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95 Ford Windstar: air conditioning..weather..compressor..few miles…

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My 95 Ford Windstar with...
My 95 Ford Windstar with 3.8 L engine has 195000 miles on it. For the past year, when the air conditioning is turned on, the car makes a horrible loud groaning sound for the first couple miles with it being most severe when the weather is hot (90 F and higher). The compressor cycles on and off frequently at first, but then runs normally after a few miles and blows cold air. The last few years, I have found it necessary to add a can of Freon at the beginning of the cooling season, but did not add any this year. This old "clunker" is too old to spend much money....any ideas as to the cause and cure?
Submitted: 13 years ago.Category: Ford
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Answered in 22 minutes by:
8/15/2009
Ford Mechanic: lamontgomery, Ford Mechanic replied 13 years ago
lamontgomery
lamontgomery, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 467
Experience: 14 years experience, 2000-2006 Senior Master, ASE master in Truck and Auto, Level 1 Fire mechanic
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Have you done any repairs to the A/C system besides "topping it off" with freon?
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Customer reply replied 13 years ago
No repairs have ever been made to my knowledge. I have had the van for about 100,000 miles.
Ford Mechanic: lamontgomery, Ford Mechanic replied 13 years ago
<p>      At the very least, you will need an A/C compressor. It is the only moving part of the system and usually wears out first. The clutch on the compressor could be slipping, causing the groaning noise, or the internal components of the compressor could be failing. </p><p>      Buy a new compressor and clutch assembly (if possible). I bought one from Visteon for about $300 (they supply Ford with A/C parts) at Napa. When you remove the compressor, drain the oil out of it and check it for metal flakes/ chunks in the oil that comes out. If there is metal, it will need to be flushed out and the accumulator and expansion valve replaced.</p>
lamontgomery
lamontgomery, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 467
Experience: 14 years experience, 2000-2006 Senior Master, ASE master in Truck and Auto, Level 1 Fire mechanic
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lamontgomery
lamontgomery, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
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