Ford Explorer & Mercury Mountaineer: Draining Coolant

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Car refrigerant must be disposed of properly for environmental purposes. Learn about draining your car coolant with help from a certified mechanic in this free automotive video.

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Here, we're demonstrating how to change a heater core on a late model Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer. In this step, we're going to talk about the proper service procedure for unhooking your battery, draining your coolant and removing the refrigerant from your air conditioning system. Now, most people do not have the machine required in order to evacuate refrigerant from your system. It's about a twelve hundred dollar machine. So, it leaves you kind of limited to taking it to a repair facility and having it evacuated. Now, it is a crime and it's against the law. It comes with a pretty stiff fine to vent that refrigerant to the atmosphere. So, make sure before you do your service to take it to your local dealer or mechanic shop and have them evacuate your refrigerant. You can do the recharging yourself. But, to actually evacuated it it requires a special machine. What I'm going to do first, is unhook the battery. You're going to want to work on the negative battery terminal. You can tell, they're generally labeled. This one is red, which indicates positive. This one is black, which indicates negative. I'm going to take my quarter inch ratchet and go ahead and undo the bolt. We're going to be doing some work inside the dash and have a lot of stuff unplugged. It's a good idea to de-energize the electrical system by unhooking your battery. We got the battery unhooked now. So, I'm going to slide underneath and begin draining the coolant. What we're looking at here, is the drain cock on the radiator. That's this little device right here. You're going to take and unscrew that to drain the coolant out of this portion of the radiator. It's a good idea to do that before you service the heater core, being that it's inside the passenger compartment. If you were just to remove the heater core, you're going to spill coolant all over the interior. Now, you're going to want to wait and make sure that your engine is cool before opening any part of the radiator system. I'm just going to take a bucket and slide it right below the drain. And, take a small set of pliers and give it a turn. A lot of these you can do by hand. I always take a pair of pliers down with me to avoid having to get up and do it again. And, right there you can see the coolant coming out. You're going to continue to let it drain until it's not even dripping. At that point and time, go ahead and screw the drain cock back into the radiator. So, you'll be done with this portion of the repair. That is the proper service procedure for unhooking your battery, recovering your vehicles air conditioning and draining your coolant.

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