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Ford F-550 Super Duty A/c Compressor

Inspecting and Giving Diagnosis to Ford F-550 Super Duty A/C Compressor Problems

This article contains the detection of defects in your Ford F-550 Super Duty A/C compressor and condensing units, including evaluation of air conditioner compressor noises, hard starting, lost cooling capacity, and the detection of a burned out compressor at or near the end of its life, among others.

Condenser fan won't start or run or keeps on stopping

If someone turns the thermostat air conditioner up and down or on and off too frequently, a hard-starting compressor may find that it was shut down with high internal head pressure inside the air conditioning compressor. But if someone is turning the system on and off quickly, the compressor may find it has a hard time restarting against the pressure on its outlet side. A starter capacitor addition or replacement could probably fix this no-start condition. However, a service call from a professional to correctly diagnose and repair the problem is best.

Recordings of air conditioner noises

A/C humming, clanking, or buzzing noises can indicate either a minor or a serious problem. Is the noise somewhere else and perhaps from another source that has nothing to do with the air conditioning system? Banging or clanking air conditioner noises are usually due to a loose connecting rod, piston pin, crankshaft, or other internal parts. Since compressors on most modern air conditioning systems are a sealed unit, the only repair for this condition is to replace the compressor.

Bubbling, hissing refrigerant leaks

A catastrophic refrigerant leak on the air conditioner will make a loud hissing sound. You would probably hear bubbling sounds at the refrigerant piping or see bubbles in the sight glass if your system has one. Refrigerant leaks prevent the production of cool air in the air conditioning system and admit moisture and dirt contamination into the same. You may be able to repair the short cycling problem temporarily by recharging the A/C system, but it is recommended that you find and fix the leak. Otherwise you'll just have to keep calling a professional to add refrigerant.

Lost cooling capacity

An air conditioning system's inability to cool could be due to a loose or worn compressor, which has lost its ability to "compress" the refrigerant. This condition can be diagnosed by an air conditioning service technician who will install air conditioning manifold gauges onto the air conditioning system to check the compressor suction vacuum and discharge or "high side" output pressure.

Low amperage draw

Unlike a high-amp current draw which indicates that the compressor is damaged internally in a way that its piston(s) is (are) tight in the cylinder, a low-amperage current draw may confirm internal wear on the compressor parts.

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  • Tips on How to Take Proper Care of Your Ford F-550 Super Duty A/C Compressor 04 March 2014

    Because the standard handyman's air compressors don't typically require daily upkeep, it's easy to forget about them. However, for your Ford F-550 Super Duty A/C compressor to maintain its optimum operational level and thus provide you with better and longer-lasting service, you need to have it undergo some kind of maintenance. Here are some tips on how you can properly take care of your air compressor.

    • Drain moisture from the tanks.
    • The receiver tank collects moisture from the air that it's compressing; it accumulates more if you live in a humid environment. Tanks have a valve for draining moisture; it's up to you to make sure that this is done regularly. Before draining the water, be sure to release air pressure from the tanks.
    • Clean intake vents.
    • Keep your intake vent as clean as possible and check it regularly especially if you're working in a dusty or dirty environment.
    • Tighten all the fasteners on your air conditioning compressor.
    • Be sure to check screws, nuts, and bolts on a regular basis and tighten them if you find any that have jiggled loose.
    • Check hoses regularly.
    • Check your hoses periodically as they are the vents of your A/C compressor. If they become cracked or corroded they could soon begin to leak and put undue strain on the rest of your compressor's components.
    • Test the safety shutdown system.
    • Your air compressor may have a built-in safety shutdown system whose function is to shut off your compressor if it's getting too hot or the engine's oil pressure is too low. This test is important as a shutdown system can help ensure a longer-lasting compressor.
    • Check and change air filters as needed.
    • Check your filters and change them if you notice a heavy buildup of dust and dirt.
    • Clean the fuel tank.
    • You need to periodically clean the fuel tank to ensure optimal operating conditions. You should also clean the engine on your A/C compressor once every year or so to remove any residual buildup from the fuel.
    • Change the compressor oil.
    • Every 500 to 1000 hours of use you should change your compressor oil to ensure maximum functioning of your air compressor.