Escort/ZX2 AC problems? Read this


Paul78zephyr
01-12-2006, 01:56 PM
Does the air conditioning (AC) in your 98+ Escort or ZX2 work intermittently or has it quit working altogether? Have you spent $$$ at repair garages or the Ford dealer on refrigerant recharges and/or parts replacement only to still have the problem? The cause of this problem is well documented (just do a Google search on the phrase 'Escort CCRM'), however it is not widely known in the general automotive community.

The general cause of the no/intermittent AC operation is the failure of the circuit that engages the AC compressor clutch. This clutch is electrically operated. The specific problem is the failure of a relay inside a small electronic module that is mounted in the engine compartment under the air filter housing. The module is called the Contant Control Relay Module (CCRM). The CCRM is essentially a metal housing with a single circuit board inside that has several relays on it. One relay, what Ford calls the 'WAC' relay developes a poor or broken connection (solder joint) to the circuit board causing the AC clutch energization circuit to become intermittent or fail completely. The WAC relay controls the operation of the AC compressor clutch. Ultimately the WAC relay and the entire CCRM is controlled by the main vehicle computer or Powertrain Control Module (PCM). The reason Ford uses this somewhat complex route to control the AC is it allows the PCM to sense the AC load and adjust idle and other engine parameters. It also allow the PCM to coordinate the operation of the engine electic cooling fan(s) in conjustion with AC and other load situations.

To correct this problem you can:
1. Replace the CCRM. A new CCRM will cost about $200 - $300 depending on where you buy it. It is a fairly easy part to remove and install.
2. Repair the CCRM. If you have basic automotive, mechanical, and electronics soldering skills you can remove and disassemble the CCRM, and repair the failed solder joint. This repair will cost $0 but assumes the mentioned skills and will require a drill/bits (a drillpress works even better) and an electronics type solding iron. Depending on skill the entire repair takes about an hour.

If there is interest I will go into more detail of the CCRM repair procedure.

PLEASE NOTE: There are some 'shortcut' fixes for this problem that can be found on the internet that essentially 'bypass' the CCRM/WAC relay. I do NOT recomment this approach as it prevents proper monitoring of all engine loads by the PCM.

All inquiries welcome. Please post at this thread.

Paul

AltecZX2
01-12-2006, 03:23 PM
umm the CCRM dieing is a VERY well known problem.

WAC it activates when you go full throttle on the car. It turns the A/C off to give you the full power the car can give, the problem is that the CCRM starts to think the car is at WOT at all times and does not engage the A/C

Also if you have a 98-99 ZX2 you NEED to use a 98-99 CCRM, and 99.5-2003 ZX2 HAS to use a 99.5-03 CCRM.

Paul78zephyr
01-12-2006, 04:57 PM
umm the CCRM dieing is a VERY well known problem.

WAC it activates when you go full throttle on the car. It turns the A/C off to give you the full power the car can give, the problem is that the CCRM starts to think the car is at WOT at all times and does not engage the A/C

Also if you have a 98-99 ZX2 you NEED to use a 98-99 CCRM, and 99.5-2003 ZX2 HAS to use a 99.5-03 CCRM.


UMM, NO!!!!!

If the problem is so 'VERY well known' then why are there so many posts at so many different Ford/Escort/ZX2 forums from people wanting to know why their AC suddenly died or is working intemittently. The purpose of my post is to give useful info to people who do not know about this problem so they can fix it or have it fixed, correctly!

Also, the WAC relay is 'on' (activated) anytime the AC is turned on. The WAC is actually DISACTIVATED by the PCM at wide open throttle. The CCRM does not 'think' at all. Its a 'dumb' electronic circuit board with electro-mechanical relays that is controlled by the PCM. But even the PCM, which does 'think' to some extent, is not the problem. The problem is with one of the solder joints beteen the WAC relay and the circuit board it is connected to in the CCRM.

I have studied the CCRM and the AC problem for some time. I have personally dissassembled several of these all having the same basic solder joint problem causing the AC to not operate or operate intermittently.

Please do not post erroneous information.

Paul

Davescort97
01-12-2006, 09:42 PM
Thanks for the post. It makes perfect sense. It was good of you to share this with us.

AltecZX2
01-13-2006, 09:09 AM
UMM, NO!!!!!

If the problem is so 'VERY well known' then why are there so many posts at so many different Ford/Escort/ZX2 forums from people wanting to know why their AC suddenly died or is working intemittently. The purpose of my post is to give useful info to people who do not know about this problem so they can fix it or have it fixed, correctly!

