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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

Long time observer and first time poster to this forum. Unfortunately, the reason I'm posting is because I need some serious help / advice.

I have a 2009 Ford Focus SES Manual transmission. Late last week the A/C stopped working. The funny thing is that the air conditioner didn't gradually stop working (which would have given me an indication that something was wrong). Instead, the A/C just stop blowing cold air completely (in fact, the air it blows is rather warm). I've checked the fuse box (both under the hood and under the steering wheel) and everything seems fine. The compressor is kicking in every time I turn on the AC so I don't think the compressor is the problem. I think the A/C system may have ran out of refrigerant. Could it be because of a leak? I should note that I live in South Florida so my A/C is on full blast for pretty much the entire year. Is it possible to run out of refrigerant because of that?

I have googled online on this matter and it seems like recharging the AC system seems doable. I am not mechanically inclined but in this economy I know I can't afford to pay a mechanic to repair my A/C. If it is not too difficult I'd like to try. However, I am hoping some of you can provide feedback since it is clear there are some really knowledgeable folks here.

On another note, I'm kinda pissed that my car which is a little less than three years old already has mechanical issues. :-(. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

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it's probably low on freon and not working to keep itself from burning up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply misfire.

If it is low on Freon is it reasonable to accept the fact that I've had the car for less than three years and the freon is already tapped out?

Could there be another problem that I am not thinking?

I want to recharge the AC system if that is the problem but how do I check to make sure there indeed is low or no freon in my system?
 

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Thanks for the reply misfire.

If it is low on Freon is it reasonable to accept the fact that I've had the car for less than three years and the freon is already tapped out?

Could there be another problem that I am not thinking?

I want to recharge the AC system if that is the problem but how do I check to make sure there indeed is low or no freon in my system?
could just be an ounce or more low.

an a/c guage would show where your charge is at.
 

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You could have easily gotten a rock or something into the condenser in front of the radiator. This could be the cause of your lose of freon. Really need to have a shop diagnose before you just start adding refrigerant.
 

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I have a 2009 Ford Focus SES Manual transmission. Late last week the A/C stopped working.
Hi valmundo,

Ouch, with this heat wave, A/C is important! Since your Focus may still be covered under warranty, I suggest visiting your dealer for diagnosis. If there is no coverage under applicable warranties or ESPs, repairs and services would be your responsibility, but they will advise you on the most cost-effective way to prevent your concern from increasing. I hope this is resolved very quickly so that you can be nice and cool while driving your Focus! Have a good day!

~Natasha
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi valmundo,

Ouch, with this heat wave, A/C is important! Since your Focus may still be covered under warranty, I suggest visiting your dealer for diagnosis. If there is no coverage under applicable warranties or ESPs, repairs and services would be your responsibility, but they will advise you on the most cost-effective way to prevent your concern from increasing. I hope this is resolved very quickly so that you can be nice and cool while driving your Focus! Have a good day!

~Natasha
Unfortunately, my experience with my local Ford dealership is completely the oppossite. Also, as is the case, I just passed my 36K mile warranty (Figures) so I know they won't cover the repair. I do need to get this repaired but it annoys me to no end that a problem this big would crop up the minute my manufacturer's warranty comes to an end.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just called my local Ford Dealer and they're telling me a diagnostic review of the car will cost me $94 and depending on the issue, repairs can cost as much as $2,000.

Now I'm really pissed!
 

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Just called my local Ford Dealer and they're telling me a diagnostic review of the car will cost me $94 and depending on the issue, repairs can cost as much as $2,000.

Now I'm really pissed!
No need to be upset. sounds like they are giving an extreme scenario. it could be as simple as a freon evacuation and recharge with tracer dye all for under $200. now if for some extreme reason the compressor is bad, then yes it would be expensive.
 

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Just called my local Ford Dealer and they're telling me a diagnostic review of the car will cost me $94 and depending on the issue, repairs can cost as much as $2,000.

