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2009 Camry AC Issues- Need Help

amac on Wed June 19, 2013 2:55 PM User is offline

2009 Camry. The AC will work for 20 mins then stop for hours days or weeks and then start up again. I had it charged and dyed and the shop could not find a leak. They told me to buy and install and AC mag relay switch. And it did. It worked for 20 and stopped again.

Any ideas on the causes? I don't have the money to go to a dealer and it's getting hot down here in KY. I would like to figure out how to DIY but have no experience in A/C or real automotive experience despite working at a Toyota Plant for 6 years in Indiana.

I would really appreciate you support......Andrew

iceman2555 on Wed June 19, 2013 9:43 PM User is offlineView users profile

Unfortunately not enough info was supplied. What engine is used in this vehicle. The 4 cyl utilizes two different compressor and the 6 utilized one type. The 4 cyl could be a standard clutched compressor or the clutchless/constant operation units. Test for each is a bit different. Is the compressor engaged when the system is not functioning/cooling? Let us know a bit more. Perhaps someone will have a response to direct you to the proper repair. However, it appears that from our post, that AC is completely out of your 'range'. In this case it may be best to located a reputable technician to assist you. If the unit is one of the clutchless units. then testing becomes a bit more challenging and may require specific tools and equipment. Give us a bit more info and let's proceed from there.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

amac on Thu June 20, 2013 8:26 AM User is offline

It is probably out of my range for DIY. I just want to get some clues so that I can direct a shop to the problem without having them take me for a ride. I want to get knowledgeable. I brought it to two different shops and they couldn't figure it out. Maybe not the right shops. It is a V6. The clutch is running even when it is not cooling.

Thanks for even considering helping me diagnose this even though I know I am out of my depth. Just looking for some likely possibilities. Thanks...Andrew

iceman2555 on Thu June 20, 2013 11:12 AM User is offlineView users profile

Is the clutch actually rotating, the driver the very front of the clutch should engage and disengage with activation of the AC demand button. Have someone assist you and watch for this change. Some these units and their placement makes it very difficult to determine if the compressor is actually rotating.
If the clutch is not engaging, then obtain a diagnostic chart for your vehicle. This info should be available as a one time purchase from AllData. It maybe necessary to scan the system for possible sensor/controls codes.
Unfortunately the newer AC systems have integrated with the BCM for clutch activation and this moves the diagnostic process away from the average DIYer and even some technicians. This is a Denso variable displacement compressor.
Post a bit more info concerning the type vehicle. Informational guides specify Auto AC/manual AC, automatic tranny/manual. Let us know a bit more.
Not to sound like a total ass, but this appears to be one of those 'find someone who has the equipment and knowledge' to diagnosis this problem. g
Let us know more of the about the vehicle and if possible operational conditions when the system stops cooling. Perhaps a bit of research could produce a possible cause.
Good luck

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

NickD on Thu June 20, 2013 12:07 PM User is offline

Most electromagnetic clutch type compressors can be hot wired to determine the proper charge levels, vent temperatures, and cooling. Good to use some kind of a switch to kill that voltage in case something is wrong. Still depend on oil/refrigerant flow to properly lubricate the compressor or will do more damage.

If that is okay, then its an electronic/electrical problem, really need a circuit diagram for that and particular a component placement diagram. No telling where they buried this stuff. A lot has changed over the years, no more electromechanical switches, these gave over to much cheaper thermistors, hard electronics gave way to flashram and microcontrollers that is also much cheaper. While OBD II is was suppose to be a universal standard, that never worked out, with accessories, each manufacturer has it own unique codes requiring a special scanner.

With an older vehicle like my 88 Supra with automatic climate control, can hold down specific buttons while switching on the ignition to read all the codes without the expense of buying a scanner. This is all history. Most are still using separate BCM's and PCM's today, expecting that to disappear soon, because its more expensive. In the Supra, has its own module for the AC.

Bottom line is that they are making vehicles today, far more cheaper, and a heck of a lot more to troubleshoot. Your only problem could be a corroded connector on the high side thermistor. Or could be using an insulation displacement type of connector, bastards can't even strip a piece of insulation off anymore for a good solid crimp. Could even be a bad cell in your flashram that can't output a logical one to switch on your AC, or corrupted code in your firmware.

Actually your Toyota dealer is best equipped to handle problems like this with all the diagnostic equipment required. If you can find an honest one, good luck with that.

mk378 on Thu June 20, 2013 4:03 PM User is offline

Pull over and open the hood after it stops cooling. Leave the engine running and the A/C controls set for maximum cold. After confirming that the compressor is turning, the next check is to feel the pipe between the evaporator and the compressor. In normal operation it will be cold. If it is covered with ice, the evaporator is also iced and that is stopping your airflow so you don't get much if any cold air. If it is warm that means the refrigeration system is not working.

Not working for days or weeks at a time though very likely means the displacement control system in the compressor is getting stuck at zero displacement. Or the car's electronics are not driving it off of zero displacement.

Edited: Thu June 20, 2013 at 4:04 PM by mk378

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