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AC Only Works Part Time

Anse61 on Tue June 14, 2011 9:43 PM User is offline

Year: 1995
Make: Toyota
Model: Camry
Engine Size: 2.2 L
Refrigerant Type: R134a

I have a 1995 Toyota Camry and I'm having problems with the AC only working intermittently. When the weather was cooler, the AC would work pretty much consistently, with regular cycles of the engine idling up to about 900 RPMs with the compressor engaged, and then back to 700 or so RPMs when the compressor disengaged. However, with the temperatures now hovering at 80+, the engine idle jumps to about 1100 RPMs and stays pegged there with the AC button on, and the AC blows warm. It's as if the compressor is not engaging.

I took it to a shop recently to have it recharged and they said that it was overcharged by about a pint, so they put it under vacuum and then recharged with the correct amount of refrigerant. It seemed to be working fine around town for a few days, but on my 40 mile commute, the AC eventually blows warm after about 20 minutes of use. Today it blew warm after just a few minutes. After some research on the Web, it seems that this model Camry has frequent issues with the expansion valve. Is it possible that a faulty valve may be the culprit? Could it just be an issue of there being a leak in the system?

JJM on Tue June 14, 2011 10:50 PM User is offline

It seems like the compressor is not engaging with the engine RPM's running up so high, probably because the clutch air gap is too wide from years of wear and needs to be adjusted, or the clutch coil is weak and needs to be replaced. But look under the hood and check! When the air warm, is the clutch turning? I certainly can't tell with my crystal ball out of order.

I doubt it's the expansion valve, otherwise you wouldn't be getting the higher RPM's with the A/C on and no cooling. If the expansion valve were bad, the compressor would still engange and the idle stabilize, but the evaporator would either flood if stuck open, or starve if stuck close (and the valve would ice up)

Overcharged by a pint??? Never heard that one! If that's meant to be 16 ounces, that means the system was overcharged by more than 50%!!! How'd it get that way??? Lucky the system didn't blow even with the HPCO.


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Anse61 on Wed June 15, 2011 10:07 PM User is offline

Very good advice and sounds very plausible. I'll have to check that out.

Edited: Wed June 15, 2011 at 10:11 PM by Anse61

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