How to Recharge the Air Conditioning in a 2003 Ford Focus 2.0by Lee Sallings
Recharging the A/C system in your 2003 Ford Focus is a project that can be completed by the home mechanic with the right equipment. This process requires the use of a vacuum pump and a set of A/C gauges designed for R-134A systems and can be performed on most cars and light trucks. While the initial cost of the equipment may be a little steep, it is a one-time expense and can save you substantial repair costs later.
Attach the A/C gauge set to the high and low pressure service ports on the Focus. These ports are located under the cowl on the passenger side of the fire wall. They are different sizes, and the quick-disconnect fittings on the gauge set will only attach to the correct size. Pull back on the lock ring on the gauge fitting and snap the fitting onto the port. Turn the knobs on the fittings to open the service ports.
Attach the yellow hose on the center of the gauge set to the vacuum pump. Plug the vacuum pump into an electrical outlet and switch it on. Open both valves on the gauge set by turning them counterclockwise. Allow the vacuum pump to run for one hour. During this time, any moisture in the system will vaporize and be pulled from the system by the pump.
Close the valves on the gauge set and turn off the vacuum pump. Unscrew the yellow hose from the pump. Attach the can tap supplied with the gauge set to the yellow hose. Screw a can of refrigerant into the tap and turn the knob on the tap all the way in and out to open the can.
Start the engine and turn on the air conditioning. Open the blue valve on the gauge set to add refrigerant to the system. The system is full when the blue gauge reads 35 to 40 PSI and the red gauge reads 300 to 400 PSI.
Close the blue valve on the gauge set and turn the engine off. Wait for a few minutes until the pressures on the gauges stabilize. Disconnect the hoses from the air conditioning system by pulling back on the locking rings on the fittings until they pop off the ports.
- Wear safety glasses and work gloves, when working around a running engine, to prevent serious injuries.
- It is illegal to vent any kind of refrigerant into the atmosphere. If the air conditioning system in your car still contains refrigerant, have a qualified repair technician remove it prior to making repairs.
Items you will need
- R-134A gauge set
- Vacuum pump
- R-134A refrigerant
- “Chilton 2000-2005 Ford Focus Repair Manual;” Jay Storer; 2005
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