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Brian, Service Engineer
Category: Car
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Experience:  Master Tech, Bachelor's of Science in Automotive Technology, Ford Factory Trained
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1996 Mazda miata: mx5 5 spd manual..quit working..It kept blowing air

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1996 Mazda Miata MX5 5 spd manual, 115k miles. My a/c quit working all of a sudden while driving on I-10 last summer. It kept blowing air, just not cold. The compressor stopped kicking in. Everything else works fine: blows fresh air/recirculated air, heater, defrost is good. Green light on A/C button works. Just suddenly all at once no compressor, no cold air. Good belts, no visible sign of damage or wear to a/c components. Fuses good. Do compressors go bad all at once like that? Seems like an electrical issue to me.
It probably has lost enough refrigerant that the system is protecting itself by not turning on. There is a pressure switch that can sense low refrigerant charge and shut off the compressor. Use a gauge to measure the charge level, and add refrigerant to recharge it.

You can do this yourself if you wish, there is a guide here:

A simple color coded gauge comes with most recharge kits now sold, and it will tell you if the charge is low. I prefer to use pure R-134a, rather than the products with the additives like they use in the link above. graphicgraphic
The refrigerant and refill kit is all you need if the system is low. You can check the pressure with the gauge before deciding to add any refrigerant.
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