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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've taken my car to shop to fix bad ac compressor. They replaced compressor and the lines, drained and refilled the system. Worked great for about a weeks and the clutch started slipping. Took it back to the shop, they replaced the compressor and drained, refilled the system. 2 weeks later the same thing happened. Car is in the shop right now. I just received a call from them saying that weak alternator is burning up the clutch. Thou my car battery died mysteriously overnight last night, i jumped started the car and the ac clutch started slipping. My alternator is putting out about 13.2v .It charged the dead battery right up so IDK. The bat. is good.

I really dont know what to do at this point and Im extremely low on money.

Personally I think they are feeding me bunch of horse $hit. Alternator might be weak but I don't see how it would be frying up the compressor. They said something to do with heat (compressor gets hot) idk..
 

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I've taken my car to shop to fix bad ac compressor. They replaced compressor and the lines, drained and refilled the system. Worked great for about a weeks and the clutch started slipping. Took it back to the shop, they replaced the compressor and drained, refilled the system. 2 weeks later the same thing happened. Car is in the shop right now. I just received a call from them saying that weak alternator is burning up the clutch. Thou my car battery died mysteriously overnight last night, i jumped started the car and the ac clutch started slipping. My alternator is putting out about 13.2v .It charged the dead battery right up so IDK. The bat. is good.

I really dont know what to do at this point and Im extremely low on money.

Personally I think they are feeding me bunch of horse $hit. Alternator might be weak but I don't see how it would be frying up the compressor. They said something to do with heat (compressor gets hot) idk..
what is the output of the alt under load? just because it has 13.2 at idle doesnt make it good. also would have the battery load tested. if the clutch isnt getting the proper voltage then yes it can cause problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Im not sure about the voltage under load. Battery is about 2 years old and could be going bad (cheap walmart bat. ) .
 

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it should have a 3 yr warranty i hope. have it tested even if it shows weak make them replace it. have the alt load tested. if the charging system shows fine then the shop doing the repairs need to figure something else out. like if the air gap is correct. im sure they dont like doing warranty work so they will track it down
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alternator puts out about 12.5v with ac on load.

Would replacing brushes fix anything? The alternator is original so they are probably gone.
 

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You'll need more then just brushes, the slip rings that the brushes ride on on most alternators wear through, at least in my case and in may others that have encountered the flickering battery light at higher rpm. You'd be best getting it rebuilt properly at a reputable alternator/starter shop or a replacement.
 

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I'm more curious as to why they've gone through 3 compressors. It sounds like they don't know how to repair A/C systems. If the system was contaminated, the accumulator, compressor and orifice tube at least should have been replaced along with cleaning out the condenser and evaporator. I can't imagine any way the alternator could be ruining the AC compressors, that sounds like an invention to cover their incompetence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm trying to figure this out too. They seem to know their **** but at the same time I feel like they are messing up. Now they "think" alternator is doing this to my ac compressor. They insist on replacing the alternator and if not, then the warranty will be voided because "alternator" is frying up the clutch by not outputting enough voltage which causes clutch to get hot?!

I'm gonna pick up my car tomorrow and see what's up. I'll just go ahead and replace the alternator myself and see what happens in the next few weeks. If it fails again.... well, IDK what then. 4th compressor again or money back.
 

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You electrical system voltage with engine running and electrical loads on is too low for sure. At 12.5 V, the battery is actually being slightly discharged when the engine is running. Either the alt is bad or you have a electrical system problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys for some advice but I'm giving up and Firestone is leaving me without any help.


I got a used alternator from junk yard (looks like brand new, most likely replaced in the last 2-3 years) . Everything off, 100F and idle puts out about 13.6 - 13.7 volts. They insisted on putting a new alternator so I did. They checked everything last night and said everything looks good. Today I was getting on the highway, floored it for about 4sec, let off the gas and the clutch is slipping. Cooled down, everything looks good (although it slips for 1sec when i turn the ac) , went drive it again, floored it and it slips again , like its overheating. Went to Firestone . They blame the alternator again. Idle with everything on, I mean everything , interior lights, high beams, radio and full blast ac puts out about 12.9 - 13.1 v and 14.4 at about 2-3k rpm @ 100F outside temp. They said I need to put another alternator in.

