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No aircon compressor belt!


Dave2103
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Hi everyone, I bought my first Toyota last week, an Avensis T27 D4D 2013 estate & so far loving it. As you may have noticed it's a tad toasty at the moment & my aircon is just blowing ambient air so I've just come back from the garage who I asked to give it a regas & check for leaks. When I went to pick it up the mechanic informed me that the belt wasn't going around the compressor pully & had no idea as to why it had been by-passed? 

The car has a full service history from new but absolutely no mention of any work done on the said aircon compressor? 

Anyone know of an possible reasons this might have been done & is it a difficult job to rectify by myself? 

Thanks. 

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The most usual reason is because of a problem with the aircon although normally any fault in the system simply stops the clutch on the compressor pulley from engaging.

Whatever the reason, I suspect it will be bad news from the point of view of having working aircon. Its been bypassed for a reason, maybe the compressor was engaged all the time (and is seized)... all guesswork without diagnostics and testing. 

 

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Yeah the mechanic said they'd need to put a new proper length belt on to test it & see why it'd been bypassed in the first place 👍

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It's a surprisingly common bodge where the AC system is borked and the owner didn't want to deal with the expense of repairing it and just bypassed it to avoid the drag of the AC compressor - As I found out in my previous car, AC systems can get ridiculously expensive to repair.

I've read about quite a few people doing it on cars where there are AC and non-AC versions, as those have the two different length belts, so is an easy swap.

If you just bought it from the dealer, you should be able to get some money back from them at the least, or lean on them to repair it or reject the car for a full refund if it's within 6 months.

If it's been like that for a long time, there is a chance the whole AC system may need replacing as if it's gotten atmospheric air in, there is a good chance it's got leaks and if it's got leaks there is a good chance the insides are corroded from moisture in the air. And that will not be cheap...!

If you're lucky, most likely it is just the compressor and maybe the condenser that need replacing - compressor failure is the most common reason for people bypassing it like this. That's still not cheap, but better than needing to replace the lines and valves and such too...!

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4 minutes ago, Cyker said:

It's a surprisingly common bodge where the AC system is borked and the owner didn't want to deal with the expense of repairing it and just bypassed it to avoid the drag of the AC compressor - As I found out in my previous car, AC systems can get ridiculously expensive to repair.

I've read about quite a few people doing it on cars where there are AC and non-AC versions, as those have the two different length belts, so is an easy swap.

If you just bought it from the dealer, you should be able to get some money back from them at the least, or lean on them to repair it or reject the car for a full refund if it's within 6 months.

If it's been like that for a long time, there is a chance the whole AC system may need replacing as if it's gotten atmospheric air in, there is a good chance it's got leaks and if it's got leaks there is a good chance the insides are corroded from moisture in the air. And that will not be cheap...!

If you're lucky, most likely it is just the compressor and maybe the condenser that need replacing - compressor failure is the most common reason for people bypassing it like this. That's still not cheap, but better than needing to replace the lines and valves and such too...!

Yep, I was thinking along those lines, I suppose it's going to be a Windows down approach I guess 😕

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Yeah, not ideal, but just remember if you bought it from a dealer and they didn't say the AC isn't working they are on the hook for repairing it or you can reject the car within 6 months for a full refund!

Might be worth seeing what they can do tho' - If they're a good dealer you might not want to be too hard on them and come to some sort of compromise, but at least contribute something towards the repair. Then again they might be up for repairing it, you never know unless you ask!

 

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24 minutes ago, Cyker said:

Yeah, not ideal, but just remember if you bought it from a dealer and they didn't say the AC isn't working they are on the hook for repairing it or you can reject the car within 6 months for a full refund!

Might be worth seeing what they can do tho' - If they're a good dealer you might not want to be too hard on them and come to some sort of compromise, but at least contribute something towards the repair. Then again they might be up for repairing it, you never know unless you ask!

 

It was a private sale & it's had a clean mot & full service history so I can't really complain 

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Ah alright then; Might still be worth changing the compressor if you can find a second hand one or a cheap pattern part, but unless you can find a good AC specialist to check the system first to make sure there aren't any other problems first, you might just end up wasting loads of money like I did...!

Good car all the same, very comfy those Avensis, and the D4D's really haul compared to the petrol version!

 

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Everything really hinges on whether the system still has pressure in it which if it does precludes the chance of moisture entering. You can easily tell by just blipping the valve on the service port on the exposed pipework (its like a car tyre valve). If refrigerant is in there it will come out like a high pressure aerosol (beware of frost burns if you try that).

If the system is empty then the big problem as has been pointed out is moisture entering. It all depends how long it has been like that and how big the point of entry to the air is. The compressor oils that circulate in the system are incredibly hygroscopic and not only absorb moisture but also form an acid when this happens and that would cause damage. 

Hope you get it resolved and let us know how you get on.

 

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Hmm, I think that might have been what happened to my Mk2 as the aluminium pipes were supposedly riddled with pin hole leaks and that kind of corrosion is the only thing that makes sense as the cause.

 

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Could be. There is quite a lot about this if you search although I first came across this reading a Haynes Techbook on A/C service and repair.

http://pmmonline.co.uk/technical/ac-systems-why-do-they-need-the-right-compressor-oil/

Extract:

By its chemical structure PAG Oil is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts and retains moisture which can come from the atmosphere or from the A/C system. PAG Oil and moisture together are not a good combination as when they mix, it forms an acid, causing damage or failure to system related components.

This type of Oil should never be used to lubricate O-rings, compressor shaft seals or refrigerant line joints as in time corrosion can set in, which may cause a refrigerant leak. If the corrosion becomes severe enough, joints and fittings can fuse together and may not be removable during a future service repair.

 

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I have a 1996 Volvo 940 Estate that I bought for £250 5 years ago.

The vehicle has AC but as expected wasn't working. I initially had local garage re-gas it and supposedly check it for leaks. A week later no AC. Got a specialist in and diagnosed Condenser and Compressor leaking. Bought used compressor £35 and new condenser for £65 and had Compressor fitted and re-gas for £140. I fitted the Condenser. Pig of a job as AC clamp bolt seized!

This was 4 years ago. I also prior filled the right amount of PAG Oil for my type of compressor. Finally had working AC! Around 6 months later leaking at O ring joints on condenser clamp. Gave up last year as my AC system takes 950 grams, so all places want to charge 80-100 just for the gas! Even though replaced with new volvo sourced O rings I think they are too small, as non genuine condenser. Passed machine test and leaked out again within a week.

I have some good condition AC pipes and next year will try some bigger O ring seals and try again. When it worked was really cold!

Thankfully have AC on my 2015 Auris and Dealer fitted new Condenser under used approved warranty, as AC failed as condenser leaking at bottom right from front facing car! Car had 29,000 miles then!

James👍

 

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Yeah the vacuum tests on these automatic AC machines are rubbish - Unless the leak is so bad you can probably hearing it hissing they never seem to notice!

Good luck with the Volvo - I hope to heck the AC system in the Mk4 hybrid I have now never breaks; It uses a different Oil because PAG is conductive and the AC unit is powered by an electric motor, and uses the newer 1234yf gas - Both of which are significantly more expensive and hardly anyone does it apart from Toyota! :crybaby:

I almost wish they'd used R744 (CO2!) instead! That has its own downsides, like the ~2000PSI required, but at least it is cheap and isn't flammable unlike 1234yf!

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