A/C that quits working during rainstorm then starts working again



On a trip to visit my son it was raining hard and my A/C quit working during a heavy rainstorm. This was only a 40 minute trip but I did go through one puddle that was several inches deep. When the A/C ceased to work I noted that the green led light on the button was blinking. A look in the car manual told me that I should take it to the dealer for service. The vehicle is a 2005 Toyota Highlander. On the way home, with the windows open, and the noise driving my wife and I nuts, she suggested trying the A/C again. Lo and behold it was working! My question is: What happened? Is there something that I should have taken care of? Is the A/C about to die? What is my next step? Thanks, Norm


Perhaps water splashed up onto the belts and allowed the compressor drive belt to slip. I would check the belt tension and make sure the splash guard is in place.


Probably got a little moisture into the controls. Don’t worry too much if it corrected itself. You may want to check to make sure all the covers are in place.
It could also be a condenser that got too cold (from the cold water) so the pressures (both high and low side) dropped and tripped a lockout relay.


No such thing as a “lock out relay” in automotive A/C.


there is a triple switch that will sense hi or low pressures in the system that will disengage the compressor to protect it from locking up or overheating. I would 1st have the system checked for proper fill of refrigerant, if it is marginal you are more likely to have sensitivity. The switch is usually located near the drier. The refrigerant also carries the oil for the system. However, if only occuring during rain, I would look for proper belt tension and water protection to keep it from becoming wet and slipping. You may have some contamination on it as well.


OP, you might consider ignoring the post right under Willeys.
This post sounds suspiciously (very) like a certain poster here who has no clue on automotive air conditioning.
There is no overheating involved in this nor are there any lock out relays, triple switches, or ion separators.

Fix the splash shield as mentioned.


Modern Automotive A/C systems have a low-pressure safety switch which will cut the compressor off if the pressure on the low side drops too far. This is what causes the compressor to cycle on and off when the coolant gets too low. Most systems also have a high pressure safety switch to protect the compressor if the high side pressue builds too high. Triggering or shorting either of these circuits will cause the compressor to shut off, and trigger the flashing LED.

However, there could have been other things that may have been shorted, causing the failure. Or, even the wet belt.


apparently this is a very common problems with Toyota’s there is even a service bulletin. Here is a thread among many out there. http://www.toyota-4runner.org/showthread.php?threadid=18321


I think star forgot to log in because it sounds just like him… a bunch of nonsense.