Also, the WAC relay is 'on' (activated) anytime the AC is turned on. The WAC is actually DISACTIVATED by the PCM at wide open throttle. The CCRM does not 'think' at all. Its a 'dumb' electronic circuit board with electro-mechanical relays that is controlled by the PCM. But even the PCM, which does 'think' to some extent, is not the problem. The problem is with one of the solder joints beteen the WAC relay and the circuit board it is connected to in the CCRM.

I have studied the CCRM and the AC problem for some time. I have personally dissassembled several of these all having the same basic solder joint problem causing the AC to not operate or operate intermittently.

Please do not post erroneous information.

Paul

so my understanding of teh ccrm wasnt 100% ....still doesnt change that eh CCRM is WELL KNOWN PROBLEM. If you actually lok on a ZX2 site and say your AC stoped. the NUMBER 1 THING they tell you to check is the CCRM!!!

Not every escort owner is aware of all common problems, hence where ther are also like 4000 questions as to why the car idles rough.

Timtickle
02-08-2006, 08:25 PM
I followed the steps and my a/c seems to be working now, thanks. I did find the bad solder job on one of the small relays. simple fix.

Thanks again,
tim

irish30
02-08-2006, 09:36 PM
Welcome to the world of made in mexico!!!!

AltecZX2
02-08-2006, 11:06 PM
made in Maxico, of japanese, european, canadian and US parts

Paul78zephyr
07-21-2006, 12:54 PM
Ive been getting lots of inquires lately so I thought I put this post at the top again.

Email or PM me for info on CCRM repair (the likely cause of no AC).

Underground_Killah
07-29-2006, 11:16 PM
why not post pics of you doing the repair?

4heisiam
08-10-2006, 10:51 AM
Hey Paul, in may I just spen $500 to have the CCRM replaced $200 for the uint and $300 for charge and others. Now just after the 90day part warranty. It's turning on and off. Before it was comppletely dead, now it will run for a few minutes then stop. I watched and the rpm's with go up and down, like it's cycling on/off. I'm not about to shell the cash out agin for something that won't last. I know how to soilder, can you give me the details. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge

Paul78zephyr
08-10-2006, 12:38 PM
When you say 'before' (when it was 'dead') do you mean with the old CCRM? I sent you a PM.

Paul

paqman
08-19-2006, 05:16 PM
Hey, I was thinking or trying this CCRM fix for my 97 escort, but also wanted to check the other AC components before I dig in and do it. But I don't know how. I know I should check the charge, freon, whatnot, but don't know how or where any of this crap is. I've never done AC before. Do any of you know of a place online that I can find info on it? I own the Chilton's manual, but they don't tell you a lick about the AC. And I've ordered a shop repair manual on DVD that should have the info, but I wanted to get started, and it hasn't arrived yet. So any info you can give would be helpful.
Thanks,
Nate

GTP Dad
08-19-2006, 06:16 PM
I just fixed mine by soldering the connection. Took less than 30 minutes to fix and works like a new one. Before spending money on a new CCRM try this fix especially if you are having trouble with intermittant or non-working AC. A whole lot cheaper than taking it to a dealer or buying a new module.

paqman
08-19-2006, 07:03 PM
I just fixed mine by soldering the connection. Took less than 30 minutes to fix and works like a new one. Before spending money on a new CCRM try this fix especially if you are having trouble with intermittant or non-working AC. A whole lot cheaper than taking it to a dealer or buying a new module.

Well I am going to solder the connection, I have the instructions for that, and I don't think it will take me very long, but I would like to know more about the AC system, because it is completely non-working, has not worked ever since I bought the car three years ago, and I would like to know how to check all the other AC stuff. And I want to do it myself, I don't want to take it to a shop for something I feel is easily done by myself.

paqman
09-02-2006, 03:06 PM
Well I thought I would update you on how mine went. I went to the local Pick 'N Pull and picked up an extra CCRM just in case I screwed mine up. Then I followed the nice instructions and pulled mine apart. But to my surprise, the solder was just as shiny as ever! No discoloration, but there was a slight crack in the solder, so I decided to re-solder it anyway. Put the thing back together, threw it back in the Escort, and no change. Still no AC. This is where you all are going to ban me from this forum forever. I'm ashamed to be here. Well I took it to AutoZone to borrow a guage to check the charge on the sucker. Well, I realized I still haven't been able to figure out where the compressor and all the AC related stuff is. So I asked one of the AutoZone dudes. He comes out and starts looking around, and then says, "Dude, you ain't got AC in this car man. There is no compressor." Then it hit me. When I bought the car, my friend told me it had no AC, but since the dials on the control center said AC on them, I assumed he meant that it just didn't work. Well he was being literal. No wonder the solder was still shiny.

