1999 Ford Contour

Tiny
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  • 1999 FORD CONTOUR
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 90,000 MILES

I have a 1999 Ford Contour. The AC hasn't been putting out cool air for a while now. I was driving it this weekend and when I had the AC on it smelled like something was burning so I turned the AC off and it was fine. When I have the AC on and the car is idleing it kind of lunges forward and back as if getting serges of power or something. When I got home I put in some of that refrigerant stuff in that my brother-in-law told me to put in however the AC quit completely so I stopped putting the stuff in. Later when I went to go somewhere I started the car and I couldn't get it out of park. I found that when I took the cover plate off from around the shifter (automatic) there was a lever that I could push and at the same time put the car in gear. While traveling down the road I found I have no turn signals now as well. My headlights, inside lights and flashers work but the turn signals don't. I also noticed when I opened my hood that it doesn't look like the radiator fan is turning. I don't know if the fan turns while in park but I also put it into neutral and it still isn't turning. The car makes a rattling noice when in gear and idleing. The motor was replaced last year. Any suggestions? I can't afford major repairs by a mechanic as I'm a single parent with a child graduating. Any help would be so appreciated. Thanks!

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 3:16 PM

14 Replies

Tiny
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I'm afraid your car is going to need some diagnostics that are going to be beyond your skill level.

You can use a test light to test all the fuses but you could have already done a lot of damage by adding refrigerant it may not have needed. It requires an exact measured charge and it can be very dangerous to work around.

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 3:41 PM
Tiny
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I understand the refrigerant requires an exact measured charge and the charge was extreamly down when I started the process and I did not over fill. It is possible that the AC fan is no longer working because the compressor could have gone out but since the blinker lights and radiator fan aren't working either it could very well be a fuse. Would it be the fuses inside the car fuse panel or the ones under the hood? I will check the ones inside the car tonight however I'm not sure how to check the ones under the hood. The ones inside are easier to tell if they are bad plus I have plenty of extras I can just swap out. The others are kind of square and rectangled in length so I'm not sure how to check those.

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 4:30 PM
Tiny
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Exactly how did you conclude that the refrigerant was extremely down when you started and you did not overfill?

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 4:33 PM
Tiny
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I used the gauge that comes with the refrigerant and then added until it was in the blue area. Even if this was overfilled that wouldn't cause the car not to come out of park, the radiator fan not to work and the blinkers not to work any longer would it? It would only affect the AC right?

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 4:36 PM
Tiny
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It appears you have all the answers. Only problem is they are all wrong. There is no way to know how much refrigerant is in a system through pressures, even when high and low are read by a professional which you have not done. It is entirely possible to overload the system to the point of blowing fuses that operate other functions also. You are in an area that you can only make worse by messing with it yourself.

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 4:41 PM
Tiny
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I don't have all the answers or I wouldn't be asking. So if you over refrigerate it will blow fuses you say. What else will it do? I have to mess with it as much myself as possible as I am a single mother with no other income and I cannot afford the high prices of a mechanic that will try to tell me everything possible that needs done to the car that will end up costing a fortune. I know my way around a car some and no I'm not an expert but if someone explains things to me I can do it. I'm just trying to understand what can go wrong and narrow down my possible problems if it is possible. My father used to handle all this for me but he recently passed away so I don't have his help any more. I can't afford a mechanic so I do as much as I can myself. I really appreciate you taking the time to help and explain to me. Thank you

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 4:49 PM
Tiny
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I'm afraid air conditioning is far too complex and dangerous for an inexperienced person to delve into. I'm not going to go any further with this and I strongly suggest you either leave it alone or have an expert look at it.

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 4:53 PM
Tiny
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I will leave the AC alone but I need to fix the problem with my radiator fan and blinker lights. Would the problem with both of these be fuses? I checked the light bulbs and they seem fine but I haven't checked fuses yet. Is there a fuse for the radiator fan and if so where do I find it or what would cause it not to turn?
I really appreciate your help and I'm fine if the AC doesn't work for now I can live with that but I need blinker lights and the radiator fan to work. Would you please tell me what to look for? Thank you

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 4:58 PM
Tiny
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You need to use a test light and test for power both in and out of every fuse. You may have to unplug the compressor because it may be the cause of the fuse failure if you find any blown. If no fuses blown, test the fan by running power and ground directly to the motor.

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 5:02 PM
Tiny
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How would I unplug the compressor if I need to do this? Thank you very much for your help. I will check these tonight. I really appreciate your help. Again thank you for your time and information.

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 5:04 PM
Tiny
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There will be a connector right at the base of the compressor clutch. You may even find that the inoperative fan to be the source of the A/C problems too. That will cause the pressures to go sky high so you definitely don't want to attempt to run the A/C with an inoperative fan.

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 5:08 PM
Tiny
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The compressor clutch is the roundish cylinder down low just behind the radiator fan is this correct?

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 AT 5:21 PM
Tiny
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Just thought I would let you know that I checked fuses and two were bad so I replaced them and now everything is working. The radiator fan, the AC, the blinkers even the radio and dome light that haven't worked in over a year are working. The AC is cold which is wonderful. I have to say you don't know me very well because YES I can do this myself. Thank you very much for your input and I appreciate your time. Not everything has to go to a mechanic to get fixed if people will take the time to help you narrow down what might be the problem instead of telling you you can cause more problems if you try doing it yourself.

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Thursday, May 5th, 2011 AT 12:58 PM
Tiny
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I totally agree that anyone can check fuses and should do that before doing anything else or even asking for help. The problem is messing with dangerous pressurized gases when you have no experience doing so. You tried to add refrigerant to a system that didn't need it and had an inoperative fan. That is a perfect recipe for an explosion in our face.

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Thursday, May 5th, 2011 AT 1:03 PM

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