2014 A/C Compressor Cycles On and Off Constantly - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2018 Thread Starter
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2014 A/C Compressor Cycles On and Off Constantly

This has been driving me nuts since we bought the car. Got it three years ago, used one owner car, 40,000 miles, V6.

When the A/C is turned on the compressor cycles on and off every 12 seconds. Driving in the summer, you can feel it come on and off. It comes on for about 12 seconds, then goes off for 12 seconds, then on for 12 seconds, then off again, forever, as long as the A/C is on. If you're sitting at a light it about drives me crazy going on and off. It's not like it shakes the car or anything like that, but you can feel it, and see the RPM's dip when it comes on. while driving down the freeway with the A/C on, you can feel it going on and off.

I've taken it to the dealer (it's still covered under an extended warranty) and they declared it "normal" but still managed to find some expensive part to replace under the warranty that didn't cost me anything, but also didn't fix the problem.

The same thing happens when the defroster is on (compressor runs for defrost as well). We don't drive the car in the winter (we're in Northern Minnesota) so using defrost is pretty rare, but when I do, same thing happens.

Dealer worked on it for a couple days, declared it all operating normal. One mechanic told me when it's hot the compressor cycles as necessary and it's normal. Really? On and off every 12 seconds? I've tried it the last few days here it's only been about 45-50 degrees, so it's not like it needs to cycle because it's hot outside. We're taking a trip in August that will amount to two hot days driving about 10 hours a day. My math tells me that that compressor clutch will kick in and out 300 times an hour, so that would be about 3000 cycles a day if we keep the air on. That just can't be good for the compressor and it's clutch. Can it? Is this actually normal? Is this some new-fangled energy saving thing?

We own plenty of other Fords including a 2010 Escape and a 2013 Focus among others none of which has the A/C compressor kick in and out every 12 seconds or so. The A/C seems to work OK and cools the car. But it feels weird driving, and it's almost embarrassing at a light when people can hear this kicking in and out.

Tim in Bovey

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2018
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Originally Posted by timinbovey View Post
This has been driving me nuts since we bought the car. Got it three years ago, used one owner car, 40,000 miles, V6.

When the A/C is turned on the compressor cycles on and off every 12 seconds. Driving in the summer, you can feel it come on and off. It comes on for about 12 seconds, then goes off for 12 seconds, then on for 12 seconds, then off again, forever, as long as the A/C is on. If you're sitting at a light it about drives me crazy going on and off. It's not like it shakes the car or anything like that, but you can feel it, and see the RPM's dip when it comes on. while driving down the freeway with the A/C on, you can feel it going on and off.

I've taken it to the dealer (it's still covered under an extended warranty) and they declared it "normal" but still managed to find some expensive part to replace under the warranty that didn't cost me anything, but also didn't fix the problem.

The same thing happens when the defroster is on (compressor runs for defrost as well). We don't drive the car in the winter (we're in Northern Minnesota) so using defrost is pretty rare, but when I do, same thing happens.

Dealer worked on it for a couple days, declared it all operating normal. One mechanic told me when it's hot the compressor cycles as necessary and it's normal. Really? On and off every 12 seconds? I've tried it the last few days here it's only been about 45-50 degrees, so it's not like it needs to cycle because it's hot outside. We're taking a trip in August that will amount to two hot days driving about 10 hours a day. My math tells me that that compressor clutch will kick in and out 300 times an hour, so that would be about 3000 cycles a day if we keep the air on. That just can't be good for the compressor and it's clutch. Can it? Is this actually normal? Is this some new-fangled energy saving thing?

We own plenty of other Fords including a 2010 Escape and a 2013 Focus among others none of which has the A/C compressor kick in and out every 12 seconds or so. The A/C seems to work OK and cools the car. But it feels weird driving, and it's almost embarrassing at a light when people can hear this kicking in and out.

