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99 Windstar no A/C

Discussion in 'Heating and Air Conditioning' started by Ziggy, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Ziggy

    Ziggy New Member

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    Okay so I have been using your forums for research for a while and usually I can fix my issue with everything you have. So far this problem has eluded me but believe I have done the testing to narrow the issue down. Would like some of the expert opinions around here to make sure I am on the right track.

    Ok so A/C is working at higher speeds but warm at idle. Checked to ensure clutch is engaging and compressor turns on (good). Took into an A/C shop and freon was low and they put everything where it should be and problem still exists. Then I noticed the fans were not kicking on with the A/C when idling. I disconnected the switch and they flipped right on but still not cold.

    My guess is the high side pressure switch is bad but the autozone near me has no idea nor can they find the part otherwise I would have changed this evening. So the long awaited question, should the a/c be cold when I run the fans full after bypassing the switch?

    Also my a/c clutch when engaged is making a steady clicking sound I did not hear before. This made me wonder if the clutch was not spinning up the compressor fast enough to apply the correct pressure to the system. I apologize I just got back from deployment and this occurred while I was away.
  2. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Welcome to the FFO!

    Not sure there are experts here and lets see if we can resolve your issue. And that issue is lack of cooling at slow vehicle speed.

    Just to give you some back ground regarding the radiator fans. Not every system and many have two fans. Those two fans may be controlled separately. One controlled by an engine coolant sensor and the processor that kicks on and off as engine coolant temp varies. The other fan is to come on when the engine is about to over heat or when the AC system is engaged. That is controlled by the processor as well. Of note the AC system should be engaged during the following modes:

    Always in Defrost - or when engaged in defrost/floor mode
    Any time the AC or max AC is engaged typically with air blowing out the panels vents
    These times may be controlled automatically with ATC or EATC or manually.

    When the AC system is engaged many times you can hear a click. That click is the AC compressor clutch being engaged to spin the AC compressor. This will occur with 2 to 5 minute intervals depending on charge, temps and humidity.

    Pressure switches only function to protect the compressor. The low pressure switch opens up stopping current to the AC compressor clutch if the low side is too low. Usually due to not enough refrigerant. The high pressure switch opens up stopping current to the AC compressor clutch if the high side is too high. Usually because of a restriction in the system. Both of these switches kick in when something else is gone wrong.

    If the system isn't cooling at slow speeds causes can be:
    Low refrigerant charge
    Weak AC compressor
    Blockage or not enough air flow through the condenser
    Internal restriction

    You stated a shop added refrigerant. Since the system is closed, you have a leak. Do you know what the system pressures were when they were done?

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  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy New Member

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    No I don't know the pressures but will go dig through my paperwork to check. The system was low due to my own fault of releasing the pressure trying to gauge myself with at a hobby shop that had them. I took it to an A/C place to make sure it was hooked up and dye was put in place. No leaks have been seen.

    The clicking I am hearing is a constant every 2 seconds loud at first then dissipates while driving. Once idling it can clearly be heard again. I was thinking this maybe due to the clutch or compressor issue. I checked the clutch and it appears to be functioning normally, engaging and disengaging when instructed.

    I included a photo of where this fan switch is. I was told that when the A/C is engaged the cooling fan for the A/C should come on but it does not. It only came on when I jumped the switch.

    Attached Files:

  4. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    The clicking should have much longer intervals than 2 seconds. This assumes the clicking is the AC clutch engaging. Either the system is low on refrigerant or has a restricting in the system. Those valves or sensors DO impact the AC clutch kicking in and out. However they are doing it based on system pressure. Either too low or too high.

    The radiator cooling fan is controlled by the PCM (Processor) based on inputs from several things. That valve may be one.

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  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy New Member

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    Thank you. I am going to find a place that can figure out what that part number is. I don't see it on the diagram but have seen it in multiple posts. Maybe I will find someone at autozone that knows about parts and not just how to search in the computer :).

    Guess I should check the relay while I am at it. Thank you again for the time. I will update once I change that out in case anyone else has this issue.
  6. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Check pressures - both sides

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  7. Ziggy

    Ziggy New Member

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    Finally got back around to working on the Dogmobile. So the fans work and new switch changed nothing. The clutch finally stopped working and I took it back to the shop so we could check the pressures and dye.

    Low and behold gasket on the front of the compressor went out. What I don't understand is how this wasn't noticed when they charged the system last time. They want me to pay 1500 to replace everything?? Haha no.

    So with the system already evacuated what would be your recommended course of action? Go ahead and replace the whole system myself or just try and replace gaskets? I don't know if I have to remove the compressor to replace this gasket or not so I was wanting some more of your expert advice.

    My dogs will thank you later for all the assistance. I bought this for them. :)

    Attached Files:

  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy New Member

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    So while waiting till monday for the auto shop to open I pulled the hoses off. Gaskets were flattened off and definitely the source of at least one leak. Searched the rest of the hoses for the dye but did not see any leaks elsewhere. I will probably just replace all the gaskets since it has already been evacuated and I am going to have to vacuum and recharge anyways (which I will have done at the shop). Attached the section and o-rings that is the culprit here. Compressor Attachment.jpg

    IMG_20171015_115205298.jpg
    Action likes this.
  9. Dominick 1

    Dominick 1 Well-Known Member Respected Member

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    Let us know how it goes
  10. Ziggy

    Ziggy New Member

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    Ok so I replaced a few more gaskets than those. Already evacuated might as well change out all I can. Plus it costs me $5 for gaskets and I am cheap. Vacuumed the system and low side valve was leaking so I replaced both high and low side schrader valves.

    Supposedly the system was holding a seal when they vacuumed it. When they attempted to charge the system there was a noticeable leak in gas (hissing) and dye beneath the compressor.

    Is it possible that the compressor itself is leaking somewhere? The system is currently evacuated so I have free reign to pull stuff out and play.
  11. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    "Is it possible that the compressor itself is leaking somewhere? The system is currently evacuated so I have free reign to pull stuff out and play"

    The answer is yes!

    The pictures you have posted are "O" rings. Based on what you have posted those are the O rings for the compressor to hose block. (A common leak point)

    The compressor has a seal in the front for the shaft behind the compressor clutch. And seal/gasket in the center of the housing between the two halves. Any of those points could leak.

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  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy New Member

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    This has been an awesome journey. So the question now is do I just replace the compressor? I am guessing to replace the shaft seal I have to remove the compressor and clutch.

    It is a $1200 van at 189,000 miles that is just for me and my puppies. So if I do replace I would just do it myself plus I get additional experience in working on the vehicles. (The wife won't let me touch her vette).
  13. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    As a post script, most people replace the compressor if there are any compressor issues. And most of the time the replacement compressor has a clutch on it. So it is just a matter or removing and replacing the compressor with the two new O rings.

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  14. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Compressor replacement is not difficult.

    Remove the belt
    Remove the hose block on the rear of the compressor
    Remove the compressor mounting bolts.
    Installation is reverse of that using new O rings and may be a new belt.

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  15. Ziggy

    Ziggy New Member

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    Sounds like a great weekend project with winter here. Really appreciate all the time. I will go ahead and order one and prep my workin hat.
  16. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    You should be able to find a compressor for much less than $200. Here is a possible ....

    Do your research before pulling the trigger on a compressor.
    Is there a core?
    How long to ship?
    You may need to buy an orfice tube to get warranty.

    https://www.partsgeek.com/m4jkqjc-f...+uac+99-00+ford+a/c+compressor&ad=11620898048

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