1999 taurus AC weird problem

Hello Everyone!
I bought this car in November 05 so i never had the opportunity to test the AC properly. According to the manual the AC in not working in this
car if the outside temperature is below 60 or so, I do not remember.
What I remember is that when I switched the defroster on, I would hear the click and the RPM would go down, but not constantly, the compressor was on and off and so one, maybe 2 second on, 5 seconds off I do not know it this is normal or not.
Now, the outside temps are in 70 and my AC does not work at all, no clicks, the compressor is not turning at all (I checked under the hood). What would be the first thing to check?
Also, is it true, that if the freon pressure is really low, the system shuts down automatically to prevent a damage?
I hope you can help a bit and give me some ideas. If I cannot fix it myself with friends, at least I would like to know how to talk with the AC mechanics so they will not overcharge me...
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Sounds to me as though you have a leak in your system and it has finally bled out all the refrigerant.
Now, if you want to try to find it yourself, you may spend upwards of 25 bucks doing so and STILL have to take it to shop.
Doing yourself would entail using leak-dye product and a couple cans of refrigerant..like I said, may still not be fixable by you. I would start by looking for oily connections or compressor.
And look at the condensor coil in front of radiator... possible stone or debris damage.
BTW, that's not a 'weird' problem... that's the most COMMON problem with A/C....
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well, i though it is strange that the compressor stoped working, but seems like it is true that is automatically shuts down.
I read another thread: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.ford/browse_frm/thread/4ae8067a68daaf5f/af83dfb21f593000#af83dfb21f593000
And looks like there is AC fuse somewhere. I checked the fuse box but do not see AC fuse, am i missing something?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.ford/browse_frm/thread/4ae8067a68daaf5f/af83dfb21f593000#af83dfb21f593000
The "short cycling" of the compressor indicated the system was low on refrigerant. The leak has continued until there is not enough pressure to close the cycling switch and start the compressor. Gen III Tauri don't have a bad history of condenser or evaporator failures so the leak is likely an o-ring seal at one of the AC line fittings. Worst case, the compressor shaft or compressor body seal is leaking. Like Backyard said, look for oily dirt on any of the AC line fittings and on the condenser. If you see this, there is the culprit. A leaky shaft seal will often show oil on the front of the compressor, but not always. If the leak isn't visible, then it gets tricky and a DIY repair isn't really cost effective. AC repair is doable DIY but only if the proper equipment is available (for rental from a local auto parts store). You would also need some good basic mechanical knowledge and guidance from someone who is familiar with AC repair.
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Thanks Tom!
I all makes sense now. Greg
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