All about Ford Mondeo

Coolant renewal (Every 20 000 miles or 2 years)
Routine maintenance and servicing / Coolant renewal (Every 20 000 miles or 2 years)


Note: If the antifreeze used is Fords own, or of similar quality, the coolant need not be renewed for the life of the vehicle. If the vehicles history is unknown, if antifreeze of lesser quality is known to be in the system, or simply if you prefer to follow conventional servicing intervals, the coolant should be changed periodically (typically, every 2 years) as described here. Refer also to the information in Section 2 of this Chapter.

Warning: Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contaminated areas immediately with plenty of water. Dont store new coolant, or leave old coolant lying around, where its accessible to children or pets - theyre attracted by its sweet smell. Ingestion of even a small amount of coolant can be fatal! Wipe up garage-floor and drip-pan spills immediately. Keep antifreeze containers covered, and repair cooling system leaks as soon as theyre noticed.

Warning: Never remove the expansion tank filler cap when the engine is running, or has just been switched off, as the cooling system will be hot, and the consequent escaping steam and scalding coolant could cause serious injury.

Coolant draining
Warning: Wait until the engine is cold before starting this procedure.

1 To drain the system, first remove the expansion tank filler cap (see Section 3).

2 If the additional working clearance is required, raise the front of the vehicle and support it securely on axle stands.

3 Remove the radiator undershield (eight or nine screws), then place a large drain tray underneath, and unscrew the radiator drain plug; direct as much of the escaping coolant as possible into the tray (see illustrations).

28.3A Remove the screws (arrowed) and withdraw the radiator undershield . . .
28.3A Remove the screws (arrowed) and withdraw the radiator undershield . . .

28.3B . . . to unscrew the radiator drain plug (arrowed) and empty the
28.3B . . . to unscrew the radiator drain plug (arrowed) and empty the cooling system. Try to protect yourself from coolant splashing into your eyes or onto your skin, catching as much of it as possible in the drain tray

System flushing
4 With time, the cooling system may gradually lose its efficiency, as the radiator core becomes choked with rust, scale deposits from the water, and other sediment (refer also to the information at the start of Section 2). To minimise this, as well as using only good-quality antifreeze and clean soft water, the system should be flushed as follows whenever any part of it is disturbed, and/or when the coolant is renewed.

5 With the coolant drained, refit the drain plug and refill the system with fresh water. Refit the expansion tank filler cap, start the engine and warm it up to normal operating temperature, then stop it and (after allowing it to cool down completely) drain the system again. Repeat as necessary until only clean water can be seen to emerge, then refill finally with the specified coolant mixture.

6 If only clean, soft water and good-quality antifreeze (even if not to Fords specification) has been used, and the coolant has been renewed at the suggested intervals, the above procedure will be sufficient to keep clean the system for a considerable length of time. If, however, the system has been neglected, a more thorough operation will be required, as follows.

7 First drain the coolant, then disconnect the radiator top and bottom hoses. Insert a garden hose into the top hose, and allow water to circulate through the radiator until it runs clean from the bottom outlet.

8 To flush the engine, insert the garden hose into the thermostat water outlet, and allow water to circulate until it runs clear from the bottom hose. If, after a reasonable period, the water still does not run clear, the radiator should be flushed with a good proprietary cleaning agent.

9 In severe cases of contamination, reverseflushing of the radiator may be necessary. To do this, remove the radiator (Chapter 3), invert it, and insert the garden hose into the bottom outlet. Continue flushing until clear water runs from the top hose outlet. A similar procedure can be used to flush the heater matrix.

10 The use of chemical cleaners should be necessary only as a last resort. Normally, regular renewal of the coolant will prevent excessive contamination of the system.

Coolant filling
11 With the cooling system drained and flushed, ensure that all disturbed hose unions are correctly secured, and that the radiator drain plug is securely tightened. Refit the radiator undershield, noting that it is located by three clips at its front edge; tighten the retaining screws securely (see illustration). If it was raised, lower the vehicle to the ground.

28.11 Ensure radiator undershield is located securely in three clips at front
28.11 Ensure radiator undershield is located securely in three clips at front edge (arrowed) when refitting

12 Prepare a sufficient quantity of the specified coolant mixture (see below); allow for a surplus, so as to have a reserve supply for topping-up.

