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How to Replace the Thermostat on a Ford Ranger XLT

Updated February 21, 2017

If your Ford Ranger XLT is having cooling problems and tends to overheat, one of the problems could be the thermostat. If it's functioning incorrectly, then the coolant can't flow from the radiator to the engine, and the engine won't receive fresh coolant, leading to overheating. This needs to be corrected as soon as possible, because if you allow your engine to overheat, you can crack the block and irreparably damage the engine.

Allow the vehicle to cool completely before working on the cooling system. If you don't, you risk getting burnt from the hot liquid.

Place a drain pan underneath the radiator and open the drain cock using your hands to allow the coolant to drain out.

Unscrew the hose clamp that connects the lower radiator hose to the engine using a flathead screwdriver. Pull off the lower radiator hose.

Unbolt the thermostat housing from the engine using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Remove the thermostat. Place the replacement thermostat in the housing. Bolt the thermostat housing back onto the engine block.

Open the radiator cap using your hands and then fill the radiator with pre-diluted coolant. Once it's full, run the engine for 10-15 minutes to allow the coolant to circulate, as well as to make sure that the new thermostat is working.

Things You'll Need

  • Drain pan
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket
  • Replacement thermostat
  • Pre-diluted coolant
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About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.