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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4531
Experience:  30+ Yrs of auto experience, Award Winning Svc. Manager; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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2002 Corolla AC works great, had compressor and clutch replaced

Customer Question

2002 Corolla AC works great, had compressor and clutch replaced twice. Because of this problem. The problem is some times when the ac is on and cooling great all of a sudden the compressor / clutch seems to lock up then the engine dies. It will restart right away but as soon as the AC clutch kicks in it seems to be locked up and kill the engine again. If we turn off the AC then restart it will run fine then push the AC Button and locks up and dies again. Then sometime there is no problems at all. Very interminettent. We have noticed that the green light on the ac switch starts to blink on and off just before this happens and if we are quick enough to turn off the AC engine doesn't die.
JA: Huh?
Customer: Huh is right. Totally confussed
JA: Many things can cause trouble with the A/C. Some simple, some complicated. Fortunately, the mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. What confuses you?
Customer: Something is defiantly making the AC clutch or compressor lock up. I have actually watch it lock up and cause the fan belt to make the engine die. Then all I have to do is turn the AC button off and the car will start no problem. This forest start happening in the winter and it was happening when the defrost was on, the mechanic found the AC locked up and said that when the defrost was on the AC compressor runs. At that point we just unplugged the compressor and finished out the winter then had the AC compressor, clutch, and dryer replaced. With in 2 days it happen again and the shop replaced the compressor and clutch a 2nd time and it is still happening. M thinking electrical problem or could I maybe be a I
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: I can do some diagnostics
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Toyota Mechanic should know about your Toyota?
Customer: No I'm good. We just go from there
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Toyota Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 5 months ago.
Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. Assuming that the system is properly evacuated and charged with refrigerant, I suspect either a bad compressor (if used parts or auto-parts store compressors are being used), or, a sticking expansion valve if the compressor is a good unit (and the system is properly filled). An electrical problem will not cause the compressor to lock up. The green light blinks because the RPM sensor in the compressor is not sending the proper RPM pulses to the AC amplifier under the dash. An overcharge condition (too much refrigerant) can and will cause the compressor to lock up; a sticking or blockage in the expansion valve would also cause the compressor to lock up. A good tech with AC manifold gauges would be able to diagnose this by reading the pressures as the compressor starts to lock up. High pressure would indicate excess refrigerant charge of a sticking expansion valve. The expansion valve is a rather difficult item to replace (most of the dash needs to come out), so, it is prudent to get an accurate diagnosis with the gauges before proceeding with the valve replacement.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 5 months ago.
Please confirm that you have received my input. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thanks.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I will check this out and get back you
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 5 months ago.

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