Air conditioner not blowing enough air...


Ducaire
05-25-2008, 11:41 AM
Here lately, it seems like I have to turn the vents on high just to feel any air coming out of them. I've noticed the vents blow hot air as well. The air conditioner works, the air is cold, it's just there's not enough air coming out of the vents. I rode in someone elses car the other day, and on medium, the vents blow almost as much air out as mine does on high. Even just the vents without the air conditioner blew out cooler air than mine.

Is there some kind of an air conditioner filter that needs changing? If so, is it something I can do myself, or will I need to take it to a shop somewhere?

(It's an 02 Camry, just so everyone knows, and as far as I know, the actual air filter itself doesn't need changing, the engine runs just fine and gets 37 mpg again on the road). :)

Mike Gerber
05-26-2008, 09:29 AM
I know the generation 6 Camrys (2007-present) have a cabin air filter that requires periodic changing. Not sure about the generation 5 (2002-2006). You might want to call your local dealer and ask service or even parts. If there is one, this is usually a pretty easy DIY job. You might want to check your owner's manual. Replacement may even be covered in there.

Mike

Ducaire
05-26-2008, 06:54 PM
I just read in the owners manual that it does have an A/C filter. It's located behind the glovebox, so that will have to be taken off. I haven't checked it yet to see if the filter is stopped up, but even the owners manual said that if the car gets to where it's not blowing as much air, that's usually the problem. (The air is still cold, so I know I'm not out of freon). Thanks for your advice. :)

xpeed
05-27-2008, 12:00 PM
Toyota requires you to change your cabin air filter every 15k miles. If that's the case, I haven't changed mine at all and I'm already over 57k miles. >_<
But the air still blows like it's new.

sizzean
05-28-2008, 05:35 PM
I have an 02 Camry too and you have to remove the glovebox to access the air filter. It's a pretty easy thing to do. You just need the air conditioning filter which cost around $20 at Pep Boys.

I've changed it a few times already. The problem I have now is that the air conditioner is not blowing cold air at all. When I click on the AC button on the console, the green light blinks on and off. Anyone know what I can do??

xpeed
05-28-2008, 05:46 PM
Could be that your freon is low. Check it and see if you have a leak or if you need to put in some more.

Read your manual if you have one. It shows you how to install it in. Most likely, your air filter is behind the glove compartment.

1.) Press in the sides of the glove compartment to unhook it.
2.) Use a Phillips head screwdriver to unscrew the hook that is holding the door open.
3.) There should be a retangular box in front of you after you drop the glove box. That's your air filter tray.
4.) Pull it out
5.) Your air filter should be out. Get a new one and replace it with the word "Up" showing, put it in place of the tray.
6.) Just push it back in, screw back the henges for the glove box and your set.

Takes only ten minutes.

sizzean
05-29-2008, 02:04 PM
How can you check if your freon is low?

Could be that your freon is low. Check it and see if you have a leak or if you need to put in some more.

Read your manual if you have one. It shows you how to install it in. Most likely, your air filter is behind the glove compartment.

1.) Press in the sides of the glove compartment to unhook it.
2.) Use a Phillips head screwdriver to unscrew the hook that is holding the door open.
3.) There should be a retangular box in front of you after you drop the glove box. That's your air filter tray.
4.) Pull it out
5.) Your air filter should be out. Get a new one and replace it with the word "Up" showing, put it in place of the tray.
6.) Just push it back in, screw back the henges for the glove box and your set.

Takes only ten minutes.

xpeed
05-30-2008, 01:25 AM
Well, most likely, it should be connected with the A/C compressor somewhere with valve hosing attached to it. But the freon you need to get is R-134 which you can get in any autopart store.

I'm not quite sure where it's located at in the engine, I have to check it some other time.

