How to Repair the Air Conditioning in a 2001 Ford Focus

Written by chris moore
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There are four main parts to the Ford Focus air conditioning system--the condenser, evaporator, compressor and accumulator/drier. Any one of these components can be removed and replaced to repair the system. This can be a difficult and dangerous process due to the pressure and refrigerant used, so check with your mechanic first.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Jack
  • Axle stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Clamp tool
  • O-rings
  • Refrigerant oil
  • Graduated container

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Take the car to a licensed technician and have the air conditioning system discharged.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the car's negative battery cable.

  3. 3

    Raise the car's front end and support it on axle stands. Make sure the parking brake is on.

  4. 4

    Return the car to the technician once the repair work is done to have the system evacuated, recharged and leak tested.

  1. 1

    Unclip and remove the radiator's undershield.

  2. 2

    Unbolt and disconnect the refrigerant lines from the condenser, then cap the lines.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the bolts on the sides of the radiator bracket, supporting the radiator's weight with a jack or axle stands underneath it.

  4. 4

    Remove the condenser's upper mounting bolts, which are near those upper radiator bolts, and then unclip the condenser and remove it from underneath.

  5. 5

    Install the new or restored condenser from underneath the car and apply the mounting bolts, starting with the condenser bolts and then the radiator bolts. Use new O-rings and lubricate them with refrigerant oil.

  6. 6

    Connect the refrigerant lines to the condenser, then reinstall the radiator undershield.

  7. 7

    Fill the condenser with 30 millilitres of fresh refrigerant oil.

  1. 1

    Drain the engine coolant by removing the drain fitting at the radiator and then the engine block with pliers, letting the coolant drain into a container.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the coolant hoses connected to the heater core pipes at the engine firewall.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the entire instrument panel from inside the car.

  4. 4

    Unclip and disconnect the five vent hoses connecting the heater housing to the crash pad crossmember.

  5. 5

    Disconnect the crash pad crossmember from the firewall by unclipping the wiring harnesses and removing all the securing bolts, including the ones for the ground connections.

  6. 6

    Unbolt and remove the heater unit from the firewall and remove the evaporator from the heater assembly.

  7. 7

    Add 90 millilitres of refrigerant oil to the new or restored evaporator, install it in the heater unit assembly and bolt the assembly back in place on the firewall.

  8. 8

    Install and connect all other parts/components in reverse order of removal, including the entire instrument panel. Fill the radiator with fresh engine coolant.

  1. 1

    Remove the undershield. Loosen the drivebelt by unbolting and removing the drivebelt cover and turning the tensioner clockwise with the wrench.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the refrigerant lines from the compressor by unscrewing the clamping bolt and plug the lines.

  3. 3

    Withdraw the compressor by unbolting it from the cylinder block/crankcase and unplugging the electrical connector.

  4. 4

    Bolt the replacement compressor in place on the cylinder block/crankcase, connect the electrical connector and connect all the refrigerant lines.

  5. 5

    Re-install and tighten the auxiliary drive belt, then connect the undershield.

  6. 6

    Pour the oil from the old compressor into a graduated container to find out the amount. Add that much fresh oil to the replacement compressor.

  1. 1

    Remove the right front wheel and unscrew/remove the inner fenderwell liner after raising the car.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the refrigerant line from the compressor and the accumulator/drier--this requires a plastic clamp-type tool from an auto parts store. Remove the refrigerant line screw-on cap, cap all the open fittings and unplug the pressure cycling switch electrical connector.

  3. 3

    Unbolt and withdraw the accumulator drier from the front suspension subframe.

  4. 4

    Bolt the replacement accumulator/drier to the subframe and connect all hoses/electrical connectors. Replace any seals that were disturbed.

  5. 5

    Re-install the fenderwell liner and wheel.

  6. 6

    Measure the amount of refrigerant oil from the old accumulator by pouring it into a graduated container. Pour this amount plus 90 millilitres of fresh oil into the new accumulator.

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