How to Troubleshoot the Air Conditioning on a Toyota Tercel

If you reach for the A/C in your Toyota car in the middle of summer and all you receive is a blast of hot air, your A/C system may be experiencing a number of issues. However, you can diagnose many problems on your own, such as insufficient pressure in the A/C system or a refrigerant leak. Before taking your Toyota car to the shop for what could be an expensive visit, you can run through a few troubleshooting steps.

Start the vehicle and turn the A/C control up to the coldest setting. Open the hood and place your hand above the hoses near the firewall. Both of the hoses should be warm to the touch but one should be noticeably cooler. If they are both the same temperature, the problem could lie with the valve control. Have a mechanic check this out for you because the valve control may need to be replaced.

Set the A/C to its highest setting (with the engine running) and open the hood. Watch for the magnetic clutch that is connected to the A/C compressor to kick on. If you do not see the clutch begin to turn, the wiring could be bad, or a fuse may have blown. Have a mechanic check to see if the compressor has seized.

Check the A/C dials and switches on the dashboard for any looseness or resistance. Replace the switches if they are damaged. Ensure that the electric fan is turned on as well as the A/C. If you cannot hear the fan kick on, a fuse may have blown, or the fan may need to be replaced.

Ensure that there is sufficient coolant in the radiator and refill, if needed. Check all the A/C hoses for any damage or kinks. If a hose is kinked, grip the hose between your thumb and forefinger and squeeze the hose until the kink has diminished. Replace any hoses that are damaged or leaking.

Check for sufficient pressure in the A/C system. Attach the A/C pressure gauge test. Attach the blue-coded hose to the low-side port, and the red-coded hose to the high-side port. A normal reading is between 50 psi (pounds per square inch) and 80 psi. Have a mechanic check the system for any leaks if the readings are lower than this.

Items you will need: Air conditioner pressure gauge

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