1996 Toyota Corolla A/C not working


Old 09-17-14, 09:01 AM
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1996 Toyota Corolla A/C not working


My Toyota 1996 Corolla A/C did not work, and I suspect it is a simple problem. This is Toyota 1996 4 cylinder 1.6 L, manual transmission. At one point, the A/C switch would not need to be in the "on" position and the A/C would randomly turn on. One day earlier this year (April?) a strong electrical burn smell was detected in the passenger compartment. I could not smell it in the engine compartment. So must be something inside. The fan motor still works fine even until today. But for some time I was afraid turning on the fan because of the bad smell. Eventually, over the period of some months, the smell went away. But now the AC would not operate.

IN the last days before it quit operating, the AC would behave in a funny way. When I stopped at red light, I noticed the engine would sound like: vrooom, vrooom, vrooom (low frequency, but periodic engagement). And at that time the AC would blow cold. Now it does not do that anymore.

In August I brought the car for a longer drive (to a destination ~150 mile away). On the way back I noticed the periodic engagement of the engine would some time happen again. When it happen, we had cold air. When it did not, we only had ordinary air.

My friend suspected the switch. Is there an easy way to diagnose that it is the switch? Also how difficult it is opening the middle console and reach the AC switch?

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Old 09-17-14, 06:19 PM
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It could be a problem with the A/C switch or it could be low on refrigerant.
Old 09-18-14, 04:23 AM
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Agree with PJ, although the smell in the cabin would tend to point to something electrical failing. That dash isn't nearly as daunting as some of them are, but dashboard work in general can be a little difficult. In order to test the switch, you would need to get it out and on a bench and check with a meter. May be better off getting this one looked at professionally.
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