Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Texas
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The 2nd Gen Highlander uses a variable capacity compressor. It needs both a working clutch and compressor control valve actuation, which increases the compression capacity from zero (when first engaged), and up to 100% as demanded by AC settings and temp sensors. If the PCM is refusing to engage the clutch, then it is also not going to open the compressor control valve, either. Shaft spins but no compression.
The PCM will set a series of Bxxx codes if any of the wiring or sensors is suspected defective. Not sure if the B codes also turn on the CEL. My *guess* is that the pressure sensor is reporting falsely, locking out the clutch and control valve.
The sensor is on the high pressure line. It has three terminals and gets power (5vdc?) across the outside pins, with the center pin signal. At rest, and at room temperature, I 'd guess the voltage should be 1 ~ 2v dc, referenced the batt negative.
Don't think you can remove the switch without the refrigerant escaping, which would then require a vacuum down and recharge..
'08 Highlander Base with goodies
'02 Highlander V6 (deep down in Africa)
'93 Camry LE V6 (departed)
'12 Pilot EX-L