A/C compressor/clutch keeps cycling... normal? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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A/C compressor/clutch keeps cycling... normal?


New Member
April 27, 2002
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Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT
I have a '97 Explorer XLT. The A/C clutch cycled every 5-10 seconds, no cool air. I added 2 12-oz. cans of R134A and clutch stopped cycling and I got cold air. About an hour later, the cycling started again but with cold air. I went to a mechanic and was told that there was too much air/gas in the system (which the said they fixed?). They also said that the cycling is normal for cool outside temps. Meaning that since it is only 50-55 degrees, running the air (or the heat/defrost) will still have the compressor cycle. Once the outside temp is hot, then the compressor should remain on and not cycle. If this is true, then my R134A addition probably fixed the problem (low refrigerant) and the guy just took me for $115. Is this cycling normal when running the A/C or your defrost in cooler weather. Thanks!

John Clemens

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It's normal for the A/C to cycle in any mode other than off.

Mine cycled and didn't blow cold air and it turned out I had a rusted out accumulator. Because Ford in their supreme wisdom decided that they should put insulation around something that makes tons of condensation :rolleyes: So basically they made something to hold the moisture to the accumulator allowing it to rust. This is a common problem and somewhere there is a link to a webpage with pictures and everything
Here is the link.. http://www.imcool.com/articles/aircondition/corroded_accumulator.htm

yep it is normal, but only if your switch is in any position but off.
see your defrost wouldn't work if your condesnor did not work, it removes all of the moisture out of the air for you.

most of the compressors will cycle on and off ever 15 seconds or so, if they are not then you have a problem.

Originally posted by Alec

It's normal for the A/C to cycle in any mode other than off.

It doesn't cycle on "panel"(vent)... and on newer Ex's "floor". Yes for every other setting