Ford Taurus Owners Manual: Engine coolant check

Checking the Engine Coolant

The concentration and level of engine coolant should be checked at the intervals listed in Scheduled Maintenance Information.

Note: Make sure that the level is at the FULL COLD level or within the COLD FILL RANGE in the coolant reservoir.

Note: Coolant expands when it is hot. The level may extend beyond the COLD FILL RANGE.

If the level is below the COLD FILL RANGE, add coolant immediately.

See Adding Engine Coolant in this chapter.

The coolant concentration should be maintained at 50%, which equates to a freeze point between -34°F (-37°C).

Note: For best results, coolant concentration should be tested with a refractometer such as Rotunda tool 300ROB75240 available from your dealer. Ford does not recommend the use of hydrometers or coolant test strips for measuring coolant concentrations.

Note: Automotive fluids are not interchangeable; do not use engine coolant/antifreeze or windshield washer fluid outside of its specified function and vehicle location.

Adding Engine Coolant


Do not add engine coolant when the engine is hot.

Steam and scalding liquids released from a hot cooling system can burn you badly. Also, you can be burned if you spill coolant on hot engine parts.


Do not put engine coolant in the windshield washer fluid container. If sprayed on the windshield, engine coolant could make it difficult to see through the windshield.


To reduce the risk of personal injury, make sure the engine is cool before unscrewing the coolant pressure relief cap.

The cooling system is under pressure; steam and hot liquid can come out forcefully when the cap is loosened slightly.


Do not add coolant further than the MAX mark.

Note: Do not use stop leak pellets, cooling system sealants or additives as they can cause damage to the engine cooling and/or heating systems.

This damage would not be covered under your vehicle’s warranty.

Note: During normal vehicle operation, the engine coolant may change color from orange to pink or light red. As long as the engine coolant is clear and uncontaminated, this color change does not indicate the engine coolant has degraded nor does it require the engine coolant to be drained, the system to be flushed, or the engine coolant to be replaced.

• DO NOT MIX different colors or types of coolant in your vehicle. Make sure the correct coolant is used. Mixing of engine coolants may harm your engine’s cooling system. The use of an improper coolant may harm engine and cooling system components and may void the warranty.

• In case of emergency, a large amount of water without engine coolant may be added in order to reach a vehicle service location. In this instance, the cooling system must be drained, chemically cleaned with Motorcraft Premium Cooling System Flush, and refilled with engine coolant as soon as possible. Water alone (without engine coolant) can cause engine damage from corrosion, overheating or freezing.

• Do not use alcohol, methanol, brine or any engine coolants mixed with alcohol or methanol antifreeze (coolant). Alcohol and other liquids can cause engine damage from overheating or freezing.

• Do not add extra inhibitors or additives to the coolant. These can be harmful and compromise the corrosion protection of the engine coolant.

Unscrew the cap slowly. Any pressure will escape as you unscrew the cap.

Add prediluted engine coolant meeting the Ford specification. See Capacities and Specifications for more information.

Whenever coolant has been added, the coolant level in the coolant reservoir should be checked the next few times you drive the vehicle.

If necessary, add enough prediluted engine coolant to bring the coolant level to the proper level.

Recycled Engine Coolant

Ford Motor Company does NOT recommend the use of recycled engine coolant since a Ford-approved recycling process is not yet available.

disposed of in an appropriateUsed engine coolant should be
disposed of in an appropriate manner. Follow your community’s regulations and standards for recycling and disposing of automotive fluids.

Severe Climates

If you drive in extremely cold climates: • It may be necessary to have a Ford authorized dealer increase the coolant concentration above 50%.

• A coolant concentration of 60% will provide improved freeze point protection. Engine coolant concentrations above 60% will decrease the overheat protection characteristics of the engine coolant and may cause engine damage.

If you drive in extremely hot climates: • It may be necessary to have a Ford authorized dealer decrease the coolant concentration to 40%.

• A coolant concentration of 40% will provide improved overheat protection. Engine coolant concentrations below 40% will decrease the corrosion and freeze protection characteristics of the engine coolant and may cause engine damage.

Vehicles driven year-round in non-extreme climates should use prediluted engine coolant for optimum cooling system and engine protection.

Engine fluid temperature management (EcoBoost engine only)


To reduce the risk of collision and injury, be prepared that the vehicle speed may reduce and the vehicle may not be able to accelerate with full power until the fluid temperatures reduce.

Your vehicle has been designed to pull a trailer, but because of the added load, the vehicle’s engine may temporarily reach higher temperatures during severe operating conditions such as ascending a long or steep grade while pulling a trailer in hot ambient temperatures.

At this time, you may notice your engine coolant temperature gauge needle move toward the H (hot) and the POWER REDUCED TO LOWER TEMP message may appear on the message center.

