Air Conditioner Suddenly Intermittent - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question Air Conditioner Suddenly Intermittent

Yes, I read through Schlotsky's and another thread, and it doesn't seem to be quite the same issue I'm having.


2011 Taurus SEL. A/C has been ice cold for its entire life up until about 3 weeks ago. On my way home from work, it went from blowing ice cold, to immediately being humid and tepid. It was like this until I got home, shut the car off for two minutes, and got in again to drive another 20 minutes. The A/C worked perfectly for that whole 20 minutes. Then after the car sat for about 3 hours, I went to drive the 20 minutes home and it was humid and tepid air the entire time. After this occurrance, it was nearly two weeks straight of absolutely no A/C. Then, yesterday on my way home from work again, it started blowing ice cold air again, and over the past 2 days it has been intermittent... sometimes it works, sometimes not. The only clue I have is that when it does NOT work, the cooling fan in the engine compartment is going at full speed very loudly.


I did try changing the A/C clutch relay, and that did not change any of the symptoms.


I also bought one of those cans of R134a that has the built-in pressure gauge (I know, high-tech and completely accurate, I'm sure), but it showed in the "normal" range when the compressor was disengaged... and showed on the high end of normal when the compressor was engaged.


My brother mentioned that he had to replace the evap temp sensor on his girlfriend's 2010-ish Fusion, which required removing the ENTIRE dash to replace a $20 part, but he said his symptoms were identical to mine.


Anyone here have any helpful ideas? I'd rather not pay a dealership for the opportunity to have them tell me what's wrong if it's something dumb and simple that I'm missing!


Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 06:35 AM
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Blend door issues? If dual zone climate control do both sides blow warm when the issue happens?

Next time this problem happens pop the hood and see if the compressor is cycling on and off.

You can use Forscan to see what temp the evap temp sensor is reporting. If it reports -40 deg, either the temp sensor has failed (likely) or you have a wiring issue to the sensor.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 07:58 AM
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You really need a set of AC manifold gauges if your going to work on your own AC.
You can get a cheap set on Amazon or harbor freight for 40-60$$.


When its not cold, you need to look at the front of the compressor and determine
if its actually turning. If its not, you need to figure out if its getting the turn on signal
or its NOT engaging. On my 98, my clutch plate was worn and i had to change it out.
if the clearance is not close enough, it might NOT engage all the time.


When you get the gauges, hook them up and report back with the high side and low side
pressures. go online and learn how to use them first. You don't want to turn the manifold
valves the wrong way and hook both sides together accidentally while the AC is running.



bob
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Bob Urz 1989 Vulcan wagon (wife crashed) 1990 Vulcan sedan (sold running) 1993 Vulcan sedan (wife crashed) 1993 Vulcan wagon (beat up like Battlestar Galactica, drove to junkyard on a sad day) 1997 Vulcan sedan (down with multiple coolant leaks), 1998 Vulcan sedan (rescued from being junked three time with broken brake lines and bad rack, hydrolocked engine replaced ) down for now
Note: wives and daughters are dangerous to your Taurus health!

If Spock drove a Taurus it would be a Vulcan
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 08:04 AM
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Maybe freezing the evaporator up. Does airflow drop when AC fails?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff K View Post
Blend door issues? If dual zone climate control do both sides blow warm when the issue happens?

Next time this problem happens pop the hood and see if the compressor is cycling on and off.

You can use Forscan to see what temp the evap temp sensor is reporting. If it reports -40 deg, either the temp sensor has failed (likely) or you have a wiring issue to the sensor.

-Dual zone climate control. Both sides blow warm/tepid.
-Compressor isn't cycling when the warm/tepid air blows. Acting like a blown fuse or relay at that point but I changed relay with no improvement. Strange thing is, this past week, it worked perfectly fine for the better part of a day and a half and then started acting up again.
-Heard of Forscan but have no equipment to use it. I've Googled, but come up with a lot of chinese crap cables... What do I actually need to purchase in order to take advantage of Forscan?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Automender12345 View Post
Maybe freezing the evaporator up. Does airflow drop when AC fails?

No. Airflow is full strength when A/C fails. But the cooling fan in the engine compartment is on full blast. It's acting like it THINKS the evap is freezing up.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundu View Post
You really need a set of AC manifold gauges if your going to work on your own AC.
You can get a cheap set on Amazon or harbor freight for 40-60$$.


When its not cold, you need to look at the front of the compressor and determine
if its actually turning. If its not, you need to figure out if its getting the turn on signal
or its NOT engaging. On my 98, my clutch plate was worn and i had to change it out.
if the clearance is not close enough, it might NOT engage all the time.


When you get the gauges, hook them up and report back with the high side and low side
pressures. go online and learn how to use them first. You don't want to turn the manifold
valves the wrong way and hook both sides together accidentally while the AC is running.



bob

Agreed 100% on the gauges and learning how to use them. I'm sorely lacking in knowledge about A/C systems, especially newer ones. In my 1992 Taurus, the A/C clutch was bad, and I spent a whole summer pulling off to the side of the road, and tapping the clutch with a broom handle to get it to engage and give me cold air again for a few miles... or a couple days... whatever it felt like giving me!


I'm going to a trusted repair shop on Tuesday, that has the tools, both mechanical and technical, to diagnose and repair this. I've known the owner since I was in high school, and he'll treat me right. Will update here once we know what's going on!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well... Took it to my guy today, and I must say I feel a bit like a moron...


Ended up being 8oz low on R134a. Also found a very slight leak on the high pressure valve stem. Replaced the stem, filled the Freon, and we're blowing ice cold air again!


Hallelujah I don't have to rip the dash off for a sensor!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 06:21 PM
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I pull the plastic caps off when the a/c is running after I change the oil in the cars, if there is a leak you'll see bubbles and some leak indicator green.
There is a valve tool you can use to verify the stems are snug but not over tighten them.
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