1997 Ford Taurus Thermostat Location and Installation

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The thermostat in your 1997 Taurus acts as a two-way valve that controls the flow of coolant from your radiator. Over time as the thermostat ages, it may jam up and prevent the proper circulation of coolant. This can cause the engine to overheat quickly, even during short intervals of travel. The thermostat on the 1997 Ford Taurus mounts beneath the thermostat housing at the opposite end of the top radiator hose. You can replace it right at home in less than an hour with a few tools.

Tools Used[edit]

Drain pan
Socket wrench set
Shop rag
Razor blade
Thermostat with gasket
RTV sealant

Thermostat Location and Installation[edit]

  • Turn the ignition off and pull the hood release lever. Lift the hood and locate the radiator against the front wall inside the engine compartment. The radiator has a large fan that covers the back of it. If you peer through the front grille, the radiator will be in front of you. It is roughly 3 feet by 2 feet and made of aluminum. Take the cap off the radiator.
  • Locate the lower radiator hose on the inner (engine) side of the radiator. On the immediate right of the hose you should see the radiator's drain plug. It resembles a screw with a tab attached to the top of it. Slide a drain pan beneath the drain plug and turn the plug counterclockwise to open it. Allow the coolant to drain completely then close the drain plug by turning it clockwise.
  • Locate the upper radiator hose on the passenger's side. Follow the hose away from the radiator 2 feet to the thermostat's metal housing. Remove the three bolts holding the housing onto the engine with a socket wrench.
  • Pull the metal housing away to access the thermostat, noting its position and direction. Pull the thermostat away from its mounting position and discard it.
  • Wipe down and clean up any residual coolant that may have spilled out of the housing with a shop rag. Remove any leftover gasket material from the thermostat housing with a razor blade. If debris from the old gasket remains on the engine mounting location for the thermostat, remove it with the razor blade as well.
  • Insert the new thermostat into position on the engine. The spring connected to the rear of the thermostat should not be visible; it should be facing inward.
  • Flip the housing over so that you're looking at its flat mounting surface. Apply a bead of RTV sealant around the entire mounting surface of the housing. Line up the new gasket's bolt holes with the housing's bolt holes then place the gasket onto the bead of sealant. Apply a second bead of the sealant onto the unexposed side of the new gasket.
  • Lower the housing back down into position and replace it over the new thermostat. Thread each of the housing's bolts by hand. Tighten each of the housing's bolts with the socket wrench in a triangular pattern until they're secure.
  • Insert a funnel into the filler hole on the radiator. Pull out the drain pan from beneath the car and carefully pour its contents back into the radiator. Replace the radiator cap onto the filler hole then shut the hood.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

  • Give the RTV sealant time to set up before you start the engine. Regardless of what the setup or curing time is on the tube, you should wait at least six hours. If the sealant gets wet before it sets up completely, coolant will begin leaking out of the thermostat housing with the engine running.