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How to Change Coolant in a Ford Contour

by Dan Ferrell

Coolant can become corrosive and filled with rust after prolonged use in your Ford Contour. If left in the cooling system unchanged, deteriorated coolant will damage the water pump, thermostat and even the radiator. Here we will follow some very simple steps to get rid of the old coolant and refill the system with a fresh new mixture of antifreeze and water. The steps apply to the 2000 Ford Contour model, which is similar to previous years.

Park the car in a safe place and make sure you have enough space at the front of the vehicle for you to work and move around.

Open the hood, make sure the engine is cold and remove the coolant reservoir tank cap located on the front right-hand side (passenger side) of the engine compartment.

Raise the front of the car using a floor jack and safely support it on two jack stands.

Remove the splash shield from underside the radiator area of the vehicle using a T25 Torx driver or socket bit and a ratchet.

Locate the radiator plug on the lower right-hand side (passenger side) of the radiator, just bellow the lower hose. Place a drain pan directly underneath the drain plug and open the plug.

Close the drain plug once you have drained the coolant completely and remove the drain pan from underneath the car.

Replace the splash shield and lower the vehicle.

Mix 50 percent of water and 50 percent antifreeze using a clean container. Refill the cooling system through the reservoir tank until it reaches the MAX line mark on the side of the reservoir tank.

Start the engine and let it reach operating temperature. Once the thermostat opens and the coolant mixture begins to circulate, add more water and antifreeze mixture until it reaches the MAX line mark as you did on step 8.

Check for leaks, turn off the engine and replace the cap on the coolant reservoir tank.

Warning

  • Always store coolant in a closed container and disposed of it properly. The sweet taste of ethylene glycol in antifreeze may attract cats, dogs and even young kids with fatal results. Removing the radiator or coolant reservoir cap in a hot engine may blow coolant out and cause severe burns or injuries. Makes sure the coolant is under low temperature before removing the radiator or reservoir tank cap.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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Photo Credits

  • Photo courtesy of IFCAR at Wikipedia.org.