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Old 06-10-2019, 08:46 PM   #1
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2012 focus a/c compressor replacement.

So I bought a new Ford focus S in 2012. A year after I purchased it the a/c oil had leaked out along with the freon and was no longer blowing cold. Warranty repair replaced the compressor. Spring 2017 and the replacement compressor seizes. I am now getting around to try to fix it, and want to get advice. First, is there any kind of recall for the Ford focus and their air conditioning systems?

Second, I am planning on getting a full AC replacement kit, probably from RockAuto. I plan on replacing the condenser, but the kit that comes with the condenser doesn't clearly say that it comes with a dryer? Is that integrated into the condenser?

Does anyone suggest a better source for getting air conditioning repair parts?

Also, it looks fairly easy to get to the compressor, but the condenser looks tricky. do I go from the bottom? Is there a place online that has good instructions?

I have an air compressor (to try and blow out debris), gauges, and a vacuum pump, I will also probably try and get some help from a friend who's done this kind of job on his car (not a Ford).

I'm not very encouraged by the fact that my brand new ford focus ate 2 compressors in 5 years. Living in East Texas where it gets to 100 regularly and is humid as hell to boot I need A/C. Should I dump this car and get a Toyota? I really love the way this car handles and runs otherwise.


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Old 06-11-2019, 01:06 AM   #2
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When a compressor seizes likely there is trash all in the system to tear up new compressor in minutes, you need to flush the entire system. There is no 'try to blow out debris', you either do it 100% and fine or tear it up again.

Probably an accumulator there instead of a dryer, the tank back by firewall. May be under fender.

Nothing wrong with the air con there, it should last a 10 year minimum but with a/c it is the quality of the work done that determines that.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:48 AM   #3
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I do intend to flush the system using Dura II, should have made that clear. My point was you need to blow compressed air through the systems for a good while after flushing it, and I have a compressor to do that.

As far as "nothing wrong with air con there" I'm not sure what you mean. I agree a/c should work 10 years. I never had an issue with my other cars, but this one worked maybe 18 months after buying it BRAND NEW. then the warranty dealer replacement worked 3 years at most. Looking online there are a bunch of people with similar problems. Am I only buying another 2-3 years with this repair?
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:00 AM   #4
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I've replaced A/C parts in previous vehicles, but not the Focus. Looking at the receiver drier on Rock Auto, they only list a replacement element, so I'd suspect it's integrated into the condenser.

I don't see a lot of AC failures at this site, so I don't think it's a big MK3 issue. I suspect that your first compressor failed (it happens, luck of the draw), and then the repair wasn't done completely correct. Maybe the tech didn't put the correct amount of oil back in the system, and it took a while to seize.

Do some searching on aftermarket and rebuilt compressors. I put a rebuilt compressor in my S10 years ago to save money. It worked great for a week and then blew a seal and sprayed the engine compartment with PAG oil.
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Last edited by saintsfins; 06-11-2019 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:44 PM   #5
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That last post fault could have been too much oil, either in total or just all in one spot to hydrolock a compressor to excess wear at startup, say it dislocated the seal there. Or seal not properly installed to begin with. The reason quick repeat fails happen is not paying attention to detail (by somebody, not necessarily the last installer, the rebuilder can do it too). What I meant by nothing wrong with the a/c was that Ford cars and Focus have no peculiar built in issues like design flaws or such. The problem is the persons doing the work and I saw it hundreds of times when I sold a/c parts, they just don't want to go to the detail it takes to make the new repair last. I for one have no trouble at all but then I am obsessive/compulsive about car work and can tolerate no fails at all.

Point to whit.........I have no clue what the restriction is in a late Focus a/c but if an orifice like the early ones you MUST remove it (expansion valve too if that type) or your air compressor pressures will not sweep the evaporator virtually at all, you think you are flushing but not doing squat there. As well, some of the condensers have such an internal fin structure the OEM will hard advise to change them as the fins trap trash that never comes out until run long term in use, the flushing does not touch them as far as opening them up. Dunno if this model is one, I'd be checking on that. I HAVE reused parts like that but should not recommend doing it to others, I have my ways of guaranteeing a complete clean there. Not a clue what 'Dura II' is but likely a flushing agent, I use acetone. A SERIOUS fire hazard there at first use of air blasting it out but I plan for that. The acetone leaves zero residue behind.

The amount of PAG oil used cannot be overstated, you get enough and no issues but putting in too much to guarantee there is enough takes up severely needed refrigerant space and not much refrigerant missing can have a big impact on cooling. I believe most systems can be a wee bit short on oil but past a little bit the systems then quickly move toward tearing up too quick and why the exact amount is so important. I fill the compressor and then flop it every which way to make sure oil hits all parts, not doing that can wear at startup to then fail the compressor way early. You hand turn the compressor as well to work out any possible hydrolock if too much oil say is all in one place. I will do that several times once compressor is mounted to car. Have lines bolted to it or you immediately pump oil out to then again not know how much total oil is in the system and where most mistakes happen. I NEVER add oil in the refrigerant, you lose track of how much oil again is in the system.

No insult intended at all toward OP, just do not know his skills and what I found when I was in parts. Just working the numbers as they usually fall. Hoping that is not a variable displacement compressor, I have no knowledge of those and have to wait until one falls into my hands, I will work that out then like I do with all other unknown things. They are only unknown until you know them.

Last edited by amc49; 06-11-2019 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:59 PM   #6
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Expansion valve type restriction there, not orifice, needs a dryer, they make a desiccant reload to renew it. You'll need that. Don't expose the contents to air at all until installed in the system.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:52 AM   #7
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So what I'm going to do is remove compressor, expansion valve, and condenser coil. Then disconnect the hoses to the evaporator. Then I'm going to use a flush kit and flush the ever living hell out of the hoses and the evaporator coil, first reverse flow then normal flow direction. Then run low pressure filtered air through the hoses and evaporator to dry out the flush kit. Then assemble the a/c system with new dryer, expansion valve, condenser, and compressor, new pag oil, and run a vacuum for 30 minutes, check for leaks, then fill with Freon.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:03 AM   #8
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That'll work. I'd be looking super close at whatever filtering element is in there, likely just before the expansion valve.
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