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Skezza

Ford Luxuryka 2003 Air-Con / Heating Issues

16 posts in this topic

Hello,

My girlfriend bought a Ford KA luxuryKa last Christmas and while the car is running well, there are a few heating issues and air-con issues so just looking for advice.

Regarding the air-con, when she bought the vehicle, she was told it simply needed re-gassing. However, if you press the air-con nothing happens but the light switching on. Surely we'd hear the compressor or at least feel some cool air, maybe not much, but right now, it seems the air-con is merely a glorified LED. Is there any suggestions on how to go about diagnosing this? Is it worth regassing it and seeing what happens?

Secondly, the heating issues. Right, when she bought the car, she was told it normally blows hot only which I figured at the time was merely heater control valve, however now sometimes when she turns the dial it blows cold and sometimes it blows really hot, but there's no real consistency to it. Sometimes she can stick it to cold and it'll blow cold, and then other times it'll be blowing red hot.

Any advice would be fantastic.

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With the air con I ma having similar experiences on my mondeo, regassed at my expense and it worked for a day now nothing. Had it checked and the gauge couldnt pick up any fluid, so I suspect there is a leak and likely you will have one too! the light may come on but perhaps the compressor wont kick in due to the lack of refrigerant. look on the net for free air con health checks in your area, and get it run down there for a healtcheck.

With the heater, it sounds like its just getting stuck on a setting, if you remove the fascia and have a look behind, make sure that the selector is connected to the mechanism at the back firmly. If it moves with the dial, then the issue is likely to be related to the thermostat. Have you noticed the car running hot?

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With the air con I ma having similar experiences on my mondeo, regassed at my expense and it worked for a day now nothing. Had it checked and the gauge couldnt pick up any fluid, so I suspect there is a leak and likely you will have one too! the light may come on but perhaps the compressor wont kick in due to the lack of refrigerant. look on the net for free air con health checks in your area, and get it run down there for a healtcheck.

With the heater, it sounds like its just getting stuck on a setting, if you remove the fascia and have a look behind, make sure that the selector is connected to the mechanism at the back firmly. If it moves with the dial, then the issue is likely to be related to the thermostat. Have you noticed the car running hot?

Thanks for your reply. It's funny you ask about the car running hot. I personally think it runs hot, but then I drive a big VW diesel which doesn't run hot, so my opinion probably isn't that valid :P It seems to drive very well and she takes it a good 20 miles or more usually so it's fair to say if there was anything seriously wrong it would go before then right?

However, when she bought the car, the previous owner explained that it had been skimmed and rebuilt just a few weeks before. Now, I assume the only reason you'd get your cylinders skimmed is due to a head gasket failure right? Is that likely to have been caused by overheating? I'm thinking I'll start monitoring the temperatures using an OBD2 scanner as it may be running a bit warm for my liking.

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The aircon system may be fine and only need re-gassing. The compressor will not kick in if the pressure is low as the refridgerant includes PAG oil which cannot lubricate the compressor if there isn't enough gas in the system. It therefore protects the compressor from seizing.

The other heating issue is most likely a sticky Heater Control Valve. It is a really common problem and for less than £40 for a replacement is a relatively cheap fix.

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I wonder if the head gasket has failed...... has the radiator been flushed out?

Could be full of emulsion.......or radweld...... :(

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Don't tell me that cav lol. I really hope not. At the moment, the vehicle is driving okay. I don't know about the radiator. I checked the coolant levels and they're topped up so perhaps it just runs warmer than I'm used too being a diesel driver :P

If it's full of radweld then, well, eventually it'll go again, but while it works just have to live with it I guess.

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will keep my fingers crossed for ya mate

I wonder if one of those kits that tell you if the head gasket has failed would be any good after a head gasket as failed and been repaired or will it continue to detect the previous oil from the previous gasket failure.....................if you see what i mean..

also what colour is the coolant?

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Pretty sure it's pink, but I'll check again tonight. The car gets driven every day and isn't blowing any steam out or anything so if there has been a head gasket failure it's been fixed/snake'oiled. I assumed there had been a head gasket failure in the past, especially as they said it had been skimmed a few weeks before.

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sounds like there has been, sure it will be fine, I hope they fitted a new thermostat..... probably an easy job and cheap too so worth fitting a new one if your not sure.

yea pink sounds right, different antifreeze's have different heat exchanging properties, sure the pink is more effective at removing more heat than the old blue standard type.

sure someone will give a better explanation that I can :D

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I am pretty sure it just needs a new heater control valve. You can guarantee they fail. I have had to change these on a KA, SportKA and a Puma that we have owned. This is such a common issue.

Other common issues heating and engine temperature problems are split expansion tanks and expansion tank caps not holding the pressure.

All the above are a much cheaper fix than a head gasket.

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Right'o. I'll get one ordered and fitted. Plenty of YouTube video's how so shouldn't be too hard. Are the eBay jobbies a no go?

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Right'o. I'll get one ordered and fitted. Plenty of YouTube video's how so shouldn't be too hard. Are the eBay jobbies a no go?

EBay ones are hit and miss, therefore I would avoid. You may as well get one from Ford for what they cost. Only takes 20 minutes to swap the HCV over and a top up of coolant. Also it may be worth getting a new cap anyway as they should be changed regularly and rarely are.

bt_cav likes this

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EBay ones are hit and miss, therefore I would avoid. You may as well get one from Ford for what they cost. Only takes 20 minutes to swap the HCV over and a top up of coolant. Also it may be worth getting a new cap anyway as they should be changed regularly and rarely are.

Good point about replacing the cap regularly

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Thanks for the replies guys. I will buy a new heater control valve from Ford (do they have an online site or is it a pop in the dealer job?) and fit it. There's a few tutorials on YouTube so not too bothered about that.

The AC will have to be done nearer the summer. I'm thinking I'll take it down to one of these places that offer a free health check with a re-gas. I assume they'll find any leaks and be able to replace the hoses or whatever. I'm not very knowledgeable with air con and how it works, I've never had a car with it lol! :D

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keep us informed, let us know how you get on.

also don't leave it too long to sort out your air con as they dont like to be left too long without being used.....

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Oh gosh, don't tell me that. I have no idea how long it's been like this tbh. Could have been years. I know for a fact it sat on the previous owners drive for a good 6 months before being sold because they had suffered a serious injury and were hoping to drive it again but this proved too challenging. It could have been dead for years.

The car itself is still driving pretty well so perhaps my fears are unfounded.

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