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Old 05-20-2011, 02:15 PM
Str82Thom Str82Thom is offline
2002 Ford Ranger Edge
 
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Default A/C not kicking on unless ...

2002 Ford Ranger Edge - Purchased used 2 years ago. A/C will not come on unless I hit a bump or train tracks, but the A/C will not stay on more than 5 minutes from that point. When I first noticed the problem I could get the A/C to stay on after hitting a bump, but now it's getting worse by the day.

Since there was not a problem with the A/C last year and since it comes on nice and cold when it does decide to come on, I don't believe I have a leak or a problem with the fluid levels. I originally thought the problem could be related to a loose fuse or loose/bad relay, so I checked those and they all appear fine. I talked with my parts store yesterday and was going to get a new relay, but they suggested that I "tap" on the compressor switch to see if maybe the switch was going out. I tried that and nothing happened.

I have been "googling" my brains out and I found another article (http://www.justanswer.com/ford/3scf1...ot-engage.html) and while their problem is not the exact same, I was going to test the voltage on the switch side as well as the compressor side to verify that the voltage was at 12V. I haven't had a chance to check it yet, but I was looking at where the connections were (and how easy they were to get to) at lunch today and noticed that the connections on the compressor side are different from one another and the top connection appears to be recently replaced. I disconnected the cable and to my surprise it appeared to just be sitting on the compressor connection (no tension to the blade connection at all.)

I tighened the connection to the best of my ability while at lunch and reconnected the cable to the compressor, but no luck on the A/C coming back on. With the car running and the A/C on, I did remove and reconnect the cable and the compressor appeared to come on but then went off again. I wiggled the cables to see if the connection was still loose, but the compressor did not come on again.

I'm going to replace the connections this weekend, since it's an inexpensive fix to see if that does any good, but I'm wondering if I'm on the right track. Has anyone else had this problem or does anyone have any suggestions?

Now that it's getting warmer outside, it's time to work on this problem.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:15 AM
north44 north44 is offline
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Default Re: A/C not kicking on unless ...

It could be that your a/c compressor clutch is failing.

Speaking from my own experience, I encountered similar intermittent operation of the a/c a couple of years ago. The system was fully charged, the relay and the switches, as in your case, all seemed ok.

After plenty of research and asking around, I discovered that the Ford a/c compressor clutches were prone to failure, resulting in the symptons that you describe, and that I also had.

You can replace the clutch without removing the compressor, but as the cost of a clutch was about 2/3 the price of the whole compressor, I decided to change the whole thing - it's a little bit involved, because the system had to be evacuated, a new accumulator put in, I changed the orifice tube (kind of like a "filter"), put in new o-rings where I disconnected the lines to do the repair, refilled the system with the proper amount and type of lubricant, and then had a certified shop do a leak test and refill with the proper amount of lubricant.

So the end result was that my a/c has been workiing like a champ for the last couple of years since the new compressor was put in. It was a little pricey for the parts, but I saved a lot on the labor that I did myself, and I'm pretty happy with the results.

Having said that, if I had to do it over again, I would just replace the clutch - I dissected the old compressor, and it was basically in pretty good shape, the a/c system did not have any leaks, and I would have saved on money, time and labor. On the other hand, doing it the way I did, I essentially ensured that the "heart" of the system, the compressor, was new, and at the same time, it was a pretty good learning experience.

Good luck on determining what the issue is with your a/c.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:44 AM
Str82Thom Str82Thom is offline
2002 Ford Ranger Edge
 
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Default Re: A/C not kicking on unless ...

********** UPDATE **********
I have not changed anything out yet. I recrimped the connection and compressed them with pliers to make a tighter fit and the A/C seems to be running normally again. It has gone off twice since I did this due to large bumps in the road (reverse problem now,) but I've been able to get it back by reseating the cables on the compressor.

If I can make it through the summer this year, I think I'll look at replacing the all the switches and cables this winter.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:09 AM
kompuntu kompuntu is offline
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Default Re: A/C not kicking on unless ...

Interesting...
I have the exact same issue: just bought a 2003 Ranger Edge and was told that AC compressor was bad. Didn't really believe that, so i charged it up with freon and sure enough everything worked. However, AC was coming on and off very frequently and when driving didn't come on at all for quite some time. So me and a fried started looking for leaks and such. Didn't find anything wrong. Started looking through the fuse box, checking everything we could think of. Then, when we were almost out of ideas i started tapping on the relays (those beige-colored cubes) and voila: when i tapped on the third one from the left in the bottom row (when standing on the driver's side facing the fuse box) - the compressor came on solid. As soon as i let go the relay - it turned off again.
I don't think the relay is bad, right? Must just be a bad connection. Which is why it keeps coming on and off while driving, especially on a bumpy road.

My question is this: i've been trying to get that relay out to clean up the terminals but i can't seem to get it out. How do you do that? Is there a special tool that is required to get a relay out?
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:13 AM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: A/C not kicking on unless ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kompuntu View Post
My question is this: i've been trying to get that relay out to clean up the terminals but i can't seem to get it out. How do you do that? Is there a special tool that is required to get a relay out?
Well that IS the problem. They pull out just as easy as a fuse. One or more of the terminals is probably all corroded and stuck. So yes the relays is shot. Disconnect the battery before you go any further. I would use some big pliers to break it loose. You'll probably destroy the relay in the process, but the relays is already destroyed anyway.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2012, 01:08 PM
Str82Thom Str82Thom is offline
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Default Re: A/C not kicking on unless ...

**********UPDATE**********
My AC ran normally last year and most of the spring, but now it's not doing anything. Although this summer has been a HOT one, we're only having to use it mornings and afternoons for a 2 mile drive, so we didn't think we needed to fix it. Now we're looking at giving it to my mother-in-law as her primary means of transportation (me getting a new one,) so before that happens it needs to get fixed.

I'm breaking down and taking it to a AC specialist next week to see what's wrong with the dang thing. It's only 50 bucks to diagnose, so if the problem is not too expensive to fix, then I'll let them fix it, otherwise I'll find out what's wrong with it and then fix it myself.

I do think I'll try tapping/pressing on the relays again tonight to see if that gets anything to work.

I'll let you know.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:35 PM
david9729 david9729 is offline
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Default Re: A/C not kicking on unless ...

I have sort of a similar problem and don't know if it's the clutch or relay. Mine will come on and cool or heat after it has been running for about 10 minutes. The coolant is levelled up, so the only thing I can determine is that it's either the relay or clutch. The relay being cheaper to replace is my first thought. Only doofuss here doesn't know where the relay plugs in my 02 Ranger XLT. I'm sort of operating on a budget here and getting a Haynes manual right now is not out of the question. Can someone please point me in the right direction? Thanks!

David
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a/c compressor, air conditioning, intermittent problem, relay, wiring

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