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Newbie with questions

wesleyn on Tue July 08, 2008 9:38 PM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 2004
Make: Ford
Model: Focus
Engine Size: 2.0
Refrigerant Type: r134a
Ambient Temp: 90
Country of Origin: United States

Hey all. I have a few questions. My wife and I have an 04 Focus that has a pin hole in the condeser. The refrigerant all leaks out within a week or so. I would like to replace the condenser, but I need to know if the junkyard replacement has to be flushed (and the easiest cheapest way), and if I will need to add oil to the system after replacement. If I need to add oil, can I use the oil from the autoparts store that has R134 in it that is put in with the same hoses used to put the R134 in? I believe says for all R134a systems OEM or retrofitted, but I do not want to kill the compressor by mixing the wrong oil in. Also, I intend on applying vacuum to the system before recharging, but I have also heared that you need to replace the reciever\dryer. Is this true? Thanks in advance for your help. Sorry for being long winded here. I want to make sure this is right the first time.

2004 Focus

bearing01 on Tue July 08, 2008 9:54 PM User is offline

yes, in your case you will have to replace the dryer.

Some of the oil dissolves in the refrigerant. When all your refrigerant leaked out you also lost oil. Now you don't know how much is in your system, so you need to turn your compressor by hand to pump out all the old oil. I wouldn't personally use one of those oils to add via the charge hose. I rather use the oil by the bottle. You must add the exact amount of oil required by the system. You also want fresh PAG oil because that stuff is like brake fluid (hygroscopic) and it absorbs moisture. The moisture makes the oil turn acidic and then cause corrosion and also reduces cooling capacity.

You may not be able to properly flush the compressor. Some R134a systems use condensers where there's a single manifold-pipe on each side and then there's thin tubes running between the pipes... sort-of parallel flow. The problem is that air or flushing agent entering can choose to cross the condenser along either path... not taking the paths that are blocked. If using a junkyard condenser then make sure the one you get has been connected to a system and hopefully doesn't have dirt inside it. Personally, you can get a new condenser for around $100 at and for all the effort and money it's not worth risking putting in a condenser that may create problems.

Edited: Tue July 08, 2008 at 9:55 PM by bearing01

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