I have a Toyota Corolla 2003. I need to replace the expansion valve and the evaporator of the AC. I have been told I have to remove the whole dash to do that. Is that true? and if so, can you tell me where I can find a video or a step by step guide in how to do that? Thanks
A factory service manual would contain step-by-step instructions for this project:
First off, I cannot speak with authority on this particular repair as I’ve never done an evaporator job on one of these cars.
However, with many Japanese cars the evaporator can often be removed without dash removal. Lower kick panel, glove box, shove a few odds and ends out of the way, disconnect some hoses and a few wires, and they often pull right out.
If you live in a major metro area you might check your local public library. Most of them have manuals or even ALLDATA for free use. They also allow you to run off copies of any pages needed. (About 10 cents a page here.)
A/C work is really not for a novice so you should be aware of things like flushing and evacuating the system, proper use of the gauge set to avoid getting seriously injured, and so on.
An evaporator leak would be a rare thing on a late model so why do you think it needs one?
Thank you both. I will check the Library. The problem is not about leaking. The AC was not working properly. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not send cool air, so I took it to a shop. They evaluated and said that I needed to replace the Expansion valve and the Evaporator. They wanted to charge me more than $1000 to do it, and since I don’t have that amount of money, I decided I am going to do it myself.
First, you do have to remove the complete dash to get at the evaporator. When I say dash, I do mean the whole thing including the dash brace.
But, I don’t think the shop was right. My daughter has an 03 Corolla that had basically the same problem, except when hers quit, it did not work intermittently, it just stopped altogether. I looked into opening up the evaporator cabinet until I checked with the FSM (factory service manual) and found out how much was involved.
I decided to put this off till last. What I found was a defective clutch relay. This is easy to check when the AC is not working. First confirm that the compressor is not spinning.
Then remove the cover for the relay/fuse box under the hood, located just behind the battery. The relay closest to the front of the car is the relay in question. The spade pattern is (front of car) =II. With the blower fan on in any position, jump the II terminals and see if the compressor engages. Remove the jumper and replace the relay to confirm it is not working.
You can also use an ohm meter across the = terminals. A reading of 175 ohms is a bad relay. You are only reading the resistor that protects the coil from the inductive kick when the power is removed from the coil.
The Toyota price for the relay is $105. The price at Advance or O’Rielly’s is $15. AutoZone doesn’t carry it except for special order.
Thank you I will check that.