13 Slowly fill the system through the expansion tank; since the tank is the highest point in the system, all the air in the system should be displaced into the tank by the rising liquid. Slow pouring reduces the possibility of air being trapped and forming air-locks.

14 Continue filling until the coolant level reaches the expansion tank MAX level line, then cover the filler opening to prevent coolant splashing out.

15 Start the engine and run it at idle speed, until it has warmed-up to normal operating temperature and the radiator electric cooling fan has cut in; watch the temperature gauge to check for signs of overheating. If the level in the expansion tank drops significantly, top-up to the MAX level line, to minimise the amount of air circulating in the system.

16 Stop the engine, allow it to cool down completely (overnight, if possible), then uncover the expansion tank filler opening and top-up the tank to the MAX level line. Refit the filler cap, tightening it securely, and wash off any spilt coolant from the engine compartment and bodywork.

17 After refilling, always check carefully all components of the system (but especially any unions disturbed during draining and flushing) for signs of coolant leaks. Fresh antifreeze has a searching action, which will rapidly expose any weak points in the system.

18 Note: If, after draining and refilling the system, symptoms of overheating are found which did not occur previously, then the fault is almost certainly due to trapped air at some point in the system, causing an air-lock and restricting the flow of coolant; usually, the air is trapped because the system was refilled too quickly. In some cases, air-locks can be released by tapping or squeezing the various hoses. If the problem persists, stop the engine and allow it to cool down completely, before unscrewing the expansion tank filler cap or disconnecting hoses to bleed out the trapped air.

Antifreeze mixture
19 If the antifreeze used is not to Fords specification, it should always be renewed at the suggested intervals. This is necessary not only to maintain the antifreeze properties, but also to prevent the corrosion which would otherwise occur as the corrosion inhibitors become progressively less effective. Always use an ethylene glycol-based antifreeze which is suitable for use in mixed-metal cooling systems.

20 If the antifreeze used is to Fords specification, the levels of protection it affords are indicated in the Specifications Section of this Chapter. To give the recommended standard mixture ratio for this antifreeze, 40% (by volume) of antifreeze must be mixed with 60% of clean, soft water; if you are using any other type of antifreeze, follow its manufacturers instructions to achieve the correct ratio. It is best to make up slightly more than the systems specified capacity, so that a supply is available for subsequent topping-up.

21 Before adding antifreeze, the cooling system should be completely drained, preferably flushed, and all hoses checked for condition and security. As noted earlier, fresh antifreeze will rapidly find any weaknesses in the system.

22 After filling with antifreeze, a label should be attached to the expansion tank, stating the type and concentration of antifreeze used, and the date installed. Any subsequent topping-up should be made with the same type and concentration of antifreeze. If topping-up using antifreeze to Fords specification, note that a 50/50 mixture is permissible, purely for convenience.

23 Do not use engine antifreeze in the windscreen/tailgate washer system, as it will damage the vehicles paintwork. A screen wash additive should be added to the washer system in its makers recommended quantities.

General cooling system checks 24 The engine should be cold for the cooling system checks, so perform the following procedure before driving the vehicle, or after it has been shut off for at least three hours.

25 Remove the expansion tank filler cap (see Section 3), and clean it thoroughly inside and out with a rag. Also clean the filler neck on the expansion tank. The presence of rust or corrosion in the filler neck indicates that the coolant should be changed. The coolant inside the expansion tank should be relatively clean and transparent. If it is rust- coloured, drain and flush the system, and refill with a fresh coolant mixture.

26 Carefully check the radiator hoses and heater hoses along their entire length; renew any hose which is cracked, swollen or deteriorated (see Section 12).

27 Inspect all other cooling system components (joint faces, etc.) for leaks. A leak in the cooling system will usually show up as white- or rust-coloured deposits on the area adjoining the leak. Where any problems of this nature are found on system components, renew the component or gasket with reference to Chapter 3.

28 Clean the front of the radiator with a soft brush to remove all insects, leaves, etc, embedded in the radiator fins. Be careful not to damage the radiator fins, or cut your fingers on them.


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