Now I'm really pissed!
Just FYI - cars are expensive. Always have been. Always will be. Plus, if your issues where the result of a manufacturing or craftsmanship defect (warranty) they would have become evident before now.

When it comes to service - you get what you pay for. There are exceptions to every rule but there is a reason your dealer charges $100/hr to diagnose concerns. They have the most knowledgeable technicians for your vehicle and I can pull numbers from any independent source like ASE that will validate this statement. Actually, Ford factory trained technicians have the highest first-time pass rate of ASE exams than ANY other manufacturer on the planet. ASE tests are often high in GM content as well, so it's even moreso evident that Ford techs are generally better than GM techs because GM techs can't pass ASE exams with the frequency of Ford techs.

Anecdotes aside, you do NOT want to attempt to add refrigerant (FREON) yourself. The main reason is that nearly all R134a purchased at part stores contains a leak sealer. This leak sealer does more damage to your system than it repairs. It can also destroy the equipment used to recover, charge and test your A/C system. If you think mechanics rip you off, wait until you see how they treat you after your fix-in-a-can destroys a $10,000 piece of equipment.

If your compressor works - that's good. You probably have cottonwood or other debris blocking your condenser or a bunch of crap plugging your cabin air filter. However, if you really are low on FREON it's a bad idea to leave your A/C system running because the FREON acts as a vehicle for the system's lubrication. As you can imagine, moving parts with no lubrication tend to suffer damage. Your system has a safety that won't allow the compressor to engage if the charge is extremely low but it's still a bad idea to run it even just a little low.

Find a shop you trust and pay them to figure it out. Any shop in your area is going to have labor rates close to $100....everyone has to be competitive, right? And without an accurate diagnosis your repairs could be $5 or $2000. Sounds like your dealer chose to give you the "worst-case-scenario" amount.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the advice Grinder.

I am not using the AC (I leave it off) until I get more certainty as to what is wrong.

I am inclined to take it to the dealer but the reality for me is the cost: $2000 is a very steep bill for me right now. It seems like I don't have a choice, however.
 

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I do need to get this repaired but it annoys me to no end that a problem this big would crop up the minute my manufacturer's warranty comes to an end.
Hi valmundo,

I believe the dealer was giving you the range of prices so you are prepared, since it is difficult to determine the cause of a concern over the phone. Once a visual inspection is performed, they will provide a written estimate of the repair. Keep in mind that the repair will have a warranty as well. As Grinder posted, Ford factory-trained technicians know your Focus and they have the right tools to diagnose your issue. Have a great afternoon.

~Natasha
 

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Val...,
Always, always, always... do the simple things first.
Is your compressor engaging?
If not, you will get warm air.
Then it could be an electrical issue like a fuse.
If compressor is engaging, then probably I would guess you've lost some/all freon.
I suggest you get someone to help and ask them to turn on your A/C
while you are under the hood and see if the compressor clicks on.
If the compressor clicks on, and there is no freon, it will click off again
very quickly - a feature that is normal so you don't wear out the compressor.
Good luck.
2009...
 

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Hello everyone,

Long time observer and first time poster to this forum. Unfortunately, the reason I'm posting is because I need some serious help / advice.

I have a 2009 Ford Focus SES Manual transmission. Late last week the A/C stopped working. The funny thing is that the air conditioner didn't gradually stop working (which would have given me an indication that something was wrong). Instead, the A/C just stop blowing cold air completely (in fact, the air it blows is rather warm). I've checked the fuse box (both under the hood and under the steering wheel) and everything seems fine. The compressor is kicking in every time I turn on the AC so I don't think the compressor is the problem. I think the A/C system may have ran out of refrigerant. Could it be because of a leak? I should note that I live in South Florida so my A/C is on full blast for pretty much the entire year. Is it possible to run out of refrigerant because of that?

I have googled online on this matter and it seems like recharging the AC system seems doable. I am not mechanically inclined but in this economy I know I can't afford to pay a mechanic to repair my A/C. If it is not too difficult I'd like to try. However, I am hoping some of you can provide feedback since it is clear there are some really knowledgeable folks here.

