Engine coolant

Checking engine coolant

The concentration and level of engine coolant should be checked at the mileage intervals listed in the scheduled maintenance guide. The coolant concentration should be maintained at 50/50 coolant and distilled water, which equates to a freeze point of -36º C (-34º F). Coolant concentration testing is possible with a hydrometer or antifreeze tester (such as the Rotunda Battery and Antifreeze Tester, 014-R1060). The level of coolant should be maintained at the "cold full" of "cold fill range" level 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. A 50-50 mixture of coolant and water provides the following:

  • Freeze protection down to -36º C (-34º F).
  • Boiling protection up to 129º C (265º F).
  • Protection against rust and other forms of corrosion.
  • Enables calibrated gauges to work properly.

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

  • The engine coolant should be at the "cold fill level" or within the "cold fill range" as listed on the engine coolant reservoir (depending upon application).
  • Refer to the Scheduled Maintenance Guide for service interval schedules.
  • Be sure to read and understand Precautions when servicing your vehicle in this chapter.

If the engine coolant has not been checked at the recommended interval,


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.

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 the windshield, engine coolant could make it difficult to see through the windshield.

The cooling system in your vehicle is filled with either green-colored Motorcraft Premium Engine Coolant meeting Ford specification

ESE-M97B44-A or yellow-colored Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant meeting Ford Specification WSS-M97B51-A1. To determine your vehicle's coolant type (color), check your coolant reservoir.

  • Add Motorcraft Premium Engine Coolant (green-colored), VC-4-A (U.S.) or CXC-10 (Canada) or Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant (yellow-colored), VC-7-A (VC-7-B in Oregon), depending on the type of coolant originally equipped in your vehicle. If you are unsure which type of coolant your vehicle requires, check your coolant reservoir or contact your local dealer.

Note: Use of Motorcraft Cooling System Stop Leak Pellets, VC-6, darkens the color of Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant from yellow to golden tan.

  • Do not add/mix an orange-colored, extended life coolant such as Motorcraft Speciality Orange Engine Coolant, VC-2 (US) or CXC-209 (Canada), meeting Ford specification WSS-M97B44-D with the factory-filled coolant. Mixing Motorcraft Speciality Orange Engine Coolant or any orange-colored extended life product with your factory filled coolant can result in degraded corrosion protection.
  • 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 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.
  • Do not mix with recycled coolant unless from a Ford-approved recycling process (see Use of Recycled engine coolant section).

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 water to the "cold full" 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 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.

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 (an opaque 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 (see above), to within the "cold fill range" or the "cold full" 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 section. If the concentration is not 50/50 (protection to -34º F/-36º C), 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 liter (1.0 quart) of engine coolant per month, have your 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 recommends the use of a recycled engine coolant produced by Ford-approved processes in vehicles originally equipped with Motorcraft Premium Engine Coolant (green-colored). However, not all coolant recycling processes produce coolant that meets Ford specification ESE-M97B44-A. Use of such coolant may harm the engine and cooling system components.

Ford Motor Company does NOT recommend the use of recycled engine coolant in vehicles originally equipped with Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant since a Ford-approved recycling process is not yet available.

disposed of in an appropriateUsed 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 Refill capacities in this chapter.

Fill your engine coolant reservoir as outlined in Adding engine coolant in this chapter.

Severe climates

If you drive in extremely cold climates (less than -36º C [-34º F]):

  • It may be necessary to increase the coolant concentration above 50%.
  • NEVER increase the coolant concentration above 60%.
  • Increased engine coolant concentrations above 60% will decrease the overheat protection characteristics of the engine coolant and may cause engine damage.
  • 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 protection characteristics of the engine coolant and may cause engine damage.
  • Decreased engine coolant concentrations below 40% will decrease the freeze protection characteristics of the engine coolant and may cause engine damage.
  • 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.

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