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I've been playing around with my AC, and here is what I discovered, which MAY answer some other people's questions.

If you turn the knob to the colder settings, but don't turn the AC button on, it does blow some cooler aid (which is what I have experienced in EVERY vehicle I've ever owned), but you also get sort of a musty like smell as well. For those of you who have the AC button on, and are getting cool air (not cold), and the musty smell, I'm wondering if the AC compressor is actually not functioning in this case for you. The button is on telling you it's on, but it's not actually functioning, and therefor you don't actually have any AC.

I've also noticed that when the AC is on, my car seems to have a varying degree of coldness output, even when on the coldest Max AC setting. Sometimes it just seems to be cooler than without the AC button on, other times it seems to be blowing out pretty cold air. The test I always do it holding my hand up to a vent. At it's coldest, it does cool my hand down enough that I actually want to remove it because it seems like it's getting too cold. When it doesn't seem to be functioning at it's coldest, I could leave my hand on the vent all day long.

This morning I found it kind of odd (even though my car had been sitting outside all day yesterday in the sun), that when I turned the AC on this morning (again, using Max AC setting), it was blowing relatively hot air out for about a good 10 seconds or so before it started to blow out cooler air.

It's not officially summer yet, so I'm still using the AC off and on, but I'm not sure I'm satisfied with how it's performing, so I may need to take my car in for service for this issue. With that said, I do recall saying right where I got the car (and I took delivery last August), that the AC didn't at all feel like it was outputting cold air like it should, like I never wanted to turn the fan setting off from "4", because then it would get too warm.
 

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You should be to turn on the AC and then pop the hood and see if the compressor is running. That would tell you if the compressor is just not turning on.
 

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not sure if A/C is the issue here... perhaps some thermostat and/or calibration is off.. mine basically blows warm when dial is to left-cold seting -without A/C on- but even when it is not really warm outside.. 50's 60's temp out... so when A/C is on it helps cool but feels like all the way to left is what it should be at at say 9-10 oclock dial position...
see what I hear back from dealer today..
I have noticed the same issue with mine. It feels that the HVAC controls even on the SE are "fly by wire" and not mechanical so there may be no adjustment. I did use the AC on an 80 mile trip last Sunday and the cabin was very comfortable. The real test will be when the really hot and humid weather kicks in soon .
 

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I have had to have the AC on max and fan setting at 4 to have the cabin temp approach comfortable also. When the Texas summer hits full force the AC will simply not keep up. I hope with the information I see on this thread I can bring the technicians up to speed if it is something they have not encountered yet.
 

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Its amazing that I came upon this forum and read about this issue. Summer is about to hit in the southwestern desert of the US and I have to say I'm more than a bit disappointed with my AC thus far. We have about 4.4k miles on our '12 Focus and 2 small children. The AC intermittently working fine and then not working at all is a bit of a concern. Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with my local Ford dealer to get its oil changed and tires rotated. I'll be asking them to take a look at the AC unit and its nice to see that there is indeed a known issue.
 

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I am a technician, and I agree that our AC sucks. In my car, it takes a WHILE for the AC to cool the car down. It's definitely abnormal, compared to other cars. If I start my car and it's over 85 degrees, I have to put it on max and 4 and wait about 10 minutes before I start getting good cold air. Now if I get up to highway speeds then it comes on sooner. That usually points to poor air flow across the condenser at low speeds, which would be the job of the electric fan. I am wondering if the fan in our cars in inadequate for the job.

I work on all brands of cars all day, and some cars will chill me within 30 seconds of starting them up with the AC on.
 

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Hmmmm, I think I read in another thread that ford doesn't fully charge the ac with coolant to save money. I don't know if its true or not but it might be a good idea to run it by your dealers. For the record I have the automatic system and have no complaints.
 

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I am a technician, and I agree that our AC sucks. In my car, it takes a WHILE for the AC to cool the car down. It's definitely abnormal, compared to other cars. If I start my car and it's over 85 degrees, I have to put it on max and 4 and wait about 10 minutes before I start getting good cold air. Now if I get up to highway speeds then it comes on sooner. That usually points to poor air flow across the condenser at low speeds, which would be the job of the electric fan. I am wondering if the fan in our cars in inadequate for the job.

I work on all brands of cars all day, and some cars will chill me within 30 seconds of starting them up with the AC on.
Good to see a techs view w 12 focus daily driver..
What do you think about the temp dial.. (not sure what controls this.. Sensors?) it appears many might agree it isjust off.. I would expect around the middle to register temps in the comfort zone (my vw cc displayed 72 right on mid -12 oclock position) and then just go warmer or cooler by direction..
This one feels like this:
Middle -12 oclock- HOT
Further to the right: gets real hot..
All the way right : HELL
To the left at ~ 9-10 oclock: comfortable
Further left gets more comfortable
All the way to left- max cold: give it all u got - feels like this maybe the only setting that defies any sensors/ programing / logic whatever it is.. and works
 

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Hmmmm, I think I read in another thread that ford doesn't fully charge the ac with coolant to save money. I don't know if its true or not but it might be a good idea to run it by your dealers. For the record I have the automatic system and have no complaints.
What you read in another thread was speculation from some one on the forum, not sure I would trust that as gospel. You can have just as many problems from over charging the system as you can from undercharging the system with the added risk of a high pressure a/c line rupture.
 

