plastic and BS๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿคฌ then you can shake a stick at!! Half a day just to get it loose? Man I soo miss the 70โ€™s and 80โ€™s cars? They used S-T-E-E-L parts? ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  Nice guidance as always Mr Eric, 4 lbs of bolts for a simple condenser! Nice license plate by the way๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MarkD says:

    Which is more trouble to work on RAV4 or CRV? Hard to believe you need to disassemble the car to get to the condenser. Geeez

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jon A says:

    MY favorite family automotive repair shop lol Eric "O"

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Troy Carothers says:

    Condenser??? Oh man I was hoping for a 12 hour evaporator video instead….

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bryan Keating says:

    I like that south main auto license plate

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Doug Hunt says:

    What do AC Techs do in the winter in upstate New York? They eat rice and beans and beans and rice. So says Dave Ramsey.

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Len in MI says:

    I love the new front license plate โค๏ธ๐Ÿ‘

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jrbpit1 says:

    SMA in prime time!!! Thanks

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Daniel Barker says:

    Come on Eric,thats not a toyota,according to scotty those cars are flawless baaaahaaaa

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Krispin says:

    Mrs. O helping out and getting down and dirty with Mr. O. I love it!

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Arctic Man Gaming says:

    Must have been a big fan if their license plate said SOUTHMAINAUTO

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars CJ-Foygelo says:

    Lotta spring bugs up there on South Main. That condenser is loaded with โ€˜em.

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hvy Chvy G20 says:

    It's got the big 2.5…

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ara Carrano says:


  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MoutainMan3000 says:

    Repairing a Toyota less than a decade old? A rare sight indeed.

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Thomas H says:

    A video before bedtime.
    Thanks Mr O!

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jimmy Pack says:


  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars RAW 'CADO ๐Ÿฅ‘ says:

    Hiya there Mr. Mrs. O!

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars William Holcombe says:

    Welcome back

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Focused Electronics says:


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