99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - mikej
Hi folks,
The air conditioning has stopped working on my Mk1 Focus Zetec.

It's coming up for 80k miles and as far as I know, the air con system has never been touched or 'regassed'.

Could it be something as simple as a blown fuse or relay ?

There is one air con relay and two fuses for the engine cooling fans, but strangely the manual states that one of these fuses should be replaced by a Ford dealer for some reason !

The air con button light stills works though - does this indicate that the fuses and relay are OK ? The headlights used to dim slightly when the air con was switched on but this doesn't happen any more - not sure whether that tells me something about the problem.

The Haynes Manual tells you to take it to a Ford dealer or air con specialist - what would people recommend ?

You need to get the system degassed properly before you work on any components and there seem to be quite a few special tools needed, so it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to DIY this one.

I've had a quick search and read that a regas costs around £50 - would this be the first thing to have done, or would you recommend getting someone to find out if there are any leaks in the system first ?

I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who's had their air con pack up and what they had to do to get it fixed and a rough idea of price would be great too.

Cheers.

Top Reply

99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - paulontour
Some specialist fill the system first with nitrogen to check for leaks, If there are no leaks found they will fill with the proper refridgerant. Most systems will lose the gas over a period of time this is quite normal. When the system is fully charged and working properly its best to use your a/c every month even if it is not required, also during the winter period. This ensures the system remains active and lubricated.

All Replies

99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - adverse camber
go to a specialist.

As part of the job they will check the pressure that is in the system, do a vacuum test, perhaps do a pressure test, refill. And if there is a problem can sort it out.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - paulontour
It sounds like a simple job of a re- gass. The aircon system usually needs to be re-gassed every three years or so.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - mikej
Cool - the cost of a re-gas I can handle !

How can you be sure that one of the air con components haven't failed, or is it simply that a re-gas solves the problem most of the time ?
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - McP
A re-gas will probably solve your problem.

I had mine done and an ultra-violet dye was put in. I don't know if this is always done?
A couple of weeks later, the air-con failed again and the air-con man could see that there was a leak in the condensor (radiator).
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - paulontour
Some specialist fill the system first with nitrogen to check for leaks, If there are no leaks found they will fill with the proper refridgerant. Most systems will lose the gas over a period of time this is quite normal. When the system is fully charged and working properly its best to use your a/c every month even if it is not required, also during the winter period. This ensures the system remains active and lubricated.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - Terryc
Hello Mike J.
I have the same problem as you describe on my Focus, not sure if to go and buy a new relay or take to a garage for re gassing.The confussing bit is that the Blower does not work on any setting ( 1 to 3) and the aircon light remains lit. If I turn the blower onto full power ( 4) the fan kicks in and the green light goes out. I would be interested to know how it turns out for you as I am not keen to spend £50 for re gassing to only find I have a blower motor / relay problem.
Cheers
Terry C
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - Dynamic Dave
The blower not working on any setting other than number 4 is that the resistor pack needs replacing.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - Terryc
Many thanks Dynanmic Dave for your quick response. I am right to assume that the resistor pack you refer to is the correct name for what I loosely refer to as the relay which is located in the main fuse box.
regards
Terry C
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - Dynamic Dave
A relay is an on/off switch that is operated via a solenoid. A resistor pack is a series of resistors that control the speed of the fan by reducing the voltage to the motor depending on which resistor is being used at the time.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - madza929
Terryc I have the same problem you had. My blower only works on high but the compressor only comes on while on one of the first 3 speeds. Did you manage to fix yours and was it one of the relay fuses under the hood. If so, which one? None are marked. thanks, madza929
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - notoriousght
I have an S reg 1.8 Focus. Just this morning the blower has stopped working for good - it had been intermitant before i.e. some days not working at all, other days working completely fine.

Today, I can't seem to get any life out of it on any setting. When I switched the car on it has the internal air only button on, which I can switch off - not that it actually makes any difference anyway.

I can't get the air con button to light up, and I can't get any air blowing at all.

Further to everyone elses posts, if there is a diagnosis out there for my problem, I would be grateful to hear it. Also, if there is any advice as to who to see to get it fixed, I'd be grateful i.e. ford specialist, or local garage?

Thanks,

GHT
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - notoriousght
I'd like to add to the above. The heating is actually still temporamental, to the point where, when I switch the car on, the heating system either works 100%, or not at all. It seems to be 50/50 to whether it works or not. Very odd.

Any ideas?

GHT
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - notoriousght
Hi all,

After messing around with fuses, and so on, I took it to the garage, where they identified that an earth had come lose. Took them no time at all to fix, although they did leverage a few to many notes out of my pocket! I negotiated down, but frankly was just glad nothing major happened, and no parts needed.

