Air Conditioning Issues In My 2004 Corolla

dave30076

New member
My 2004 Corolla will be 8 years old this fall, and has never needed A/C work before this. I think the A/C system has been losing it's ability to cool for about a year...but it just now got hot enough that I actually need it (metro Atlanta GA). I got a can of refrigerant and the hose that has the pressure gauge. I used the gauge on the low pressure port (if I am correct, it is on the passenger side, near the firewall (I am guessing about a foot ahead of it), up high. The low pressure port did fit the gauge, I think that fitting has a yellow paint mark on the line (the other one, near the front of the car, and lower, was green, I think). Anyway, the pressure came up as about 100-105 psi. The gauge, a generic one, says that is too high, but I saw somewhere else out on the internets that 100psi is about right for the low pressure side (??? really)

When I hit the A/C switch in the car, I can feel the small "clunk" noise, and the idle changes (when I do it when sitting at idle).

Thoughts about what to check on this system? I hate to take it to a dealer, I just got back to work, I'm making nowhere near what I used to, and I just can't afford to pay several hundred to fix this, if I can do any of the work myself. Otherwise, it's gonna be a hot summer. :)

Thanks!!

 
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fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
Sounds like you got the right port (low pressure side is connected to the rubber hose, high pressure side is all metal, smaller diameter tubing) - but the pressure is way to high.

Did you check this with the car fully warmed up and the AC running full blast? If you did, then it would be a good idea to double check the pressure on the high side. I'm assuming that the high side will be low, meaning that the compressor is not pumping the refrigerant around or is locked up internally. Would need to take this to a HVAC service center, as you have to monitor both the high and low sides to see what is going on. They may have to evacuate the whole system and recharge with refrigerant and appropriate oil for the compressor.

Did you notice anything else that is out of the ordinary? AC pipes have frost on them? AC button on dash blinks? From your description, the idle up feature is working, which could mean the AC compressor is atleast turning. You should be able to see the AC magnetic clutch turn on and off as the AC is turned on and off. The magnetic clutch sits on the front of the pulley, when the AC is not engaged, the pulley spins free of the compressor, as the AC is engaged, the clutch will engage and turn with the pulley - will be accompanied by a click/clunk noise and the idle speed will be elevated to account for the increase in engine load.

What you do NOT want to do is overcharge the system - which can be easily done, if you don't have all the gauges. The gauge on those recharging cans are pretty unreliable - so I wouldn't believe anything they told me until I put a set of proper manifold gauges on the high/low sides.

 

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