The a/c systems on some 2001-04 Toyota cars and light trucks may cut out, work intermittently or not work at all. The customer comment you'll hear most often is that the a/c light flashes when the system troubles occur.
One likely cause for the gremlins is a sticking condition in the compressor clutch relay. Installing an improved relay, part No. 90987-02028, should eliminate further trouble.
To make the right diagnosis, just remove the existing clutch relay and look at the part number printed on the side. If it's not 90987-02022, this information doesn't apply; continue with normal diagnostics until the problem is resolved. If the part number on the side of the old relay is 90987-02022, go ahead and install the revised relay with confidence.
Vehicles that are prone to the a/c problems mentioned are 2001-04 Camry, ECHO and Celica models; 2002-04 4Runners, Corollas and MR2 Spyders; and 2003-04 Highlanders, Matrix, Solaras and Sienna minivans.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].