Thanks for all your comments.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 17/06/2008 at 21:19

99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - AndyA
Not sure whether this thread is still active, but here goes! Some checks to carry out before you throw money away on a re-gassing. Lift the bonnet with the engine running (ticking over), and get a friend to press the AC "on" button. You should hear an audible click as the electrical clutch on the AC Compressor engages, followed by a slight dip in revs. Switching the AC off should produce another "click", followed by a slight increase in revs. If the clutch isn't engaging, check 10A (red) Fuse F15. If the fuse is Ok, check relay R11. If Relay R11 is OK, and you can hear, or feel the relay clicking in and out, have a look under the front offside of the engine, and make sure the 2 pin connector to the AC clutch hasn't been damaged, the wires broken, or filled with water. If the clutch is engaging, but the AC is not cooling, a simple way of checking whether the gas system is OK, is, with the engine running, and the AC switched on, carefully, feel the temperature of the two pipes going in and out of the AC compressor, which is located at the front lower offside part of the engine. If the compressor and gas sytem are working, one pipe will be hot, and one will be cold. If they appear to be the same temperature, then there is a probem with the gas side. Obviously, to apease the health & Safety brigade, you have to appreciate the dangers of working on or around the engine, when it is running, including looking underneath! The above info is from work on my Mk1 2.0L Ghia - 2004 reg. My problem was a faulty R11 relay.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - mikej
AndyA - thanks a lot for those pointers. I'll check those out ASAP.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - AndyA
mikej,

I have also since found out that there is a pressure switch fitted into the Aircon gas system, and is set such that if the gas pressure in the system falls (due to a leak), it will prevent the compressor electrically operated clutch from engaging. If you have a engine management OBD II reader (£25 + del on Ebay), then look for fault codes P0530 to P0534 inc, which will indicate an air conditioning gas side fault. Good Luck!
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - MrMac
Hi all - got a similar problem in that my air con is playing up. When i turn the aircon switch on the light on it goes solid green for a few seconds and then starts to flash. Air con doesnt seem to work when the light is flashing... any ideas??

Regards

Mac
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - Graham gggg
Hi guys,

same deal with me i think...

When pressing the A/C Button nothing was happening.

i regassed the system ( kit from halfords £40 - very easy)

Now a clicking noise can be heard when the A/C button is pressed.

The air is still not cold....

Any ideas or simple things to check??


Thanks


Graham
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - mjm
Your efforts would indicate that your system has lost some gas. The results suggest that you have a leak. You have enough pressure now to get the compressor to run. You don't know if you now have the correct gas charge for the system.

It never ceases to amaze me that the Halfords kits seem to hold exactly the right amount of refrigerant for every purpose. How it knows whether it is going into the system on a Micra or a Jaguar is beyond me. It makes me wonder why companies spend many thousands of pounds on equipment to do this job when they could probably buy the Halfords cans in bulk for about £20 each.

Please take it to a specialist, or Quickfit, and have it checked properly.

The sooner the "F" gas regulations stop sale of these kits the better.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - Graham gggg
Hi,

cheers for responding..

yeah I think it does need a specialist... I have a feeling there might be a more serious issue as well as a leak.

after regasing, the system can be heard to click in and a faint whirring can be heard when the engine is turned off.

after leaving for a while ( an hour) then the system doesn't click on - this works again after a little more gas is added... - obviously a leak?

When the system has gas and can be heard to click in and out ( when pressing the A/C button) the system still isnt cooling...

I have felt the pipes and neither of them is Hot or Cold. ( ambient)

Could be an problem with a temperature sensor?


99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - mjm
You have a leak. From the sound of it a largish one. The whirring when you turn the engine off is the condenser fan spooling down. I don't know how much gas was in the Halfords can but I'll bet it was not enough to properly re-charge the complete system. From your description of the system failing after an hour I would hazard a guess that the condensor (by the coolant radiator in the front of the car) has received either stone or corrosion damage. I don't think Quickfit do that sort of repair.

Be aware that the longer you leave it the more dirt/moisture may get into the system.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - Graham gggg
thanks mjm!

i will be looking at that tonight!

the system wasnt clicking off and on this morning... but 5 hours later ( at lunch time) i have just tested it again and it was clicking off and on - the pressure gauge i have was indicating it reaching "too high" a pressure level then cutting out. this process was repeating.

I reduced the amount of gas and the gauge stabilized - dead on 30psi...


still not blowing cold air......
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - Screwloose
still not blowing cold air......


You have checked the pollen filter....?
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - mjm
Are you saying that 5 hours later it was clicking on and off WITHOUT adding more gas?

If you are, and the fact that the gauge was reading too high, then the system may have a blockage.

This is where the internet falls down, no-one can see directly what is happening. I am assuming that the gauge is on the low pressure side.

To check an air con, or refrigeration system out with any degree of certainty two gauges and thermometers are needed. The high pressure and low side pressures both need monitoring.

From what I have seen of these repair kits and gauges, they are for use on the low pressure side. If your gauge was reading "too high", whatever that means, then the gas you have added may have been pumped to the high pressure side. If the system is blocked then you may have a very high pressure built up there. (I think my Xantia can reach over 300psi)

In all honesty, I would take it to a specialist. Tell him that you have added gas, for safety's sake.
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - mjm
I meant to add, please don't try your gauge on the high side, it may not be strong enough to cope.

hth
99 1.8 Air conditioning not working - Dave N
If its clicking on and off quickly, ie. 2 seconds, then it's nearly empty of gas. The little gauge you have will tell you absolutely nothing.

Call whoever you bought the little bottle of gas from and ask their advice, and while on the phone to them, ask why they don't tell you why there's no need to vacuum the system, where the old gas went, and how come there isn't a high pressure gauge, as you need both to tell you when it's full.
 

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