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2003 4-cyl PreRunner Compressor Issues

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Old 01-18-2013, 07:32 AM   #1
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2003 4-cyl PreRunner Compressor Issues

I have a 2003 2.7L PreRunner w/118K. Last month I was driving thru a snow storm and after clearing it, felt the truck "lug" and heard a high-pitched whining coming from the engine compartment. I turned off the defrost switch and things returned to normal. Subsequently I discovered if either the a/c or defrost switches are activated, the problem returns, which I believe indicates the compressor has gone south.

Toyota wants $1,750.00 to repair this (which ain't gonna' happen). I only use his vehicle for longer hauls, and could care less about the a/c, but I do need the defrost to work. A friend thought I could bypass the compressor but still get defrost by unplugging the lead to the compressor. If this is true, then I can live with that. I also wondered what system would have been used for defrost had there been no a/c unit installed. If an alternate system can be substituted at a lesser price, I have no problem in gutting the a/c altogether. Otherwise, the PreRunner may be going on the market. Any recommendations or insight would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:38 PM   #2
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The defrost system still requires the compressor to operate. The AC evaporator is used to remove the humidity from the air before the heater core heats up this dry air and then blows it onto your windshield.

Without the compressor, you would be blowing warm, humid air onto your windshield, thus fogging it up more.

Those vehicles that came without air, don't have a defrost setting.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:03 PM   #3
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Older vehicles did not use the A/C compressor during the defrost, so it might still work, just not as well. Just be sure to have the air setting to fresh, not recycle.

If you don't care about the A/C working, then either disconnect that lead going to the compressor (or just remove the A/C belt). Then try the defrost.
If you are happy with the way it works, then you are good to go.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:34 AM   #4
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Thanks guys for your input. So, it seems w/o the assistance of the a/c compressor, my heating system remains pretty much the same as if there were no "defrost" feature at all (like my 1991 4x2 Toy extra-cab). Will leave the lead to the a/c comp. disconnected & capped. Since the serpentine belt just free-wheels when the a/c unit is not used, and I would have to get another, shorter belt to circumvent it altogether, will let it be for now. However, I would like to search the Net to find out if a remanufactured compressor can be had for a better deal than the $1,250.00 quote from the local dealer. I see there is a Forum link to "shopping online", so perhaps I can start the search there...
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:54 PM   #5
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So your 2.7 has a serpentine belt? Didn't know that.
That change must have occurred in 2001, I would guess.
I have separate belts on my 99.

I can't imagine living without A/C in Arizona. If you have any good picknpull yards in your area, you might be able to find one on a Tacoma for less than $50. If you are real lucky the wreck may have had the compressor replaced in the last few years.
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