Engine coolant

Checking engine coolant

The concentration and level of engine coolant should be checked at the intervals listed in scheduled maintenance information. The coolant concentration should be maintained at 50/50 coolant and distilled water.

For best results, coolant concentration should be tested with a refractometer such as Rotunda tool 300-ROB75240E available from your dealer. Ford does not recommend the use of hydrometers or coolant test strips for measuring coolant concentration. The level of coolant should be maintained at the FULL COLD level or within the COLD FILL RANGE in the coolant reservoir. If the level falls below, add coolant per the instructions in the Adding engine coolant section.

Your vehicle was factory-filled with a 50/50 engine coolant and water concentration. If the concentration of coolant falls below 40% or above 60%, the engine parts could become damaged or not work properly

A50/50 mixture of coolant and water provides the following:

• Improved freeze protection.
• Improved boiling protection.
• Protection against rust and other forms of corrosion.
• Proper function of calibrated gauges.

When the engine is cold, check the level of the engine coolant in the reservoir.

• The engine coolant should be at the FULL COLD level, or within the COLD FILL

• The engine coolant should be at the FULL COLD level, or within the COLD FILL or MIN / MAX range as listed on the engine coolant reservoir (depending upon application).
• Refer to scheduled maintenance information for service interval schedules.

If the engine coolant has not been checked at the recommended interval, the engine coolant reservoir may become low or empty. If the reservoir is low or empty, add engine coolant to the reservoir. Refer to Adding engine coolant in this chapter.

Note: Automotive fluids are not interchangeable; do not use engine coolant/antifreeze or windshield washer fluid outside of its specified function and vehicle location.

Adding engine coolant

When adding coolant, make sure it is a 50/50 mixture of engine coolant and distilled water. Add the mixture to the coolant reservoir, when the engine is cool, until the appropriate fill level is obtained. If coolant is filled to the COLD FILL RANGE or FULL COLD level when the engine is not cool, the system will remain underfilled.

Do not add engine coolant when the engine is hot. WARNING: Do not add engine coolant when the engine is hot.

Steam and scalding liquids released from a hot cooling system can burn you badly. Also, you can be burned if you spill coolant on hot engine parts.

Do not put engine coolant in the windshield washer fluid container. If sprayed on WARNING: Do not put engine coolant in the windshield washer fluid container. If sprayed on the windshield, engine coolant could make it difficult to see through the windshield.

• DO NOT MIX different colors or types of coolant in your vehicle.

Make sure the correct coolant is used. Mixing of engine coolants may harm your engine’s cooling system. The use of an improper coolant may harm engine and cooling system components and may void the warranty. Refer to Maintenance product specifications and capacities in this chapter.

Note: Do not use stop leak pellets or cooling system sealants/additives as they can cause damage to the engine cooling and/or heating systems.

This damage would not be covered under your vehicle’s warranty.

• A large amount of water without engine coolant may be added, in case of emergency, to reach a vehicle service location. In this instance, the cooling system must be drained, chemically cleaned with Motorcraft Premium Cooling System Flush, and refilled with a 50/50 mixture of engine coolant and distilled water as soon as possible. Water alone (without engine coolant) can cause engine damage from corrosion, overheating or freezing.

• Do not use alcohol, methanol, brine or any engine coolants mixed with alcohol or methanol antifreeze (coolant). Alcohol and other liquids can cause engine damage from overheating or freezing.

• Do not add extra inhibitors or additives to the coolant. These can be harmful and compromise the corrosion protection of the engine coolant.

For vehicles with overflow coolant systems with a non-pressurized cap on the coolant recovery system, add coolant to the coolant recovery reservoir when the engine is cool. Add the proper mixture of coolant and distilled water to the FULL COLD level. For all other vehicles which have a coolant degas system with a pressurized cap, or if it is necessary to remove the coolant pressure relief cap on the radiator of a vehicle with an overflow system, follow these steps to add engine coolant.

To reduce the risk of personal injury, make sure the engine is cool before unscrewing WARNING: To reduce the risk of personal injury, make sure the engine is cool before unscrewing the coolant pressure relief cap.

The cooling system is under pressure; steam and hot liquid can come out forcefully when the cap is loosened slightly.

Add the proper mixture of coolant and water to the cooling system by following these steps:

1. Before you begin, turn the engine off and let it cool.

2. When the engine is cool, wrap a thick cloth around the coolant pressure relief cap on the coolant reservoir (a translucent plastic bottle).

Slowly turn cap counterclockwise (left) until pressure begins to release.

3. Step back while the pressure releases.

4. When you are sure that all the pressure has been released, use the cloth to turn it counterclockwise and remove the cap.

5. Fill the coolant reservoir slowly with the proper coolant mixture, to within the COLD FILL RANGE or the FULL COLD level on the reservoir.

