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Old 06-19-2004, 04:54 PM   #1
JaneiR36
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A/c Inop

While I'm waiting for responses on my light bulb problems, I may as well post about my A/C. It doesn't blow cold air. I've tried topping off the freon, but it doesn't seem to be sucking anything from the can even with the vehicle on and the A/C on full blast. My sister once had it checked out, and they said it would cost about $300 to fix (I have no details on what's wrong, sorry). I'd like to confirm this for myself without getting it professionally tested again. If you have any ideas for dianosing the problems, please let me know. I will need very simplified instructions because I'm a total beginner in this.

Car: Toyota Camry '96 LE, Automatic shift, 4 cylinders.

PS: I'm having difficulty searching for past A/C topics, because it says "A/C" is too short to be included in a search, and of course people tend not to write out "air conditioner" in their posts (only found four topics with that).

Oh, I've checked the two A/C fuses located at the passenger side kick panel. They are intact.

Last edited by JaneiR36 : 06-19-2004 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 06-19-2004, 11:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneiR36
While I'm waiting for responses on my light bulb problems, I may as well post about my A/C. It doesn't blow cold air. I've tried topping off the freon, but it doesn't seem to be sucking anything from the can even with the vehicle on and the A/C on full blast. My sister once had it checked out, and they said it would cost about $300 to fix (I have no details on what's wrong, sorry). I'd like to confirm this for myself without getting it professionally tested again. If you have any ideas for dianosing the problems, please let me know. I will need very simplified instructions because I'm a total beginner in this.

Car: Toyota Camry '96 LE, Automatic shift, 4 cylinders.

PS: I'm having difficulty searching for past A/C topics, because it says "A/C" is too short to be included in a search, and of course people tend not to write out "air conditioner" in their posts (only found four topics with that).

Oh, I've checked the two A/C fuses located at the passenger side kick panel. They are intact.


Check if your compressor clutch is engauging and if not, check if it's getting power to the clutch. If it's not getting power from there, go to the a/c relay and check if that is getting power on the coil side as well as the contact side.

Report back


HTH
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Old 06-20-2004, 04:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DodgeRida67
Check if your compressor clutch is engauging and if not, check if it's getting power to the clutch. If it's not getting power from there, go to the a/c relay and check if that is getting power on the coil side as well as the contact side.

Report back


HTH

Thanks for replying! But um... could you please idiot-proof your instructions for me? What instruments to use, how-to's, what the compressor clutch, a/c relay, coil side, and contact side are? (hopefully, there really are no minimum requirements for joining this site ). I'll be doing some research in my Hayne's manual, but the truth is I've always had difficulty understanding it because there seems to be an underlying assumption that anyone reading it has an intermediate to advanced knowledge of cars.

I'm pretty sure anyone can help me from here on out, just in identifying the parts and such, and what to do with them. I really can't imagine anyone having less knowledge about cars than I do right now...
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Old 06-20-2004, 02:36 PM   #4
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I recall now that the extent of the Hayne's manual information on A/C is something about R-12 / R-134 conversion, and other than that they say it's outside the scope of their manual. I'm really going to need some help on this!
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Old 06-20-2004, 07:16 PM   #5
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Something has me worried. Before we get started answer something for me. You said you topped off your freon. What type does your car use?
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Old 06-20-2004, 07:39 PM   #6
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well, I'll be. I'm just realizing that I've been assuming it was the 'environmentally friendly' R-134a, because the vehicle was manufactured after 1993. Are there any exceptions to this, and if so, how can I find out for sure? Yes I did try to top off the freon with a kit we bought from the auto store. We've used it on my Mom's '96 Accord and it worked just fine. I did have to use some kind of adapter provided in the kit for the Camry, so I'm now wondering if the fittings were not tight enough or didn't push the valve in properly to enable intake of the fluid. ARGH!!! I'm totally confusing myself!!

Okay, I also realize I did not mention an actual symptom. When you push the A/C button with the fan blower on, the little A/C light stays lit for about ten or so seconds before it starts flashing. Either way, no cool air comes out ever.
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Old 06-20-2004, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneiR36
well, I'll be. I'm just realizing that I've been assuming it was the 'environmentally friendly' R-134a, because the vehicle was manufactured after 1993. Are there any exceptions to this, and if so, how can I find out for sure? Yes I did try to top off the freon with a kit we bought from the auto store. We've used it on my Mom's '96 Accord and it worked just fine. I did have to use some kind of adapter provided in the kit for the Camry, so I'm now wondering if the fittings were not tight enough or didn't push the valve in properly to enable intake of the fluid. ARGH!!! I'm totally confusing myself!!

Okay, I also realize I did not mention an actual symptom. When you push the A/C button with the fan blower on, the little A/C light stays lit for about ten or so seconds before it starts flashing. Either way, no cool air comes out ever.


Oh god. Just as I suspected.

never never never never never never n-e-v-e-r assume what type of refridgerant you should use. Not only is it very dangerous, it can ruin your entire air conditioning system and you'd have to change everything out. It would cost you about the same as a conversion would to fix. You shouldnt even use the same gauges when checking your refridgerant. In other words, don't use a gauge to check r-12 and r-134a, use two seperate ones. It's bad if you get the wrong refridgerant into an air conditioning system. In even minute ammounts.

