check coolant additive fix

Check Coolant Additive [on F250 & F350 Meaning & Reset]

If you own a Ford vehicle, you may have noticed the “check coolant additive” warning light on your dashboard.

This is one of the most common alerts on Ford cars, particularly for models F250 and F350.

In this article, I will provide you with an explanation of what this warning means and what steps you should take. Let’s dive in.

What Does “Check Coolant Additive” Mean?

In simple terms, the check coolant additive alert on your Ford Dashboard is not a warning/fault message but a reminder to check the coolant level in your vehicle.

Ford has programmed this alert to come on every 6000 hours or 13 000 miles, whichever comes first.

This is done to remind you that it’s time to check the coolant level and add more if needed. also, Ford recommends testing the coolant using test kits you can find at the dealer or online.

The main purpose of the reminder is to ensure that the coolant remains at an optimal level. If it’s not, the system may overheat, leading to engine damage.

The Importance of Coolant Additive

Now that I have explained what the “check coolant additive” alert means on your Pickup truck.

let’s look at what coolant additive is and why it’s important to add it to your vehicle.

Coolant, also known as Anti freeze, is a mixture of water and ethylene glycol (EG) that’s used to maintain a constant temperature in your vehicle’s engine.

Coolant has many other important functions, one of which is to protect the engine from corrosion.

Coolant also prevents freezing and boiling, as well as lowers the combustion temperature of the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder.

What to Do When the Check Coolant Addive Message Comes on Your Dashboard?

As I mentioned above, this is more of a reminder to check and test your coolant.

When the “check coolant additive” message comes on your dash, the first thing you need to do is drive to a convenient place and park your car.

Then, check the coolant level in the reservoir and add more if necessary.

Remember your F-250/F-350 has two coolant reservoirs, so you need to check both of them.

If the antifreeze is at the proper level, then it’s time to reset the message.

How to Reset the Check Coolant Additive Message

After ensuring that the coolant level in both coolant reservoirs is adequate, you can proceed to reset the ‘Check Coolant’ message on your Ford dashboard. Here are the easy steps to follow:

 1. Initiate the process by pressing the ‘OK’ button.

2. Using the arrow keys on your steering wheel, navigate through the menu. Remember to use the left and right keys for scrolling.

3. Select the ‘Settings’ option from the displayed menu.

4. Within the ‘Settings’ options, look for and select ‘Vehicle.’

5. Once in ‘Vehicle,’ scroll down to the ‘Maintenance’ section.

6. Within ‘Maintenance,’ you’ll find the ‘Coolant’ option. Click on it.

 7. To clear the message, press and hold the ‘OK’ button until the ‘Check Coolant additive’ message disappears.

Please note these instructions are particularly applicable to Ford F250 and F350 models.

Recommended Coolant Change Interval

Regularly replacing the coolant in your F250/350 is crucial, as it becomes contaminated over time due to the accumulation of rust and scale deposits.

Ford advises performing a comprehensive coolant flush every 20,000 to 30,000 miles. However, you should feel free to replace your coolant earlier if you identify any irregularities with the fluid.

Indications suggesting that it might be time to change your truck’s coolant include:

1. Change in Coolant Color: If the coolant no longer maintains its original vibrant color and instead appears murky, it’s time to replace it.

2. Unusual Odor: If you notice an unexpected smell emanating from the coolant, it could signal contamination, warranting a replacement.

3. Presence of Rust: If rust particles are visible in the coolant, it is a clear sign of contamination.

4. Murky Appearance: If the coolant looks dirty or has floating debris, it’s another indication that a change is due.”

Additional Sources


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