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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I've got a 96 LX that is having A/C problems. I've really done my best to search this forum and all over google. Plus I've also had a mechanic take a look at it.

The problem is that when you flip on the A/C and press the button, the blue light comes on for A/C and all i get is hot air.

The mechanic I took it to first said they bypassed the computer and the compressor and everything kicked on and it worked great. Freon is fine, compressor is fine, etc. They said the computer must be faulty. They said a new one would cost around $600, but they offered to rewire it to bypass the computer for about $250-$300.

Well anyway, I am TERRIBLE with cars. I've managed to replace brakes and calipers and rotors, but that's really the extent so far lol. However I have read and read about this topic and the more I read, the more i keep coming up with two relays possibly being the issue as it is common for this model.

Can someone give me some guidance? I'm more than willing to post pictures to make sure I"m looking at the right stuff and I'll try whatever is suggested, but be warned, I really am a newbie with cars.

I definitely need to get this working, I live in Dallas with a half hour commute to work. Driving home with the care being about 90 degrees is getting really old :)
 

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Have you/they checked the low pressure cut out sensor? It could be faulty or the pressure in the system may be just low enough that it won't kick in as a result of the sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
dave8338 said:
Have you/they checked the low pressure cut out sensor? It could be faulty or the pressure in the system may be just low enough that it won't kick in as a result of the sensor.
Dave, they didn't mention that specifically. I've got a Haynes manual but its not referencing that sensor that I can tell. Where is it and how would I check for it? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
EscorGo said:
I'm thinking along the same line. I don't know what "computer" they bypassed, but jumpering the cutoff switch usually says the switch is bad or the freon is low.
They did tell me they checked the freon levels and they were fine. I'm trying to figure out which part you both were referencing as the Haynes manual doesn't list squat and i don't have my hands on anything better. Going through Napa's site, under switches for 96 escort 1.9L/LX/2 dr hatchback i'm seeing the following parts -

A/C & Heater Blower Motor Switch $109
A/C Compressor Clutch Cycling Pressure Switch $18.29
A/C Refrigerant Temperature Sensor Switch $83.99
Air Charge Temperature Sensor $28.99

There are a lot of other switches, relays and sensors listed however those are the ones that seemed relevant with my little knowledge. Any idea on the location of the switch/sensor, so i could pull it and swap it out with a new one to see if that does the trick? I mean if it doesn't work, i can always return it. Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for your help. I've finally got A/C! I replaced the part above but in doing so broke the seal on the a/c and freon emptied out (big oops there). There was no avoiding it from the looks of it. So i installed the new part above then set out to learn how to evacuate and vacuum the a/c system which took a couple of weeks to gather all the parts. Once I did that I tried putting freon in, but in retrospect the clutch was still not engaging at all so it couldn't pull any freon from the can. Frustrated, I remembered somewhere reading about a a/c clutch relay located at the top of the firewall on the passenger side. I remembered somebody stated they whacked it with a screwdriver and it started working again and kept working. Since it was late and I was frustrated I ended up whacking a gray relay which is the clutch relay and lo and behold the compressor clutch kicked in. It kept turning off however, but now it was taking freon when active. So the next ten minutes was spent whacking the relay to kick in the compressor and draw freon. Finally after emptying about 12oz into the system the compressor was engaging regularly until the relay would crap out again. So off to O'Reilly I went and $14 and a new relay later, I have a/c.

The guy at O'Reilly listed two parts that I should replace any time the system is open. It was about $60 in parts but I had tapped my funds for this project and the car is kind of a beater so I held off. If its important however, I can now do the same thing over again cause I have all the tools and would just need more freon. Plus I'd need to have someone pull the current freon so I'm not illegally dumping it into the ozone.

Thanks everyone for your help! I hope this helps someone down the road who experiences the same problem!
 

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warren73 said:
I'm trying to figure out which part you both were referencing as the Haynes manual doesn't list squat and i don't have my hands on anything better.
That's because the Haynes manuals suck, got to eBay and pick up a used Factory Service Manual or one on CD.
 

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I think I have the same problem. My a/c worked perfect, ice cold air, then yesterday it doesn't even engage on.

I assumed it was something simple, electrical connection or relay gone bad. I will look into it tomorrow as it is already 106F outside.

Thanks for this thread.
 

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I'm getting ready to "draw down" and recharge my g/f's 94 wagon..

It was working poorly BEFORE we changed the engine, and I'm assuming the lines were opened during the remove and reinstall..

I see refrigerant valves near the firewall (passenger side) and near the radiator (driver side) since the system is empty, which is the "low side??" I'm assuming the pressures will both be ZERO at the moment.

Also-- I see what I believe is the A/C compressor relay on the firewall (about dead center on it).. Is there a way to "jumper" across that, to start the compressor, to draw in refrigerant?

July was nearly record breaking cool in Ohio-- so I didn't worry about it.. This week it's supposed to be around 90-- so I figured "it's time..."

Any help appreciated..

Is there a receiver drier I should change out, before drawing it down?? I was under the understanding 134 based coolants didn't use them..
 

