In the heat of summer, being without air conditioning in your vehicle may be tolerable, but it's certainly not enjoyable nor should it be acceptable. Local automotive shops overcharge for the service of recharging your air conditioning, especially because a little bit of knowledge can make you just as capable with your 2000 Ford Focus. Gather a few basic tools and make a trip to the automotive store; you're about to recharge your own air-conditioning system.
Things You'll Need
- Car jack
- Car manual
- Phillips screwdriver
- Torx screwdriver (type T30)
- R134a refrigerant
Refer to your Ford Focus manual for tips on jacking up the front end of the Focus. The preferred jack spot is around 6 inches behind the front wheel well, but the owner's manual will detail the process with illustrations.
Jack up the front of the car on the passenger's side until the tire is off of the ground and the suspension is fully extended. The full extension will maximize the room you have to work.
Using the Torx screwdriver, unscrew the front screw of the wheel-well liner from the body of the Focus. The wheel-well liner is black; the color of your car will help differentiate where these pieces will separate.
Looking up into the wheel well, there are two Phillips screws holding the wheel well into place. Loosen and remove these two screws and allow the liner to rest on the tire. With the wheel well out of the way, the air-conditioning parts that you will work with are exposed.
Locate the recharge port, which is found on a small metal canister. Connect the hose from the R134a kit to this open port.
Start the Focus and turn the air conditioning on high with recirculation. If someone is available to do this for you, it will make the process easier.
Follow the instructions on the R134a kit for proper filling instructions.
Tips & Warnings
- If you find yourself recharging your air-conditioning system more than once per season, invest in R134a coolant with a stop-leak additive. This will seek out any small leaks in your coolant system and aim to seal them.
- Photo Credit car image by Einar Bog from Fotolia.com
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