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Old 05-04-2014, 07:56 AM   #1
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2001 Focus LE A/C issue

My 2001 is putting out cool air. It is moist cool air. Here is what I have checked so far.
- it has enough coolant. I thought it was low but when I hooked up to recharge it, the gauge said that it had plenty.
- I have checked the fuse under the dash.
- I have checked the relay under the hood. I took out the relay and touched it to a fuse checker. The green light came on. I suppose that is good, right? I wanted to switch it with another relay but each one that I tried to remove, the plastic case came off and the relay did not come out. Should I keep trying to swap these? Or maybe they would let me test a new one at my local auto parts store?

It does seem the compressor is kicking in. When I have the fan turned on and I press the a/c button I can hear the change in the engine which sounds like the compressor kicking in.

Any ideas of what to check next?

I live in Columbia, SC and it is about to get really hot here. A/C is desperately needed. Thanks

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Old 05-04-2014, 05:21 PM   #2
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Here's a link to the "sticky" at the top of the page on A/C troubleshooting & repair:


You can watch the A/C clutch operate when checking under the hood, center will start spinning when the compressor kicks on.

Where did you connect to check refrigerant charge? Under the hood is NOT the correct place on these cars. (Hidden behind rt. side wheel well cover, under fender & behind the wheel area)
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:49 AM   #3
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I think it's not draining. If the light comes on, it's doing all that it can do. We'll get to the charge part later, and BTW it's refrigerant not coolant.

AC's should drain because those systems pull moisture out of the air. That's where the little puddles of clear water under cars come from in the summer. Your drain is located between the two heater hoses that enter the car near the middle of the firewall under the car. You'll see a small hole there, use a straightened out metal coat hanger or some other suitable probe to push through the dirt and crud there. Consider changing your cabin air filter- it will help cut down on particulate buildup there and inside the evaporator which is something NOBODY wants.

Before you do anything else- no matter how hot it is- LEARN AC. My General AC thread is an ok place to start (so I've heard), but learn how this stuff works so you can properly diagnose your problem. I suggest trying everything that you can try BEFORE you go tearing a system down that is holding refrigerant. Sometimes you will have to tear down a system that is holding refrigerant. If you read enough, you will understand how to use gauges to tell if the compressor is working. It can "run" to the casual observer, but not be working according to the gauges. DO NOT ASSUME this is your current problem until you can prove it. I think most of your problem is that the water isn't draining out- so you get moist, cool air.

Once you've learned this stuff, and collected the proper tools, you'll never be without AC in any car you own from then on. At least you won't be without it until you can purchase the parts to repair it. I know it's well worth the time to learn, I've lived in the south my whole life, and Memphis always has humidity around 95%.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:35 AM   #4
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First of all, thanks for the replies. And thanks for the link to the sticky on A/C. I have read through almost all of the pages and will definitely check the clutch and check for moisture blockage underneath. These sound promising. I will keep you posted on my findings.
Thanks again.
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