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Old 11-03-2009, 04:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I own a 2002 Ford Taurus SES with a V6 3.0L DOHC engine and 80,000 miles. Recently my wife was driving the car pulling onto the highway when she pressed on the accelerator and the car hesitated and jarred with a loud sound coming from under the hood, the car did not die, just hesitated. Since then, the check engine light has come on and there is a whirring sound from or nearby the A/C compressor. When the fans are turned on, ever since the previously mentioned incident, there has been an odor coming from the vents. There is no smoke, just the smell of something electrical burning. Also, air conditioning has not worked in the 6 months we have owned the car. Heat works, but slowly. When the fan is engaged (on high) with the air being directed to the defrost, there is a slight variation in the rpm's, also in the A/C and Max A/C phases the rpms rise about 600 and if the vehicle is in drive and idling while the fans are running (with heat or cold) it generates enough power that i have to apply additional pressure to the brakes just to keep from inching forward. I brought it into a local auto parts store and hooked it up to a scanner and it spit out the code: P1633 Keep Alive Power Voltage too Low.

ok, so here's my thoughts...

I think the condenser clutch has a bearing out which could cause the alternator to work harder which could heat up the wires and cause the smell, while at the same time, the computer which is calling for the increase in power is also causing the engine idle level to vary. Just wondering if I'm on the right track with replacement of A/C condenser unit.

Any knowledgeable input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not unusual for the compressor clutch to go out. Was the AC on when this happened? You should be able to visually inspect the clutch operation. The clutch burning out will fry the bearing due to the heat generated. I have replaced the entire compressor and clutch assembly on my car. This is why I disable the AC operation in cool and cold weather. I do not want the expensive compressor operating while in defrost mode. It would cycle in cold weather - just more wear and tear on the clutch.
If it is just the clutch and not the bearing you can disable it by unplugging the power to the compressor and wait till Spring to fix it. If the bearing is shot you'll have to replace it now because the serpentine belt will come off.

Hope this helps.

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Old 11-04-2009, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When your compressor has a clutch/pulley bearing failure you are looking at "Check your wallet light". Check your wallet, that baby is pricey fix at any shop. I went though this business last year with my Stealership. To cut a long story short, if you have a failed A/C clutch bearing----just insist on a "reman" compressor with clutch. The stupid Stealerships work only by the book and will repair the clutch/coil/pulley---total BS! They want labor hours---thieving SOB's. It is cheaper to replace the entire compressor (that has new clutch and pulley and they have them in stock). The Stealerships are BS! It is way cheaper to put in a brand new Ford compressor c/w clutch than have them charge you for tons of labor. I challenged Ford on this and I got the reply that they work by the book---ie SOCK IT to the customer!! I was charged over $900 by my Stealership to replace my A/c clutch assbly. The (Intelligent) Service Manager explained how Ford Service works----by the book!! That makes service work very expensive! Smart Eh?? Ford Service is a thieving lying crooked bunch of SOB's. (They are all the same).
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When the compressor is running, the ac clutch pulley bearing (the one that wears out) is not turning, as the clutch is engaged and it locks the clutch pulley to the compressor shaft, and the compressor shaft bearings are what are turning (compared to when the ac is off, the ac clutch is not engaged, and the ac clutch pulley bearings are turning).

Disabling the ac compressor in the winter leads to leaking compressor shaft seals (shorter compressor life), longer windshield defrost times, and more wear on the ac clutch pulley bearing (shorter clutch pulley bearing life).

Just what do you think you're saving?
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree not good idea to disconnect the a/c clutch connection in cold weather.

when the a/c runs the R134a is pumped and makes it way to the
receiver dryer and any moisture is absorbed in the desiccant
and oil is also circulated in the system.


The a/c clutch pulley bearing always turns with the engine running.

when a/c is turn on, magnetic clutch activates and 'locks up'
the clutch plate (attached to compressor shaft) and that
in turn powers the a/c compressor.

the a/c shaft bearing(s) are not moving when a/c is off.

regards
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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QUOTE (james27613 @ Nov 4 2009, 10:17 PM)
Quote:
I agree not good idea to disconnect the a/c clutch connection in cold weather.

when the a/c runs the R134a is pumped and makes it way to the
receiver dryer and any moisture is absorbed in the desiccant
and oil is also circulated in the system.


The a/c clutch pulley bearing always turns with the engine running.

when a/c is turn on, magnetic clutch activates and 'locks up'
the clutch plate (attached to compressor shaft) and that
in turn powers the a/c compressor.

the a/c shaft bearing(s) are not moving when a/c is off.

regards[/b]
The cars that I have had that ran the AC during the winter wore out the quickest. I have had to replace both car's compressors. That is when I started disabling the AC for the 4 coldest months. So my actions are from experience. The idea of running the AC in the winter sounds good but I have found it to be expensive.
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