Also, if your freon is full and running fine, there could be something wrong with your relay fuse. Get out your manual and see which fuse controls the flow of the A/C. Sometimes it'll prevent your A/C from running cold air, so you might to need to readjust it.

jdmccright
05-30-2008, 09:29 AM
If you follow the two tubes coming from the a/c compressor (located underneath the alternator), one will get smaller after a connection. The other will remain more or less the same diameter. Eventually you will see two round dust caps, one smaller located on the bigger line and one larger on the smaller line (the colors may vary but typically the smaller one is blue and larger one is black or red). You will really only need the smaller one unless you have lost all the refrigerant and air has gotten in.

You can buy a pkg that has a can of refrigerant and an adapter hose with a gauge...~$20. Remove the smaller dust cap, it'll look like a tire air valve inside. To see if the system might have been contaminated with air. Check the pressure with the engine turned off. If there is some pressure still left (more than 5 psig), then it is likely no air has gotten in.

This check is necessary since air contains moisture which can cause damage when it gets into the system. If the a/c hasn't worked in a while and there is zero pressure, you likely have air intrusion and should have the system pumped down with a vacuum pump to remove air and moisture and check for leaks.

Follow the instructions on the pkg to check and refill the a/c. If the a/c doesn't turn on shortly after you start filling it with refrigerant (there is a low-pressure cut-off switch that prevents operation when the pressure drops below a certain point), then something else is wrong and you'll just be wasting refrigerant...check the pkging for any details.

Let us know how it goes...good luck!

sizzean
05-30-2008, 01:09 PM
Thanks xpeed and jdmccright for all the info! You two really know your stuff. At first read, it seems a little intimidating but I will try and hopefully won't break anything.

Before I read this post, I went to Pep Boys but they apparently do not have the capabilities or labor/certification to handle a/c related problems. I asked where can I go to have it checked out and they said to look for a shop in the phone book. If I needed to get my a/c serviced, is this what you would recommend? Or should I go to the dealer (which will charge an arm and leg) or is there a reputable company chain?

If you follow the two tubes coming from the a/c compressor (located underneath the alternator), one will get smaller after a connection. The other will remain more or less the same diameter. Eventually you will see two round dust caps, one smaller located on the bigger line and one larger on the smaller line (the colors may vary but typically the smaller one is blue and larger one is black or red). You will really only need the smaller one unless you have lost all the refrigerant and air has gotten in.

You can buy a pkg that has a can of refrigerant and an adapter hose with a gauge...~$20. Remove the smaller dust cap, it'll look like a tire air valve inside. To see if the system might have been contaminated with air. Check the pressure with the engine turned off. If there is some pressure still left (more than 5 psig), then it is likely no air has gotten in.

This check is necessary since air contains moisture which can cause damage when it gets into the system. If the a/c hasn't worked in a while and there is zero pressure, you likely have air intrusion and should have the system pumped down with a vacuum pump to remove air and moisture and check for leaks.

Follow the instructions on the pkg to check and refill the a/c. If the a/c doesn't turn on shortly after you start filling it with refrigerant (there is a low-pressure cut-off switch that prevents operation when the pressure drops below a certain point), then something else is wrong and you'll just be wasting refrigerant...check the pkging for any details.

Let us know how it goes...good luck!

jdmccright
05-30-2008, 02:10 PM
Pep Boys? Not do A/C work??? That's news to me, but at least they actually admit that they can't do it. Most major repair shops (Goodyear/Gemini, Midas, etc.) should have the eqpt and training for major A/C work, since they have the $$$ for the recovery & recycling eqpt required by federal law, as well as high-tech leak detection eqpt.

Typically, they'll run their gauge tests, check for obvious leaks, then charge your system and inject a leak-detection dye. Then they'll tell you to drive it for a few days. Then you go back and they inspect your system for leaks (some dyes are visible and some are UV fluorescent). The most typical leakage areas are the compressor and the service port valves. The process can be time, and sometimes $$$, consuming, depending on where you go and what they charge for labor, r134a, other parts, etc.

Alternatively, there are leak detection kits for sale that aren't too complicated, but again you'll have to recharge the system for them to work. If you're not comfortable with working on your car's A/C system, I'd recommend you go the repair shop route...let's not be pennywise & pound foolish.

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