How to Drain the Radiator of a Ford Ranger

by Jody L. Campbell

Draining the radiator on your Ford Ranger is pretty simple. Depending on the year and the size of the motor, the radiator drain cock may be located in a couple of different spots. It is always at the bottom of the radiator near the left or right side. Having a drain bucket suitable for the job will help. Most parts stores have antifreeze drain buckets that are wide and shallow and also have a spout and handles.

Step 1

Allow the Ranger to cool down before attempting to drain the radiator. Open the hood and remove the radiator cap.

Step 2

Locate the drain cock at the bottom of the radiator on the left or right side. You may need to remove some splash shields or skirting to obtain access depending on the year and motor size of the Ranger.

Step 3

Place the drain bucket strategically beneath the drain-cock location and turn the drain cock counterclockwise until antifreeze begins to pour out. You may need to use pliers or channel locks to convince the drain cock to turn at first.

Step 4

Allow the radiator to drain thoroughly into the drain bucket.

Turn the drain cock clockwise to tighten when the radiator is finished draining. Refill radiator with antifreeze when desired and replace the radiator cap.


  • Bleeding the radiator may be necessary after adding new or the same antifreeze back to the radiator. Fill the radiator slowly until full, turn on the Ranger with the radiator cap still off and allow it to run until it reaches normal operating temperature, adding antifreeze as necessary and allowing the radiator to "burp" or "purge" the air bubbles from it. Refer to the owners manual or a repair manual for more information.

Items you will need

  • Antifreeze drain bucket with spout and handles
  • Pliers or channel locks

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