How to Install Radiator Hoses on a Ford Taurusby Christian Killian
The radiator hoses on the Ford Taurus route coolant from the engine to the radiator and back to the engine in a continuous loop. They are critical to the proper operation of the cooling system in your Taurus. Constructed of rubber reinforced with string or other fiber, the hoses can dry rot and crack over time. This will lead to leaks and lowered levels of coolant in the system, which will result in overheating of the engine. Replacement hoses are available pre-molded to the proper shape and size to fit your Taurus specifically, making them easy to install. New hoses are available from the Ford dealer or any auto parts store.
Open the hood of your Taurus and remove the radiator cap, setting it aside for now. Place a large drain pan under the front of your Taurus, just below the radiator on the passenger’s side of the car. Locate the radiator drain petcock on the bottom of the radiator on the passenger’s side of the car.
Open the petcock with a wrench or your hand if it is not too tight. Turn it counterclockwise until the coolant starts draining into the pan under the car. Let the coolant drain until the cooling system is empty, then close the petcock and remove the drain pan from under the car.
Remove the hose clamp from each end of the upper radiator hose, and do the same for the lower radiator hose. If they are factory spring clamps you will need a pair of pliers to squeeze the tabs on the clamps together and slide each clamp toward the center of the hoses. If they are screw-type clamps, use a flat screwdriver to loosen them and slide them toward the center of the hose.
Remove the hoses from the radiator, twisting the end as you pull it loose. Remove the opposite end of the hoses from the engine. The upper hose is attached to the thermostat housing on the top of the engine, while the lower hose is attached to the outlet of the water pump. Discard the old hoses.
Install the new lower hose on the output of the water pump, sliding it onto the fitting. Slide the opposite end of the hose onto the lower fitting on the radiator. Install two new hose clamps and tighten them with a flat screwdriver.
Install the new upper hose on the thermostat housing, then onto the upper fitting of the radiator. Slide the hose onto the fittings with a slight twisting motion if it doesn't slide on without resistance. Install two new clamps and tighten them with a screwdriver.
Move up to the engine compartment and fill the radiator and cooling system with new coolant as recommended by the manufacturer. Continue adding coolant to the system as the level falls in the radiator. It is going to take a little time for the coolant to fill both the radiator and engine block.
Start the engine and turn on the heat. When the air starts blowing warm, turn the car off. Check the coolant level after the engine has cooled. If the level dropped more than 1 inch, add fluid. Restart the car with the heat running and continue this process until the level stabilizes and the engine is running at normal operating temperature.
Replace the cap on the radiator, shut the engine off and close the hood.
- "Chilton's Total Car Repair Manual 1996 - 1999 Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable"; Nicholas Publishing Company; 1999
- "Haynes Automotive Repair Manual 1996 thru 2005 Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable"; Ken Layne; 2006
- Monitor the level of coolant in your Taurus over the next few days to ensure it is full. Sometime air pockets will not come out until you have run the engine for a while.
Things You'll Need
- Drain pan
- Flat screwdriver
- Before starting any project involving the cooling system in your car, make sure the engine and cooling system are not still hot. the system is under pressure when it is hot and will spray hot coolant when you open a hot radiator.
Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.