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Ford F150 Radiator

How to Maintain the Ford F150 Radiator

Anyone who has experienced pulling over to the side of the road due to a smoking engine bay knows how important it is to keep the radiators in good shape. Because it handles high temperatures and pressure on a regular basis, radiators are prone to wear and malfunction, and when they break down the engine will soon follow suit.

Ford F150 radiators are designed for prolonged heavy-duty use, but they still need maintenance from time to time. And if you want the radiators in your F150 to last longer, here are some tips you should consider:

  • Always make sure that the coolant is at optimum levels.

Radiators do not function properly at low coolant levels, and will eventually overheat along with the engine. So make it a habit to check the reservoir every time you fill up for gas; if the coolant sits below the fill line, it needs to be topped up immediately. Also, a significant and sustained increase in engine temperature may also indicate low coolant levels in the radiator.

  • Keep an eye out for leaks.

However, if you find yourself refilling coolant more often than before, it might indicate a leak in the radiator. You should take note of any puddles of coolant under the hood after parking overnight, as well whitish or rust colored stains, which indicate old leaks that have dried out. If you notice any of these signs in your truck's radiator, have it inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible.

  • Perform periodic flushing.

Periodic flushing of the radiator removes any solid deposits that might have built up inside the radiator over the years, making it more efficient in cooling the engine and minimizing wear of its internal components. You're likely to find radiator flush solution in your local hardware and auto parts retailer, although you can also get one online. Make sure to follow the instructions on the container, and dispose of the used coolant and flush mixture properly.

  • Use the right type of coolant.

Ford recommends using a 50/50 mixture of concentrated coolant and distilled water for their vehicles. Distilled water will work just as fine if coolant is not available, although it does tend to boil much. And under no circumstances except for emergencies should you use tap water, as it contains traces of rust and mineral deposits that could build up and clog the inside of the radiator.

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  • Important Tips to Follow when Installing Ford F150 Radiator

    Installing a new radiator on the Ford F150 usually involves getting the truck towed to the auto mechanic but it is quite possible to do it all in your garage. With the right tools and skills on hand, you can save a lot of time and money replacing the radiators by yourself.

    In this guide, we'll list down some important tips when installing new Ford F150 radiators.

    Tip #1: Start by draining the coolant.

    Before you can even start taking the radiator apart, you need to drain the coolant out of the system. For F150 models made before 2000, this can be as easy as pulling out the drain cock at the bottom of the radiator and letting it drain onto a clean oil pan. But for newer models, you will need a special hose removal tool (which costs around $4-5 in auto parts stores) to break the radiator hose loose and to let it flow into the pan. Make sure that you do this with the engine sufficiently cooled to prevent burns.

    Once the coolant has been completely drained, make sure to dispose of it properly. Ask your department of public works or fire department for advice on how to dispose of your coolant safely in your area.

    Tip #2: Loosen the hoses with a bit of coolant.

    The radiator hoses tend to shrink due to constant exposure to heat which, while beneficial if you want to keep coolant from leaking out, can be a pain to remove when replacing the radiator. When this occurs, try lubricating the hose with the spigot. The coolant should moisten the hose enough for it to slip off from the spigot more easily. But if the hose still won't budge, it may be already too brittle to reuse. In such cases, just save yourself the hassle by cutting off the hoses and replacing them with new ones.

    Tip #3: Keep an eye out for the fans.

    The fan blades often get bent and damaged when wriggling off the radiator from the engine bay, so make sure both the fan and the fan shroud are out of the way before pulling it out. Also, take note that the radiator sits on rubber mounting cushions which may fall off once the radiator comes loose, so watch out for that as well.