Ford Taurus AC Compressors and Clutches
An air conditioner may operate without the engine being on, but it does not produce cold air like it does when the vehicle is running. This is because, much like other belt-driven parts, such as the alternator and cooling fan, the important components of the AC rely on a belt connected to the engine to run. Since the belt continues to rotate in an automatic fashion, the AC compressor on the Ford Taurus relies on a clutching mechanism to engage and disengage the compressor.What are symptoms of a bad cycling switch?
If you noticed that your Ford AC is not blowing as cold as before or it is making some funny noises, a number of things could be the culprit. One of the most common causes is a faulty cycling switch. Located at the low-pressure end of the air conditioning mechanism, its function is to detect the flow of Freon by measuring the pressure in the system. When there is a drop in pressure below a specific point, the switch will engage, permitting the appropriate amount of pressure from the high side to the low side in order to equalize the pressure. Once the pressure has normalized, the switch closes.
Just as with most switch-style devices, the constant switching on and off eventually wears out the electrical contacts. When it gets bad enough, there are a couple signs that it might be time to replace the switch, such as:
- The air is no longer cold when the AC is turned completely up in your Ford Taurus vehicle.
- The AC has completely stopped producing cold and cool air (the switch is no longer activating the compressor's clutch).
If you suspect that the compressor clutch is malfunctioning, there are quite a few reasons why.
- Burnt coil, pulley, or hub: This is a result of low voltage to the coil, which will lead to the internal winding overheating. Once excessive overheating starts, the hub begins to slip against the face of the pulley, which results in further overheating. Furthermore, loss of lubrication can cause slipping, which may result in the compressor's internal parts reaching temperatures of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. This may lead to catastrophic failure.
- Improper air gap between the rotor and hub: This problem is particularly seen in sedan model cars like the Ford Taurus.
- An issue with the belt: Compressor problems can occur due to a misaligned and under- or over-tensioned belt.
If you have arrived at the conclusion that you need to replace the compressor or one or more of its components in your vehicle, the first order of business is to find the correct part(s) that coincide with the year and specific model of Ford Taurus. Parts for the Ford Taurus Limited and the Ford Taurus SEL might be slightly different, so it is better to be on the safe side and double-check that you are getting the right part(s).