What could it be? alternator might not be the best but no way in hell it makes that damn clutch slip like that.

Please guys I need to find this damn thing to be fixed... any help would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just drove around and the a/c was working as it should. It was blowing ice cold. Its about 9:30pm and its a lot cooler outside which means hot = ac clutch slipping , cool = working good. So what should I do now? Is there a Thermostat of some sort? or belt is slipping under hot weather (expands) causing it to slip. or maybe something else?
 

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what the hell is that above? India?
I just replaced my alt with a reman. The instructions said if the battery is not fully charged it will wreck or diminish the alternator. I've never seen this in writing before, maybe it's a ford part thing. Did you have the electrical system checked by advanced auto or someone with a nice all-in-one unit? I just got this car and the a/c compressor was removed and they cut 2 a/c lines right by it. I wonder if they had the same problem as you and eventually just said screw it, remove it. I was gonna try to replace the ac comp until i saw the 2 cut lines. Now i think i'll sell it. Doing research today as to why the defrost won't blow. I can handle no a/c but I need the defrost fan to work. Already stranded with fogged windows once (in the rain).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We have two different engines. On a Vulcan you can bypass the compressor with a shorter belt, no problem with that. As far as my a/c compressor goes, it blow ice cold when I'm easy on the throttle, giving 3K+ rpm (like highway passing) the clutch will slip for about 1 -2 minutes and stop. If I really give it a gas, it will slip for a good while until the engines cools down.

I'm suspecting they never replaced the compressor after I came back with the problem. Or there is a major electrical problem.

Also when I'm driving with the ac off and decide to turn it on it won't grab the clutch for 5 - 10 sec, clutch will just slip.
 

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I would have them check the air gap on the clutch. If it's too large it may not be fully engaging and that would completely explain your symptoms. The remanufactured compressor "should" have come with this preset properly, but if it didn't I almost guarantee you that Firestone didn't double check it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I could probably check this at home as I have all the tools needed. Can you explain the air gap a little more? What is the right gap?

I was thinking why would the clutch slip then? wouldn't it just not engage?

There is no leak (all lines were replaced) , the system is charged properly and keeps pressure.
 

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The air-gap is the distance between the clutch plate and the pulley when the clutch is not engaged. You check it by measuring it with a feeler gauge at a few points around the pulley. It's adjusted by shims that are located between compressor and the snout of the clutch plate. It should be bewteen .018" and .030".

Also, when I replaced my clutch a few weeks ago the instructions stated that the new clutch needed to be burnished to bring it up to its operating torque capacity. The procedure was to cycle the clutch on and off at 2500 to 3000 RPM at a rate of 10 to 15 times per minute for a minimum of 50 cycles.
 

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How many miles on that clutch?
Mine was just plain worn out, I took all the shims all out of it at 160k and it worked fine until it gave up the ghost at 185k. Auto temp system puts a lot of extra cycling on it if ya have that system like me not to mention low freon extra cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How many miles on that clutch?
Mine was just plain worn out, I took all the shims all out of it at 160k and it worked fine until it gave up the ghost at 185k. Auto temp system puts a lot of extra cycling on it if ya have that system like me not to mention low freon extra cycling.
Like I said, the whole compressor is brand new and "has" been replaced 3 times (shop, under warranty) and still slipping under load or when it gets super hot under hood. I really doubt that it has something to do with air gap but I will give it a try and measure it. If everything fails I'm going to replace compressor myself. Funny thing is I spent over $900 to replace the damn thing and they can't fix it right. Good thing I paid with firestone credit. They won't see a single penny out of me. These morons that call themselves "techs" should be ashamed.

He was showing me voltage at idle with high beams on and every accessory + ac max, dipping in to 12.9v and telling me like an idiot that this is the problem even thou idle + only ac shows 13.7v and this thing still slips ( @ 1K - 1.5k rpm it climbs in to mid 14v)
 
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