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Article No.
03-25-2

12/22/03

ENGINE - COOLING SYSTEM - LOW COOLANT
WARNING INDICATOR LAMP ILLUMINATED - COOLANT DEGAS BOTTLE INSPECTION - SERVICE TIP

FORD:
2001-2003 ESCAPE

This article supersedes TSB 03-08-5 to update the vehicle model years and service procedure.

ISSUE
Some 2001-2003 Escape 3.0L vehicles may exhibit a low coolant warning indicator lamp illuminated. This may be caused by a low coolant level, even if it appears there is significant coolant in the degas bottle. Analysis of coolant degas bottles indicate that bottle replacement may not be necessary. Adjusting the coolant to the proper level may be all that is required to correct the condition.

ACTION
The following Service Procedure provides tips to help in veritying proper coolant levels. Additional diagnostic and service information can be found in the appropriate Workshop Manual Section 303-03.

SERVICE PROCEDURE
PROPER INSPECTION AND ADJUSTMENT OF COOLANT LEVEL IN THE DEGAS BOTTLE



There are four (4) different cells within the Escape degas bottle. The front cells of the degas bottle are not a good visual indicator of proper coolant level, as these cells will always give the appearance of being full (Figure 1). The actual COLD FILL RANGE is the larger cell with the fill cap, just below the seam. It can be difficult to see if not properly examined.

If the vehicle is HOT when inspecting, the coolant level should be at the bottle seam (minimum) or above the seam by 1/2 inch, well above the LOW mark. When hot, if the coolant level is not at least to the top of the COLD FILL RANGE (seam), there is a possibility of illuminating the low coolant lamp when the vehicle cools down and the coolant is drawn back into the engine cooling system.

DIAGNOSIS
Engine Hot Or Cold Coolant Warning Indicator Lamp Not Illuminated (OFF):
1. If the coolant level is found to be below the COLD FILL RANGE (seam) add coolant, tighten pressure cap and return vehicle to customer.

Engine Hot Or Cold Coolant Warning Indicator Lamp Illuminated (ON):
1. If the coolant level is found to be below the COLD FILL RANGE (seam) add coolant, tighten pressure cap, verify that the warning lamp turns off after key cycle and return to customer.

2. If the coolant level is verified to be at the top of the COLD FILL RANGE (seam), disconnect the coolant level sensor and verify that the warning lamp turns off. If the lamp does turn off then replace the degas bottle. If the lamp remains on with the sensor disconnected then perform diagnostics on the circuit beyond degas bottle/low coolant sensor.
NOTE
IT TAKES APPROXIMATELY 25 SECONDS FOR THE LOW COOLANT LAMP TO TURN OFF AFTER THE SENSOR CIRCUIT IS
OPENED. (EXAMPLE: WHEN ADDING COOLANT TO A LOW BOTTLE WITH LAMP ON.)
NOTE
DO NOT REPLACE THE DEGAS BOTTLE UNLESS DIRECTED BY DIAGNOSTICS IN STEP 2.

Parts Block
1L8Z-8A080-BB - Coolant Degas Bottle

OTHER APPLICABLE ARTICLES: NONE

SUPERSEDES: 03-08-5

WARRANTY STATUS: Eligible Under Provisions Of New Vehicle Limited Warranty Coverage
 

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Thank you so much for this post, I have been having this problem and I have checked the fluid level and it has looked full. This helps a lot and I will follow the steps and see what happens. Is this an actual recall?
 

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TSBs are not recalls; think of them as extra instructions to the service manual to address specific conditions. There is no implied change to warranty status and you will very rarely get TSBs performed for free outside of warranty.
 

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I recently drained/flushed the cooling system & replaced the radiator, hoses, thermostat, water pump & belt.

After rebuilding the cooling system, the low coolant warning light remained ON even though I cool visually see the coolant was NOT low. After reading this HOW-TO article I reset the coolant warning as described. The low coolant warning would not extinguish. (2002 Escape V6, 148K miles)

I remove the coolant tank. The tank has two baffled compartments. One compartment contains the coolant warning switch (located in the bottom). Both baffled compartment walls were coated with a black-crud film on the plastic walls. The float inside the coolant warning switch would not rattle when I shook the tank.

I spent about an hour cleaning the two compartments with various liquid cleaners and a long handled small brush.

When finished the coolant warning switch rattled :) .

After the coolant tank cleaning, the coolant warning light has not illuminated, thus saving $70-80.
:wave:
 

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Thank you for posting this; I am glad I am not the only one that has been experiencing this.

As we have experienced this off and on for the past few years and got tired of seeing the light when the level was correct, so we just disconnected the sensor plug; now that we know what the deal is, we will end up replacing the entire bottle.
 
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