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Discussion Starter #1
2013 Focus SE sedan

Alright, this problem has me stumped. I can turn the AC on, max AC and temp as far to blue as possible and I will feel the compressor click on, in about 15 -30 seconds cool air begins to come out of the vents. So far so good. About 5 minutes later the AC warms like the compressor clicked off, but the compressor may still be on. 20 min after that, with the compressor "supposed to be" still running, the air gets cool again for a few minutes. Its not like I have changed any switch or anything, the lights stay on and I still feel a "loss" like the compressor is engaged.

I took it to 2 local shops and what I know from them is that 1) refrigerant is at a good level 2) Compressor is turning on. The first shop cleaned the condenser. The second found nothing wrong. I took it upon myself to change the cabin filter thinking that the evap may be freezing up. It did need to be changed, but it still is not working well.

I am at a loss.... The second shop wanted to change the compressor, I did not want to throw money at it. I have 2 ideas, 1) Comp Clutch is failing or 2) expansion valve near the evap is stuck open. What do you peeps think? I defer to your wisdom.
 

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'About 5 minutes later the AC warms like the compressor clicked off, but the compressor may still be on. 20 min after that....'

If the a/c quit turning then but 20 minutes later it's running then obviously you are flopping around like a dying fish. You MUST know POSITIVELY that the compressor still stays running INSTANTLY when the cooling drops way back. The word 'may' is killing you there.

Wire a light to the clutch power at clutch itself like I did, that'll tell you. The lights on dash are positively worthless.

Check your clutch faceplate airgap. If more than .030" wide then the clutch may be dropping off to slip or not lock, common with wear on them. I've re-washered the shim there before to get one that wouldn't work at all back to working fine for years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay Will do, bought a test light and feeler gauge, will post back with info. Thanks for reply.
 

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I actually wire a permanent light into the clutch, it is a valuable tool since the cars have so many problems with cooling issues. I also have low and high speed fan indicator lights too.
 

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Okay, the weekend came and went and I have news. I got my feeler gauges and .035" is the gap between the clutch surface and the pulley. That exceeds tolerances, but I did not have shims. I did have wire that I flattened and put in as a temporary shim. This brought the gap to about .015". Turned on the car, air on and off, the clutch kicked on and off like it is supposed to. I had thought I fixed it, until I took it for a drive and then after about five minutes of city driving the air blew warm. I went home, warmish air out of the vents and compressor on with max AC in the coldest setting.

I am at a loss, maybe it is the expansion valve?
 

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If the clutch coil itself is going bad the fault can short out just enough of the coil magnetism to weaken the lock so that coil comes on but then drops back off. Why you need a clutch light you can view while driving, it shows at least that the problem is not relay or other issue upline, it can then only be the clutch if the light stays on.

I've also seen the clutch bearing be getting just loose enough to apply but run car at cruise rpm and then the clutch wobbles just enough to break the clutch back apart. Watch clutch assembly CLOSE to see if there is even the slightest wobble in it, if so you are there. It may come and go, get clutch good and hot with use before you look, cold it will be fine. On that issue I was able to buy bearing for $30 and fix in an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Would you suspect the compressor clutch over the expansion valve. I can tell you that the bearing of the pulley is not quiet by any means, I may just bite the bullet and change out the clutch assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Replaced Compressor clutch, with one shim, feeler gauge was .015 which is on the low side of spec. The AC is better, but still runs warm after awhile. I just dont know.
 
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