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Ford Focus A/C & Heater Controls

When Ford offered the Focus in 1993, they intended to create a vehicle that would sell around the world. That meant the car would need to carry a heating and air-conditioning system that could handle every environment possible. The coolant and heater core control systems since 1993 saw changes inspired by new computer inventions.

How have coolant and heater core controls changed?

Heater core and coolant control systems were principally mechanical in 1993 with a few rudimentary computer assists. Since then, the computer industry has revolutionized how the A-C/heating mechanism is controlled. The blower control mechanism provides an excellent example of the changes. The original car climate control was a manual switch. By 2003, A-C in the back seat was added, and the blower switch became a push-button control that opened an HVAC tube to the rear window for added comfort. Later, a new control unit accessed a computer that supplied power to a rear-window defrost unit. Eventually, the computer age brought an automatic cabin climate control unit.

Three forces have influenced changes in coolant/heater control panels in the Ford Focus:

  • The competition pushed manufacturers to make innovative changes in the A-C/heater control panels and mechanisms. When other manufacturers sought to make changes, Ford either followed suit or led in the new designs for cabin climate control resulting in changes in the control panel.
  • Consumers forced Ford to make changes. When consumers chose to place effective cabin climate control while driving high on their list of priorities, Ford responded.
  • The high-tech advances made during the years when Ford produced the Focus led to increased changes in technology use. Technological discoveries changed what were once manual switch controls into automatic climate control units governed by a computer chip.
Can you use control units from other production years?

No. The A-C/heater control panel will not fit. Through the years, the controls have changed. Core control wires will not match except in a few contiguous year models. The size and shape of the control panel also changed between years.

Is there more than one color of compressor/core controls?

The compressor/core control panel and mechanisms in the vehicle come in two colors: black and silver. When replacing a climate control panel or mechanism, you should take into consideration the color of the entertainment panel above. Try to maintain continuity of color.

When should climate controls be replaced?

There are times when the replacement option is obvious, such as a cracked control or control mechanism due to a car accident. There is also the time when a control mechanism ceases to operate. At these times, the urge is to replace the mechanism alone which can give an odd appearance to the control panel due to fading over time of the other control mechanisms. This leads you to the principal reason for changing out the climate control panel: Sunlight and heat fade these plastic parts. If you wish to maintain a crisp look to your interior, you should replace the panel.