Your Vehicle: 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 L4-2.0L DOHC VIN 3
Vehicle » Heating and Air Conditioning » Refrigerant » Service Precautions » Vehicle Damage Warnings  
  Vehicle Damage Warnings  


  • To avoid damaging the vehicle or A/C components, the following precautions must be observed:
  • The A/C refrigerant of all vehicles must be identified and analyzed prior to refrigerant charging. Failure to do so can contaminate the shop bulk refrigerant and other vehicles.
  • Do not add R-12 refrigerant to an A/C system that requires the use of R-134a refrigerant. These two types of refrigerant must never be mixed. Doing so can damage the A/C system.
  • Charge the A/C system with the engine running only at the low-pressure side to prevent refrigerant slugging from damaging the A/C compressor.
  • Use only R-134a refrigerant. Due to environmental concerns, when the air conditioning system is drained, the refrigerant must be collected using refrigerant recovery/recycling equipment. R-134a must never be removed without the appropriate equipment or released into the atmosphere. Use of a recovery machine dedicated to R-134a is necessary to reduce the possibility of oil and refrigerant incompatibility concerns. Refer to the instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer when removing refrigerant from or charging the air conditioning system.
  • Refrigerant R-134a must not be mixed with air for leak testing or used with air for any other purpose above atmospheric pressure. R-134a is combustible when mixed with high concentrations of air and at higher pressures.
  • A number of manufacturers are producing refrigerant products that are described as direct substitutes for refrigerant R- 134a. The use of any unauthorized substitute refrigerant can severely damage the A/C components. If repair is necessary, use only new or recycled refrigerant R-134a.
  • The suction accumulator/drier is designed to remove moisture from the refrigerant and to prevent any liquid refrigerant that may not have been vaporized in the evaporator core from reaching the A/C compressor. The A/C compressor is designed to pump refrigerant vapor only, as liquid refrigerant will not compress and can damage the A/C compressor.
  • To avoid contamination of the A/C system:
  • Keep service tools and the work area clean.
  • Never open or loosen a connection before discharging the system.
  • When loosening a connection, if any residual pressure is evident, allow it to leak out before opening the fitting.
  • Evacuate a system that has been opened to install a new component or a system that has discharged through leakage before charging.
  • Seal open fittings with a cap or plug immediately after disconnecting a component from the system.
  • Clean the outside of the fittings thoroughly before disconnecting a component from the system.
  • Do not remove the sealing caps from a new component until ready to install.
  • Refrigerant oil will absorb moisture from the atmosphere if left uncapped. Do not open an oil container until ready to use, and install the cap immediately after using. Store the oil in a clean, moisture-free container.
  • Install a new O-ring seal before connecting an open fitting. Coat the fitting and O-ring seal with refrigerant oil before connecting.
  • When installing a refrigerant line, avoid sharp bends. Position the line away from the exhaust or any sharp edges that can chafe the line.
  • Tighten threaded fittings only to specifications. The steel and aluminum fittings used in the refrigerant system will not tolerate overtightening.
  • When disconnecting a fitting, use a wrench on both halves of the fitting to prevent twisting of the refrigerant lines or tubes.
  • Do not open a refrigerant system or uncap a new component unless it is as close as possible to room temperature. This will prevent condensation from forming inside a component that is cooler than the surrounding air.
  • Good ventilation is necessary in the area where electronic A/C leak testing is to be carried out. If the surrounding air is contaminated with refrigerant gas, the leak detector will indicate this gas all the time. Odors from other chemicals such as anti-freeze, diesel fuel, disc brake cleaner, or other cleaning solvents can cause the same problem. A fan, even in a well-ventilated area, is very helpful in removing small traces of contamination from the air that might affect the leak detector.
  • An A/C refrigerant analyzer must be used before the recovery of any vehicle's A/C refrigerant. Failure to do so puts the shop's bulk refrigerant at risk of contamination. If the vehicle's A/C refrigerant is contaminated, refer the customer to the service facility that carried out the last A/C service. If the customer wishes to pay the additional cost, use the A/C recovery equipment that is designated for recovering contaminated A/C refrigerant. All contaminated A/C refrigerant must be disposed of as hazardous waste. For all equipment, follow the equipment manufacturer's procedures and instructions.
  • Suction accumulator/drier, muffler, hoses, thermal expansion valve, and fixed orifice tube should be removed when flushing the A/C system. Internal plumbing of these devices makes it impossible to correctly remove any residual-flushing agent Except for the hoses, these components are typically discarded after A/C system contamination. Hoses can normally be reused unless they are clogged with foreign material The 3.785 liters (1 gallon) of A/C Systems Flushing Solvent F4AZ-19579-A and FL1-A filter used in A/C Flush and Purge Machine 219-00022 are intended for use on one vehicle only. They may be used to flush both the A/C condenser core and the A/C evaporator core on an individual vehicle, but under no circumstances should they be used on more than one vehicle.
  • During normal A/C operation, oil is circulated through the system with the refrigerant, and a small amount is retained in each component. If certain components of the system are removed for new installation, some of the refrigerant oil will go with the component. To maintain the original total oil charge, it is necessary to compensate for the oil lost by adding oil to the system with the new part.
  • If contaminated refrigerant is detected, DO NOT recover the refrigerant into R-134a or R-12 recovery/recycling equipment.
  • Spring-type clamps are installed as original equipment. Installation and overtightening of non-specification clamps can cause leakage at the heater water hose connection and damage the heater core.