Inspect the cooling system Ford F150

1. Many major engine failures can be attributed to a faulty cooling system. The cooling system also plays an important role in prolonging transmission life because it cools the fluid.

2. The engine should be cold for the cooling system check, so perform the following procedure before the vehicle is driven for the day or after it has been shut off for at least three hours.

3. Remove the cap from the expansion tank. Clean the cap thoroughly, inside and out, with clean water. Also clean the filler neck on the expansion tank. The presence of rust or corrosion in the filler neck means the coolant should be changed (see Service the cooling system (drain, flush and refill)). The coolant inside the radiator should be relatively clean and transparent. If it’s rust colored, drain the system and refill it with new coolant.

Check for a chafed area that could fail prematurely.

Check for a soft area indicating the hose has deteriorated inside.

Overtightening the clamp on a hardened hose will damage the hose and cause a leak.

Check each hose for swelling and oil-soaked ends. Cracks and breaks can be located by squeezing the hose.

Hoses, like drivebelts, have a habit of failing at the worst possible time — to prevent, the inconvenience of a blown radiator or heater hose, inspect them carefully as shown here

4. Carefully check the radiator hoses and the smaller diameter heater hoses (see illustration). Inspect each coolant hose along its entire length, replacing any hose which is cracked, swollen or deteriorated. Cracks will show up better if the hose is squeezed. Pay close attention to hose clamps that secure the hoses to cooling system components. Hose clamps can pinch and puncture hoses, resulting in coolant leaks. Some hoses are hidden from view so sometimes you’ll have to trace a coolant leak.

5. Make sure that all hose connections are tight. A leak in the cooling system will usually show up as white or rust colored deposits on the area adjoining the leak. If wire-type clamps are used on the hoses, it may be a good idea to replace them with screw-type clamps.

6. Clean the front of the radiator and air conditioning condenser with compressed air, if available, or a soft brush. Remove all bugs, leaves, etc., embedded in the radiator fins. Be extremely careful not to damage the cooling fins or cut your fingers on them.

7. If the coolant level has been dropping consistently and no leaks are detectable, have the radiator cap (or expansion tank cap) and cooling system pressure checked at a service station.

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