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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 44468
Experience:  16 years experience
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Windstar: Dennis I have the same problem that remains unaddressed

Customer Question

Dennis I have the same problem that remains unaddressed from 6 years ago. 2000 windstar rear air ice cold, freon properly charged, actuator moving both directions when commanded by temperature lever, blend door is moving correctly and seating fine in both full hot and full cold setting, but still the front air is only ambient temperature. When switched to full hot it does get hot, but cold is still nothing but ambient.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Can you check the evaporator lines in and out of the firewall to see if there wet and freezing cold? If not then there is a restriction in the system, if so then there is a blend door issue. Let me know those results. You want a excellent 5 star answer & I would like to be rated the same for providing it. Consider I don't know your skill level & I can't see, smell, hear, or touch the vehicle. It may take a few back and forth replies. Try your best to respond with good detail so I can do the same. I normally log in at 3pm and work late. A rating is required. Your rating me, what I type. I am not an employee of this website, nor have control over the fees or the time it took to get a response. If you rate negative or not at all you still paid, but I get nothing. I want you pleased with me and my efforts, so let me know if your experience here has come up short.Thanks Chris
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay so this vehicle as I said before has rear air and front air so the line going from the compressor to the evaporator (tall cylindrical container) branches off and goes to the rear and to the evaporator. They are both icy wet cold. I trace the line to the rear and it stays cold and the rear vents are blowing cold air. But the 2 lines in the firewall confuse me. The one thicker 1" line is not cold. So I guess the evaporator is bad or the sensor/plug that its wired to. But I'm confused because there is a smaller (3/8") line in the firewall that is wet and cold. Strange to me. Please explain. And I also have a 2001 windstar but there is no rear air in this model, but for comparison I know something is not right because both lines should be cold right?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
And I noticed the Compressor is not being regulated. It won't switch on and off. It just stays on when set to AC. I guess maybe that's a result of the system thinking it isn't compressing enough to make it cold. Do you think it's the evaporator or a clog inside it? As much as I hate to lose freon and recharge it, I'm willing I yank the one out of my 2001 and try it in the 2000, but would really like to know what you believe it is first!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is the tall cylinder the expansion valve? I believe I mistakenly referred to it as the evaporator
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still working with me? Or do I have to pay more $. I'm confused how this works, you responded to my problem with a question not an answer. So I sent the information you requested. Are you able to respond? Or do I have to pay more? I am not satisfied with this arrangement
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Sorry you missed the comment where I mentioned the hours I work in my prior answer. The front and rear has a evaporator and when the AC is working right, the line in and out of each evaporator should be super cold and wet. The evaporator is inside the dash not visible, it looks like a small radiator. The 2 liter look a like cylinder is the accumulator/drier. Make sure your grabbing the evaporator lines in and out of the firewall, not at the drier nor the heater core hoses. Double check that and report back.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There are 2 lines in the fire wall.
The smaller diameter one is cold, not sure where it goes.
The larger diameter one is hot and it goes back to the accumulator.
The whole accumulator is hot.
The line into the accumulator is ice cold coming from compressor, but the accumulator is hot. Would this mean bad accumulator?
Also I purchased some 134a manifold gauges set with hoses. Lowside pressure at idle 37psi
Highside 175psi. At 1500rpm it's about 40psi and 200psi. I added 2oz of PAG100 oil today and some neon green dye. No leaks and no change.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I apologize I did look back at your post, and see that u log in at 3pm and stay late. I just wasn't sure if I had to pay more, I kept getting email offers from the site to extend the Q/A conversation so I thought the system wouldn't let you respond anymore.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Since only one line into the firewall is cold, This means the evaporator is restricted or the orifice tube is clogged. You need to evacuate the system, disconnect the evaporator lines and see if it will flush in both ways and check for a clogged orifice tube.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are the evap tubes in the dash?
Does the orfice tube have a filter or is it all one piece? Which one/where is the orfice tube?Is it possible that the accumulator is bad?
