Air Conditioning Troubleshooting A/C Blows hot on one side 2002 2003 2004 2005 Thunderbird

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
We're getting a lot of A/C posts on the forum, so I am going to start a thread. I'm not a mechanic, so please feel free to add your suggestions and recommendations for various scenarios. These recommendations below are based upon prior posts on the forum from Ford Thunderbird Owners.

Common Scenarios

- Blows hot on the passenger's side and cold on the driver's side is a frequent one or one side. This is usually the Dual Coolant Control Valve.
Link to order part- Click to order On Ebay
Installation photos here- https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum.com/threads/2002-dual-coolant-control-valve.6993/post-56530
control-valve.jpg

- Blows Hot on both sides. This can be caused by several things including low refrigerant, bad compressor, etc. The Climate Control Module is also often the culprit. You can either buy a replacement module or there is also a listing for a repair service for the unit. Click here for prices.
s-l1600.jpg


-AC low pressure port location
See below. @312 also posted some good photos on this thread. You can buy Ac Pro 134a refrigerant here which helps seal small gasket leaks.
830_05d9bfd72317b4169dbe5a23f659a805.jpg

If you want to DIY check out this R134a R12 R22 R502 AC A/C Manifold Gauge Set 5FT Colored Hose Air Conditioning
831_93164de4782fa3aef2d995018d3d98ef.jpg
Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2IyU4gC or (Purchase on ebay click here)

2002 2003 2004 2005 Ford Thunderbird Compressor Kits- (Purchase on Amazon click here)
compressorkits.jpg


2002-2003-2004-2005 Ford Thunderbird Evaporator Core
Purchase on Amazon.com click here
Purchase on Ebay Click here
evaporator-core-motorcraft-YK214.jpg

2002-2003-2004-2004 Evaporator Discharge Cabin Air Temperature Sensor
Purchase on Ebay Click Here
YH1504-Evaporartor-Sensor.jpg

02-05 Ford Thunderbird Climate Control Air Temperature Sensor XW4H-19C734-AB OEM
Buy on eBay Click here

climate-control-temperatature-sensor-XW4H-19C734-AB.jpg
 
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05Dave

Active Member
Blowing hot air both sides is also often a failure of the dual coolant control valve. It has just failed on both sides. If the AC clutch is not pulling in, most likely cause of that is low freon charge. This will contribute to the described problem as no AC will be on. I had both issues last fall when we put the car away. Dealer fixed it with no issues.
 

05Dave

Active Member
Anyone know where I can get instructions on how to remove and re-install the Climate Control Module on 2005 Thunderbird?
I believe I saw that listed in the Ford service manual. My books are not available to me at the moment. The most common cause of issues with the hvac system is the dual control valve on the bottom of radiator passenger vehicle side. If you follow Fords diagnostic chain, they start with the electronics which is the wrong way to troubleshoot these problems. If getting overtemps on one or both side of the passenger compartment feel the heater hoses. If hot when AC is requested clamp the hose off with vise grips, if problem is corrected, change your dual control valve.
My freon levels were also low, which will affect the operation of the ac compressor. So a full diagnosis should be carried out before pulling the electronics. I find the Ford diagnostics misleading. Verify freon quantity and that compressor is operational, check the heater hose temps, they should not be hot when AC is selected. If heater hoses are not same temp as other rad hoses, select Heat and see if both get hot. Both a failed dual control valve (there are 2 separate valves in the dual control valve) and a failed electronic module will give similar effects.
 
Hi Dave,
Thanks for the fast reply, I had the compressor check at the same time topped off the freon. also changed the Dual Control Valve(that was bad), still same problem. Blows out Cold on the passenger side and hot on the drivers side. In one of these post someone suggested i look into the climate control module.
They recommend that i send to this company in California and they'll update/fix the module for $99.00. They state on their website that when the DCV goes bad it makes the CCM to fail and that one of the symptoms is what i"m experiencing.

Thanks,
Bill
 

05Dave

Active Member
Hi Dave,
Thanks for the fast reply, I had the compressor check at the same time topped off the freon. also changed the Dual Control Valve(that was bad), still same problem. Blows out Cold on the passenger side and hot on the drivers side. In one of these post someone suggested i look into the climate control module.
They recommend that i send to this company in California and they'll update/fix the module for $99.00. They state on their website that when the DCV goes bad it makes the CCM to fail and that one of the symptoms is what i"m experiencing.

Thanks,
Bill
Bill,
Yes for sure the electronics will give the same symptoms, Sounds like you have done all the typical issues. I will try to get my to,my books later today and see what I can copy for you. Mine are hard copies located where I cant get to them at the moment as I have a broken leg.
 

