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Bad AC and Heater

I have a 2005 Ford Freestyle-156k miles. Last winter, the heater stopped working properly. In order to get the car heated, I have to turn the heat up to the max-80 degrees.( Turning it to say, 70, provides no heat at all.) The car will heat at 80, but it keeps on heating. So, you have to keep turning it up to 80 and then turning it off-not a very comfortable way to ride. Now, since the weather is warm, I have similar problem with the AC. In order to get any cooling at all, you have to turn it down to 60 degrees. It blows cool air, but not enough to cool on warm days. The freon has been replaced, so that's not the issue. So, I basically have a vehicle that is too uncomfortable to drive on cold or hot days.

The Ford dealership has attempted to fix it but did no good. After they said they had it fixed, it wasn't. I took it back, they made another attempt and it still didn't work. (Note that this was cold weather; at that time I didn't realize that the AC wouldn't work either.) I refused to pay them for this attempt and they said it could be any one of three or four problems, and the only way to attempt to fix it would be to try all possible fixes. Apparently, they have no way to trouble shoot and figure out the real problem. I took the car to an independent repair shop and explained all this. After checking it out they said they thought the compressor was bad-a $1,250 repair, parts and labor included.

My question is: Is the compressor related to both heating and cooling? I thought the heat was generated from somehing called a coil, and hot air and cool air were from two different systems. So, I'm concerned that while replacing the compressor might take care of the AC, I'll still be left with issues with the heat. Or, that the compressor is not really the problem at all.

I think it's ridiculous that something as fundamental as AC and heat is so complicated.


Aub in Tennessee

The compressor is not related to heat, only AC. Heat comes from the heater CORE, which uses engine coolant to heat the interior. Replacing the compressor would do nothing to help the heat problem.

There should be no guessing about the compressor. Either it's good or it's bad. "Thinking" it needs to be replaced is not good enough. This is too expensive to experiment with.

Does the independent shop you visited specialize in automotive HVAC, or was it a general repair shop? I suggest you find a specialist. They have all the necessary diagnostic and repair equipment for this sort of work.

It's a shame the Ford dealership can't fix this, and they should be ashamed of themselves for not doing a better job of diagnosing the problem.

Thanks. I’ll check with an HVAC specialist.