Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 94 LE Camry i4 and I am loving it. I would love it even more if the air conditioning came out cold instead of the same temperature as the outside air. I took it to Valvoline today to have them test the refrigerent and it was pretty low. He said 20 psi I believe. So they ran their tests with the toolbox looking machine and it found no leaks. They recharged it to full, and it didn't make the slightest bit of difference.

I don't think it's the compressor because it noticeably cuts on and is running when I push the AC button. The Valvoline guy seemed to think it might be a bad condenser.

I understand that AC work can be pretty expensive so I'm wondering if anyone has ideas on things I can check myself now that I know there are no leaks and it's fully charged. What are the recommendations from the pros on proceeding from here with a limited budget?

TIA
 

·
Road Trippin'
Joined
·
63 Posts
1) Drive North until ground turns white.
2) Roll down windows.

:lol:

Honestly, it sounds like you've exhausted everything else. The compressor may kick in, but that doesn't mean it's actually compressing.
 

·
OLD TN dude
Joined
·
62 Posts
Tia,
I'll try to answer in 'generalities', rather than in-depth model specifics..........The condenser is little more than a tube with cooling fins attached. (Not unlike a radiator) It 'condenses' the hot vapor from the compressor back into hot liquid by cooling (Called sub-cooling). If the test indicated no leaks, then it is ok.
The sound that you hear when you say "Noticeably cuts on", is the compressor clutch engaging. You can spin a compressor all day (with bad valves) and not produce any cooling effect. Try this....Locate the larger of the two lines (Low side) on the compressor (Car running, a/c on) Trace it back to the firewall. Put your hand on it. You should easilly FEEL that this line is cool/cold to the touch. Careful touching the small (Low side) line, it can get VERY hot! If the low side line is not cool/cold, you probably have a bad compressor. Since the cold refrigerant vapor returning to the compressor is what keeps IT cool, My guess is that your system was run for a long time undercharged, and that the compressor was damaged. (Heat) :(
If the suction or low side line is VERY cold, or even frozen near the firewall, you have a restriction (dirt) problem in the metering device (or the evaporator coil may be VERY dirty). This can be flushed out by a reputable a/c tech. and the system recharged. As I said these are generalities, but should be enough to point you in the right direction. Without knowing actual high/low side pressure's, it is difficult to diagnose. Good luck, and let us know ......
MCTOY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Sorry for the misunderstanding, my name is Daniel and TIA is an acronym used on some forums meaning "Thanks In Advance".

McToy, that is absolutely excellent advice and I can't wait to try it. I'll post what I find out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well I found the line going from the compressor to the firewall and touched it (quickly and carefully). I was hot all the way back to the compressor. Really strange thing is that the air in the cabin was coming out pretty cold. I've noticed that if it's cool outside it seems to come out cold, but if it's hot outside it comes out close to air temperature. It's strange, like it can cool the air only if it doesn't have to work very hard or something.
 

·
Pondering the choices
Joined
·
112 Posts
i have a 96 w/ 5sfe and i have that same problem. i just dont care enough to fix it. but hey. if i get around to it before you then ill let you know. if you get around to fixing it before me throw me a bone and let me know what was done. and how much it cots. best of luck man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
No problem 96camry4dr, will do. I hope to get it fixed if it's not too expensive or something I can do myself.

I'm not entirely sure I had the right line now that I reflect on it. I'm going to take a couple pictures with my digicam later today. The compressor is sideways and the lines come out facing the front of the car then turn. There are two lines coming out of the compressor. The one on the left turns a couple times then goes straight into the firewall. The one on the right goes forward into the front of the car by the radiator. I've been reading up on AC systems and it sounds like this line is going into the Condensor.

McToy, was I supposed to follow the one coming back out of the Condensor? I followed the one going straight from the Compressor to the firewall which the article I am reading indicates is the return line from the heat exchanger in the dash. So I guess that one would be hot no matter what. I'll try this again on my lunch break as I am at work today.
 

·
Pondering the choices
Joined
·
112 Posts
if i remember correctly the line that runs towards the radiator and to the drivers side of the car is the high or hot side. the one that runs along the passenger side is the low side.. there should be a recharge port ont he high side near the drviers side headlight and one for the low side fairly hidden in the jungle of crap in the back corner near the firewall on the passengers side.


in fact ill go take a picture of mine right now since i need some fresh air. fucking alcohol.rofl
 

·
OLD TN dude
Joined
·
62 Posts
^yup^...........The easiest way is to look for the slightly LARGER line. This is the low/suction side. The compressor actually SUCKS (Pun intended :D ) the cold vapor from the evaporator on the low side, while pushing the hot vapor/liquid on the high side to the condenser coil. It's also nice when the service valve caps have "L" and "H" on them :lol: Keep us posted!
MCTOY

PS: 96camry4dr,
How'd you make out with the storm?
 

