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2000 Toyota Corolla hard start warm

On the coldest mornings in Maine, my 2000 Toyota Corolla starts right up. But as the engine warmed when I was running local errands, it became increasingly difficult to start - had to give it gas. Took it to mechanic: “AC clutch on air compressor binding up, taking power from engine.” So they removed (disengaged?) AC clutch, and now engine starts fine (repair $62.50). But come summer, I will have no AC (that will cost $600 to fix). Even though the car is nine years old, it has only 47,000 miles. (While I may live without AC in Maine, sometimes I travel south and want it.) Is this an ordinary problem with the Corolla? They also told me that there is a belt they could install to bypass AC, but that won’t make the AC run. I also would like to know if the defroster was affected, as I definitely need it in Maine! Thanks for any help.

The $600 apparent repair cost would not deter me from getting the AC fixed in May. Our 94 Corolla still has its original OEM AC, so I would say no, this is not a continuing problem in Corollas. You won the one that needs to be repaired early.

um, were you turning off the ac when you turned off the car?

as a general rule, i have always killed any electrical or power take off load before stopping or starting my engine.

Maybe very infrequent use of AC caused premature failure. The car should still be good for many years, so probably will fix the AC.

I think you need a new mechanic. Disengaging the AC clutch, rather than repairing the problem, is a short-term solution, and does not really help, since you now have no AC and limited defroster function. This is not good.

This is not an “ordinary” problem with Corollas. Most Corollas have NO problems with their AC systems. The idea of installing a belt to bypass the AC is TOTALLY BOGUS. You can remove a belt to eliminate the AC, but there’s NO WAY to add a belt for this.

Either you misunderstood what they told you, or they told you something completely false. You have to decide.

I suggest you take the car to another mechanic, preferably someone who specializes in automotive HVAC systems. Look in your local phone book. You want a place that does radiator and AC repair exclusively. They will figure out what’s wrong with your AC and fix it.