Help with AC: Not turning on...


Aug 12, 2014
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I have a 2001 Ranger XLT 2.3L auto. About 2-3 weeks ago my wife drove my truck and said that there was just hot air blowing out. I confirmed this when I drove. Turn to max ac and it's just the ambient air or as hot as it is outside.

Back in 2013, I replaced the AC compressor because it was seized. I replaced the dryer, reed valve. Vacuumed the system complete, put in pag oil 46, and then the r132a. It's been fine even though I have had to refill the system/top it off a couple years ago. Which makes me believe there is a leak somewhere...(get into it later).

Thinking it was just the low pressure switch I replaced both that and the high pressure switch. I did not hear the AC clutch engaging at all. And when I temporarily jumped the LP wires the compressor did kick on. After replacing those I ran into the same problem. AC compressor did not kick on. I tried to refill the system even after pulling a vacuum. The vacuum was at -28. It held that for over an hour... So if it does have a leak it's very small perhaps? When I've done this in the past the ac clutch still engages and I am able to fill the system. This time around I could hear the click but didn't see the compressor clutch engage. Not sure what that means.

I did some basic trouble shooting. I hooked up my multimeter to the AC clutch hardness (gray connector on side of compressor 2-wires) while the truck was on and the AC MAX was selected. It only read 0.038 volts. I would think this should be 12v, no? OR Does it only send 12v once the relay opens and the PCM tells it to engage? That's the only thing I can think of why it wouldn't read 12v? I was under the assumption that it that plug should read 12v all the time but I couldn't find anywhere on that information. If I jump the low pressure wires the clutch will engage. I did not take a reading on the harness after jumping the low pressure wires. I will do that today. I would think at that point it's sending 12v to the compressor clutch, but not 100% until I check.

So it brings me to my next point. My truck is 18 years old. It's in good condition minus this AC. Still drives fine (slow mind you since it's a 2.3l auto), but other than that doesn't look it's age at all. I feel like perhaps I should have replaced other components when I did this back in 2013, but at the time I wasn't that knowledgeable in terms of removing all that stuff. Now I am on the mind set that I should be replacing all components. The condenser, lines..etc. Those are all almost 20 years old, original to the truck and probably should be replaced.

I've attached a screen shot of all the components I would get. All motorcraft. It's around $600+ for all the stuff which makes me wonder if I should. I don't want a car payment and I am not interested in buying a new truck. This one serves me well on what I use it for and it's fortunately not a DD so I can have it taken apart in the garage on the lift for however long it needs to be.

Should I be checking other stuff or anything that might be glaring that I am missing?

I will note that when I checked pressure after my wife said there was no AC, the high side showed almost nothing. The low side if I remember correctly was low as well, and when I tried to fill from the low side that gauge rose 70psi..etc. but the highside stayed almost nothing, it only went up 5psi (almost nothing).

My only fear is changing everything in the below screen shot and then having it still exhibit the same behavior as it is now.

Sorry for the long read. Just want AC back ;-)