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Yesterday, my 1996 Avalon (198,500 miles) made a shreaking sound from the engine and then the HVAC went off. No AC, no heat, no fan.
Furthermore, the engine, front right, showed a light fuming smoke.
I verified that all the belts were turning (which is the full extent of my automotive expertise)
I drove it home (windows open) and will bring it to the gas station today.
Any ideas on how the entire system would fail and the smoky smell?
First I would check fuses related to ventilation fan, if you have no AC/Heat probably fan is not running, smoke could be from electrical short, or it could be something else blown, seating on the same fuse. Another common thing could be faulty bearing on one of the accessories (AC/alternator etc), then the belt would start slipping, overheat and releasing some smoke, but you did say belts are fine and moving. It could also be broken AC compressor releasing freon, but again you would have to check diagrams if AC compressor is on the same line as the fan and taking other things with it (that could be expensive fix). Good luck, but do try to use some common sense and don't let them take you for a ride, for example: you don't need to get breaks replaced to get AC running, LOL.
More than likely the compressor clutch let go. Without checking the wiring diagram for that car, the fuse could have blown when the AC compressor clutch failed (if it did) and caused the other failures (blower fan).
Forgot what car we have here....This one uses an electrically driven AC commpressor. If that is what went, be prepared to sell your first born........and the second..... those puppies are REALLY expensive.... The compressor is not driven by the engine.
It could be something as simple as a relay, the control module, the electric fan on the cooling system, etc. You really need to get it checked out to see what happened. I can pretty well tell you that $20 is not going to cover your bill though....
The '96 Avalon should be a belt driven impeller design. It should have a low freon shut-off switch.
Might check for any loose AC electric wiring plugs once you see the fuses are ok.
Found this below in some auto fix-it forms. Their was no-reply as to what they actually found.
I have a 1996 Avalon with 11K miles and recently
I've noticed with the air conditioner turned on, the indicator light on the A/C switch flashes.
The a/c switch light flashes to indicate rotation differences between engine speed and a/c compressor speed. The cause would either be a loose belt or the a/c amplifier/sensor (controlling the magnetic clutch of compressor) is faulty.