05Dave

Active Member
Bill,
Yes for sure the electronics will give the same symptoms, Sounds like you have done all the typical issues. I will try to get my to,my books later today and see what I can copy for you. Mine are hard copies located where I cant get to them at the moment as I have a broken leg.

Bill
One more thing you could try is disconnecting the negative post on the battery and leaving it for 15 - 20 minutes. Sometimes letting the systems completely die will reset electronics. GM had a problem with some electronics in the early to mid 2000's and that was the only fix. Disconnect the battery until everything had drained, hook it back up and the car was OK.
 

05Dave

Active Member
Bill,
I fell from a ladder at our winter home in the Tuscon area end of January breaking my right femur about mid-point. The repair failed about 3 months later, and 3 weeks after I was advised it was good to walk on normally. It lasted until we arrived back in Canada and I started all over again end of May with complete new surgery, metal parts, etc and broken screws left in, etc. Probably end of September before I can walk again - hopefully. If we can ever fly again, I have lots to set off the metal alarms as I have replacement hips too.
I tried several ways to scan these pages ending up with Adobe on my phone. If you need more info just ask. I have a C5 Vette in AZ and I prefer the GM books as they give better instruction. Trying to scan a 4 inch thick manual is not an easy task. They refer to another section 418-01 is the programming section for a new module, hopefully they send yours back in a condition to just install and operate. If you need that I can post it.
It does not give any guidance on how to remove those dash panels, maybe someone else has done it before. I do not have the parts books, but I have went to the dealer and asked them to print out the parts list which will look similar to the first page but might give more detail on the actual fasteners. I have an interior removal tool kit that I got from Harbor Freight which works well with my Corvette.
Good Luck!
 

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Bill,
I fell from a ladder at our winter home in the Tuscon area end of January breaking my right femur about mid-point. The repair failed about 3 months later, and 3 weeks after I was advised it was good to walk on normally. It lasted until we arrived back in Canada and I started all over again end of May with complete new surgery, metal parts, etc and broken screws left in, etc. Probably end of September before I can walk again - hopefully. If we can ever fly again, I have lots to set off the metal alarms as I have replacement hips too.
I tried several ways to scan these pages ending up with Adobe on my phone. If you need more info just ask. I have a C5 Vette in AZ and I prefer the GM books as they give better instruction. Trying to scan a 4 inch thick manual is not an easy task. They refer to another section 418-01 is the programming section for a new module, hopefully they send yours back in a condition to just install and operate. If you need that I can post it.
It does not give any guidance on how to remove those dash panels, maybe someone else has done it before. I do not have the parts books, but I have went to the dealer and asked them to print out the parts list which will look similar to the first page but might give more detail on the actual fasteners. I have an interior removal tool kit that I got from Harbor Freight which works well with my Corvette.
Good Luck!
Hey Dave,
Again thanks for all your help. I am mechanically inclined, but tearing apart a dash is a little scary. My brother fell off his two story house 2 years ago, he's lucky to be alive, Funny you mention you have a C5 Vette, I purchased my 2019 C7 Vette.
Feel better and
Best Regards,
Bill
 
My wife's 2004 started blowing hot air on the driver's side and after reading your forum I pinched the hose on the driver's side solenoid and the air started getting colder. I purchased a new DCV from Advanced Auto for $135 and the problem was resolved. (Note- the DCV from Advance Auto was about 30% lighter than the OEM) About 4 months later it started intermittently blowing hot air again but when she turned the temperature to its lowest setting it started blowing cold air. I pinched the hose on the driver's side solenoid and the air started getting colder I released the clamp from the hose and tapped on the solenoid and the problem cleared.

I returned the DCV under its 1 year warranty assuming the part was bad and replaced it again. It worked perfect for about 3 weeks and now blows hot air out of the passenger side regardless of the climate setting. Again, when I clamp the DRIVERS side hose the hot air stops. There's no change when I clamp the passenger side hose. Should I start looking somewhere else for the problem or is it possible I have another bad DCV? I noticed the link you provided for a replacement DCV is almost a 3rd of what I paid.

I guess I could just pinch both hoses since I live in Florida and tell her to wear a coat when a cold front moves through in the winter.

Thanks,

Ken
 
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I tested the DCV again and I apparently made an error. I corrected my last posting below.

Again, when I clamp the DRIVER passenger side hose the hot air stops. There's no change when I clamp the passenger side hose. Should I start looking somewhere else for the problem or is it possible I have another bad DCV? I noticed the link you provided for a replacement DCV is almost a 3rd of what I paid.

