Air Conditioner Problem - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Air Conditioner Problem

I left home in the heat today and the AC worked good. Coming home I noticed it wasn't as cold as it was when I left home and actually got warm. I then caught sight of my engine temp gage. It was way high. Usually runs in the middle, but was 3/4 to the H and climbing. I shut off the AC and the engine temp went back to normal. Tried the AC again and it was somewhat cool...not cold and wouldn't get any colder. The after about 3 minutes, the engine temp started to rise again. With the AC off, the temp stays in the middle as normal, even though it is 90 dgrees out with a heat index of 96.

Had a problem with it quitting for no reason a couple years ago and finally removed the shim washer on the clutch plate bolt to reduce the gap between the plate and magnetic coil. This worked up until today.

What do you think?

On edit: Just saw on another thread you can buy just the clutch plate. Where???? I've only seen them come with the coil as well. I don't need the coil.

Last edited by Bob R; 06-20-2012 at 02:33 PM.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Just tried it idling in my driveway. Clutch seems to engage OK. HArdly any cool air coming out and no engine overtemp at idle speeds. Heard fan kick in also. Don't know if it was the condenser fan or the engine cooling fan. Probably the condenser fan becasue it came on as soon as I turned the AC knob to Max AC.

Think I'll go buy a can of coolant and try it. Can't remember if the low side port is the one with the black rubber cap or the green.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:48 PM
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It seems the problem isn't with your AC system but with the cooling system.

A hot car won't let the AC run effectively. How's the coolant level in your vehicle?
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Prismatic View Post
It seems the problem isn't with your AC system but with the cooling system.

A hot car won't let the AC run effectively. How's the coolant level in your vehicle?
Checked that first and it is OK. Car coolant system runs fine without the AC on. Stays right in the middle where it always has...hot day or cold.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 05:56 PM
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Low pressure service (refill) port on pass. firewall with black cap. Green cap in that area would be the evap. emissions test port. ^+1 on a possible cooling system issue.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Took it to get the juice for the cooling system and it ran flawless. Cool air coming out and no over heating. When I got home, I checked the pressure on the low port and it was 30. At my ambient, it should have been 45 - 55. So I put the 134A in up to 55. Air is colder, so we'll see. I just may replace that clutch plate.

Last edited by Bob R; 06-20-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 08:07 PM
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I have to join the others suspecting the cooling system. If your engine starts to run hot/overheat under light load such as turning on the A/C I'd suspect the coolant pump is worn out. Even if your coolant level is fine (not the refrigerant in the A/C system but the antifreeze), if it's not circulating properly any load will cause the engine to run hotter and if the coolant's not getting to the radiator you'll have problems.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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OK..I left home on another 94 degree day. Air conditioner pumping out cold air like it should and engine temp staying right in the middle as always. Up hills...down hills...flat road...stop lights.... high speed...low speed....all the regular driving. No problems. Probably a total of 30 -40 miles of driving, only 160 pounds of scrap metal and an old air conditioner in the trunk that I dumped off at recycling. No problems.

My last 2 miles home, I all of a sudden smelled the smell I get through my vents when the AC is turned off from running. Felt the air and it was warm. Checked the temp and it had gone to "H". Shut off the AC and temp went back to normal after 15 seconds.

I'm starting to think maybe the surpentine belt is worn. It shows no evidence of cracking or wear but it is the original and has 213,000 miles on it. It could be slipping even though I'm getting no squeeling. maybe it's slipping when the AC compressor puts a heavier load on it. As far as the coolant pump is concerned, it's nothing but an impellar that turns and pumps coolant. It either works or doesn't. It either leaks or doesn't. It is noise free telling me the bearing is OK and no leaks. These pumps don't stop pumping, they leak usually through the bearing. Not a drop or rattle to be seen or heard.

Going to change the surpentine belt. If it was the coolant pump, I wouldn't be able to ride all over the place with the AC on in 94 degree weather for 50 miles with no problem.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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I do believe that I have a cooling problem. I don't think it's the coolant pump, but I think maybe old coolant...I hope not a plugged radiator.

Also...is the AC compressor clutch supposed to cycle? Mine seems to run all the time. I read somewhere on the web that if the clutch cycles on and off, it's a sign of low refrigerant.

Anyway, taking it to the Ford Dealer so they can use their flushing machine. Been awhile.

Last edited by Bob R; 06-22-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob R View Post
Also...is the AC compressor clutch supposed to cycle? Mine seems to run all the time. I read somewhere on the web that if the clutch cycles on and off, it's a sign of low refrigerant.
Yes, A/C should cycle roughly every 10-20 seconds. Your low pressure switch might not be working. The compressor is probably only turning off when the high pressure limit switch is tripped. Engine overheating will rase the A/C system pressure, so that's probably why you noticed the A/C turning off when the engine was overheating.
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