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Old 06-13-2017, 05:03 AM   #1
zoharby
 
Drives: Toyota Yaris 2003, 1.3 Manual
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Super weird Yaris 2003 A/C problem

I have a 2003 manual Toyota Yaris with a very strange A/C problem, which got me and the A/C shop baffled.
History:
1. Since I bought the car 8 years ago, it had a weird problem where the A/C compressor would not start working when starting the car after it had been parked in the sun for a few hours. Only after some 5 minutes it would suddenly kick in and start cooling.
2. Recently, it also started cooling poorly (mostly on low RPMs), and the shop said the compressor is dead and needs replacing.

So, they replaced it with a brand new compressor. Both problems are now gone, but instead an even weirder and more annoying problem came up:
* Whenever I reach a speed of ~50 Km/h and go over ~2500 RPM, the compressor would disengage and stop cooling completely.
* This is not a problem with the TPS sensor, as releasing the gas pedal at high speed would not cause it start cooling again
* If I shift out of gear at high speed and let the RPM fall to idle, it will start cooling even if still at high speed
* I thought it might be a high coolant pressure problem, but just hitting the gas while parking in neutral does NOT cause the problem to appear. It will cool perfectly at neutral on 2500-3500 RPM. This only happens when the car is above some speed.

Any ideas? I can't even think what could cause this weird problem...
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:20 PM   #2
SirDigby
 
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sounds like an issue with the new compressor clutch.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:21 PM   #3
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If your car has ECON button beside AC button ... Does it help anything if you press it off ... ?
My car is imported from Italy and it doesn't have ECON button .. I have 2004 T-sport

Lähetetty minun ONEPLUS A3003 laitteesta Tapatalkilla
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:09 AM   #4
CoryM
 
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Hard to say w/o having the car to look at but keep in mind the only difference between 3000rpm in N, and 3000rpm on the road is the air-flow through the condensor. Since it works fine in N, I would guess you do not have a contamination/oil/liquid/compressor problem and are instead having a pressure related problem.

That being said, I'll bet you have a rebuilt compressor in it now, and I have seen more than a few of those be defective.

Good luck.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:58 AM   #5
zoharby
 
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Brand new compressor (or at least what they told me, it looks shiny and new...).
We were able to trigger the problem on the lift at the shop:
Compressor stops cooling above 50Km/h (wheels spinning in air on lift on 3rd/4th/5th gear) and above 2500 RPM. Compressor is still getting power (they put a LED on the line which stayed on). Would only kick back in when RPMs fall back to ~1000.

Seems like a compressor clutch issue, but we were baffled as to why the wheel speed has anything to do with it.

* They tried putting another wire in parallel from the battery directly to the compressor, did not change anything.
* When they disconnected the compressor wire from the normal feed and connected it to the battery directly (i.e. instead of the normal feed, not in parallel) the problem did not occur.

They are now changing the compressor again, let's hope it solves it
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:23 AM   #6
zoharby
 
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They just called. Different new compressor, from another supplier (i.e. not one that could be from the same production batch). Same problem

So looking like some control problem, but given the compressor is fed with just 2 wires (on/off) and we see it is getting power, what could it be?
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:51 PM   #7
stykerdk
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Many cars turn the AC off when the engine gets too hot, and the yaris has no meter.
So maybe its the coolant sensor making a wrong signal but not high enough to turn on the red light.
I would look there.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:14 PM   #8
SirDigby
 
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or the fan control might have an issue as well...
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:18 PM   #9
CoryM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoharby View Post
Compressor is still getting power (they put a LED on the line which stayed on).

Assuming that is true, you know it's not a control problem or electrical issue. So long as the compressor has power and ground and the clutch is locking, your a/c should be blowing cold. I would suggest the next step is to hook up the refrigerant pressure gauges and induce the problem. If you see the low pressure side going from normal PSI to vacuum and back, it's probably a blocked orifice. If your pressures are normal until it acts up, it's probably ice. Your dryer could be saturated with water, and/or the refrigerant is contaminated with water. This is my guess from thousands of miles away. If it is, replace the dryer and use NEW refrigerant.

