A/C woes..again

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Kansas, USA
Any Focus A/C guru's in here? Guess it could be similar to other Ford's of the era. It's been about 3 years since the AC was overhauled almost completely. Can't remember all the specifics but they had to replace the compressor and the one of the hoses due to a new design.. over $1200 worth if I remember right. Fast forward 3 years later dripping green off of the compressor similar to the first time. I'm betting they used a rebuilt compressor and it's failed. Going to get it looked at but does anyone in the know think that's probably the case? If it wasn't for the fact that it rides, drives and run great I'd almost be tempted to get another car. I'm not going to spend another thousand on it I've already decided. Probably good for another 80k but will just live out it.
 
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chicago, Illinois
@Eric: Sorry to hear about your problem. That situation sounds like it could end up being my parents. They have a 2005 Ford 500. Their car ac compressor started leaking at about 75k and my folks had it recharged it twice before it failed completely four years later, they had the compressor and some other items replaced (tvx valve) I wonder does your model have the scroll compressor type? They had the work done at the Ford dealer and they supposedly used brand new OEM updated part(s). Where did you have the work done?
 
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Texas
Originally Posted By: MarkM66
Why not swap the compressor yourself?
Without having the right tools and equipment, this is not a "shade tree mechanic" kind of repair.
 

Eric Smith

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Not sure what type it has. Had it done at a shop a couple blocks from work. Unless I can find another along the way may use them again.. can put the bike on the rack and ride till they're done. I'm almost wondering if there's a o-ring at the back of the compressor. I've thought about doing it myself but I don't have the tools nor the time it seems!
 
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grande prairie AB
Originally Posted By: wag123
Originally Posted By: MarkM66
Why not swap the compressor yourself?
Without having the right tools and equipment, this is not a "shade tree mechanic" kind of repair.
a basic socket set would do the trick. Then a 50$ recharge kit. I've done it on a3300 Pontiac recently. Very easy.
 
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canada
Originally Posted By: abycat
Originally Posted By: wag123
Originally Posted By: MarkM66
Why not swap the compressor yourself?
Without having the right tools and equipment, this is not a "shade tree mechanic" kind of repair.
a basic socket set would do the trick. Then a 50$ recharge kit. I've done it on a3300 Pontiac recently. Very easy.
I hope the kit contained the equipment to evacute all the moisture and air that entered the system when you had it opened
 
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The original was a Ford Motorcraft and it likely was leaking from the main shaft seal, which is exactly where my parents 500 compressor leaked from. Seems that this is a weak spot on Ford designed compressors. Considering how simple that design can be while being dead reliable that Ford can't get that right.
 
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stl
Originally Posted By: hemitom
Originally Posted By: abycat
Originally Posted By: wag123
Originally Posted By: MarkM66
Why not swap the compressor yourself?
Without having the right tools and equipment, this is not a "shade tree mechanic" kind of repair.
a basic socket set would do the trick. Then a 50$ recharge kit. I've done it on a3300 Pontiac recently. Very easy.
I hope the kit contained the equipment to evacute all the moisture and air that entered the system when you had it opened
You swap the compressor, and take it to a shop to have that done. Most do it for $100-$150. What did they do last time that cost $1200?
 
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2,352
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Texas
Originally Posted By: hemitom
Originally Posted By: abycat
Originally Posted By: wag123
Without having the right tools and equipment, this is not a "shade tree mechanic" kind of repair.
a basic socket set would do the trick. Then a 50$ recharge kit. I've done it on a3300 Pontiac recently. Very easy.
I hope the kit contained the equipment to evacuate all the moisture and air that entered the system when you had it opened
+1 And... If the compressor came apart internally, the entire system will need to be properly flushed to get the contaminants out, otherwise you can destroy a new compressor in short order. And... Without a way to weigh the freon you put in, you are only guessing how much of it you actually put in the system. You WILL need guages and they can get you close on the amount of freon (if you know how to use them), but it will still be a guess. I reiterate, this is not really a shade tree repair.
 

