A/C Clutch going on and off | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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A/C Clutch going on and off

njkev7

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Jersey City NJ
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1999
I started hearing a clicking noise every 5 to 10 seconds. I popped the hood and notice that the AC Clutch was going on and off (note: it doesn’t do it with the ac off). What's causing this and how do I fix it.
 



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halls51

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A sure bet is that it is low on freon. That is the main cause for clutch cycling.
 






RickMar

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99 Mercury Mountaineer
Hi njkev7
The information halls51 gave you is exactly what is going on.
You absolutely need some Freon. You could have a small leak at an "O" ring or somewhere else. You should have a leak check done as well... it is done with a florescent dye that will show where the leak is coming from.

If you want to do it yourself..most automotive stores sell the whole package freon... leak check dye with pen light and sealer all for around $40.00. Definitely get the sealer!!
Here is a link to a automotive A/C forum http://www.autoacforum.com/index.cfm?NoCookies=Yes There are some A/C guru's there that will tell you the same thing "Freon" also they can provide you with any A/C repair information you need. All you need to do is go through the Join process. After that just log in you can post a question.

Good luck.
Rick
 






my98nnj

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Does the A/C still blow cold? If it does, you don't need any refrigerant. The compressor cycles normally to maintain system pressures. It will cycle on every HVAC setting except floor and vent. So if you're wondering why it's running all the time, it's doing it to reduce the humidity in the cabin of the vehicle.
 






marragtop

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I would only use the sealer as a last resort.
 






RickMar

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njkev7;
When your A/C compressors Clutch was going on and off continually every 5 - 10 seconds, that is known as recycling and you need "Freon"
You can fix it by adding freon to the "LOW' port. The cap will have a "L" marked on it.
The other fix is to have a mechanic do it for you, it can be a little tricky if you are not familiar with the A/C system and it's components.

I have had the same identical circumstance with my A/C.
I asked 4 mechanics at various garages around the area and they alll said "That is a sign of needing Freon"
Mine is working fine now.
Rick
 






moscar80

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sorry to revive an old thread but I'm having the same issue. I'm not interested in fixing the a/c, so is there a fuse or something to pull to stop the clutch from cycling so often? will doing nothing cause the clutch to burn out over time, or would it be fine to leave it alone?

The previous owner told me about the a/c issue, he said he had some long hose replaced because it wore a hole in it, and it did the same thing again. It was an expensive fix, and I'm not interested in messing with it right now, but don't want to burn the compressor because I'll probably fix it down the road. I want to put some miles ont he truck to test its reliability before dumping$$$ into it.
 






firepop5

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Disconnect the wire(s) going to the compressor, tape over any exposed ends and secure the wire so it doesn't get caught up in anything.
 






RickMar

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Firepop5 pointed you in the right direction.
Just pop off the compressor's electrical connector and tape it up.
Make sure it is not going to get in the way of anything and secure it to something with tape or a tie-back.
Rick
 












marragtop

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Keep in mind, once you disconnect the compressor, your defroster will no longer work properly. Also, if you want to completely bypass the AC pulley/clutch, put a non AC serpentine belt on.
 






moscar80

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That's interesting about the defroster, why is it effected by the compressor? I prefer to keep my current belt, since I put a Gatorbak on there 5 days ago.
 






weld302

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I beleve that most cars use the A/C to help the defrost cylcle but i am not 100% on how it works? maybe dryer air? i would like to know if all i need to do is add freon for sure because mine is doing the exact same thing!:D
 






Car-Dog

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I am having sort of a similar problem. last summer ac worked fine now the ac doesn't blow cold and the clutch never engages. would that be a sign of needing freon?
 






03silversvt

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That's interesting about the defroster, why is it effected by the compressor? I prefer to keep my current belt, since I put a Gatorbak on there 5 days ago.

The defroster will work but if you dont have a/c, your windows will fog up if its raining or snowing when your running your defroster. All cars with a/c, the a/c automatically kicks on. Anyone that has drivin a car that has no delete would know what im talkin about.
 






Yambandit

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Guys I've had a 2000 Ranger XLT and now have a 1998 Explorer and the clutch has always cut in and out in the same way your refrigerator works at home only more frequently. My aircon works fine with no leaks. I believe this is how the compressor should work otherwise why would it have a clutch and not just be on or off? :D
 






budwich

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The odds are that his defrost will work the "same" whether he disconnects his compressor or not since it is likely that the "cycling" is likely a pressure issue (likely low freon) which means the AC ain't doing much "drying" or anything for that matter.
 






Lzwo

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I'm in FL, so I know....

Yes, the a/c drys the air. W/o the compressor running, you are just blowing the same humid air around. With my old VW, the only way to defrost was a hand towel. No amount of fan did anything - when its 100% humidity both in and out of the car.
As an aside, this is one reason you "size" the a/c in your house to the size of the house. If the a/c unit is too big, it cools too fast w/o removing enough humidity from the home. Plus, the humidity makes it feel hotter than actual temp (so you turn it down lower), while dryer air will feel cooler in summer.
Lots of the new super-efficient home systems have a dehumidifier/air dryer separate from the ac compressor, so the chilling can be different from the humidity level.

Edit "defrost" should be changed to "de-FOG." But its probably the same with frost - its just frozen water.
 






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