1996 Ford Taurus Remove Radiator

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A 1996 Ford Taurus' radiator is a key component in the car's cooling system. The radiator consists of two side tanks attached to a central core. The coolant flows from tank to tank, through the core. As the coolant passes through the core, outside air rushes over the core's cooling fins, pulling the heat away from the coolant. Once the coolant has passed to the other tank, it pumps back through the engine to pull the heat out of the engine and start the process all over again. Basic auto repair skill is necessary for tackling this job.

Tools Used[edit]

2 ramps
Wheel chocks
Large catch pan
Socket set
Box wrenches (optional)
2 gallons antifreeze
2 gallons distilled water

Radiator Removal[edit]

  • Drive the front wheels up onto the ramps, put the Taurus in park and set the parking brake. Slide the wheel chocks behind the front wheels.
  • Open the hood and remove the radiator cap, located on top of the radiator. Slide the catch pan underneath the front end and climb under with the rags and pliers. Open the radiator drain plug by putting the rag over the pliers' jaws and grabbing the plug with the pliers, then turning it counterclockwise until coolant starts flowing out.
  • Remove the lower radiator hose by loosening the hose clamp with the socket set, then sliding the clamp backward along the radiator hose. Once the clamp is out of the way, simply pull the hose off the bottom of the radiator by hand. Make sure to aim the hose end into the catch pan so the escaping coolant pours into the pan and not all over the ground.
  • Climb out and remove the upper radiator hose in the same manner you removed the lower one. Disconnect the coolant overflow hose from the radiator filler neck.
  • Remove the radiator shroud with the socket set. Unbolt the radiator from the supports using the socket set. If your Taurus is equipped with a transmission cooler, use the box wrenches to unbolt the cooler lines from the radiator tank. Slide the cooler line fittings back and then pull the lines out of the cooler inlet and outlet by hand.
  • Lift the radiator up and out of the Taurus by hand. Compare the old radiator to the replacement radiator, making sure the cooler line fittings, hose inlet and outlet fittings and support brackets are all in the same places on both units.
  • Install the new radiator in reverse of removal.
  • Pour one gallon of antifreeze and one gallon of distilled water into the new radiator. Top this with a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water. An easy way to achieve a 50/50 mixture is to split the remaining gallon of coolant between its container and the container left over from the first gallon and then top both with the distilled water.
  • Start the engine, turn the heater on and let it run until the temperature gauge begins to climb. This should be no more than ten minutes. Shut the Taurus off and top the coolant once more. Install the radiator cap and then drive the Taurus off the ramps.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

  • It's always a good idea to replace the thermostat, radiator hoses and radiator cap every time you replace a radiator. It's also smart to check the coolant level and top as needed after the first 50 miles of driving with the new radiator.
  • Never work on a cooling system unless the engine is cold to the touch. Engine cooling systems contain pressurized steam that can easily exceed 200 degrees. Releasing that steam can lead to serious injury or death.