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Old 07-11-2010, 06:23 PM   #1
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Type of coolant for 2003 Ford Focus

Trying to find a definite answer on what kind of coolant a 2003 Ford Focus uses for its A/C unit. Would it be different in Canada than in the U.S. I know Canada has different laws concerning coolants than the U.S. but I still don't know what I need to purchase.


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Old 07-11-2010, 06:50 PM   #2
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It's refrigerant not coolant. Coolant is for the engine cooling system- radiator. That's ok though.

As far as I know R134 is for both. One thing that might be different is you can use hydrocarbon refrigerants. We can also, but it's just not sold in too many places. As far as I know hydrocarbon refrigerants are acceptable only for use in automobiles here, so maybe the difference is that Canada allows hydrocarbon use in other refrigeration systems like home or commercial.

You can use it in your car, it's supposed to be better, and is not more expensive- possibly less expensive. Google Duracool, and you can order from them or pick it up at parts stores probably, the site will give you details.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
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It's refrigerant not coolant. Coolant is for the engine cooling system- radiator. That's ok though.

As far as I know R134 is for both. One thing that might be different is you can use hydrocarbon refrigerants. We can also, but it's just not sold in too many places. As far as I know hydrocarbon refrigerants are acceptable only for use in automobiles here, so maybe the difference is that Canada allows hydrocarbon use in other refrigeration systems like home or commercial.

You can use it in your car, it's supposed to be better, and is not more expensive- possibly less expensive. Google Duracool, and you can order from them or pick it up at parts stores probably, the site will give you details.
Thanks for the info. The only thing I can find is R12A. Is this a viable replacement?

I refilled my Cavalier with R12A and it worked for a few weeks but then the system just gave out completely. I'm guessing its because I didn't drain the system correctly in the first place?

I doubt I will refill the system on my Focus myself I'm just wondering what the correct procedure would be. Does it have to be fully drained first and then re-filled? If you fully drain it can you use R12A or just R-134A?

If it doesn't have to be drained, and you use R-134A will there be any issues?
If it isn't drained and you use R-12A, will that cause issues?
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:27 PM   #4
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No, you should not mix refrigerant types. You should be taking your car to an approved/certified shop that will have the required equipment that at minumum, should be used to recover the refrigerant from the system. Lubrication oil in the correct amount is also involved as well. Canadian Tire does quite a bit of AC servicing including the conversion to Duracool.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:58 PM   #5
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No, you should not mix refrigerant types. You should be taking your car to an approved/certified shop that will have the required equipment that at minumum, should be used to recover the refrigerant from the system. Lubrication oil in the correct amount is also involved as well. Canadian Tire does quite a bit of AC servicing including the conversion to Duracool.
Thanks for the info. Since I actually care about this car I'll take it somewhere, but it certainly wont be Canadian Tire, lol, wont let my car near that place with a 100 ft pole.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:14 AM   #6
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cant ford do it?
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. The only thing I can find is R12A. Is this a viable replacement?
Wow, I never would've guessed that. Heck, Canada is the place where the ozone hole is. I didn't think 12 was in use anywhere. There is a sticker on the car that will tell you what refrigerant is used in the AC system, and the connectors are different so you can't easily put 134 in a 12 system. I don't know exactly where it is on the older Foci, but on mine it was on the radiator cover IIRC. I can't go look right now because it's raining, but there is a sticker on there somewhere whether on the bottom of the hood, or on the the radiator cover that tells whether the system is R-12 or R-134.

There has to be somewhere you can read up on Canadian refrigeration laws. I'm curious now. I thought Canada was where all the liberal eco terrorists lived- I just can't believe Rush and Sarah lied to me.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:48 AM   #8
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ya r12 has a mineral oil and 134a has a benzine- something oil def not mixable.....lol
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:19 AM   #9
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Wow, I never would've guessed that. Heck, Canada is the place where the ozone hole is. I didn't think 12 was in use anywhere. There is a sticker on the car that will tell you what refrigerant is used in the AC system, and the connectors are different so you can't easily put 134 in a 12 system. I don't know exactly where it is on the older Foci, but on mine it was on the radiator cover IIRC. I can't go look right now because it's raining, but there is a sticker on there somewhere whether on the bottom of the hood, or on the the radiator cover that tells whether the system is R-12 or R-134.

There has to be somewhere you can read up on Canadian refrigeration laws. I'm curious now. I thought Canada was where all the liberal eco terrorists lived- I just can't believe Rush and Sarah lied to me.
R-12A is different than R-12. R-12 is banned in Canada as well, R-12A is a replacement for it and I think R-134A as well.

If I'm not mistaken the valve for the A/C unit is under the passenger front wheel which is why I haven't looked to see if its snap on or if an adapter would be needed.

Regardless I'll just find a shop, either a dealership or my mechanic.
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