CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Taurus 02' A/C

Hello friends. Please help me. My A/C does not work on my Taurus. It never has since I bought the car about 7 months ago. A few days ago I attempted to add freon. I started adding it with the A/C on at max. As I started adding A/C my compressor kicked on and started making an ominous noise; the sound was of air hissing for about 2.5 - 3 seconds punctuated by a click. So it would go something like this: airrrrrrrrrrr CLICK airrrrrrrrrr CLICK airrrrrrrr CLICK etc… My A/C starting to cool EVERSO slightly; almost imperceptible. Any ideas?

P.S. It was advertised as having COLD A/C but I could not very well test it as I bought it in the dead of winter.

Sounds as if it tried to start working once you got past the low pressure setting and the clutch was pulling in. You must have a leak if you hear the hissing sound.

Sometimes a compressor can make what is perceived to be a hissing noise when the clutch is kicking in and out.
I cannot tell you with any accuracy what it will take to sort the A/C out as there is too much missing info. System pressures are not known, whether or not the system is empty, etc, etc.
It can be normal for a compressor to cycle on and off rapidly when first charging on an empty or nearly empty system.

I can tell you that if the system is completely empty of refrigerant then recharging is a waste of time as the refrigerant will all leak right back out. An empty system with a major leak also means the presence of moisture in the system which will contaminate the accumulator and cause other problems.

Is there any other information I could give that might lead to a solution? What would my next step be? Should I try to add more freon now?

What needs to be known as a first step is the static pressure in the system. This means with engine and A/C off and a full manifold gauge set connected to both high and low sides. I hesitate to recommend adding anything at this point.

Static pressures vary based on a number of things but most of them I’ve dealt with were usually in the 115-125 PSI range. When running of course, the low side should drop into the roughly 35 PSI range and the high side rise into the 225-250 range.

Those kind of pressures usually means the A/C should cool unless there are other issues not related to the refrigerant level.

A/C work involving refrigerant can be dangerous and I would strongly advise you to wear gloves and safety goggles if you want to DIY. A botched A/C repair can be worked around; permanent injury including blindness cannot.