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How to Change Antifreeze in a 2002 Ford Ranger

by Kyle McBride

Ford equipped the 2002 Ranger with a coolant-filled cooling system. Engine coolant provides protection from freezing and boiling, maximizes cooling efficiency and provides corrosion protection to the engine and cooling components. Maintain the engine coolant at the correct concentration and level and replace it according to the maintenance schedule for your engine and coolant type in order to sustain these protections.

2.3 Liter Engine

Open the hood. Allow the engine to cool completely before opening the cooling system.

Remove the cap from the coolant reservoir bottle located on the passenger side of the engine compartment adjacent to the windshield washer bottle.

Place the drain pan under the radiator's draincock. Open the draincock and allow the coolant to drain into the drain pan.

Place the drain pan under the radiator's lower hose. Loosen the hose clamp holding the hose to the radiator's lower pipe with a screwdriver. Grasp the hose firmly and twist it to break the seal between the hose and the pipe. Pull the hose off the radiator and allow the coolant to completely drain.

Close the draincock and reinstall the radiator's lower hose.

Fill the coolant reservoir bottle with coolant to the "Max Fill" line.

Start the engine. Run the engine for approximately ten seconds at 2,500 revolutions per minute (rpm) then turn off the engine.

Fill the coolant reservoir bottle to 1/2 inch above the maximum fill line. Put the cap on the bottle.

Start the engine. Run the engine for approximately eight minutes at 2,500 rpm or until the thermostat opens. Maintain 2,500 rpm for an additional three minutes.

Increase engine speed to 4,000 rpm for five seconds, then return engine speed to 2,500 rpm for an additional three minutes. Repeat two times. Check for leaks.

Stop the engine and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Top off the coolant in the reservoir bottle to the maximum fill line.

3.0 and 4.0 Liter Engines

Open the hood. Allow the engine to cool completely before opening the cooling system.

Turn the radiator's pressure relief cap 1/2 turn counterclockwise to the first cap stop position. Press and turn the cap counterclockwise once satisfied that no pressure remains in the cooling system. Remove the cap.

Jack the front of the truck up and support it on jack stands.

Get under the front of the truck. Remove the two bolts holding the radiator's lower cover with a wrench. Remove the cover.

Place the drain pan under the radiator's draincock. Open the draincock and allow the coolant to drain.

Close the draincock, then re-install the radiator's lower cover.

Remove the jack stands and lower the truck to the ground.

Install the pressure cap. Fill the coolant reservoir bottle up to the maximum fill line.

Turn the temperature selector knob on the dashboard to the full warm position, then start the engine and run it until it reaches operating temperature.

Add coolant to the reservoir bottle until the fluid is between the coolant fill level marks.

Turn off the engine. Allow the cooling system to cool completely. Recheck the coolant level in the reservoir bottle and add coolant until the fluid is between the coolant fill level marks.

Repeat Steps 9 through 11 until no more coolant needs to be added.

Warnings

  • Scalding injuries will result if the cooling system is open while it is under pressure. Always allow enough time to cool the engine completely before opening the cooling system.
  • Some Ranger cooling systems come from the factory filled with Motorcraft Premium Engine Coolant VC-4-A or an equivalent meeting Ford specification ESE-M97B44-A (green color). Others are filled with Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant VC-7-A or equivalent meeting Ford specification WSS-M97B51-A1. Always fill the cooling system with the same coolant that is present in the system. Do not mix coolant types.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

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