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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! I'm new here, in fact I just joined. Every time I would type in a question about my Taurus into google it always somehow led me here and I've always found good information here, so I figured it was time to join.

Anyhow, I've sure been through the mill with my Taurus... I've put almost as much money into it as I purchased it for. (3000) At this point, I'm in it for the long haul, so I really want to learn how to do some basic maintenance.

My first question is... haha... where is the radiator?? I know where the coolant reservoir is, it's right in plain sight, and it's already been replaced. But in the event that I wanted to attempt my own radiator flush, I would really like to know what the thing looks like and where it is. (I have a gen 4 Taurus 2001, Vulcan.)

Secondly, what is the best way to flush the power steering fluid? The car has 14x,xxx miles on it and I'm pretty confident it's never been changed... it's dark chocolatey brown, turning black. I would prefer to do it on my own, if there is a way, as I'm trying to cut money costs anywhere I can. I know there's the turkey baster/siphon method, but is there a way to take one of the hoses leading to the yellow reservoir off and let it drain out of that?

One more question... my hubcaps squeak! They're the standard plastic deals with the fake bolts on the outside. I think it has to do with the tabs that hold it in place.. but I'm not sure. Any suggestions? Thanks!
 

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Radiator is at the front of the car, just behind the bumper and under the very front of the hood. It's here in part to help cool down the engine coolant as air passes over it.

Power steering fluid: Take a turkey baster and suck out as much as you easily can, then refill. Drive it some and then do the baster thing again. Repeat until satisfied.

Not sure about the wheel covers squeaking. See if you can find a cheap used set of alloy rims. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey, thanks!

I actually fixed the hubcap problem today... took double sided foam tape and ran it all along the edge of the hubcap to hold it in place... clean and simple. Alloy rims will happen in the near future though!

Power steering fluid - should I use "power steering fluid" or the Mercon V ATF?

And the radiator - thanks! I'll take a look - is it toward the drivers side or passenger side?
 

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Mercon III or Mercon V will be fine. There's another way you can do a flush as well. The turkey baster way works; this will give you a little better flush job. Disconnect the low pressure hose on the power steering pump. (Be careful... this plastic fitting is easy to break. The older the car...the easier it seems to break :) )Of course, thow a catch pan under the car. Once the pump has drained, cap this end off at the pump. Temporarily extend the low pressure hose using another peice of hose (you can get what you need from this at NAPA) for a very low cost, and point this hose into the pan. Have a friend start the car. Pour new fluid into the pump and have your friend work the steering wheel back and forth. When the new fluid comes out, it will be a clear red. (Note...this process will take about 30 seconds or so. Have your friend ready to shut the car off as this can make a big mess in a hurry!). Renove your extension and connect back to the power steering pump. Fill to the bottom of the neck, start the car and work the steering wheel back and forth again. Top up as necessary. Recheck your fluid in a day or so.

This will give the PS a good flush and the system will contain nothing but new fluid when you're done. If you find this a bit of a pain in the butt, or too much work, there's nothing wrong with the other method posted.
 

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And the radiator - thanks! I'll take a look - is it toward the drivers side or passenger side?
The radiator is basically in the middle. It's fairly wide and tall (greater surface area -> better cooling). But the drain is at the bottom of the radiator on the driver's side.
 

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Usually for the coolant flush, don't mess with the draincock. Just pull the lower radiator hose (there are two hoses going into the radiator and this is the lower one :)). What I would do is pull the radiator hose to drain as much crap out as possible. Then fill the radiator with water and one thing of radiator flush. Run the engine for like 20 to 30 minutes (can just drive around). Then pull the hose again to drain all of this out. Repeat this a few times over a few days if you want to get it really clean. You only need to use the radiator flush once though. Any repetition, just fill with water run a day or so drain.

When everything is all clean, just fill the thing up. If you use 50/50 premix, then just fill it up. If you use 100% coolant, then the last time you do the water flush, use distilled water. Then put in as much 100% coolant as HALF the capacity (which I don't know what it is). Then top the rest of it off with distilled water. This way you end up with about 50/50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The radiator is basically in the middle. It's fairly wide and tall (greater surface area -> better cooling). But the drain is at the bottom of the radiator on the driver's side.
I feel like a complete idiot. Sorry, I'm still pretty new at this whole car maintenance thing. This is my first car and I've never been inclined towards autos before... now if this were a desktop computer I'd be all over and inside of it... :p

Anyways, I didn't realize where it was hidden - behind the grill, and under that metal plate right in front of the engine. Gotcha. Preparing to have a friend of mine help me with a radiator flush this weekend... picked up the Haynes manual and it said to do basically the same as yiranhu elaborated on.

Thanks for all the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
this will give you a little better flush job. Disconnect the low pressure hose on the power steering pump. (Be careful... this plastic fitting is easy to break. The older the car...the easier it seems to break :) )Of course, thow a catch pan under the car.
Which one is the low pressure hose? And is the yellow reservoir attached to the PS pump... or is it the pump?
 

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Mercon III or Mercon V will be fine. There's another way you can do a flush as well. The turkey baster way works; this will give you a little better flush job. Disconnect the low pressure hose on the power steering pump. (Be careful... this plastic fitting is easy to break. The older the car...the easier it seems to break :) )Of course, thow a catch pan under the car. Once the pump has drained, cap this end off at the pump. Temporarily extend the low pressure hose using another peice of hose (you can get what you need from this at NAPA) for a very low cost, and point this hose into the pan. Have a friend start the car. Pour new fluid into the pump and have your friend work the steering wheel back and forth. When the new fluid comes out, it will be a clear red. (Note...this process will take about 30 seconds or so. Have your friend ready to shut the car off as this can make a big mess in a hurry!). Renove your extension and connect back to the power steering pump. Fill to the bottom of the neck, start the car and work the steering wheel back and forth again. Top up as necessary. Recheck your fluid in a day or so.

This will give the PS a good flush and the system will contain nothing but new fluid when you're done. If you find this a bit of a pain in the butt, or too much work, there's nothing wrong with the other method posted.
There's not such thing of Mercon III. It's Dextron III/Mercon. Ford has upgraded the recommendation to Mercon V.
 

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The radiator is the big metal thing between the grill and fan.
 
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