·
OLD TN dude
Joined
·
62 Posts
Daniel,
Sounds like you had the right line. It will be (SHOULD) cool/cold to touch. Around 50-60 degrees roughly. The liquid/hot refrigerant is pushed from the comp. (High side) to a metering device (Many different types) just upstream from the evaporator or 'heat exchanger'. This amounts to basically a very small hole or orifice. The suction side of the system sucks the hot liquid through this orifice, changing from a hot liquid to a cold vapor. (Called 'flashing' kinda like when you put your thumb over the end of a garden hose) Once in the evaporator, it does about the same thing the radiator does to your coolant, ie: the warm air in the car flows over the now cold evaporator coil and is cooled roughly 10-15 degrees and the cool air comes out of the vents. This is a linear equation....If the car is 80 degrees, the a/c drops it ...say 10 degrees. Now your cabin air is 70 degrees. When it passes through again, it cools it another 10 or so degrees and so on till it is near the coil temp. (At least at the downstream side of the evap. and in the vents.) If you put a thermometer in the vent of a properly running system after enough time, you may see that the air returning to the cabin is around 40 or less degrees......BRRR, turn the fan down :lol:. I reckon' this completes my diatribe on how the system functions. (Sorry....I am a HVAC contractor, and former instructor) Hope all this helps, although from the limited info I have, it sounds like a damaged compressor.......... :disappoin
Can you remember the pressures? I am curious how the Valvoline guy determined proper charge on a system that doesnt work (?) A grossly overcharged system could give you only cool to warm air.
MCTOY

Oh, and sorry 'bout the TIA thing.........:headbang:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Alrighty, the big line is now ice cold to the touch and the air coming out in the cabin is extremely cold. I have no idea what happened. Friday after Valvoline recharged it the air was hot coming out (recharge was free because it didn't seem to work). Now the air is coming out cold. Does it take awhile for a recharge to take effect, or do you think maybe there was some blockage that the increased pressure pushed out?

I'm confused but very happy it works now. Thanks for the help everyone. I learned a ton about car AC from this experience.
 

·
OLD TN dude
Joined
·
62 Posts
ALRIGHT!!!
Yes, apparently there was some debris of some kind blocking the orifice (Best guess) The liquid refrigerant could not 'flash' so was not picking up any heat. Perhaps the new refrigerant acted as a 'solvent' of sorts and finally loosened or dissolved the debris. It was very hard to diagnose over the 'net. If you have guages and know the pressures, along with the sub-cooling and superheat values, it is much much easier. (Think not?....Try to explain the taste of a banana!!!:lol: ) Lots of variables. Anywhoo, hope whatever it was stays dissolved or gets caught in the accumulator and causes no more trouble for you.
MCTOY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
ALRIGHT!!!
Yes, apparently there was some debris of some kind blocking the orifice (Best guess) The liquid refrigerant could not 'flash' so was not picking up any heat. Perhaps the new refrigerant acted as a 'solvent' of sorts and finally loosened or dissolved the debris. It was very hard to diagnose over the 'net. If you have guages and know the pressures, along with the sub-cooling and superheat values, it is much much easier. (Think not?....Try to explain the taste of a banana!!!:lol: ) Lots of variables. Anywhoo, hope whatever it was stays dissolved or gets caught in the accumulator and causes no more trouble for you.
MCTOY
Hi, Old TN Dude. Ditto, I'm an old TN dude also. I've worked as a HVAC tech in my past and taught a little in the USAF. My problem on my 08 HL is an ac leak. I have a electronic leak detector and I didn't find a leak anywhere I could get to and no leak at the evaporator drain line. Everything was clean no oil indicating a leak anywhere I could see and that leaves me to the evaporator. I also used UV dye and no leaks anywhere I could see or no dye in the condensation coming from the evaporator drain line. The only thing I couldn't check was the darn evap. I have the ability to tear the dash out; but not physically able due to being a total disabled veteran. I sure didn't want to pay $2K plus to have the stealership fix it. After plenty of research I told a d__m chance on using AC Pro super seal. This was the last thing I wanted to do!
This was used bought last winter and of course the bas__d I got it from said the AC worked. The vehicle had other hidden issues and I've got just two months to take him to small claims. Now it seems that the sealant caused a plug somewhere; high low side pressure and compressor short cycling. It doesn't run long enough to cool. When it comes on the low side goes down to 20 psig something and then back up and sometimes goes over 100 psig. Static pressure on the low side makes it hard to put the gauge on. I really don't know what to do now except evacuate the refrigerant and take lines apart and try to blow air thru them, change the condenser/dier, maybe the expansion valve if it can be cleaned up and make sure the evaporate is open. Put everything back together and pull a vacuum and see if the leak is still there. One guy on here stated the the sealer turns to sticky shit when you open the system.
I could come to your house and we can check it out and fix if possible. Do nothing and take the seller to small claims with an bunch of estimates for needed repairs. What makes me so upset is that he claim to be a Christian and did me like that. I've been all over the place in the Air Force and he really fooled me.
Thanks,
MSgt Collins in Johnny Cash's hometown
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top