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Car A/C not getting cold; new compressor, the clutch is spinning, new pressure sensors, new hose.

I have an A/C in my 2002 Ford Escort 2.0 that is not getting cold. I have a new compressor with a working clutch, it spins on and off when the A/C in on. I also have all new pressure sensors and A/C Hose. The Manifold reads around 30 PSI on the Low side when the Clutch is not spinning and drops to around 15 PSI when the Clutch engages. The High side reads around 150 PSI when it's off and 250 PSI when the Clutch engages. The only parts I did not replace were the Accumulator and Evaporator (which is also the High-Side Hose as one unit. No Leaks Detected and around 22oz of R134a Refrigerant was used. Could it be the accumulator or evaporator? What could be a solution?

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  • Tim Fowler
    Tim Fowler May 07, 2014

    I forgot to mention I also didn't replace the condensor.

  • Tim Fowler
    Tim Fowler May 12, 2014

    Okay, I resolved the issue myself. It was a $2 Orifice Tube that needed replacement.

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  • Cars & Trucks Master
  • 3,679 Answers

I'm not an expert on a/c but have found quite a few vehicles that have similar problems and the majority have been the evaporator , as you've obviously had a major overhaul on the a/c it could well be that or the condensor as that was'nt replaced , your choice as to what you start with really

Posted on May 07, 2014

Testimonial: "Thank you for your time. I found the solution. I had a clogged Orifice Tube. $2 to replace the part, but I had to evacuate the system first."

  • steve May 12, 2014

    thanks for the feed back and i'm glad you resolved the problem (and it did'nt cost a fortune)

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Compressor Checks
checkmark.gif Start with the compressor. Does it engage when you turn on the A/C?
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If the compressor does not engage when you jump it, the problem is a bad compressor clutch.
If the clutch engages but the compressor does not turn (the belt will start to slip and squeal), the compressor is locked up and you need a new compressor.
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Refrigerant Checks
checkmark.gif Connect an A/C pressure gauge to the HIGH SIDE service port (located in the high pressure hose that runs between the compressor and the condenser in the front of the engine compartment). The gauge will tell you if there is any pressure in the system. Simply depressing the service fitting valve with a small screwdriver to see if any refrigerant squirts out is NOT an accurate check because it tell you how much pressure is in the system. It may still have some pressure but not enough to trip the low pressure safety switch so the compressor will engage.
If your A/C system is low or out of refrigerant, check for leaks, then have the A/C system vacuum purged to remove air. After the air is out, it can be recharged with the specified amount of refrigerant. It is important to get any air out as this will reduce cooling efficiency and may make the compressor noisy.
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checkmark.gif If the refrigeration circuit seems to be working (refrigerant in the system, compressor running and building pressure), but there is still no cooling, the problem might be an obstruction in the orifice tube (located in the high pressure hose between the condenser in the front of the radiator, and the evaporator located in the passenger compartment). A blockage here will prevent the refrigerant from entering the evaporator or recirculating through the refrigeration circuit.
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