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Discussion Starter #1
hey all,

Late last summer my A/C started having problems in my 1995 Camry 4Cyl. A loud noise came from under the hood (the compressor I assume) when I would engage the A/C switch, though only when the car was warmed up, not necessarily right after a cold start. Also the engage light on the A/C switch is blinking. Also the A/C does not blow cold (duh)

Took it to a mechanic that I trust and seems to think the compressor needs to be replaced, as the belts and everything else seem ok, but he's an honest guy and recommends I get a second opinion. I also believe it's unlikely are no leaks in the A/C system as I had it tested 4 or 5 years ago.

My questions to the forum are:

1) Does this sound like the compressor is busted? Could it be anything else, say the clutch? Any other tests that could be useful here?

2) There are many non-Toyota replacement compressors out there (ie ebay), are any worth a salt? A new one from Toyota is like $400, was hoping to hopefully do it for cheaper (though I love this car and will spend the money)

Thanks in advance for any help or comments

Cheers,

Ben
Brooklyn, NY
 

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Ninja wrench anywhere
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1,522 Posts
Does the rig *ever* blow cold air, or do you get the blinkin' light and no-cold no matter what?

Hard to tell what troubleshooting your mechanic did. At the very least, I would have checked system pressures with the manifold gauges to get an idea of what the refrigerant pressures were like, and then checked the various pressure interlocks and operation of the magnetic clutch. If nothing else, pulling off the belt, manually engaging the clutch, and rotating the compressor by hand to listen and feel for obvious bearing problems would be well worth the time when you're looking at a nearly $400 part (something like $360 shipped from 1sttoyota...probably quite a bit more from your local stealership).

Not sure if you do any of your own work, but the FSM has a pretty decent troubleshooting section for the A/C. Some work requires specialized tools (manifold guage, vacuum pump -- both available relatively inexpensively @ Harbour Freight), but a lot of the relay and interlock checks don't require anything more than the voltmeter. And, if the compressor is running at all, you can get an awful lot of information just from looking at the sight glass on the dryer (driver's side, just to the right of the radiator). You can see the FSM for the A/C at http://www.camrystuff.com/manuals/Gen3/ac.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yeah the blinking light always comes right on and it never blows cold.

Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely follow up. If anything it'll be a good learning experience even if she needs a new compressor in the end.
 

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1995 Camry LE Wagon
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Good source for everything A/C, even new compressor or repair parts.
http://www.acsource.com/index.asp
I purchased a seal kit for my compressor when it developed a shaft seal leak. Disassembly/reassembly was easy. As hill8570 says, without test gauges it's almost impossible to assess A/C system.
 
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