With pressure gauges you can diagnose just about any pressure related issue. It's been too long since I did that stuff to remember it all.
Here is a chart that may be handy.

http://www.sanden.com/objects/SANDEN...OSIS_CHART.pdf

Cheers.
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Old 06-15-2017, 02:37 AM   #10
zoharby
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryM View Post
Assuming that is true, you know it's not a control problem or electrical issue.
But when connecting the compressor directly to the battery (i.e. disconnected from car control completely), it doesn't happen.

My guess is that when it happens it receives a lower voltage (e.g. 3-5V) that is enough to power the LED but not enough for the the compressor clutch to lock.

After some more experiments, it does seem to be related to the throttle pedal, so maybe it is related to the throttle position sensor. If I give a quick stronger push on the gas pedal at neutral (but still far away from fully pressed) I seem to be able to trigger it at neutral. Or maybe related to the high pressure sensor.

The A/C guy gave up on it (he doesn't know enough about the electrical & control system...). I will head to the main Toyota shop next week and will ask them to hook a volt meter on the compressor line, maybe it will show the voltage dropping when this starts.
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:13 PM   #11
esse10
 
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nope

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryM View Post
Assuming that is true, you know it's not a control problem or electrical issue. So long as the compressor has power and ground and the clutch is locking, your a/c should be blowing cold. I would suggest the next step is to hook up the refrigerant pressure gauges and induce the problem. If you see the low pressure side going from normal PSI to vacuum and back, it's probably a blocked orifice. If your pressures are normal until it acts up, it's probably ice. Your dryer could be saturated with water, and/or the refrigerant is contaminated with water. This is my guess from thousands of miles away. If it is, replace the dryer and use NEW refrigerant.

With pressure gauges you can diagnose just about any pressure related issue. It's been too long since I did that stuff to remember it all.
Here is a chart that may be handy.

http://www.sanden.com/objects/SANDEN...OSIS_CHART.pdf

Cheers.
nope, not all true . the condenser has to have ambient temperature airflow through it or you'll never get cold air out of the dash vents.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:03 PM   #12
CoryM
 
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OK. I read " Compressor is still getting power (they put a LED on the line which stayed on)" and figured that the compressor clutch was locked at that point. Did you see the compressor clutch disengage while it still had power going to it? If so (and I would be surprised if so), it's probably a low-current issue such as a bad driver or similar. If the clutch remains engaged when you lose cooling, it is not a control issue.

Esse10: Yes the condensor needs airflow. But I think we have that well covered since the issue occurs while driving at 50kph. I was just making the point that so long as the compressor is spinning, it is definitely not a control issue. If you are getting picky, you also missed a bunch of other mechanical things the a/c system needs to operate.

Cheers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoharby View Post
But when connecting the compressor directly to the battery (i.e. disconnected from car control completely), it doesn't happen.

My guess is that when it happens it receives a lower voltage (e.g. 3-5V) that is enough to power the LED but not enough for the the compressor clutch to lock.

After some more experiments, it does seem to be related to the throttle pedal, so maybe it is related to the throttle position sensor. If I give a quick stronger push on the gas pedal at neutral (but still far away from fully pressed) I seem to be able to trigger it at neutral. Or maybe related to the high pressure sensor.

The A/C guy gave up on it (he doesn't know enough about the electrical & control system...). I will head to the main Toyota shop next week and will ask them to hook a volt meter on the compressor line, maybe it will show the voltage dropping when this starts.
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:30 AM   #13
zoharby
 
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OK, 1 week later, this is the outcome (up to the level I could understand over phone conversations):

Went to the main Toyota shop, where they investigated it but couldn't find any control issue. Seems when the gas pedal is pressed firmly, the voltage to the compressor drops for a short period (maybe intended to give the engine more power), but when released to a cruise level, they saw the voltage returns to perfect but the compressor wasn't functioning.
Eventually, they replaced it to a third new compressor, this time a Japanese Denso one (vs. a Taiwanese and a Chinese one in the first 2 attempts), and the problem is simply gone.
My guess is that in the 2 other compressors, the compressor clutch wasn't able to lock at high RPMs, and therefore once the voltage has dropped, even momentarily, it would re-lock only when RPMs fell to idle.

The A/C shop refunded me for everything, and instead I paid only to the Toyota shop. This whole adventure cost me a small fortune (around a third of the car's value, prices at the Toyota shop are crazy...), but at least now I have a proper A/C :)

Thanks for all the tips.
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:14 AM   #14
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hmm, weird and wild story. Glad it's fixed now
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