Cooling system draining
Wait until the engine is cold before starting this procedure. Do not allow anti-freeze to come in contact with your skin, or with the painted surfaces of the vehicle. Rinse off spills immediately with plenty of water. Never leave antifreeze lying around in an open container, or in a puddle in the driveway or on the garage floor. Children and pets are attracted by its sweet smell, but antifreeze can be fatal if ingested.
With the engine completely cold, remove the expansion tank filler cap. Turn the cap anti-clockwise, wait until any pressure remaining in the system is released, then unscrew it and lift it off.
Position a suitable container beneath the radiator drain screw, at the bottom left-hand corner of the radiator.
Slacken the drain screw, and allow the coolant to drain into the container
Drain screw on the bottom left-hand corner of the radiator
When the flow of coolant stops, tighten the radiator drain screw.
If the coolant has been drained for a reason other than renewal, then provided it is clean and less than two years old, it can be re-used, though this is not recommended.
Cooling system flushing
If coolant renewal has been neglected, or if the antifreeze mixture has become diluted, then in time, the cooling system may gradually lose efficiency, as the coolant passages become restricted due to rust, scale deposits, and other sediment. The cooling system efficiency can be restored by flushing the system clean.
The radiator should be flushed indepen-dently of the engine, to avoid unnecessary contamination.
Disconnect the radiator top and bottom hoses.
Insert a garden hose into the radiator top inlet. Direct a flow of clean water through the radiator, and continue flushing until clean water emerges from the radiator bottom outlet.
If after a reasonable period, the water still does not run clear, the radiator can be flushed with a good proprietary cleaning agent. It is important that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed carefully. If the contamination is particularly bad, remove the radiator then insert the hose in the bottom outlet and reverse-flush the radiator.
Remove the thermostat, then, if the radiator top hose has been disconnected from the engine, temporarily reconnect the hose.
On completion of flushing, refit the thermostat and reconnect the hoses.
With the top and bottom hoses disconnected from the radiator, insert a garden hose into the radiator top hose. Direct a clean flow of water through the engine, and continue flushing until clean water emerges from the radiator bottom hose.
Cooling system filling
Before attempting to fill the cooling system, make sure that all hoses and clips are in good condition, and that the clips are tight. Note that an antifreeze mixture must be used all year round, to prevent corrosion of the engine components. Also check that the cylinder block drain plug is in place and tight.
||Motorcraft Super Plus 4 antifreeze (blue/green) to Ford specification ESD-M97 B49-A, or Motorcraft Super Plus 2000 antifreeze (orange) to Ford specification WSS-M97 B44-D*
|* Do not mix the two types of coolant listed with each other, nor top-up with any other type of coolant.
Remove the expansion tank filler cap
Removing the expansion tank filler cap
Place a wad of rags around the expansion tank.
Slowly fill the system until the coolant level reaches the “MAX” mark on the side of the expansion tank.
Start the engine and allow it to run for only two minutes, while increasing the engine speed to a fast idle several times. Switch off the engine and top-up the coolant level.
Refit and tighten the expansion tank filler cap.
Start the engine, and allow it to run until it reaches normal operating temperature (until the cooling fan cuts in and out).
Stop the engine, and allow it to cool, then re-check the coolant level. Top-up the level if necessary and refit the expansion tank filler cap.
The antifreeze should always be renewed at the specified intervals. This is necessary not only to maintain the antifreeze properties, but also to prevent corrosion which would otherwise occur as the corrosion inhibitors become progressively less effective.
Always use an ethylene-glycol based antifreeze which is suitable for use in mixed-metal cooling systems.
Before adding antifreeze, the cooling system should be completely drained, preferably flushed, and all hoses checked for condition and security.
After filling with antifreeze, a label should be attached to the expansion tank, stating the type and concentration of antifreeze used, and the date installed. Any subsequent topping-up should be made with the same type and concentration of antifreeze.
Do not use engine antifreeze in the windscreen/tailgate washer system, as it will cause damage to the vehicle paintwork. A screenwash additive should be added to the washer system in the quantities stated on the bottle.
Pressure (expansion tank) cap check
With the engine cold, remove and clean the pressure cap, and inspect the seal for damage and/or deterioration. If there is any sign of damage or deterioration to the seal, fit a new pressure cap
Inspecting the expansion tank pressure cap seal