Ford Fusion: Maintenance / Engine Coolant Check

WARNING: Do not remove the coolant reservoir cap when the engine is on or the cooling system is hot. Wait 10 minutes for the cooling system to cool down. Cover the coolant reservoir cap with a thick cloth to prevent the possibility of scalding and slowly remove the cap. Failure to follow this instruction could result in personal injury.

WARNING: Do not put coolant in the windshield washer reservoir. If sprayed on the windshield, coolant could make it difficult to see through the windshield.

WARNING: To reduce the risk of personal injury, make sure the engine is cool before unscrewing the coolant pressure relief cap. The cooling system is under pressure. Steam and hot liquid can come out forcefully when you loosen the cap slightly.

WARNING: Do not add coolant further than the MAX mark.

When the engine is cold, check the concentration and level of the coolant at the intervals listed in the scheduled maintenance information.

Note: Make sure that the coolant level is between the MIN and the MAX marks on the coolant reservoir.

Note: Coolant expands when it is hot. The level may extend beyond the MAX mark.

Note: Automotive fluids are not interchangeable. Do not use coolant or windshield washer fluid outside of its specified function and vehicle location.

Note: Do not use stop leak pellets, cooling system sealants, or non-specified additives as they can cause damage to the engine cooling or heating systems. Resulting component damage may not be covered by the vehicle Warranty.

Maintain coolant concentration within 48% to 50%, which equates to a freeze point between -30°F (-34°C) and -34°F (-37°C). Coolant concentration should be checked using a refractometer. We do not recommend the use of hydrometers or coolant test strips for measuring coolant concentration.

Adding Coolant

WARNING: Do not add engine coolant when the engine is on or the cooling system is hot. Failure to follow this instruction could result in personal injury.

WARNING: Do not remove the coolant reservoir cap when the engine is on or the cooling system is hot. Wait 10 minutes for the cooling system to cool down. Cover the coolant reservoir cap with a thick cloth to prevent the possibility of scalding and slowly remove the cap. Failure to follow this instruction could result in personal injury.

It is very important to use prediluted coolant meeting the correct specification in order to avoid plugging the small passageways in the engine cooling system. Incorrect prediluted coolant use can cause damage not covered by the vehicle Warranty.

Note: If prediluted coolant is not available, use the approved concentrated coolant diluting it to 50/50 with distilled water. Using water that has not been deionized may contribute to deposit formation, corrosion and plugging of the small cooling system passageways.

Note: Coolants marketed for all makes and models may not be approved to Ford specifications and may cause damage to the cooling system. Resulting component damage may not be covered by the vehicle Warranty.

If the coolant level is at or below the minimum mark, add prediluted coolant immediately.

To top up the coolant level do the following:

  1. Unscrew the cap slowly. Any pressure escapes as you unscrew the cap.
  2. Add prediluted coolant meeting the correct specification.
  3. Add enough prediluted coolant to reach the correct level.
  4. Replace the coolant reservoir cap. Turn the cap clockwise until it contacts the hard stop.
  5. Check the coolant level in the coolant reservoir the next few times you drive your vehicle.

If you have to add more than 1.1 qt (1 L) of engine coolant per month, have your vehicle checked as soon as possible. Operating an engine with a low level of coolant can result in engine overheating and possible engine damage.

Do not mix different colors or types of prediluted coolant in your vehicle. Mixing of prediluted coolant or using an incorrect prediluted coolant may harm the engine or cooling system components, and may not be covered by the vehicle Warranty.

In case of emergency, you can add a large amount of water without engine coolant in order to reach a vehicle service location. In this instance, qualified personnel:

  1. Must drain the cooling system.
  2. Chemically clean the cooling system.
  3. Refill with prediluted coolant as soon as possible.

Water alone, without prediluted coolant, can cause engine damage from corrosion, overheating or freezing.

Do not use the following as a coolant substitute:

Alcohol and other liquids can cause engine damage from overheating or freezing.

Do not add extra inhibitors or additives to the coolant. These can be harmful and compromise the corrosion protection of the coolant.

Recycled Coolant

We do not recommend the use of recycled coolant as an approved recycling process is not yet available.

