Help: A/C blowing hot air! - PJ 501
Just picked up my PJ yesterday from my storage unit and brought it home. Pretty warm day, so I thought that I would try the A/C for the first time since buying the car last October. Found out that it will only blow hot air.
Since the car has only less than 1500 miles, the A/C obviuosly hasn't been used much in the cars lifetime of about 13 years.
I'm assuming that it's just lost it's refrigerant charge over the course of time due to sitting idle most of the time. Does this sound reasonable? I would also like to know what your experience is with reliability of the A/C system in these cars for you that use them more regularly. My wife says that the A/C needs to work if she's going to cruise with some this summer.
Thanks for any and all advice.
My Saleen is also 13 years old. I start it every week, all year long, but it gets driven only about 1000 miles a year. I make sure to run the A/C every time I start it... Keeps the compressor oil and refrigerant moving through the system. My A/C has been flawless... Coldest of all my vehicles, by far.
You may have lost your refrigerant charge... Which means you have a leak... Probably due to O-rings drying out. A re-charge might help / restore it, but it could be temporary if the O-rings are really dried out. The problem is then finding the ones that are dried...
The easiest thing to do is replace all the O-rings during the recharge. Go ahead and replace the orifice tube too... Cheap insurance. Total parts cost is about $30.
Have a shop discharge the system for you... Then take it home and swap out all the seals yourself. Then take it back to the same shop and have them re-charge the system for you... Should be about $100 to $150 for labor and refrigerant.
You can buy the O-ring kit for cheap:
Orifice tube is cheap too:
This "Nylog" stuff makes asseembly and O-ring sealing a breeze:
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Thanks for your thorough response. I've started looking into what it's going to take to perform the service you've recommended. I will first schedule an appointment with my local Ford dealer to see if it is low on charge. I need to have them flush and refill the cooling system at the same time.
Since the system appears to be very low on charge, I'm not sure why I would need to have the shop discharge the system. Could you please explain further?
If you are going to replace the o-rings in the system... It has to be discharged completely first. Then all the lines can be opened and the seals replaced everywhere.
If you are just going to try the re-charge then you don't need to do anything else... The dealer will add refrigerant as necessary.
It might be fine aftef a re-charge if the o-rings didn't dry out or crack. If you have some kind-of-bad seals then it might stay charged for weeks, months, maybe even a year or two... Depends on how bad the leak is. If the leak persists the "no cold air" condition will return.
When it's at the dealer... If the a/c machine detects a leak the dealer will tell you and likely try to charge an arm and a leg to diagnose and replace whatever seal is bad. The process usually involves injecting a dye into the a/c lines and then looking at all the system lines under u/v light to see where the dye is leaking out.
It is possible to have taken a rock-strike to the a/c condenser that sits in front of the radiator... Could cause a leak.... But with an older system that hasn't been used regularly, I still suspect a seal somewhere.
Another possibility is a bad pressure sensor in the a/c system. It tells the computer whether or not there is sufficient charge on the low-pressure side of the system for the compressor to turn on / engage. If that sensor is bad, or unplugged, the a/c compressor will never engage. There is also a electrical connector on the a/c compressor that engages the electro magnetic clutch... If it's unplugged the compressor will never engage. I only mention these because there are stories about rodents chewing on the wires of cars kept in storage... So if you keep your car stored for long periods of time, where there could be rodents... I thought I'd mention it. You'd likely have other electrical problems too though, as the rodent(s) munch on other wires.
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I need to follow-up on the suspected A/C problem in PJ 501. You may have heard that it's wise, as we get older, to be able to laugh at ourselves in some of the things we do. Well, this is one of those situations. In my defense, I'm more familiar with the older Ford A/C and heater controls which only have the knobs. I hadn't used the PJ enough yet to realize that there's three buttons underneath those similar knobs and, low and behold, while I was laying awake in bed one night last week, it dawned on me that perhaps I didn't even have the A/C turned on. This actually turned out to be the case. I was driving it last Friday, I pushed the A/C button and, by golly, the A/C came to life and started blowing ice cold air. Praise the Lord! It appears that everything is indeed OK.
Don't feel as though your effort in responding to my post is in vain though as I'm sure that the information could come in very handy at some future date.
Ive been there!! glad you're cool!!
Love it. Like when I learned my 93 Cobra had radio equalizer settings after a decade of daily driving. Oh! And the color settings on the dash of our Saleens, not listed in the owner's manual.
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