Why is the accumulator hot if the line going in is cold?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
The orifice is a filter that turns the AC liquid into a gas converting it cold refrigerant.There are no tubes, hoses, or lines inside the dash. The evaporator connections are visible at the firewall.The accumulator is not bad since the rear HVAC works.The orifice is in the AC line from the drier to the dash evaporator.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hold on a minute. The rear AC does work but as I said before the line coming from the compressor branches off to the rear accumulator. So how would I know if accumulator is bad or good. BTW I have another windstar and the accumulator is always ice cold. But the other windstar doesn't have rear air.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Someone also Told me that the orifice on windstars is not replaceable, the whole line must be replaced. But ford claims that even at 90% clogged orifice, the system will still function normally.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
At the compressor one line goes to he condenser and the other to the accumulator/drier. If the accumulator were bad, the AC front nor rear would work, and it would indicate the system is clogged from internal debris from parts of the system degrading. No freon flow through the front evaporator is causing the accumulator to be hot. Orifices are replaceable and if clogged any amount will effect performance. See the files below.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So the rear doesn't have it's own accumulator?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since the line going to the rear skips the accumulator under the hood, seems hard to rule it out based on rear air still cold.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the files. The orifice tube file will definitely come in handy if I have to replace that filter. I'm just not completely sold the accumulator is good or bad yet. Which way does the freon flow? The file on cycle was helpful, but it made me question all I've ever thought before.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you allowed to call me.(###) ###-####
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Thats correct, only one accumulator.I do not do phone calls. The diagram i sent has arrows showing the direction of freon flow.It seems your wanting to replace the accumulator and try that, are those the steps you need.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there a special tool needed to separate the orifice tube. I seethe special removal/install tube but not sure once plastic seam clamp is removed should I just pull hard to separate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes also send accumulator just in case. The thing I hate about trial and error is the cost to recharge the system each time. I'm tempted to just do both at the same time and replace all o rings while at it, but the other part of me want to know what the real problem is and just pay for that one part. Accum=$85
Haven't priced the orifice filter yet
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The diagram show the evap orifice coming from the condenser (not the accumulator/drier) into the evaporator. So are you sure the filter is in the line from accum to evap? It makes sense you're right because it is the larger diameter line so seems it be easier to fit an orifice inside
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At 7:08pm you said the orifice filter was inside the dash evaporator to drier tube, but the instruction appear to show it in the smaller line going to the condenser
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
And when you said flush the evap both ways, should I do that with compressed air? Or some fluid?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry to bombard you with so many questions about this problem and give you so many ideas I have, I'm just trying to make the most out of the time you are available and avoid replacing or removing unnecessary parts.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
I pull the orifice from the AC line with a mini pair of needle nose pliers.I have sent all the diagrams and guides I am allowed to with out the additional service offer accepted, that offer is in your email.The orifice is between the condenser and evaporator.Flush the evaporator with a AC flushing chemical in a can and compressed air.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay I will try to replace the orifice tomorrow morning. Advance has them for a few bucks. I bought some AC liquid flush I will
Run compressed air behind it. I found the accumulator removal instructions in another just answer thread, but think I will just follow your advice and change the orifice, flush evaporator and reassemble and recharge. Is there a secret to getting in that tight spot to separate the lines?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Small hands, a fan, lemonade, and start the job on a good mood. Those are the only suggestions, there are no tricks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Orifice broke off inside tube. The tube was slightly bent and twisted, some of which was there and some I probably did during tube separation. I think it made the orifice pinched a bit. I see the special tool to remove broken orifice. But I wonder if it would actually work given the condition of the tube itself and if it did extract, how hard would it be to get the new one in place?
Considering trying to separate the orifice tube from the evaporator. But not sure how with the flare clamp...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Got the tube off but still can't get the orifice out. I think I'm gonna have to price a new tube out
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Being the tube is bent and twisted and there is a chance its packed with debris behind it, a new tube is most likely whats needed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Where can I purchase one?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I put everything back together for the night based on advice that leaving the system apart would allow condensation moisture to enter the system. Even though I plan to flush it, thought I'd play it safe
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, should I be concerned about the compressor based on the old orifice that I finally got out appeared to have grayish silver shiny powder clogging the screen. Thinking it could be metallic breakdown from something else. Your thoughts?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
Your local dealer should have this part. If the orifice filter was restricted, that means the compressor is starting to come apart.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Makes sense and that's what I was afraid of. Because the system
Is closed the only contaminants must be coming from the compressor right?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there an easy way to flush the system since I plan to buy a new compressor? For example, putting flush in the system
And running the old compressor without an orifice filter then vacuum and install new components (btw looks like I need the drier/accum anyways to maintain compressor warranty).... Is that a bad idea.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 1 year ago.
I have reached the limit on files I can attach with the additional service offer accepted. I have emailed it to you. Accept that then reply here and I can attach that file and tell you how to flush the system.