Dispose of used engine coolant in an appropriate manner. Follow your community's regulations and standards for recycling and disposing of automotive fluids.

Severe Climates

If you drive in extremely cold climates:

If you drive in extremely hot climates:

Vehicles driven year-round in non-extreme climates should use prediluted coolant for optimum cooling system and engine protection.

Coolant Change

At specific mileage intervals, as listed in the scheduled maintenance information, the coolant should be changed. Add prediluted coolant approved to the correct specification.

Fail-Safe Cooling

Fail-safe cooling allows you to temporarily drive your vehicle before any incremental component damage occurs. The fail-safe distance depends on ambient temperature, vehicle load and terrain.

How Fail-Safe Cooling Works

If the engine begins to overheat, the coolant temperature gauge moves toward the red zone:

Ford Fusion. Engine Coolant Check A warning lamp illuminates and a message may appear in the information display.

If the engine reaches a preset over-temperature condition, the engine automatically switches to alternating cylinder operation. Each disabled cylinder acts as an air pump and cools the engine.

When this occurs, your vehicle still operates, however:

Continued operation increases the engine temperature, causing the engine to completely shut down. Your steering and braking effort increases in this situation.

When the engine temperature cools, you can re-start the engine. Have your vehicle checked as soon as possible to minimize engine damage.

When Fail-Safe Mode Is Activated

WARNING: Fail-safe mode is for use during emergencies only. Operate your vehicle in fail-safe mode only as long as necessary to bring your vehicle to rest in a safe location and seek immediate repairs. When in fail-safe mode, your vehicle will have limited power, will not be able to maintain high-speed operation, and may completely shut down without warning, potentially losing engine power, power steering assist, and power brake assist, which may increase the possibility of a crash resulting in serious injury.

WARNING: Do not remove the coolant reservoir cap when the engine is on or the cooling system is hot. Wait 10 minutes for the cooling system to cool down. Cover the coolant reservoir cap with a thick cloth to prevent the possibility of scalding and slowly remove the cap. Failure to follow this instruction could result in personal injury.

Your vehicle has limited engine power when in the fail-safe mode, drive your vehicle with caution. Your vehicle does not maintain high-speed operation and the engine may operate poorly.

Remember that the engine is capable of automatically shutting down to prevent engine damage. In this situation:

  1. Pull off the road as soon as safely possible and switch the engine off.
  2. If you are a member of a roadside assistance program, we recommend that you contact your roadside assistance service provider.
  3. If this is not possible, wait a short period for the engine to cool.
  4. Check the coolant level. If the coolant level is at or below the minimum mark, add prediluted coolant immediately.
  5. When the engine temperature cools, you can re-start the engine. Have your vehicle checked as soon as possible to minimize engine damage.

Engine Coolant Temperature Management (If Equipped)

WARNING: To reduce the risk of crash and injury, be prepared that the vehicle speed may reduce and the vehicle may not be able to accelerate with full power until the coolant temperature reduces.

If you tow a trailer with your vehicle, the engine may temporarily reach a higher temperature during severe operating conditions, for example ascending a long or steep grade in high ambient temperatures.

At this time, you may notice the coolant temperature gauge moves toward the red zone and a message may appear in the information display.

You may notice a reduction in vehicle speed caused by reduced engine power in order to manage the engine coolant temperature. Your vehicle may enter this mode if certain high-temperature and high-load conditions take place. The amount of speed reduction depends on vehicle loading, grade and ambient temperature. If this occurs, there is no need to pull off the road. You can continue to drive your vehicle.

The air conditioning may automatically turn on and off during severe operating conditions to protect the engine from overheating. When the coolant temperature decreases to the normal operating temperature, the air conditioning turns on.

If the coolant temperature gauge moves fully into the red zone, or if the coolant temperature warning or service engine soon messages appear in your information display, do the following:

  1. Pull off the road as soon as safely possible and shift the transmission into park (P).
  2. Leave the engine running until the coolant temperature gauge needle returns to the normal position. If the temperature does not drop after several minutes, follow the remaining steps.
  3. Switch the engine off and wait for it to cool. Check the coolant level.
  4. If the coolant level is at or below the minimum mark, add prediluted coolant immediately.
  5. If the coolant level is normal, restart the engine and continue.
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