2002 Camry A/C intermitent damper problem


#1

I have a very intermitent problem with the a/c on my 2002 Camry. On long trips the a/c will gradually become less effective. I can hear the fan blowing like crazy, but very little air comes out of the vents no matter how I have the controls set - so I assume this is a damper problem. I mentioned this to the dealer who told me that I need to bring the car in when the problem occurs - but it only occurs when we travel at highway speeds for a couple of hours which we do rarely. We live in South Texas so it is a real PITA whenver it occurs. I was wondering if this was a common problem with Camrys or if anyone had any suggestions about what I could personally look for that would help me troubleshoot this problem.



Thanks, Mike / San Antonio


#2

The problem might be with the thermal limit switch on the compressor. This is a protection device for the compressor in the event it begins to overheat. Or the compressor is actually overheating.

Tester


#3

Sounds more like the evaporator is freezing up. Could be low freon level.


#4

But the a/c normally works fine around town - even in the hottest weather. So it doesn’t seem likely that the freon level is low. As I said - when this problem occurs I can turn the fan on high but there is very little air that comes out of the vents, as if the vent dampers were closed.

Mike


#5

My limited experience with evaporator freeze up, required the car to run for over an hour continuously at highway speed for it to happen, and it did cool well until it froze. This was on a car that didn’t have the low pressure switch. I would think your car would have this, so it would have to be defective for freeze up to be the case. It could be something else, I don’t have any experience with Camry’s.
A test for my theory. If I am correct, then once it happens, you should be able to stop (while air flow is low), turn the car off, and then quickly restart. Is the airflow still low? If so, it supports my theory (but doesn’t prove it). If not, then you do indeed need to look else where. You might also (when this happens) look for frost on the big AC line coming from the evaporator.
So, when it does happen, how do you get the airflow to come back?


#6

Hey, just found this. It is a TSB for freeze up for 2002-2003 Camry! Not low freon, but a design issue instead.

AC001-03
Title:
A/C PERFORMANCE & DURABILITY
IMPROVEMENT
Models:
?02 ? ?03 Camry
Technical Service
BULLETIN
April 15, 2003
TSB UPDATE NOTICE:
This TSB updates EL004?03. TSB EL004?03 is now obsolete and should be discarded.
Some 2002 ? 2003 model year Camry owners may experience a condition where the
blower volume gradually decreases after about 1-1/2 hours of driving. It has been
determined that, in hot high humidity conditions, the A/C system evaporator is freezing
over, blocking the airflow path. There may be some instances where this condition may
affect the A/C compressor and clutch assembly. An in?line thermistor resistor harness is
now available to correct this concern.
?
2002 ? 2003 model year Camry vehicles produced before the VINs shown below.

PLANT STARTING VIN
TMC JTDBE3#K#30187351
JTDBF3#K#30118354
TMMK
4T1BF3#K#3U040018
4T1BF3#K#3U547049
4T1BE3#K#3U146151
4T1BE3#K#3U668355
OP CODE DESCRIPTION TIME OFP T1 T2
AC2004 A/C Wire Installation 0.5
88501 07020
87 99
AC2005 Compressor With Magnetic Clutch 1.8
88501?95 99
Applicable Warranty*:
This repair is covered under the Toyota Comprehensive Warranty. This warranty is in
effect for 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the vehicle?s
in-service date.

  • Warranty application is limited to correction of a problem based upon a customer?s specific complaint.
    HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING
    Introduction
    Applicable
    Vehicles
    Production
    Change
    Information
    Warranty
    Information
    A/C PERFORMANCE & DURABILITY IMPROVEMENT
    ? AC001-03 April 15, 2003

Page 2 of 3
PREVIOUS
PART NUMBER
CURRENT PART
NUMBER
PART NAME ENGINE MODEL QTY
88648?33120*
1 Air Conditioner Wire ? 1
88320?33160 TMC V6
88320?48080
Compressor Assembly
TMC L4
1
88320?07090
TMMK V6
N/A 88320?06080 TMMK L4
88410?33120 TMC V6
88410?42040
Magnetic Clutch
TMC L4
1
88410?33120
TMMK V6
88410?42040 TMMK L4
*1 Air Conditioner Wire 88648?33120 includes a wire with register, a silencer sheet and a clamp band.

  1. Compressor and Magnetic Clutch On?Vehicle Inspection.
    A. Start the engine.
    B. Inspect the compressor for a metallic rattle sound.
    a. Check if there is a metallic rattle sound from the compressor when the A/C
    switch is on.
    b. If a metallic rattle sound is heard, replace the compressor assembly.
    Please follow the instructions in the repair manual for compressor removal
    and replacement:
    ?
    V6 engine: page 55?50

?
L4 engine: page 55?57
C. Inspect magnetic clutch condition.
a. Check the magnetic clutch for signs of overheating.
b. If there are signs of overheating, replace the magnetic clutch.
2. Install Air Conditioner Wire.
A. Remove instrument panel under
cover sub?assembly No. 1, glove
compartment door pad,
instrument panel sub?assembly
lower and heater to foot duct
No. 1.
B. Remove the cooler thermistor
connector from the blower unit.

NOTE:
The cooler thermistor connector is
clipped into the hole on the blower
unit.
Parts
Information
Repair
Procedure
A/C PERFORMANCE & DURABILITY IMPROVEMENT
? AC001-03 April 15, 2003

Page 3 of 3
C. Disconnect the connectors and
install the air conditioner wire.
D. Wrap the connector with the
silencer sheet.
E. Install the air conditioner wire
clamp into the hole on the blower
unit.
F. Tie the connector onto the body
wire harness with clamp band.
G. Install the heater to foot duct
No. 1, instrument panel
sub?assembly lower, glove
compartment door pad, and
instrument panel under cover
sub?assembly No. 1.
Repair
Procedure
(Continued)
Silencer Sheet


#7

please quit posting questions ,you already have the answer to.GROW UP!


#8

Evaporator freezing was my first thought. Nice detective work, tardis.


#9

No, I only post answers to questions that I am fairly certain I know the answer to. (Unlike many here.) I haven’t posted any questions. At 42, I think I am quite grown up. For the record, the symptoms described are something that happened to me once, so I was pretty sure of the answer. After the reply doubting my diagnosis, I did a very simple Google search. It was for Camry evaporator freezing up. The TSB I posted was the fifth or sixth result. Frankly, I was lucky on this one. Most of my knowledge is of Mercury and Lincoln cars (of much of that applies to Ford too.)


#10

Thanks so much for researching this for me. I am sure that this must be the issue. I will print this out and drive it over to my dealer post haste and get this problem addressed before our scheduled trip to Houston (hot and humid) later this month.

Mike //////////////


#11

If you’re out of warranty, a cheaper solution might be to put the air on recirculate on long trips.