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How to Flush a Ford Windstar Radiator

by Gregory Crews

Flushing the radiator in your Ford Windstar is crucial to the life of the van. Flush the radiator at least every two years to ensure that all the debris and sediments gathered in your radiator are flushed out and eliminated. These sediments could potentially harm your motor by building up and causing blockages, or even by rusting along the walls of your radiator or in your motor. Ensure that the car has been sitting for more than an hour; the motor must be cooled down before you begin work.

Flushing the Radiator

Step 1

Open the hood.

Step 2

Place a drain pan underneath the radiator, and open the petcock valve on the bottom of the radiator with a pair of pliers. When the coolant has drained, close the petcock valve.

Step 3

Twist the radiator cap off by hand. Insert a garden hose into the fill spout of the radiator, and fill the radiator with water.

Step 4

Open the petcock valve and drain the water; then close the valve again.

Step 5

Repeat this process until the water draining out runs clear. You may have to repeat this three or four times.

Add coolant once you have tightened the petcock valve. The correct mixture is 50 percent water and 50 percent antifreeze. For best results, pour in 1 gallon of antifreeze; fill the gallon container with water and empty into the radiator. Repeat this until the radiator is full.

Bleeding the Radiator System

Step 1

Crank up the van, and let the engine idle for 15 minutes with the radiator cap off.

Step 2

Turn the heater on and set it to hot. This will circulate the coolant and allow any trapped air to dissipate.

Step 3

Top off the radiator level with coolant. The level will go down as the air pockets dissipate.

Step 4

Screw the radiator cap back onto the radiator. Turn off the van.

Dispose of the old coolant and water that came out of the radiator. Contact your local recycling center to learn where to dispose of these chemicals.

Tips

  • Inspect your coolant system as you are flushing the radiator. Observe the hose clamps and hoses for tears or signs of wear. Replace them if they look faulty.
  • Inspect the radiator cap for rust or drying of the rubber seal on the bottom of the cap. Press the spring on the cap to make sure it does not depress easily.

Warnings

  • Do not flush while the engine is hot. This could cause burns.
  • Catch all the coolant and water drained, and place the fluids in sealed containers. The sweet smell of the coolant can attract animals and children; it is fatal if swallowed.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan
  • Pliers
  • Garden hose
  • 2 gallons of coolant

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