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How to Change Coolant in a Ford F150

by Carl Pruit

Coolant, also known as antifreeze, was invented as an additive to your radiator water to keep it from freezing during cold weather. It was altered later to include a chemical additive that would prevent radiator water from boiling as well. Coolant is sold at any local automotive, hardware or department store in your area and is generally sold as a ready-to-use mixture in 1-gallon containers. Several well-known brands are available and provide a quality product that will allow you to change the coolant in your Ford F150 fairly easily.

Locate the drain valve on the bottom of your Ford F150's radiator. Place a drain pan underneath the drain valve. Take the radiator cap off of the top of the radiator, and remove the cap from the top of the overflow tank located over the front passenger side wheel well.

Open the drain valve on the bottom of the radiator with a 19 mm open-end wrench, and allow the coolant to completely drain out of the radiator. When the coolant is completely drained, pour the expelled coolant into a large plastic container. Use a funnel to help you get the coolant into the container.

Place the drain pan under the drain valve. Put the end of a garden hose that is attached to a water source into the top of the radiator. Turn the water on and allow it to run through the radiator and drain into the drain pan. Turn the water off when the pan is full, and pour the drained water into your large plastic container. Repeat this process until you see clear water draining from the bottom of the radiator.

Turn off the water, and close the drain valve with the open-end wrench. Pour a bottle of radiator flush into the radiator, and fill the radiator up with water. Place the cap back on the radiator and on the overflow tank.

Turn the Ford F150 engine on. Allow it to run for about 15 minutes to warm up the motor and to let the radiator flush remove any debris on the inside of the motor and radiator. Shut the engine off and allow it to cool down for about 10 minutes.

Take the cap off of the radiator, and repeat Step 3 until you see clear water running from the bottom of the radiator. Close the drain valve, and remove the drain pan from the bottom of the vehicle.

Open the cap on the overflow tank, and pour in the new coolant until it reaches the halfway level. Place the cap back on the overflow tank. Pour the rest of the ready-to-use coolant into the top of the radiator. Fill the radiator with water from the garden hose until it reaches the top of the tank. Place the radiator cap back on the the radiator.

Tip

  • Dispose of the expelled coolant at any local recycling center or local automotive supply. You can get a bottle of radiator flush along with the coolant for your Ford F150 at any local automotive supply or department store in your area.

Warning

  • Never attempt to change the coolant in your Ford F150 when the engine is hot. Allow it to cool down first. Never pour drained coolant into the gutter or sewer system.

Items you will need

About the Author

Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.

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