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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,
Haven't had a/c in about two years and wondering if it may be a simple fix. Two summers ago the a/c started taking a long time to blow cold air (7-10 min.). After that winter(last year), it would no longer operate at all. The heat works very well and all of the hi/lo fan speeds work as well as the zones.
I do not think there is a leak because when I turn the dial to a/c and then back to off it lets out that "woosh" sound like air escaping( i.e. it sounds like there is pressure in the system). When I look at the clutch with the a/c on and car running it is not engaging and does not engage with a broom handle. Could this be the CCPS? If so, how do I check that? Can I replace the clutch and not the compressor? (So I don't have to open the system?) Thank you all!
Also, I have checked the fuses and relays and nothing to report there.

The clutch is not frozen and will move when pryed on with medium pressure, but will not engage.
 

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It sounds a lot like you are low on freon. Get the can with the gauge gizmo at WalMart or Autozone and if it looks like you are low, this is likely the problem. In my case it took one large can and one small one to get things up to pressure where the clutch would engage and blow cold again. Hopefully it will be that simple. If you know you have enough freon, then it could be the high or low ac pressure switch. I have had to replace both of mine over the years. Again, an easy fix, and does not require that you have your system evac'd to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually I have a wal-mart arctic freeze gauge and it is in the danger zone at about 75 psi on the low side. On the bright side, it is holding pressure. I didn't put any R-134 in so I don't know why it is that high. :confused:
 

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You're seeing static system pressure, which may not show that the actual refrigerant level is too low for the ac clutch to engage (low pressure switch has opened).The clutch (pressure) switches are around $14. My low went first, followed by my high. Very easy DIY and able to swap out in 5-10 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
(in other words, the pressure needs to be read with the clutch engaged).
Glad you added this second post because I would have been otherwise confused. I thought static pressure was measured with the car off but it makes sense that even with the car on and clutch not engaging it would still be static.
I have the ECRM out now and trying to understand how to check for continuity. Do I need the battery in? Should I connect to the suspected problem pin and battery or the pin and module (i.e. voltmeter on the compressor clutch ground pin and then one to the clutch?)


By the way, I don't know if that's the proper name, it's the 24 pin connector located next to the battery.


I'm thinking I will go and buy the low pressure switch and see if that solves it since it's cheap and returnable as opposed to the ECRM which looks expensive.


Is this the switch? Where is this located in the engine compartment?
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Switch-Factory-Air_18892128-P_431_R|GRPACPTAMS_611778225___

The car is a 1996 gl with a vulcan and AX4N if that's not in my sig.
 

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That's what the part looks like. I do not know how to test the ECRM. For me, the ac began cycling rapidly once I replaced the switch. The pressure would drop dramatically at that point and cycle. The solution was more freon bringing it up to spec. The gauge you have isn't totally accurate, but I've used it for years to get a sense of where things stood. Of course people will recommend a pro, and you may have to go that route, but in my case, when I was having AC issues I couldn't afford a pro and had to figure it out on my own. The correct thing would be to pull a vacuum and recharge correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's what the part looks like. I do not know how to test the ECRM. For me, the ac began cycling rapidly once I replaced the switch. The pressure would drop dramatically at that point and cycle. The solution was more freon bringing it up to spec. The gauge you have isn't totally accurate, but I've used it for years to get a sense of where things stood. Of course people will recommend a pro, and you may have to go that route, but in my case, when I was having AC issues I couldn't afford a pro and had to figure it out on my own. The correct thing would be to pull a vacuum and recharge correctly.
Where is the switch? I found a two wire switch at the corner of the passenger side fender. Also found a four wire switch in front of the engine. Both had red retaining rings and the green o-ring on the 4 wire one was corroded and falling into the connection but nothing changed when I reconnected. Could this have shorted out and been the problem?

I appreciate all the good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Instead of starting a new thread or jacking someone else's I will resurrect my own. I have had a pretty busy summer so I haven't done a lot to the Taurus lately. I got the a/c manifold gauge set from autozone and I attached the high and low and they both read 0. Turned the car on and a/c to max and both at 0. I used the gauge on another vehicle and verified that it does work. Should I assume at this point it is in fact a faulty compressor clutch? It does not engage so I assume that is why I get no reading. Could the system just be empty? Does this sound like like it could just be a switch?
 

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If the system has 0 pressure you have a leak. It needs to be evacuated before adding refrigerant. After that, if you add a charge, it will just leak out again, but you may be able to locate the leak. I wouldn't replace the switches or clutch until the leak is resolved.
 
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