Air conditioning problems
Our motoring aficionado Morgan Naidoo answers reader questions
I own an 05 Ford Focus and it runs fine but the air conditioner is not cooling enough (this might be a separate problem). Also, when the aircon is on the car often stalls and sometimes shuts off. Afterwards it comes back on with no problem but it's annoying and unsafe.
I read that this could be caused by a dirty throttle position sensor but before I start spending money and time I would like to hear some good advice from you.
Thanks. - Duma Gonangombe, East London
This is usually a problem on cars with a small capacity engine because the aircon places a big load on the engine.
Does the car idle smoothly when the air conditioner is off? It could be that the aircon is drawing more power than the electrical system can provide. Begin by checking the battery and alternator system.
The idle air control (IAC) is supposed to keep idle speed constant by closing an air bypass in the throttle body when there is an added draw on power from the fan, lights, heater or aircon.
The IAC could be faulty along with the setting on the car's ECU computer.
A diagnostic test at the dealer should enable the problem to be fixed easily.