Does anyone know if the solenoids are normally open or closed?
 
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Since it hasn't been raised in this thread (which is extremely helpful with all the part number links!) - I'll throw this out there.

Under harder than average acceleration or sometimes during transmission kick down before acceleration the a/c compressor clutch disengages - usually to prevent a system over-pressure situation during hard take offs or downshifts. I've experienced something a little strange - mine will do this, and the air that comes out of the vents will be pretty warm, almost heater-level warm. Sometimes when I back off, the compressor clutch will re-engage and life returns to normal in short order, but on a few occasions, it will refuse to do so. I'll get hot air from all vents, whether or not I'm using dual zone, synced, or even the Auto setting. Today for example it happened and kept warm air blowing for nearly 30 minutes before it finally kicked back on. Any thoughts?
 
I hate to use this word, ALL, cars shut off the A/C compressor when you depress the throttle beyond a certain point. Most of the time no one notices because the evaporator is very cold and for a short time it will continue to blow cold air. But if the car was just started and the evaporator has not reached its cold condition then you will notice there is warmer air out of the vents.

For the past year, I have had A/C problems that I am still dealing with my 2003 TB. I had fixed most of my problems the one remaining was when I gave it full throttle the A/C compressor would shut off and not come back on until the car was shut off and rested for some time.

I will be working on the A/C in a few weeks, the weather will be getting hot soon in Las Vegas.
 
I hate to use this word, ALL, cars shut off the A/C compressor when you depress the throttle beyond a certain point. Most of the time no one notices because the evaporator is very cold and for a short time it will continue to blow cold air. But if the car was just started and the evaporator has not reached its cold condition then you will notice there is warmer air out of the vents.

For the past year, I have had A/C problems that I am still dealing with my 2003 TB. I had fixed most of my problems the one remaining was when I gave it full throttle the A/C compressor would shut off and not come back on until the car was shut off and rested for some time.

I will be working on the A/C in a few weeks, the weather will be getting hot soon in Las Vegas.

Mine's the same year, with the same described issue you have. It doesn't happen every time, but when it does, it's a little annoying. It was 84 today and only gonna get warmer. Keying off and waiting a while works every time, cycling the buttons, settings, etc - the jury's still out on that. :D
 
Ok, I'm starting to put a few pieces together. Lately my car's been doing the "heat when you floor it" thing more often and it lasts longer each time too. One thing I noticed that my car would do for the past couple of months is when I key off, I hear what sounds like a vacuum actuator groaning inside the dash somewhere behind the stereo. I suspect what's actually going on is that the diaphragm in the heater blend door actuator is either gummed up, or leaking and unable to maintain pressure, and when you goose the throttle, the vacuum pressure drops, the flap moves a bit, and allows the air passing through the heater core to basically negate the condenser air. The more you throttle it out, the more the flap opens for heat, the hotter the air, the longer it takes to "reset" itself (for instance when some of you guys suggested shutting down and trying again after a few minutes (vacuum pressure backs off, flap moves on its own).

Granted, this is all theory until I get it apart, but it sure sounds like that's what's misbehaving in there. Even the groaning noise started changing the longer this has been going on for me. The good news is .. the valve is cheap 30-60 bucks. Here's the kicker though - the valves appear to be electric, not vacuum - but sure as heck behaves like a vacuum one.

There's several numbers from Dorman, but what I'll probably try to do is get the old one out, or at least where I can see the Ford p/n then cross it before buying a new one. Anyway - I noticed the part numbers at the top of the thread made no mention of this before - just throwing it out there.

Dorman numbers at a quick glance show a ton of these darn things :

604-919 - for defroster (you may see condensate on the lower center of your windshield if this one is starting to fail and not close off the center defroster vent)
604-914 - for main temperature (my suspected culprit)
604-912 - air distribution to floor (guessing you'll feel air bleed off near your feet)
604-264 - main distribution panel (not sure about this one)
604-266 - main distribution air inlet (assume this is between fresh and recirculated air)

There were other numbers but those were the same models with 1 year warranties, the above ones are "limited lifetime" ones. Anyway, I'll probably start tracking down the source of the groaning and go from there.
 
One thing no one has talked about is the low pressure switch in the AC system. When this switch goes bad it will cause
the AC clutch to disengage more frequently, and will not re-engage for some time until pressure builds up. Have had
this switch go bad on other cars, and upon replacing AC was back to operating normal again.

Never had a DCCV go bad yet.
 
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