Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

What might be the cause?

I have a '98 Escort, manual transmission. I’ve been pretty please with it - most repairs (haven’t needed very many) have just been wear and tear. A few weeks ago my air conditioning started to not work so well. There would be short spurts of cool air and then non for awhile. Now it blows air that is cooler than the outside air, but not cold or even cool. The temperatures weren’t bad when this started, but now it’s in the 90’s and I have a young child who is tired of the heat. A family friend checked out the AC and said that the clutch (I think is what he said) is what engages the compressor to make the cold air and for some reason that’s not happening as it should. Any ideas of what might be causing this, how to repair it, or what it might cost? I’m only planning on keeping the car for another few months so I don’t want to put a lot of $$ into it, but with temperatures like this I need to do something. Any ideas/advice would be great! Thank you

If you have another friend who can check and service the A/C with refrigerant (R134a), that may be all it needs.

Your best bet is to take it to an A/C shop (not the dealer or a “quick oil change & A/C shop”). There are some simple checks to determine the problem and an A/C shop is best equipped for the job.

Have it checked for leaks. There are small rubber o-rings in many locations in the a/c system and they get old and less plyable with age. They can leak out freon only occasionally and low freon pressure will not switch on the clutch.