Long story, short ending. I wasted my whole morning driving to the salvage yard and back, pulling apart that stupid CCRM, for nothing. At least it only cost me $20 bucks. Ok, you can all start laughing at me now.:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:



Edit: So now that I know it doesn't have AC, what are the posibilities of putting an AC system in it? I don't really care, and I figure it's more trouble and money than is worth, but I thought I'd ask.

12Ounce
09-02-2006, 04:49 PM
That's a good story, Thanks for sharing it!

I think it would a lot cheaper just to trade for another car that does already have the factory ac in it. I know it would be a lot easier.

paqman
09-02-2006, 06:28 PM
That's a good story, Thanks for sharing it!

I think it would a lot cheaper just to trade for another car that does already have the factory ac in it. I know it would be a lot easier.

Yeah, that would be easier. But I'm kind of attached to this car. It's run good for 3 years straight, and the guy I bought it from was a good friend. I'll just go without the AC. All I do is drive it to work and back anyway. Done it for three years now, why not the rest of it's life? I'm running this Escort into the ground. Later!

mightymoose_22
09-02-2006, 10:16 PM
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the necessary components... then go swipe them off that same car at the boneyard.

Interesting though... usually if a car does not have AC there would be no AC switch. Did it have AC at one point and someone removed the compressor? Are there any AC parts on the car?

You can install parts and keep them nonfunctional until everything is ready to go... able to drive the car in the mean time. As a last step get the new accessory belt and you are in business.

Since the switch is in the car you really shouldn't have too much extra wiring to worry about... just a matter of installing parts.

paqman
09-03-2006, 01:41 PM
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the necessary components... then go swipe them off that same car at the boneyard.

Interesting though... usually if a car does not have AC there would be no AC switch. Did it have AC at one point and someone removed the compressor? Are there any AC parts on the car?

You can install parts and keep them nonfunctional until everything is ready to go... able to drive the car in the mean time. As a last step get the new accessory belt and you are in business.

Since the switch is in the car you really shouldn't have too much extra wiring to worry about... just a matter of installing parts.

Maybe you're right. Now that you mention it, there very well could have been AC in the car at one time. It's a salvage title, been in a wreck before, and it has a new engine in it. Maybe when they rebuilt it, they didn't put the AC back in. (I wonder if that's because it wouldn't fit. I noticed when I was taking out the CCRM that they had to jimmy rig the CCRM to stay in. It wasn't bolted down because the spot where the bolts go in was till mashed up from the wreck. Doesn't look like they straightened the frame out there.) Yeah, I'll look into that a little more.
Thanks!

ctanori
04-23-2007, 09:44 PM
98 ford escort , ac does not work.
I checked the ccrm pin 21 has 12volts, but pin22, and pin 23 no voltage.
Does anybody knows what the problem is?

javatrooper
04-25-2007, 02:06 PM
My ac hasn't worked for quite a while, and since I installed a new engine I was unable to reattach one of the hoses so I understand why it doesn't work now. But this may be the answer to a problem that has bothered me for a long time. My engine idle rises and drops as if the AC is cycling on and off. Even when I unpluged the AC wires. But it sounds like this stupid relay could be the cause. Could you email me or post directions on how to open up the CCRM and point out which part is the WAC relay? Thanks

scook3510
05-02-2007, 11:25 PM
after replacing the compressor I noticed that it was cycling just the opposite of how it was supposed to. Went to the salvage yard and got a relay box that someone reccomended in an article about AC problems. After taking out the old box, we could see that the seal was broken and moisture was getting to the relays. The $25.00 relay box saved the day. It has the CCRM relay in it and now the compressor works fine.

brianjg
05-07-2007, 09:24 PM
If there is interest I will go into more detail of the CCRM repair procedure.

PLEASE NOTE: There are some 'shortcut' fixes for this problem that can be found on the internet that essentially 'bypass' the CCRM/WAC relay. I do NOT recomment this approach as it prevents proper monitoring of all engine loads by the PCM.

All inquiries welcome. Please post at this thread.

Paul[/quote]

I am interested in attempting the CCRM solder repair. Can I get the instructions?

Thanks much.

anazep
05-15-2007, 10:54 PM
Paul -
I would really appreciate details for this repair.
Thank you for the helpful post!
Ana

g1smith
05-26-2007, 06:02 PM
The CCRM failed in my Mustang 5.0. Without futher advice from the author, I located the CCRM, and opened the metal case by drilling out the rivets as per directions. One then looks for "cold" solder joints and reflows them. A cold solder joint means that the silvery looking solder isn't shiny anymore due to all of the temperture cycles it has gone thorugh. On my CCRM, I noticed 2 cold solder joints, one on a diode and another on a resistor, but, the Power Transisor controling the Air Conditioner Clutch coil was burnt beyond recognition. I replaced the Power Transistor with a TIP42 a PNP Power Transistor. I was able to engage the AC Clutch once ... seems that I have a seized Air Conditioner compressor too.

steveselden
05-28-2007, 08:20 PM
I just pulled the CCRM out of my escort, but I need further instructions on how to open it up and repair the solder. Please let me know how I can get this info. Thanks.

ctwilliams99
06-19-2007, 12:22 PM
If there is interest I will go into more detail of the CCRM repair procedure.

