How to Replace the Engine Coolant in a 2002 Mercury Sable

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The engine coolant in your 2002 Mercury Sable helps protect the engine by lowering the freezing point, raising the boiling point and providing anti-corrosive properties. Over time though, coolant (the mixture of antifreeze and water) efficiency deteriorates. This not only leaves the engine unprotected from low or high coolant temperatures, but will greatly decrease water pump, thermostat and radiator service lives. Help protect your engine by replacing the coolant at least every two years.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands (2)
  • Large drain pan
  • Plastic container
  • New antifreeze
  • New distilled water
  • Small funnel
  • Wait about half an hour if you have just driven your vehicle. This will prevent the coolant form gushing out and possibly burn you as you remove the radiator cap. Make sure the engine is cool.

  • Raise the front of your Sable using a floor jack and support it with a jack stand on each side under the frame.

  • Remove the radiator or coolant reservoir cap.

  • Get under the vehicle and place a clean, large drain pan under the drain plug on the driver's side of the radiator.

  • Open the drain plug and drain all the coolant from the cooling system. Then close the drain plug.

  • Remove the drain pan from under the vehicle and pour the old coolant into a plastic container. Store it in a safe place for later recycling.

  • Lower your Sable using the floor jack.

  • Refill the cooling system with a new half-and-half mixture of antifreeze and distilled water.

  • Pour the new coolant mixture through the radiator filler neck or the plastic coolant reservoir using a small funnel.

  • Start the engine, idle the engine and wait for the thermostat to open. You will know the thermostat opens when you notice the coolant flowing as you look through the radiator filler neck or the coolant level in the radiator goes down and the upper radiator hose becomes hot. Add coolant to fill the radiator.

  • Replace the radiator cap and turn off the engine. Add more coolant to the cooling system reservoir as necessary to bring the level to between the "Cold" and "Hot" marks.

  • Check the drain plug for leaks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most anti-freeze is poisonous to animals. If you spill any on your driveway, clean it up and rinse the area with water.

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References

  • "Ford Taurus & Mercury Sable Automotive Repair Manual"; Ken Layne and John H. Haynes; 2005
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