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2003 Ford Focus questions

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by princesstacey, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. princesstacey

    princesstacey Thread Starter

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    Does anyone know where the low side air conditioner charging fitting is located on a 2003 Ford Focus?
    And.. any ideas what could be causing my car to overheat when idle? The thermostat is apparently fine, the fluids are ok, but it overheats when I am stopped for more than a few secs or when driving at a consistent low speed. Used to be that if I turned on the heater it would cool down. Now I need to actually increase speed without stopping for it to cool down.
    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    How many miles? Is this only with the A/C running, or anytime?

    The water pump could have eaten some of the impeller and not be providing proper cooling at low speeds. There could also be a blockage in the cooling system. Finally, the hoses could be old and collapsing to restrict the coolant flow. Have you ever had the cooling system flushed? Does this car have an electric fan or a belt driven fan? Could the belt be loose and not giving sufficient airflow at low speeds?
     
  3. princesstacey

    princesstacey Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your insight! The hoses are in good condition. Not sure what kind of drive the fans have, but an aquaintence told me to check the cooling fan fuse/relay so I will be doing that today. If the fuse is not burnt then I will take your advice and have the system flushed.No, I've never had it done before - honestly, I haven't had the car professionally serviced, just by friends that are able to keep my car running due to an issue I have w/ Ford and their unwillingness to admit that certain parts of the focus are defective ( ignition lock/tumblers lock unable to turn key, etc.)and since they won't (already asked) service my car without fixing the ignition- @$380 ( can't buy the part at auto parts store- have to go through dealer service?), I do what I can myself and luckily so far have had help with what I can't. It's the principle of the matter. However that doesn't mean much if my car totally dies on me, right?
    Anyway, is flushing the cooling system something that can be done easily, or do I have to give in and go to Ford?
    Thanks again!
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    The 2003 Ford Focus does use electric fans. Do you ever see the fans running?

    Flushing the cooling system is something that can be done at home. It's best to mount a flushing fixture in one of the hoses to do the best job. It's also a procedure that any mechanic can do easily.

    There is lots of information on the Internet about the design issues with the ignition switch, and apparently there is a class action lawsuit in CA. Also, a suggestion is made that a locksmith may be able to fix it cheaper than Ford. http://www.fordproblems.com/Focus/key-wont-turn-in-the-ignition.shtml

    Finally, here's a place that claims to have ignition switches for the Focus pretty cheap: http://www.car-stuff.com/cs_auto/mm...e4a7e90676a&roikwd=Ford+Focus+Ignition+Switch
     
  5. rameam

    rameam

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    It does sound like the fan is not running. It should run constantly when the A/C is on, otherwise only when temp reaches a certain level. Had a Chrysler mini van that unbeknown to me had a broken clip on the cooling fan connector. It came loose and before I could get to a service station, the motor fried. So make sure the fan is running.
     
  6. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    Perhaps this thread should be read in conjunction with the other one
    http://forums.techguy.org/do-yourself-projects/600635-one-more-question-brake-light.html

    It's possible that power to essential accessories bus has been lost, which may include both the brake lights and the cooling fans supply.

    From reading the posts, it suggests a multimeter may not be in use, or the brake light switch would not have shown as faulty (other thread).
     
  7. bonzobob999

    bonzobob999

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    Ive had a couple of Focus.......even on Idle the fan should kick in, if not then you could test the feed to the fan with a circuit tester if you get a reading after a while then you know its the fan.

    As for the Air con..........http://www.focushacks.com/index.php?modid=85 this is a useful site anyway.
     
  8. CAROLINA JOE

    CAROLINA JOE

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    The cooling fan on most ford products are controlled by 2 ways. 1 Engine temp, 2. Pressure control switch that is located on the evaporator or dryer. The low side of the system is located by a "Blue" cap.(Big line) High side is "Red"(Small line). As a general rule the high side is the small line and should be hot while running. The low side will or should be cold. If both are Hot you have a dryer or compressor problem. You can test the switch by unpluging it and put a jump wire between the two connectors inside the plug. Even though the A/C works, the sincor for the fan might not. When you Jump the plug, the compressor should kick on as well as the fan. If the A/C runs and the fan motor wont, Its more common for the fan motor to go out than the switch. New fan motor is about 50.00 at any discount auto part store.If your A/C isnt working and you cant afford to get it repaired, you can run the fan by direct wire to the fan motor(after testing switch) This process is just good ole southern back yard fix-er-up (Not recommended..lol) but will work if motor is good.
    As for the ignition, You might ask a locksmith for a shot of graphite. Or you can get it at most hardware stores. Never use oil in ignition or door lock.(Auto). Oil will cause grunge to build up and cause further problems. Hope this helps, Joe
     
  9. thefonz

    thefonz

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    Hey there carolina joe, first post here, but I have to disagree with you on the graphite. Do not use it!!! These locks come from the factory with a thick grease and the mix with graphite is just more trouble.
    And to the op, most times the locksmith will be cheaper. If they can't give you a quote over the phone, (even if it is a high and low range) call someone else. The lock cylinder is relatively cheap, the high cost is in R&R of the lock cylinder.
     
  10. CAROLINA JOE

    CAROLINA JOE

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    Welcome to the forum. The ignition switches I have worked didn't have grease in the tumblers them selves. There is grease in the body of the switch but never seen any in the tumblers before. Thanks for the info.
     
  11. thefonz

    thefonz

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    Thanks for the welcome. This is a pretty cool site.
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'd be somewhat surprised to see grease in the tumblers, since the wimpy springs used in the lock would have problems in that case. I've had lots of locks apart, including several automotive ignition locks, and I've never seen any grease in the tumblers, not would I expect to find any there.
     
  13. thefonz

    thefonz

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    Well most of them do have grease in them. Go buy a service kit from the dealer and see if they dont have a packet of white grease that comes with the kit. I am a locksmith and we have serviced hundreds and hundreds of locks over the years. And yes the grease does give problems.
     
  14. rameam

    rameam

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    If the grease is in there, why doesn't it get on the key. I've never seen any on mine.
     
  15. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Personally, I think it's hogwash, but I'm going to ask a local locksmith about it. I've rekeyed a large number of locks for my wife (real estate sales), and I never saw a bit of grease in any of the lock cylinders. I've also had a few car tumblers apart, and I never saw grease in those either. If you see how a pin tumbler lock works, you would realize that grease in the tumblers would be a serious problem. The springs that move the tumblers do not have the strength to anything but a very free sliding set of pins. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pin_tumbler_lock
     
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