On another note, I'm kinda pissed that my car which is a little less than three years old already has mechanical issues. :-(. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
I have just had the exact same thing happen a few days ago. Were u able to figure out the issue?
 

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They always give worst case scenarios because they always charge worst case scenarios and getting car owner ready for that as well as sizing him up for if they can do it............when was the last time you EVER heard of anyone charging say $100 or less to fix a/c, yet I have done it on many occasions. The actual fix sometimes as low as a dollar or two. I haven't spent over maybe $50 at a time in a good twenty years now on several cars but I fixed them several times.

The a/c system protects itself and under 25 psi shuts off to prevent damage so no issue there. You can't hurt it. Unless you have a catastrophic failure you will still have plenty of oil in the system. In slow leaks mostly gas comes out but can depend on where the hole is located, it has to be very low to leak a lot of oil, as much of it pools in the low spots.

Not nearly all R134 has leak sealer in it, the cans are clearly marked, all you have to do is read them. If you don't the price difference should wake you up.

Testing? What a joke! Simply a way to charge you more, it does nothing to guarantee the caliber of your work there, the biggest problem is that they do things according to time allotted and the issue that makes them shell out so much customer stuff. Test results do not impact being pressed for time. Why so many other close-in parts get broken at dealerships, they fix an issue but another shows up because they broke part next to it in a hurry. Take an old codger like me, not pressed for time but plenty of time to think about it and why I can fix things at 1/10 commonly the price you get charged. And it NEVER breaks, I break maybe one part every 2-3 years if that often. TIME is the issue not TESTING. Just ask them if they will take the time to do the job properly and watch the look you get back carefully. Says it all.

Problem here? You cannot fill your own refrigerant or test competently as a rookie, the way they do it over the counter is pretty stupid, the only pressure you can read is one half of what you need and you cannot refill correctly since you don't know when to stop. The industry has you there, of course idiot people that passed tests and then blew off their fingers charging their own stuff (gotta think there!!) is what lead to crippling the system to protect the interests of big industry, uh, the lawsuit issues involved. The long and short of it? You cannot do it correctly yourself unless you test ALL pressures, you'll have to have true a/c skills to do that.

50/50 chance there is nothing really wrong with the a/c, they use quick-connect o-ring connections now to speed up assembly on the line and luck of the draw there, some cars ooze down refrigerant little by little until it finally quits and some don't. I've had cars last 15 years not adding a drop and others that needed it every three years. I simply recharged those up every three years to avoid having a 'trained mechanic' screw things up worse to then charge me more than I've spent on a/c in my entire life.

The other? You could have a leak that needs fixing. System needs to be vacuumed down to check for that. More 'expert' stuff, you won't have the pump for that.

There is a FYI link that others pop up to show newbies what can be involved with a/c and how it works, I do not know it but maybe someone else will chime in with it..........whynot has it I'm thinking..............
 

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Thx for the direct and simple suggestion...

Val...,
Always, always, always... do the simple things first.
Is your compressor engaging?
If not, you will get warm air.
Then it could be an electrical issue like a fuse.
If compressor is engaging, then probably I would guess you've lost some/all freon.
I suggest you get someone to help and ask them to turn on your A/C
while you are under the hood and see if the compressor clicks on.
If the compressor clicks on, and there is no freon, it will click off again
very quickly - a feature that is normal so you don't wear out the compressor.
Good luck.
2009...
I will try this asap...(fingers crossed)....thx![wrenchin]
 

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'If the compressor clicks on, and there is no freon, it will click off again'

A small correction, that is too simplistic. It always will click off again. What he means to say is that if it clicks on and off again QUICKLY you have lost freon, and technically it is not freon any longer either, hasn't been since '93. Rather, the word refrigerant, which covers all a/c coolants. By quickly I mean every ten seconds or less, with proper refrigerant amount it will extend way out to maybe a minute or not even at all before cutting back off at warm engine idle speed. Speed engine up though and it then does go to clicking off. It MUST click off eventually or the compressor will blow up.
 
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