If you removed the radiator cap in an overflow system, fill the radiator until the coolant is visible and radiator is almost full.

6. Replace the cap. Turn until tightly installed. Cap must be tightly installed to prevent coolant loss.

After any coolant has been added, check the coolant concentration (refer to Checking engine coolant). If the concentration is not 50/50, drain some coolant and adjust the concentration. It may take several drains and additions to obtain a 50/50 coolant concentration.

Whenever coolant has been added, the coolant level in the coolant reservoir should be checked the next few times you drive the vehicle. If necessary, add enough 50/50 concentration of engine coolant and distilled water to bring the liquid level to the proper level.

If you have to add more than 1.0 quart (1.0 liter) of engine coolant per month, have your authorized dealer check the engine cooling system.

Your cooling system may have a leak. Operating an engine with a low level of coolant can result in engine overheating and possible engine damage.

Recycled engine coolant

Ford Motor Company does NOT recommend the use of recycled engine coolant since a Ford-approved recycling process is not yet available.

be disposed of in an appropriate manner. Follow your community’s regulations and Used engine coolant should be disposed of in an appropriate manner. Follow your community’s regulations and standards for recycling and disposing of automotive fluids.

Coolant refill capacity

To find out how much fluid your vehicle’s cooling system can hold, refer to Maintenance product specifications and capacities in this chapter.

Fill your engine coolant reservoir as outlined previously in the Adding engine coolant section.

Severe climates

If you drive in extremely cold climates:

• It may be necessary to increase the coolant concentration above 50%.
• NEVER increase the coolant concentration above 60%.
• A coolant concentration of 60% will provide improved freeze point protection. Increased engine coolant concentrations above 60% will decrease the overheat protection characteristics of the engine coolant and may cause engine damage.
• If available, refer to the chart on the coolant container to ensure the coolant concentration in your vehicle will provide adequate freeze protection at the temperatures in which you drive in the winter months.

If you drive in extremely hot climates:

• It is still necessary to maintain the coolant concentration above 40%.
• NEVER decrease the coolant concentration below 40%.
• Decreased engine coolant concentrations below 40% will decrease the corrosion/freeze protection characteristics of the engine coolant and may cause engine damage.
• If available, refer to the chart on the coolant container to ensure the coolant concentration in your vehicle will provide adequate protection at the temperatures in which you drive.

Vehicles driven year-round in non-extreme climates should use a 50/50 mixture of engine coolant and distilled water for optimum cooling system and engine protection.

What you should know about fail-safe cooling

If the engine coolant supply is depleted, this feature allows the vehicle to be driven temporarily before incremental component damage is incurred.

The “fail-safe” distance depends on ambient temperatures, vehicle load and terrain.

How fail-safe cooling works

If the engine begins to overheat:

• The engine coolant temperature gauge will move to the red (hot) area.
• The service engine soon indicator light will illuminate.  indicator light will illuminate.

If the engine reaches a preset over-temperature condition, the engine will automatically switch to alternating cylinder operation. Each disabled cylinder acts as an air pump and cools the engine.

When this occurs the vehicle will still operate. However:

• The engine power will be limited.
• The air conditioning system will be disabled.

Continued operation will increase the engine temperature and the engine will completely shut down, causing steering and braking effort to increase.

Once the engine temperature cools, the engine can be re-started. Take your vehicle to an authorized dealer as soon as possible to minimize engine damage.

When fail-safe mode is activated

You have limited engine power when in the fail-safe mode, so drive the vehicle with caution. The vehicle will not be able to maintain high-speed operation and the engine will run rough. Remember that the engine is capable of completely shutting down automatically to prevent engine damage, therefore:

1. Pull off the road as soon as safely possible and turn off the engine.
2. Arrange for the vehicle to be taken to an authorized dealer.
3. If this is not possible, wait a short period for the engine to cool.
4. Check the coolant level and replenish if low.

Fail-safe mode is for use during emergencies only. WARNING: Fail-safe mode is for use during emergencies only.

Operate the vehicle in fail-safe mode only as long as necessary to bring the vehicle to rest in a safe location and seek immediate repairs.

When in fail-safe mode, the vehicle will have limited power, will not be able to maintain high-speed operation, and may completely shut down without warning, potentially losing engine power, power steering assist, and power brake assist, which may increase the possibility of a crash resulting in serious injury.

Never remove the coolant reservoir cap while the engine is running or hot. WARNING: Never remove the coolant reservoir cap while the engine is running or hot.

5. Re-start the engine and take your vehicle to an authorized dealer.

Driving the vehicle without repairing the engine problem increases the chance of engine damage. Take your vehicle to an authorized dealer as soon as possible.

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