How to Add Freon to a 1998 Ford Escort

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Freon (refrigerant) can leak past the seals in your 1998 Ford Escort and cause a reduction in the cooling capacity of your air-conditioning system. Restoring the lost refrigerant will allow the air-conditioning system to operate at maximum efficiency once again. The refrigerant in the '98 Escort is R-134a, which can be purchased from your local auto-parts store and installed by the average home mechanic. This will lower your average repair costs and keep the air conditioner blowing ice-cold!

Things You'll Need

  • Air-conditioning gauge set
  • R-134a refrigerant
  • Thermometer
  • Attach the quick-disconnect fittings on the red (high-pressure) and blue (low-pressure) hoses from your gauge set to the high-pressure and low-pressure service valves on the air-conditioning lines. In the 1998 Ford Escort, both the low-pressure valve and the high-pressure valve are located on the air-conditioning lines near the passenger side of the firewall.

  • Set the air-conditioning dash controls to "Max A/C" and "High" blower speed. Start the engine and allow the pressures displayed on the gauges to stabilize.

  • Attach a can of refrigerant to the can tap on the yellow hose of the gauge set. Open the can by turning the thumb screw on the can tap all the way into the can and then all the way out of the can. Open the blue valve on the gauge set to allow the refrigerant to flow into the system. When the can is empty, close the blue valve on the gauge set, and read the pressure displayed on the gauges. The low-side pressure should be around 35 psi and the high-side pressure should be around 300 psi. Add additional cans of refrigerant until these pressures are reached, but do not over-fill the system.

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