Late-model Mustangsactually, all Fox-platform vehiclesseem to have a common problem with their air conditioning systems having catastrophic failures of their subsystems. The reason an air conditioning system blows warm air is a lack of refrigerant. A leaking O-ring or O-rings sometimes cause this lack of refrigerant, but more often than not, the real culprit is a major part, such as the evaporator or condenser. Replacing these parts can be expensive, but you can save yourself some money by completing your own repairs. No special tools are needed for any of the repairs, except for inexpensive spring-lock release tools, so repairs can be made in your garage with your own handtools. Most parts can be bought in aftermarket parts circles, or you can go straight to Ford for all your parts needs.
The only real problem for the do-it-yourselfer is detecting the problem in the first place. While you can purchase a refrigerant detector to test for leaks, the cost of the tool is prohibitive for one-time use. A better suggestion is to take your Mustang to a reputable repair shop or A/C service specialist and have them diagnose the system. Ask for a detailed list of items that need replacing, and dont be afraid to ask them to point out where some of these items arethough our underhood detail photos should answer all your questions.
We opted to visit a local tire store that does most of our tire mounting, balancing, and alignments for the various company magazines based in Lakeland, Florida. The store, McGee Goodyear, was quite convenient for us, and we knew we could trust the folks there. Ask around for local repair facilities that you can use. Once we have our diagnosis written down and our parts ordered, we will tackle the repair in a subsequent issue.