1997 Crown Vic A/C problems

I just bought my '97 CV two weeks ago (72K miles, LX series). I love its ride and the way it drives. No problems until last night when driving home from the store, the A/C started blowing hot air without any warning.
Tried it again on the way to work this morning and still get the hot air. Wonder if you all have any suggestions before I take it in.
Also, having been a Jeep man since college, the Crown Vic is taking some getting used to just because it's a different car. But when slowing down for a stoplight from 40-45 MPH, the car has a fairly heavy downshift around 30-35 MPH. I don't know if it's just the way the car is or if the tranny needs to be serviced or looked at closer.
Any help is sure appreciated. Thanks.
-Scott, Charlotte, NC
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accumulator under the hood. The accum looks like a large aluminum can pass side with large lines going to it. The switch is screwed into that can and has a plug with 2 wires on it. To test if it is that switch you just unplug it and bypass the two wires on the plug. You can use a paper clip or small piece of wire. Do this while the air is running to see if the compressor kicks in. If it does and starts cooling, replace the switch. It simply unscrews from the accumulator. No need to evac the system because there is a valve in the accum IIRC.
As far as the trans goes...It would be a good idea to get a filter change because you bought the car and dont know how long its been. GL
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Down shifting is the tranny dropping out of overdrive JR
Crownvicman wrote:

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You have good answers here about the A/C. I'd suggest changing tranny fluid & filter. The replacement is Mercon V. Changing fluid regularly will go far toward your CV going far. I did the fluid/flush thing 4 years ago when I got my '95 CV, it was just beginning to have a "shudder" as described everywhere for that tranny. The new fluid made it seem like a new tranny. I've driven 60k since then so it's probably time to do it again. The downshift is quite normal unless you are getting a "check engine" light or other warning signal. These are great cars, Ford's best kept secret!
PoD

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