Tim in Bovey
You could pick up an AC hose with a gauge at a part store to check the refrigerant level yourself. It shouldn't cycle every 12 seconds, that's a clear sign of low refrigerant in the system. You could also get a can of refrigerant that has the hose just in case you need to add any, get the refrigerant that has a sealer additive in it. $20 approximately

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2018
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It's not normal to cycle like that. At least my 2014 v6 doesn't. I agree with the above post, probably low on freon. Personally, I would take it to a shop that only works on auto AC.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018 Thread Starter
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Twice the dealer has told me the refrigerant was full.

If I take it to an A/C shop it will be an out of pocket expense rather than warranty, I suspect.

Something isn't right, that's for sure.

Tim in Bovey
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018
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With 40-50 degree ambient temp highs it is possible it could cycle that short. Adding refrigerant without monitoring both high/low pressures can cause damage and I suspect may void your warranty. Yes, short cycling is common with low refrigerant, however, a blockage in the system or malfunctioning expansion valve/TXV valve can also cause short cycling. Short cycling is caused by the pressure on the "low" side of the system going low enough to trip the low pressure cut off switch. Remember, pressure is also directly affected by temperature. So again, with 40-50 degree temps its going to hit the low pressure threshold a lot quicker to shut off the compressor. Here are some helpful videos by a former Ford dealership tech that are very helpful. You can also shoot him an email for his opinion. His email is available on his channel's "About" tab.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018
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Originally Posted by Jeremy Weigel View Post
With 40-50 degree ambient temp highs it is possible it could cycle that short. Adding refrigerant without monitoring both high/low pressures can cause damage and I suspect may void your warranty. Yes, short cycling is common with low refrigerant, however, a blockage in the system or malfunctioning expansion valve/TXV valve can also cause short cycling. Short cycling is caused by the pressure on the "low" side of the system going low enough to trip the low pressure cut off switch. Remember, pressure is also directly affected by temperature. So again, with 40-50 degree temps its going to hit the low pressure threshold a lot quicker to shut off the compressor. Here are some helpful videos by a former Ford dealership tech that are very helpful. You can also shoot him an email for his opinion. His email is available on his channel's "About" tab.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOPn8BQB0pw&t=328s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UPwxf0E1uQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0oQwj0Z1X8

I agree with ambient temps making it cycle more than normal, but I don't think every 12 seconds is normal. Not everyone has a set of yellow jacket gauges to measure both high and low side only because they don't know how to measure super heat. That is why I referred to an auto part store refrigerant can with a hose to give some idea of what is happening. Honestly only licensed individuals should be touching the system IMO
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018 Thread Starter
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It cycles exactly the same when the outside air temp is 40 or 90 degrees or anywhere in-between. I mention that because last summer when I went to the dealer they tried to tell me that it was cycling like that because it was so hot outside that it was causing it to cycle on and off. But the same thing happens any time, be it 30 degrees, 50 degrees, 70 degrees or 95 degrees. It also happens when it's 10 below zero and I turn on the defrosters (which also turns on the compressor). So it's not related to the air temp.

I have no intention of messing with the A/C system myself. I'm kind of hoping I can get about 50 guys with 2014 V-6 cars to all tell me this doesn't happen to their cars. Dealer still claims it's normal. I think they just don't want to screw with it anymore.

Tim in Bovey
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018
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Sorry, the way I read your post this just began in the past few months (fall/winter) with colder temps.

I would try another dealership then. Arm yourself with enough knowledge from the Brian's videos (he has more that I didn't link) and tell them you want the system evacuated and see the amount of refrigerant they recover. According to this service manual (also see sticker under your hood) your system holds 21oz. Ford Workshop Service & Repair Manuals - 2011 Mustang Climate Control System Specifications If that checks out then they need to check that your system pressures equalizes when the system is turned off. It looks like your system has a TXV Ford Workshop Service & Repair Manuals - 2011 Mustang Climate Control Thermostatic expansion valve. This will be a good start at trouble shooting the system.

BTW, what "expensive" part did they replace?

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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anyone have any idea what the correct pressure reading should be? I have been told 25-30 low side but not sure about the high side.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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My car is is experiencing this issue, I just took it to a shop today and paid $85 to have the Ac system serviced and it did not change a damn thing!!

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