Your Vehicle: 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 L4-2.0L DOHC VIN 3
Vehicle » Engine, Cooling and Exhaust » Cooling System » Testing and Inspection » Initial Inspection and Diagnostic Overview  
  Initial Inspection and Diagnostic Overview  


Special Tool(s)

Inspection and Verification

WARNING: To avoid personal injury, do not unscrew the coolant pressure relief cap while the engine is operating or hot. The coolant system is under pressure; steam and hot liquid can release forcefully when the cap is loosened slightly.

CAUTION: Check the coolant level, engine oil and transmission fluid, top off the coolant if needed. If there is engine coolant in the engine oil or transmission fluid, the cause must be corrected and oil/fluid changed or major component damage may occur.

  1. Verify the customer concern.
  2. WARNING: Never remove the radiator cap under any conditions while the engine is operating. Failure to follow these instructions could result in personal injury and/or damage to the cooling system or engine. To avoid having scalding hot coolant or steam blow out of the radiator, use extreme care when removing the radiator cap from a hot radiator. Wait until the engine has cooled, then wrap a thick cloth around the radiator cap and turn it slowly to the first stop. Step back while the pressure is released from the cooling system.When you are certain all the pressure has been released, press down on the radiator cap (with a cloth), turn and remove.

Visual Inspection Char

Visually inspect for obvious signs of mechanical and electrical damage.

  1. Inspect the coolant condition.
  1. Inspect the coolant color.
    • If Motorcraft Premium Engine Coolant VC-4-A or equivalent meeting Ford specification ESE-M97B44-A has a clear, light green or blue color, this indicates higher water content than required.
    • Dark brown could indicate unauthorized stop leak may have been used. Use Motorcraft Pellets VC-6 or equivalent meeting Ford specification ESE-M99B37-B5 except as noted in ES-F65E-19A511-AA.
    • A light or reddish brown color indicates that rust may be present in the cooling system. Flush the system and refill with the correct mixture of water and Premium Engine Coolant.
    • An iridescent sheen on top of the coolant could indicate a trace of oil is entering the system.
    • A milky brown color may indicate that either engine oil or transmission fluid is entering the cooling system. If transmission fluid is suspected the cause may be a leaky radiator, pressure test the cooling system. If engine oil is suspected, the cause of the leak may be internal to the engine.
    • If transmission fluid is contaminated with engine coolant, the cause may be a leaky radiator. Pressure test the system.
  1. If the engine coolant appearance is acceptable test the engine coolant freezing point range with the battery and anti-freeze tester. The freezing point should be in the range -40°C to -20°C (-50°F to -10°F) . If the vehicle is driven in cold climates less than -32°C (-34°F) , it may be necessary to increase the coolant concentration to get adequate freeze protection.
    • Maximum coolant concentration is 60/40
    • Minimum coolant concentration is 40/60
  1. Adjust coolant range and level, if necessary:
    • If coolant is low, add specified coolant mixture only.
    • If the engine coolant tests too weak, add straight engine coolant until the readings are within acceptable levels.
    • If the engine coolant tests strong, remove some of the engine coolant and add water until the readings are within acceptable levels.
  1. If the concern is not visually evident, verify the symptom and refer to the Symptom Chart. See: Symptom Related Diagnostic Procedures