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1996 Toyota Tacoma a/c problems

This is a great little truck we only use occasionally. It has 145,000 miles and runs great, but the a/c temperature is very sporadic, and this week it is 100 degrees! One day it will work fine, and the next day it will only blow hot air. Sometimes the air starts out cold, but after 5 min of driving, it turns hot. I have had the freon checked and my mechanic said part of the compressor (forget what he called it) was probably getting stuck at times, and he would have to pull it all out and possibly replace…$300-500. Any other ideas? Thanks!

Compressor clutch, perhaps? If the clutch is not engaging, you won’t get cold air.

We can’t see it from here, so we can’t tell if the clutch is working or not.

Do you trust your mechanic?

$300-500 is a darn good price for a new compressor. Whether it is the issue he thinks it is or not, it is probably still the compressor. I had similar symptoms on my Civic with a compressor with an electrical issue, and it cost me more than $1,000 to get a new compressor installed. Recently, the compressor died again, and the quote I got for a new one is $900. If you can get your compressor replaced for $300-500, do it before your mechanic comes to his senses and doubles the estimate.

It could be the compressor clutch relay. It should be located in the underhood relay/fuse panel.