How to Troubleshoot a Toyota AC

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Your Toyota's air conditioning system cools the passenger cabin by compressing a refrigerant and blowing it into the passenger compartment via an air compressor. This compressor is what really drives the AC system. When there is no coolant or the compressor is broken, you won't be able to get air condition in your Toyota to work. Because replacing an air conditioning system is quite expensive, you need to troubleshoot the problem top verify the AC is broken.

  • Turn on the fan motor and set the motor on "High."

  • Verify that the HVAC controls are set to the coolest setting.

  • Turn on the Toyota and wait 15 minutes for cold air. If no cold starts coming out of the vents, shut off the AC but keep the vehicle running.

  • Turn the AC back on and note the RPMs on the engine. They should drop slightly as the AC is turned on before compensating for the extra load on the engine. You should also hear the AC compressor start. If this doesn't happen, the AC compressor needs to be replaced. If the compressor starts but you still don't have any cold air, shut off the AC and have the AC system recharged with new refrigerant by a professional mechanic.

References

  • "Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe Repair Manual 2003-2008"; Jay Storer; 2009
  • "Toyota Camry, Avalon, Solara, Lexus ES300/330 Repair Manual 2002-2006"; Jay Storer, John H. Haynes; 2009
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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