Antifreeze Types for a Ford Focus 2001

by Thomas West

In the not-too-distant past of motoring, adding or changing coolant was a bit more simplified. The conventional green ethylene-glycol based coolant -- which acts as an antifreeze, as well as drawing heat from the engine -- was used in most American vehicles prior to the 1990s. As of the 2000s, the conventional green coolant is still used, but many vehicles -- such as the 2001 Ford Focus -- use other types of coolant, as well.

Green Coolant

Some 2001 Ford Focus engines use conventional green coolant. This coolant is ethylene-glycol based and has been used in Ford cooling systems for many years, as well as in other American vehicles. The Ford part number for its own brand of green coolant -- called Motorcraft Premium Engine Coolant -- is VC-4-A in the USA or CXC-10 in Canada. There are other coolant manufacturers that produce this same coolant. If you choose a brand other than Motorcraft, ensure it complies with Ford specification ESE-M97B44-A. Read the labels on the coolant bottle to find the Ford specification. If you cannot find the Ford specification on the bottle, do not use that particular brand of coolant or you could risk damaging your engine.

Yellow Coolant

Other 2001 Ford Focus engines may use an extended-life coolant that is yellow in color. Also ethylene-glycol based, the Ford part number for this type of coolant -- which is named Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant -- is VC-7-A. Aftermarket coolant brands may be used as long as they meet Ford specification WSS-M97B51-A1. As with the green coolant, do not use any aftermarket brand of coolant that does not have the Ford specification listed on its label.

Checking or Adding Coolant

Coolant is both checked or added at the white plastic coolant reservoir bottle mounted on the passenger side of the engine compartment ahead of the shock tower. The cap on top of the reservoir is red and black in color for easier identification. According to Ford, the coolant level in the reservoir should be checked every six months or 15,000 miles, whichever comes first. The coolant level should be between the minimum and the maximum marks on the side of the bottle. The reservoir cap should not be removed and coolant added when the engine is hot. Scalding fluid can erupt from the opening in the bottle and you could receive severe burns.

Focus Coolant Facts

According to Ford, the best way to determine which type of coolant your car uses is to peer through the bottle. The coolant should be noticeably green or yellow through the bottle without having to remove the cap from the reservoir. Regardless of the type of coolant used in your 2001 Focus, the refill capacity is the same. After a complete radiator and engine block draining, you will need a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water equaling 5.75 liters or 6.1 quarts. Figure on buying two gallons of coolant for a total refill. After mixing, you will have enough left over for topping off the system in the future. If the type of maintenance you are performing does not require a complete drain of the system -- such as replacing the thermostat -- you may need to refill the system with significantly less coolant than the total refill capacity calls for. Under no circumstances should green and yellow coolants be mixed. This may result in reduced coolant or corrosion protection, which may damage your engine. Use only the color of coolant that was installed in your vehicle from the factory. If you are unsure which coolant to use, check with your local Ford dealer.

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