I have no idea where to turn, my google-fu has failed me. I took my car to a mechanic after my AC compressor went bad and after he replaced it I noticed that none of my meters on the dash work, the rpm meter is fluttering, the mileage tracker etc have stopped counting, the power steering takes a few seconds to kick in after you start the car. He was able to fix the AC initially but now it’s just blowing hot air intermittently and now the car won’t start at all. Alternator has just been replaced and we tried to jump the battery to no avail, its a relatively new battery and has never been fully discharged. I have a son on the way, if you can help me figure out what’s going on with this scrap heap, he’s yours.
You have a number of problems, apparently related to the mechanic replacing the compressor. You need to find a better mechanic and get the car checked over.
What happens when you try to start it? Do you hear the starter turning (whirr-whirr sound), or just a click, or nothing? Do te dash lights come on?
If things are flickering, it could be the battery, battery connections or the alternator. It may also be the belt slipping. I’m going with belt, because the ac is not working either. Check mechanics files link for another mechanic.
My guess would also be the belt. There may be a diagram under the hood showing how the belt is,routed around the pulleys. The mechanic may not have installed the belt correctly–open the hood and take a look. We had a mechanic at the Toyota dealer install the belt incorrectly on our 4Runner when it was under warranty. The end result was that the mis-installed belt pulled out the crankshaft oil seal. After we finally got that all straightened out, that dealer never saw us or the 4Runner again.
If the battery has a good charge on it then verify power is getting to the fuses in the panel under the hood. Usually there is a smaller red wire tied to the battery that supplies power to that panel. Also make sure the chassis ground connection is making good connection.
For the gauge problem first make sure that all the fuses in the dash panel are good and getting power to them when the ignition is ON. If that is okay then verify power is getting to the cluster.
The AC system may have a leak in the line. Hopefully the shop will back the work they did on it and make things right.
I own two cars on which it is physically possible to route the belt such that the alternator spins backward. Sounds impossible, but it isn’t. If that is possible on this car, I would start there.
its a relatively new battery and has never been fully discharged
The only way to know this for certain is something called a battery “load test”. If that hasn’t been done, that’s where I"d start. My guess, the new alternator isn’t properly charging the battery for some reason. It might be something simple like an electrical connector the shop forgot to reinstall. Once the alternator is working and the battery is recharged, the other symptoms hopefully will go away.
I bet the mechanic failed to re-attach a ground strap.
An alternator works the same spinning in either direction, but not a generator.