PLEASE NOTE: There are some 'shortcut' fixes for this problem that can be found on the internet that essentially 'bypass' the CCRM/WAC relay. I do NOT recomment this approach as it prevents proper monitoring of all engine loads by the PCM.

All inquiries welcome. Please post at this thread.

Paul

I am interested in attempting the CCRM solder repair. Can I get the instructions?

Thanks much.[/quote]

Seems a lot of people are asking for the solution you say you have. At some point will you post it? I am in the same position as others; need the repair procedure. I have even emailed asking for it??????

jkneubauer
07-03-2007, 03:54 PM
I know this thread is a little old. Anyone have the procedure or a couple of pics to look at before I take this on. AC doing same, on sometimes, off others. Wifes car so it seems to fail on the hot days. Then I hear about it : )

thanks
john

asknight
07-18-2007, 11:00 AM
I'm showing Paul78zephyr (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/member.php?u=392041)'s last login as 05-10-2007. Does anyone have the details of the email or notes he was providing on the CCRM? I think his information will help me fix my grandfather's 2000 Escort.


Edited to add: Guys, I found the information on repairing the CCRM here (http://www.feoa.net/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=40417&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0). I'm completing the repair as we speak!

davek818
07-11-2008, 09:48 PM
Paul,
Thanks so much for the tip. My A/C on our 2001 ZX2 quit and I was at a loss. Had a full static charge and Jumpering the low pressure switch did no good. Had no power to the Clutch. Googled ZX2 A/C problems and found your solution. I opened the Module and the WOT relay had a burned solder joint just like you said. I had to replace the relay with the Radio Shack 275-005 and it works like a champ . I too am concerned using a 9 volt relay in a 12 volt circuit. Anyone out there replace this relay and how long ago? Trying to get a feel for how long this relay will last. Also, is it energized all the time or just when the throttle is wide open?

Dave

Davescort97
07-11-2008, 10:47 PM
Welcome to Automotive Forums. Usually when a thread is over 3 months old it is considered dead and a new thread should be started. I'd have to make an exception for this relay problem because it has had widespread use and has helped so many get their AC going without paying $400 for a new CCRM. After all, fixing your own ride is what AF is all about. Thanks for your post. Dave

Mark Gossman
11-26-2009, 09:45 AM
Paul,
I purchased a 2003 XZ2 with the WAC problem the Mechanic showed me the Module and the WOT relay had a burned solder joint. I was told that a new WAC module was installed and the air does work but I have another problem.

Now the compressor only turns off in the off position, and runs on all others including the heat settings and I have no heat any idea what my be going on could the incorrect replacement module have been installed?


Thanks,

Mark

FordMan59
11-27-2009, 04:27 PM
The a/c compressor is designed to run on all positions except vent and off on the Escort. It helps keep the humidity down and keeps the windows from steaming up so bad in cold or rainy weather. Sounds like your system is working as designed.

jcwit
11-27-2009, 06:10 PM
My A/C doesn't run at the Heat feet and heat in the face settings. It does at the combo of both setting. The manual even conferms this. Sedan 2001.

FordMan59
11-28-2009, 05:37 PM
My A/C doesn't run at the Heat feet and heat in the face settings. It does at the combo of both setting. The manual even conferms this. Sedan 2001.


You may be right about this, anyway I knew the compressor would run in almost all the settings.

luis_castillo
08-21-2011, 02:56 PM
Hello
I recently started having some issues with the AC on my 98 Escort ZX2,
I would like to describe the problem shortly:

a few days ago, the "service engine soon" light came up on the dash, and it has remained like that since it was up, the car seems fine, although I know there has to be a reason why this light is up. I am aware that I need to take it and make sure what's going on.

Now, since that light came up (or at least I can relate to it, not necessarily being one the cause of the other) the AC stopped blowing through the normal vents, instead, I get the same and normal Cold AC that is working normally, but coming through the windshield vents, as if I was trying to defrost the windshield. I was reading in other forums that the reason might be a vacuum hose, but I just wanted to describe my personal problem to see if anyone has a personalized solution instead of just trying them all out.
Any advise will be highly appreciated!

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