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Old 12-24-2003, 10:11 AM   #1
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Question How to turn A/C of when directing air circulation to windshield?

When driving in rain or snow, I direct air circulation to the windshield so that it does not get foggy. The A/C comes on automaticaly if the direction knob is anywhere in the last quarter position, looking clockwise. That is fine, however the A/C button led does not light up so I can not turn the A/C off manualy. So, if I want to drive in rain or snow, the A/C is on, the car performance is poor and fuel consumption increased. Is this the defect in my car, or it is the "feature"? I understand that this is there for saftey, so the A/C compressor does not get sealed during the winter when you do not use it, but shouldn't there be a manual override?
So far I would put the knob one notch above the last quarter to keep the A/C off, some air would still go to the windshield but not enough to keep it clear.

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Old 12-24-2003, 10:16 AM   #2
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you could always find the a/c "clutch" engage/dis engage wire and hook a switch up to it....
then the ac will only kick on when you flip the switch
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Old 12-24-2003, 10:38 AM   #3
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Its a good thing, other than the loss of power and mileage. The a.c. compressor acts as a dryer for the air ( it pulls the moisture out of the air for you), it keeps the winshield much, much more clear. I had a nissan that had a button for the a.c. compressor and it made a huge difference with the a.c. on when using the defrost, it would not clear the glass without the a.c. on. Like you, I prefer the switch to have the choice, but that is why it is set up that way. You could install a switch as above to turn of the a.c. cluch if you want. Honestly when its raining and foggy I don't mind the loss of power..
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Old 12-24-2003, 10:49 AM   #4
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Ya, I thought it was weird that Ford didn't make it a choice not to have the AC on or off with the defrost and other settings are turned on. I think I even read in the manual that the AC isn't supposed to kick in if the temp outside is 60 degress or lower and I had mine kick in at 30 degrees in the middle of winter. Ya, I want my window clear but geeze, I would like some heat when it's that cold in the car.
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Old 12-24-2003, 11:03 AM   #5
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Thanks guys!
I was confused with the A/C switch not ligthing up, but now I guess that is how they wanted it to work.
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Old 12-24-2003, 11:44 AM   #6
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The AC being on will not make the air colder when you have the temp control turned to the warm side. all it does is dry out the air. (really thats all it does in the summer too, dry air feels colder than humid air...) The AC comes on when its on defrost because it will not defrost without it (unless you live in an area that has dry air anyway...). Now in my car it does let me manually turn it off when its on defrost, but I live in a very humid area (i can spit in to the Atlantic ocean from my bedroom window with favorable wind conditions) and the windshield actually will get water/ ice build up on the INSIDE if i dont have the AC on.
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Old 12-24-2003, 11:54 AM   #7
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I believe it's a feature that pretty much every car has. My Mercury did it, my Focus did it, and my Cavalier does it. But like Dave30 said, I live in the south, and if it didn't work that way, my windshield would never defrost, or rather "defog" because of the humidity down here.
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by SunshineCavy04
I believe it's a feature that pretty much every car has. My Mercury did it, my Focus did it, and my Cavalier does it. But like Dave30 said, I live in the south, and if it didn't work that way, my windshield would never defrost, or rather "defog" because of the humidity down here.
It's an extremely common feature in American cars. My '92 Explorer worked this way, my '97 F250 works this way, and of course now the Focus. Other American cars I've driven (rentals on business trips mostly) all worked this way to the best of my recollection.

Not true on Japanese cars. My wife's '01 CR-V automatically turns on the A/C with the defroster but the A/C light comes on, and you can hit the A/C switch to turn it off.
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Old 12-24-2003, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by dave30
The AC being on will not make the air colder when you have the temp control turned to the warm side. all it does is dry out the air. (really thats all it does in the summer too, dry air feels colder than humid air...)
False. The A/C system drops the temperature of the air along with removing moisture. Next summer, stick a thermometer into your A/C vent. On a 90F day you will see the temperature in the vent at around 40F or so.

For winter defrost, the system will be disabled below a certain temperature. That temperature is somewhere in the 30's F. It is actually based not on a temperature sensor but rather a pressure switch in the low-pressure side of the A/C system. If this pressure gets too low, it creates a problem with ice forming on the evaporator. You may hear the A/C kick on briefly at lower temperatures because it takes a little while for the system pressures to establish, and for the low side to drop low enough to trip that pressure switch. Exactly how long is a "little while" depends on ambient conditions but it's not long, seconds not minutes.
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Old 12-25-2003, 12:01 AM   #10
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Not true on Japanese cars. My wife's '01 CR-V automatically turns on the A/C with the defroster but the A/C light comes on, and you can hit the A/C switch to turn it off.


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and this is why you see the idiots in honda's and toyota's with foggy windows when driving. drives me nuts to see. it is so easy to keep the windows clear, thereby safe.
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