How to Replace the Water Hoses in a Ford Focus

Debuting with the 2000 model, the Ford Focus has been the economy car extraordinaire. It's big enough for a starting family but small enough to give you great gas mileage. With the redesign of the Focus, you need to know how to replace the newer water hoses. Follow these steps for the 2008 model.

Choose the correct water or radiator hoses at your auto parts retailer. Motorcraft radiator hoses #KM4973 (upper) and #KM4850 (lower) fit the 2008 Ford Focus. You will notice that the lower hose has an extra hose coming from its middle. Hoses from earlier model years will vary due to style variations.

Remove the old clamps whether they are adjustable or tension. Use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the screw that controls the tension of an adjustable clamp to move it out of the way. If the clamp is a wire tension clamp, use pliers and squeeze the clamp to move it to an area of the hose that is more pliable so it is out of the way.

Take a picture of the original placement if you have a digital camera so you can replicate it. Mark where the old hose came to on the machinery so you can put the replacement up the same amount and avoid leakage.

Slit the hose with a utility knife if it has seized to the machinery to aid in removal. Just slit the hose downward a couple of inches below the insertion point to peel it away as needed. Use a piece of coarse sandpaper to clean the area where the hose was stuck to the automobile part. Clean the other connection areas while they are free.

Block the rear wheels, jack up the Ford Focus one side at a time, put the jack stands in place and let the car down on the jack stand. Place a container below the radiator to catch the coolant mixture so it does not go into the storm drains and thus the ground water.

Drain the radiator by opening the drain plug located at the bottom, or take out the bottom hose and discard with the old clamps. Remove the top hose by slipping it off the radiator shroud at one end and the thermostat housing at the other. Sand the areas where the old hose met the Ford Focus parts to remove pieces of hose and other grit. Pour the old coolant into an empty coolant bottle and dispose of properly.

Use adjustable clamps with screws for greater protection in holding the new hoses in place. Reverse the steps used in removing the old Ford Focus hoses to install the new ones.

Place the clamps on the top hose and slide toward the middle of the hose. Push the hose securely onto the top opening in the radiator shroud at one end and the thermostat housing (at the top of the water pump) on the other. Tighten each clamp by tightening the screw.

Repeat Step 2 for the clamps and connect the hose to the bottom radiator shroud at one end and the bottom of the engine at the other. Adjust the clamps into place and tighten the screw.

Pour the old coolant back into the radiator if it is not dirty. Fill the remaining space in the radiator with a 50/50 mix of coolant and water up to the cap line. Add more as it goes down. Do this until it stops percolating and making room for more coolant. Start the engine with the radiator cap still open.

Start up the Ford Focus. The thermostat will get warmer and the fluid will drop as the coolant begins to circulate. From here, you can finish filling up the radiator. Replace the radiator cap and fill up the overflow reservoir to the line marked "full."

Verify that the drain plug is closed and there are no leaks at the hose connections or anywhere else. Check to see that the temperature gauge doesn't run hot.


Add lubricant to the inside of the radiator shroud at the connection to make the job easier. If the Motorcraft hose is out of stock, ask your dealer for another comparable brand. It will work as long as it is for the Ford Focus in the correct model year.


Never work on a hot vehicle to avoid burns.

Things You'll Need

  • Motorcraft radiator hoses #KM4973 and #KM4850
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Digital camera
  • Marking pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Adjustable radiator hose clamps
  • Coolant
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author