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Okay I feel really dumb asking this, but gonna to settle an argument. Growing up, my dad always told me to fill my coolant up to the line according to the temperature outside. Like in the winter fill it up to the "cold" line. Summer, fill it to the "hot" line. So the other day, dh and I are working on my car and I go to fill my coolant and I fill it up to the hot line and he tells me I over filled it and should have only filled it to the "cold" line because that is the temp of my car, because I hadn't ran it in a while. Kinda shocked me, but he said he had grown up doing it that way. Both our fathers were car guys so I found it odd there was a difference in how to fill it.

So my silly question is should I fill me coolant to the temp of the weather or the temp of my car?


Thank you and I hope you didn't laugh too hard!
 

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Let me start by saying I never heard that one before. I would fill it up based on the temp. of the car, but I would take into account you have not run it in a while. Thats just me.
 

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The cold line is there for when the car hasn't ran in 8 hours or more (or enough time to return to the ambient temperature). The hot line is there because after running the car and it reaches normal operating temperature, the coolant expands to that line. The problem is that the cold level will change with the seasons. So you could check it in the summer when the car is "cold" and it would be fine. Then you check it in the winter and it's low so you add some. Then it becomes summer again and it's over filled. The best way to check it is when the car is "hot." It will always be the same temp at that point (unless the thermostat is bad). DO NOT open it to fill it when it's hot (unless you want a nice, hot, 190* anti-freeze shower). Wait until it cools down then add some coolant, then re-check it the next time the car is at normal operating temperature.
 

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Originally posted by NateNBeckie@May 27 2004, 11:21 AM
DO NOT open it to fill it when it's hot (unless you want a nice, hot, 190* anti-freeze shower). Wait until it cools down then add some coolant, then re-check it the next time the car is at normal operating temperature.
What? You can add coolant to the recovery tank when the engine is hot. It's the radiator pressure cap that you don't want to remove when the car is hot. Doing that will get you a coolant facial in a hurry... :blink:
 

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Originally posted by Racer X+May 27 2004, 10:25 AM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Racer X @ May 27 2004, 10:25 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-NateNBeckie@May 27 2004, 11:21 AM
DO NOT open it to fill it when it's hot (unless you want a nice, hot, 190* anti-freeze shower).  Wait until it cools down then add some coolant, then re-check it the next time the car is at normal operating temperature.
What? You can add coolant to the recovery tank when the engine is hot. It's the radiator pressure cap that you don't want to remove when the car is hot. Doing that will get you a coolant facial in a hurry... :blink: [/b][/quote]
Gen 3's and newer have a pressurized reservoir. You don't wanna open them hot.
 

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Iv'e opened my GIII resevoir many times while the car is hot and running. Just do it slooooooooooowly, and you won't have a problem.


I agree with everyone else. It's the engine temp, not ambient temp that the hot/cold stands for.
 

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Originally posted by dIESEL600+May 27 2004, 10:31 AM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (dIESEL600 @ May 27 2004, 10:31 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by Racer [email protected] 27 2004, 10:25 AM
<!--QuoteBegin-NateNBeckie
@May 27 2004, 11:21 AM
DO NOT open it to fill it when it's hot (unless you want a nice, hot, 190* anti-freeze shower).  Wait until it cools down then add some coolant, then re-check it the next time the car is at normal operating temperature.

What? You can add coolant to the recovery tank when the engine is hot. It's the radiator pressure cap that you don't want to remove when the car is hot. Doing that will get you a coolant facial in a hurry... :blink:
Gen 3's and newer have a pressurized reservoir. You don't wanna open them hot. [/b][/quote]
Sorry. I should have thought of that. I forgot the gen1/2 reservoir tanks aren't pressurized. Those can be opened hot.

The gen 3/4's don't have a pressure cap on the radiator. The reservoir is part of the pressurized system.
 

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Originally posted by silvapain@May 27 2004, 10:36 AM
Iv'e opened my GIII resevoir many times while the car is hot and running. Just do it slooooooooooowly, and you won't have a problem.
I've done this several times since i've had my gen3 sable and never had a problem with coolant spray/bubble over. The key is the "slooooooooooowly" B)

And i'm weighing in on the side of engine temp.
 

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Gen III '96 - '99 Taurii and Sable with the 3.0 Vulcan motor have pretty delicate cooling systems if not serviced properly, and Ford put out TSB 01-11-6 to give a heads up about this. Many coolant-related problems can be caused by "a coolant level that falls below the cold fill range due to un-serviced leaks, improper fill after service, and lack of coolant level maintenance that may lead to cooling system overheat damage."

They specifically recommend "COOLANT CAN BE SAFELY FILLED TO THE TOP OF THE CLEAR PORTION OF THE BOTTLE (WHEN THE ENGINE IS COLD) TO PROVIDE EXTRA RESERVE COOLANT"
 
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