Here's how you can know what to put in, go lift the hood. Look on your compressor and it should be either stamped on the housing or on a sticker. If not there, look on the compression and return lines. It has to be there.

After we get this cleared up we can get started I guess. If you've mixed the two types togethor on accident, I feel for you.
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Old 06-20-2004, 08:02 PM   #8
JaneiR36
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R-134a. Whew! Dodged that bullet! I'm not even sure I remember why I used that adapter. If I recall correctly, the flange from the kit wouldn't fit on the 'low' A/C line... The kit is made by interdynamics, by the way. Have you heard of it?
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Old 06-20-2004, 08:11 PM   #9
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Ok good - no mix ups now. Since that's out of the way...

If you have up-to-spec refridgerant, we can now begin. First of all your going to need a volt meter if you don't already have one. My bet is you don't have power getting to your clutch in the compressor. So we need to check voltage at the compressor and work back to see where the break is.

Look at your compressor, on most cars the plug for the power to the clutch in the compressor is a two-wire clip right on the front, and top of the compressor. Right near the clutch and drive belt/pulley. Pull the clip off, turn a/c controls in the car to the coldest setting, max a/c that way you know the air should be on. Check voltage at the harness you just took off. Let me know if its getting any juice, and how much.

EDIT: P.S, when you test for voltage don't forget to have the car running!

Last edited by DodgeRida67 : 06-20-2004 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:55 PM   #10
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YAY! Bought a multimeter.

harness reads 0.53 V

I decided to connect the leads across the battery just to be sure: 13.94 V

hmm... what's to stop me from just returning the multimeter and saying I didn't need it afterall? DAMN GUILTY CONSCIENCE!!!

hey Dodge rida guy, thank you for your patience
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Old 06-21-2004, 12:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneiR36
YAY! Bought a multimeter.

harness reads 0.53 V

I decided to connect the leads across the battery just to be sure: 13.94 V

hmm... what's to stop me from just returning the multimeter and saying I didn't need it afterall? DAMN GUILTY CONSCIENCE!!!

hey Dodge rida guy, thank you for your patience

OK that's not good news. I need more readings though.

I want the readings from the hot wire from the harness, to ground. Then I want a reading from the ground wire at the harness, to hot at the battery. Then I want OHM (X1) between the two leads in the compressor( where the harness plugs in) Be sure not to put the OHM setting on, and put any voltage at all to the test leads of the meter, if you do, you will ruin it! So when it's on OHM reading, make sure you understand what you need to do with it: The leads go on the compressor, not on the harness you unplugged.


Just to make sure of something, when you took voltage readings from the compressor, you did hook the test leads up to the wiring harness you unplugged ( that runs through your electrical system) and not at the compressor right? That could throw us off if you get that turned around.

If you have any questions about what I've said dont mind asking. Just remember; there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers!

Don't worry about the multimeter, it will come in handy many many times. It was a good investment. I'm glad you got a digital one (sounds like you got a digital ones since your readings went into the tenths and hundreds) because you can test sensors with that. Analog meters will ruin sensors because of the current it needs ( very little ) to energize the coil and move the measurement needle.
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Old 06-21-2004, 01:45 AM   #12
JaneiR36
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hot harness to ground harness: 5 mV

hot harness to ground battery: 0.48 V

ground harness to hot battery -5.5mV, I suppose

ohm compressor (with car / AC off, no need for any voltage whatsoever and compressor is also disconnected): 106 ohms
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Old 06-21-2004, 01:59 AM   #13
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oh yeah, the compressor harness actually has three wires. I just assumed the black one is ground and the other ones are whatever... At some point I was just taking readings and recording whatever was a non-zero value... Shoddy work, I know, but I just thought I should mention in case it was important (hopefully it's not).
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Old 06-21-2004, 02:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneiR36
hot harness to ground harness: 5 mV

hot harness to ground battery: 0.48 V

ground harness to hot battery -5.5mV, I suppose

ohm compressor (with car / AC off, no need for any voltage whatsoever and compressor is also disconnected): 106 ohms

Good close reading to each other. (5mV and 5.5Mv) The reason it showed -5.5 is because you hooked the leads up backwards. In other words, you put the negative test lead on a hot power source, and a positive test lead on a negative power source. But don't worry about that.

We found our problem. 106 OHMs in the compressor clutch coil. You didn't miss a decimal point right? It should be about 5 OHMS. Assuming you hooked it up right and had it on the right setting. 106 OHMs, the thing is fried! your going to have to take the clutch out and test directly at the coil itself to confirm this is the problem. Also your probably going to have to replace a fuse in the fuse box probably.

The new clutch (if we confirm it as the problem) will cost you $100 for the part.
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Old 06-21-2004, 02:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneiR36
oh yeah, the compressor harness actually has three wires. I just assumed the black one is ground and the other ones are whatever... At some point I was just taking readings and recording whatever was a non-zero value... Shoddy work, I know, but I just thought I should mention in case it was important (hopefully it's not).

What colors are all the wires? (black is usually hot in an automobile)
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