Eric Smith

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Kansas, USA
Ok did some digging and recollection.. found the receipts for the work thought I threw them away. 1st trip to the shop: Replace AC compressor and EVAC/Recharge system $542.25 2nd trip to the shop: Replace AC Pressure Line and dryer and EVAC/Recharge system $397.66 Ok wasn't $1200 sure felt like it.. $939.91 total. The second trip was due to the same dripping from the back of the compressor. Worked fine for a few days then quit. Here's where it's hazy.. I think they had to replace the whole line due to a valve stuck in the pressure line. The old line didn't have the replaceable valve and the new one did? Also the new line wasn't compatible with the dryer/accumulator so they had to change it also. Very possible it's the pressure line again.
 
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CT
if all they did was exactly what you said -> replace compressor and evac/charge then that's your main problem. any time... any... you have a compressor failure where it actually failed and sent metal and debris into the system you need to do a full system flush and replace parts. otherwise that contamination left in the system will wreck it and cause failure of your new compressor. then you say 2nd trip they replaced the dryer.... that should have been put on when they put the new compressor in. sounds like this shop either doesn't know what they are doing, or are hacks looking for the easiest way to do the repair. i think your best bet is to contact some ford dealers and see what they can offer for a complete and correct repair, and see what they offer for a warranty. some places will give lifetime warranty. so if you like the car and want to keep it this is your best option, otherwise you take your chances. the dealer would also know about problem compressors for that model/year.
 
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Ohio
It seems to be very difficult to find a competent a/c shop willing to do the work right. From the sounds of things I would not go back to them unless by chance they recommended a full service and you refused it, otherwise they certainly dropped the ball. Any compressor whether reman or new requires the dryer be replaced at the same time or the compressor will not be warrantied. This is a very standard rule across the board regardless of manufacture. A dryer does just as it's name implies, it has a desiccant bag to help trap any contaminants/moisture in the system. Moisture in Freon reacts and forms HCl, which will eat the entire system from the inside out. Also, if a compressor failed internally and scattered the reeds the rest of the system will need thoroughly flushed before any new parts are installed, or the warranty will be voided. The next place shops tend to cheat is the amount of time they place the system under vacuum. One hour should be the minimum but the longer the better. Many shops that are in a hurry or simply too lazy will draw a system down and if its holding 15 or 20 minutes later then they call it good enough....well its far from it. Lots of places to cut corners, and this is definitely one area where the average shade tree mechanic should steer clear from. I am comfortable enough in a shop to do engine and manual transmission rebuilds and have most of the tools to do axle rebuilds but a/c work is where I draw the line. It is easy enough to do IF you have the proper tools. Me personally, I have a good friend that owns an automotive repair shop so anytime I need a/c service I will take it to him when he's got a break in his schedule and he will work my vehicle in around other customers schedules. he may have it for a day or two sometimes but it's well worth it to me as it saves me the money in labor.
 

Eric Smith

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Kansas, USA
I'm wondering if they were trying to cut corners and save us some $$ since they would of had to replace alot more parts than just the dryer. Don't think them not replacing the dryer has much to do with what's wrong with it now. Looks like the valve stuck shut again and over pressurized the system causing the o-ring to pop. I will be taking it to Ford next spring since it seems like it may be getting cooler quick here. Spending $500 is whole lot cheaper than a new car!
 
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1,468
Location
Perris, CA
Originally Posted By: abycat
Originally Posted By: wag123
Originally Posted By: MarkM66
Why not swap the compressor yourself?
Without having the right tools and equipment, this is not a "shade tree mechanic" kind of repair.
a basic socket set would do the trick. Then a 50$ recharge kit. I've done it on a3300 Pontiac recently. Very easy.
Did you replace the receiver/dryer and orifice tube? Flush the lines, vacuum pump, and check for leaks before charging it back up? If not, you may be doing this repair again sooner rather than later. It can be a DIY job, and I did it on my wife's car in May and it's still cooling well, but it is something that requires more special equipment than just a socket set, and if certain steps are not followed, can ruin an otherwise perfectly good new compressor. Her compressor was replaced once before, and only lasted 3 years before failing again, knocking badly and failing to build up pressure. I suspect that the previous shop may have simply swapped the compressor without cleaning the debris out of the system and it slowly destroyed the new one. It still came out cheaper to buy a compressor (in a kit with receiver/dryer, orifice tube, and new o-rings), gauge set, vacuum pump, and flush gun to do the job myself than have a shop do it again, and risk it not being done correctly.
 
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