The radiator is an essential part of the coolant system of the Ford Focus. To ensure the radiator helps cool the engine correctly, you should perform routine maintenance. Flushing the radiator every other year helps keep the radiator free of grime and debris. This doesn't require a lot of auto mechanics knowledge, just the ability to handle a crescent wrench and follow a few easy steps.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Distilled water
- Sealable container
- Crescent wrench
Park the Ford Focus on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Pop the hood and touch the radiator. If it's not cool to the touch, allow the car to sit with the engine off until it is cool.
Rotate the radiator one full turn to release any pressure inside. Wait a few seconds and then remove the radiator cap.
Position a bucket underneath the radiator directly beneath the drain plug or petcock valve. On the Ford Focus, the drain plug is on the driver's side at the bottom corner of the radiator.
Open the drain plug and allow the existing coolant to drain into the bucket. Be sure to place the old coolant into a sealable container for proper disposal and then place the bucket back into place once all the coolant drains from the radiator.
Shut the drain plug and pour distilled water, about three gallons, into the radiator. Drain the water, and then repeat this process until the water is clear of debris. If you use tap water for this, it can leave sediment behind that may damage the radiator, so use distilled water whenever possible.
Replace the drain plug back into its original position once you've completely flushed the radiator. Dispose of the drained distilled water.
Fill the radiator with coolant all the way to within 1 inch of the top of the radiator. You will need about 6 to 7q uarts of coolant.
Start the car with the radiator cap off and allow it to run until the cooling fan turns on two times. Then switch off the ignition and check the coolant level. If the level in the radiator retreated, add more coolant. Then put the radiator cap back on and close the hood.
Tips and warnings
- Under no circumstance should you allow the coolant to drain onto the ground because it's highly toxic to children and pets.
- Opening the radiator while hot can cause the pressurized coolant inside to erupt and severely burn anyone in the vicinity.