You may notice a reduction in the vehicle’s speed caused by reduced engine power. Your vehicle has been designed to enter this mode if certain high temperature/high load conditions take place in order to manage the engine’s fluid temperatures. The amount of speed reduction will depend on the vehicle loading, towing, grade, ambient temperature, and other factors. If this occurs, there is no need to pull off the road.

The vehicle can continue to be driven while this message is active.

The air conditioning may also cycle on and off during severe operating conditions to protect overheating of the engine. When the engine coolant temperature decreases to a more normal operating temperature, the air conditioning will turn on once again.

If you notice any of the following: • the engine coolant temperature gauge moves fully into the red (hot) area

• the coolant temperature warning light illuminates

• the service engine soon indicator illuminates

1. Pull off the road as soon as safely possible and place the vehicle in P (Park).

2. Leave the engine running until the coolant temperature gauge needle moves away from the H range. After several minutes, if this does not happen, follow the remaining steps.

3. Turn the engine off and wait for it to cool before checking the coolant level.


Never remove the coolant reservoir cap while the engine is running or hot.

4. If the coolant level is normal, you may restart your engine and continue on.

5. If the coolant is low, add coolant, restart the engine and take your vehicle to an authorized dealer. See Adding engine coolant in this chapter for more information.

Refer to fail-safe cooling for additional information.

What You Should Know About Fail-Safe Cooling

If the engine coolant supply is depleted, this feature allows the vehicle to be driven temporarily before incremental component damage is incurred.

The fail-safe distance depends on ambient temperatures, vehicle load and terrain.

How Fail-Safe Cooling Works

If the engine begins to overheat: • The engine coolant temperature gauge will move to the red (hot) area.

indicator will illuminate. • The service engine soon
indicator will illuminate.

light will illuminate. • The coolant temperature warning
light will illuminate.

If the engine reaches a preset over-temperature condition, the engine will automatically switch to alternating cylinder operation. Each disabled cylinder acts as an air pump and cools the engine.

When this occurs the vehicle will still operate. However: • The engine power will be limited.

• The air conditioning system will be disabled.

Continued operation will increase the engine temperature and the engine will completely shut down, causing steering and braking effort to increase.

Once the engine temperature cools, the engine can be re-started. Take your vehicle to an authorized dealer as soon as possible to minimize engine damage.

When Fail-Safe Mode is Activated

You have limited engine power when in the fail-safe mode, so drive the vehicle with caution. The vehicle will not be able to maintain high-speed operation and the engine will run rough. Remember that the engine is capable of completely shutting down automatically to prevent engine damage, therefore: 1. Pull off the road as soon as safely possible and turn off the engine.

2. Arrange for the vehicle to be taken to an authorized dealer.

3. If this is not possible, wait a short period for the engine to cool.

4. Check the coolant level and replenish if low.


Fail-safe mode is for use during emergencies only.

Operate the vehicle in fail-safe mode only as long as necessary to bring the vehicle to rest in a safe location and seek immediate repairs.

When in fail-safe mode, the vehicle will have limited power, will not be able to maintain high-speed operation, and may completely shut down without warning, potentially losing engine power, power steering assist, and power brake assist, which may increase the possibility of a crash resulting in serious injury.


Never remove the coolant reservoir cap while the engine is running or hot. The hot coolant is under pressure and may cause serious burns.

5. Re-start the engine and take your vehicle to an authorized dealer.

Note: Driving the vehicle without repairing the engine problem increases the chance of engine damage. Take your vehicle to an authorized dealer as soon as possible.

    Adding Engine Oil
    Note: Do not remove the filler cap when the engine is running. Note: Do not add engine oil further than the MAX mark. Oil levels above the MAX mark may cause engine damage. Only use oils certif ...

    Transmission fluid check
    6F35 TRANSMISSION (if equipped) Note: Transmission fluid should be checked by an authorized dealer. If required, fluid should be added by an authorized dealer. The automatic transmission does n ...

    Other materials:

    A. AM 1 and AM AST B. FM 1, FM 2 and FM AST C. SIRIUS D. CD E. USB F. Touch this button to scroll down for more options, such as: • SD Card • BT Stereo • A/V In G. These buttons change with the media mode you are in. H. Radio memory presets and CD controls. Note: Some features ...

    Trailer towing
    WARNING: Do not exceed the GVWR or the GAWR specified on the certification label. WARNING: Towing trailers beyond the maximum recommended gross trailer weight exceeds the limit of your vehicle and could result in engine damage, transmission damage, structural damage, loss of vehicle control, ve ...

    Diagnosis and Testing
    Charging System Special Tool(s) DTC Charts Diagnostics in this manual assume a certain skill level and knowledge of Ford-specific diagnostic practices. REFER to Diagnostic Methods in Section 100-00 for more information. NOTE: The BCM utilizes a 5-character DTC followe ...