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Doesn't have a dryer but it does have an accumilator. That's the silver round deal on the firewall ( right side ) that the a/c lines go into.

On top of it is your low pressure cycling switch. May as well replace it while your at it. It's cheap and known to fail.

You should replace the accumilator if your system was opened for very long while changing the engine. It will have absorbed a bunch of moisture from the atmosphere and that keeps it from doing it's job.

You also should replace the orifice tube while you've got the system apart.

Again, a cheap part but it has a very fine screen on it that is known for plugging and restricting freon flow to your evaporator.

IF you find it's all sludged up, the easiest way to get it out is use a long screw like one used for building a deck and screw that into the screen.

Once you get it in good, yank it out with a plier and the orifice tube will come with it. You'll need to clean out this line before putting your new orifice tube in but you'll have it loose anyway short of a couple of clamps so easy to clean it before putting things back together.

Once all is reassembled, you will need to vacuum your system down for about an hour to get all the moisture out. Once your done with that, use a short jumper wire to jump across the connections for the clutch cycling switch. that will keep your compressor running until you can pull some freon into the system.

You will be charging the system through the fitting near the right side of the firewall.

You should also have a sticker under the hood of this car that will tell you how much freon to put in it.

Once charged, pull the jumper out of your cycling switch conncetor and plug it into the switch. Your done !

One other thing to consider, if you replace the accumilator, it should hold approx 3 ounces of oil. You will need to replace that oil. Take care that you get oil to go with 134A.

Some folks pour a specific amount of oil into the new accumilator before mounting it in the car. Others will shoot it in with the freon charge if they have a method of controlling how much their putting in.

Either way works but the latter requires some pretty expensive tooling to do it right.

Have fun and let us know how things work out.
 

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Quick Question for you guy's, when it comes to AC i dont realy like messing with it because it's very expensive. I have a 96LX and my air is working but it's not really cold like it should be. It's like it's just cool. i know that it's full of freon and the pressure switch is new as well as the relay's on the firewall. What else could it be?
 

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Could be several things: Most common as follows

1. Engine fan not coming on so it's not pulling enough air over the
condensor
2. Radiator is plugged so it's not pulling enough air over the condensor
3. Orifice tube is plugged so it's not getting enough freon to the
evaporator.
4. Temp switch in the dash is failing and cutting the compressor off
to soon ( if your car has one )
5. Blend door in the dash isn't closing good so some heat from the
heater core is mixing with the cold air.
6. Compressor is getting weak so it's not moving enough freon to the
evaporator.
7. Accumilator is plugged so it isn't getting enough freon to the
evaporator.

Hook up some gauges and take some pressure readings and tell us what your seeing.

Check your fan to insure it's coming on when your AC is on

Look under the dash at the levers on the side of your blower box and make sure they are moving to the end of their travel.

Let us know what you see.
 

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im having a similar problem my ac worked fine then the number 4 fan setting stopped working 3 worked then quit now all i got is 1 and 2? can someone help me diagnose this. i hear there is a breadboard or something behind the glove box but i dont want to fiddle because for the time being it works. its a 96 lx thanks for any help


Dave
 

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Well, you have a little different problem actually.

Look under the dash on the right side. You will see your blower motor
sticking down on the far right side. You will also see the wires coming form it and going to a plug approx 8 inches to the left of the motor.

Where that wire plugs in is the fan speed resistor. That resistor is responsible for changing the amount of voltage going to your fan motor.
Changing the amount of voltage changes how fast the fan will run.

If you unplug the wires that are plugged into this resistor and remove the 2 screws that hold it in place, it will come out of the air duct so you can check it out.

What you will normally find here is the wire plugs have gotten hot and melted. That creates a loose connection between the wire ends and the resistor connections. They get loose because of the heat causing the wire ends to spread.

When this happens, the loss of that connection will also cause the loss of different fan speeds.

You will porbably need to replace the wire connectors and the resistor to fix this issue.

Fear not, Orielly sells both although you will likely have to order the new plugs.

There pretty cheap with the resistor being around 20 bucks and the plug about 6 bucks.

The repair is pretty straight forward. Just pay close attention to the wire colors so you get things hooked up right.

Keep us up on how things go
 

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Benlightnd

Thanks for all the info.. Had I not been mistakenly told they didn't "have" a reciever/drier, I would have assumed that what was I was looking at.. :)

I picked up a cheap manifold gauge set, I'm going to see if there's pressure in the system (instead of just assuming there's none, to find I'm wrong) I also got a set of the "scissor" tools to disconnect the lines if I need to.. I'm likely going to replace the ACCUMULATOR anyway, as I've had one fail, and trash everything in it's wake with dessicant.

I've used BG "frigi-quiet" in my old r12 systems with incredible success-- has anyone used this as their replacement lubricant, instead of 'pag'??

http://www.bgprod.com/blendr/frigiQuiet.html

The article-- that I used to rebuild my old diesel MB.. (well written)

http://dieselgiant.com/repairyourac.htm

AJ RN
 
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