How to Change an AC Condenser on a 2000 Ford Focus

Written by chris moore
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How to Change an AC Condenser on a 2000 Ford Focus
(Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The condenser is one of the three major parts of the Ford Focus air conditioner along with the compressor and evaporator. The condenser works with the radiator and expels heat from the car in addition to changing the form of the refrigerant. You will need to handle the radiator should the condenser need changing. Working on any part of the car's air conditioning system is very hazardous due to the high pressure the system is under and the environmental regulations regarding refrigerant.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands/axle stands
  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Refrigerant oil
  • O-rings

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  1. 1

    Take the car to the dealer's service department or an automotive air conditioning shop where a licensed technician can discharge and recover the refrigerant.

  2. 2

    Park the car in a safe, level location and apply the parking brake. Raise the car's front end and support it on either jack stands or axle stands.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the car's negative battery cable.

  4. 4

    Unclip the undershield for the radiator from underneath the car and remove it. It may be retained by plastic push pins instead of clips in some cases, which may take pliers to remove.

  5. 5

    Disconnect the refrigerant lines from the condenser by removing their bolts with a wrench. Cap or plug the open fittings to prevent dirt or other contaminants from entering the system.

  6. 6

    Remove the two bolts that are at each side of the radiator support. With the bolts removed, support the weight of the radiator and condenser with a jack or a pair of axle stands.

  7. 7

    Disengage the upper mountings for the condenser that are on the brackets in front of the radiator. Unclip the condenser from the radiator and remove it from the vehicle from underneath.

  1. 1

    Fill the replacement condenser with 30 millilitres of fresh refrigerant oil; the oil must be compatible with R134-a refrigerant.

  2. 2

    Install the condenser from underneath the car and fasten it with the radiator clips and the upper mountings. Bolt the radiator support bracket in place before lowering the jack/axle support for the radiator.

  3. 3

    Connect the refrigerant lines to the condenser; use new O-rings lubricated with refrigerant oil. Clip the radiator's undershield back in place, lower the car and reconnect the battery cable.

  4. 4

    Have the air conditioning system evacuated and recharged by the same people who discharged it.

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