Basic A/C troubleshooting


I use chilton's to do a fair amount of work on my 1992
toyota corolla(140k, 1.6L). But i'm not about to
gamble with any a/c stuff.

still, I do have a question about the a/c system as a
whole that might help me diagnose a problem.

from one day to the next the a/c went from
frigidly cold to non-existant. The belt is not
slipping (that I can tell) and the compresor
engages when I hit the "a/c" button (i hear
the engine idle slightly differently as though a
load has been placed on it). Fuses are ok, though I
couldn't get the circuit breaker out to check it.

years ago this happened when I replaced the
alternator. I had inadvertantly disconnected the
electrical connector that goes to the compressor.
plugging it back in fixed the situation instantly.

yesterday I was wiping off some oil (have a minor oil
leak that seeps over time) from the under
carriage around the area where the a/c compressor
and timing belt cover are. Now the a/c isn't cold anymore again.

are there other electrical connections in the area that
i might have missed? The line for the alternator
regulator (and ground?) Is coupled a wire that goes
down into the compressor where the belt/pulley is,
and from the same spot (pulley) a wire comes up
and attaches to the compressor itself (ground?).
a second wire that branches off of the alternator
wires slides onto a round metal knob (no idea what
this connection is for).

if there was a coincidental refrigerant leak (and my
activities were unrelated), could it go from frigid air
to normal blower air in one day? Or would the
coldness of the air slowly go bad over time as the
leak progressed?

my gut feeling is that the compressor and refrigerant
are fine, just that something got disconnected)

are there any other basic, quick check tests for
why the a/c coldness suddenly failed from one day to
the next? (Something that I can check with a

thanks so much for your time,


Do you
have the same problem?
Thursday, April 19th, 2007 AT 10:57 PM

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