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This one feels like this:
Middle -12 oclock- HOT
Further to the right: gets real hot..
All the way right : HELL
To the left at ~ 9-10 oclock: comfortable
Further left gets more comfortable
All the way to left- max cold: give it all u got - feels like this maybe the only setting that defies any sensors/ programing / logic whatever it is.. and works
This is a good description of how mine operates. However, I don't have any of the "intermittent cooling" issues some are reporting and my MkIII cools better than my MkI Focus does. Neither are powerful A/C systems, but I feel that the operation is normal for a car with a 2.0L engine.

I don't know about Ford intentionally under-filling the r-134a, but my '01 was under-filled from the factory. About 2 years into ownership, I had it charged, and it has run much better for the remaining 10 years of ownership. My MkIII Focus still cools a bit better.
 

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This is the first time it's really been warm for an extended time since I got the car and it seems the more I use the AC, the better it gets. It was hot yesterday and today and I didn't need max. I wonder if the system just needs to be broken in?
 

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This is the first time it's really been warm for an extended time since I got the car and it seems the more I use the AC, the better it gets. It was hot yesterday and today and I didn't need max. I wonder if the system just needs to be broken in?
I thought it was just my imagination but this may be the case for me also. The occasional use of A/C on 80+ degree days earlier this year made my A/C feel a little broken.

Several days in a row reporting 104 to 108 and it cools off in a less than a minute and I run it on 2 or 3.

Mostly because on 2 it will sometimes get the turned off/humid smell symptom. Never on 3 but it gets a little chilly. I figure it's still a little broken because of that but have not bothered to get it checked out. When working properly this is not an inadequate A/C system. If it feels that way your A/C is broken.

Getting your dealer to do something about it is another matter. They replaced my wife's compressor and hers has been perfect ever since.
 

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Update from my original post. Per the dealership the AC was indeed running out of range and giving a code of 4564. The range hi 205 and low 45 w duct temp of 56. Found that the system was overcharged and reserviced into approved operating spec. hi 180 low 34 duct temp 44.

This may be a factory issue where the over pressurized over serviced reservoire is causing poor initial performance. It would also stand to reason why the more its used, the more it seems to work correctly. Thanks Gaudin Ford, you guys did a good job.
 

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I find that if I run my A/C on Max. Then turn off the car, run into the store, come back out, start the car, it shows max a/c on the screen, but it isn't. I have to turn off max a/c, and usually the blows will turn up higher than they were, then I can turn max a/c back on and it seems to work. Very weird. I would think max a/c would tell it to blast away as soon as the car starts, but it doesn't work.
 

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I am a technician, and I agree that our AC sucks. In my car, it takes a WHILE for the AC to cool the car down. It's definitely abnormal, compared to other cars. If I start my car and it's over 85 degrees, I have to put it on max and 4 and wait about 10 minutes before I start getting good cold air. Now if I get up to highway speeds then it comes on sooner. That usually points to poor air flow across the condenser at low speeds, which would be the job of the electric fan. I am wondering if the fan in our cars in inadequate for the job.

I work on all brands of cars all day, and some cars will chill me within 30 seconds of starting them up with the AC on.
Maybe you shutter are staying closed[wiggle]
 

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Just to add my experience... the A/C condenser froze up late last summer. Started to burn up the serpentine belt as well. Ford handled that very quickly under warranty. About two weeks ago, I took it back in because it was blowing hot air for the A/C. It was just a burned out fuse this time. Still, not a very good track record with the A/C. That said, Ford has taken care of me during service visits without fail.
 

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My AC works well when I'm just cruising along, however, if I'm driving like an idiot and flooring it from every light (hey, sometimes I get in that mood) it will blow out hot air for about 5 seconds. Then it will go back to cold air. It's a very noticeable difference in the temperature of the air. Does anyone else experience this?
 

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My AC works well when I'm just cruising along, however, if I'm driving like an idiot and flooring it from every light (hey, sometimes I get in that mood) it will blow out hot air for about 5 seconds. Then it will go back to cold air. It's a very noticeable difference in the temperature of the air. Does anyone else experience this?
That's normal. The PCM cuts the compressor off at WOT to free up the lost hp from turning the compressor.
 

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My AC works well when I'm just cruising along, however, if I'm driving like an idiot and flooring it from every light (hey, sometimes I get in that mood) it will blow out hot air for about 5 seconds. Then it will go back to cold air. It's a very noticeable difference in the temperature of the air. Does anyone else experience this?
Im not sure if you're being serious or not as that occurs with just about every single car or truck made....
 
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