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Hey guys 96 Bronco here and I have a question am I Bronco we have a coolant reservoir that attaches to the radiator via a hose... my question is the reservoir is always empty should it be that way and what I mean by that is we put coolant in the reservoir and a few days later when we check it it's empty we can see coolant just at the bottom of the neck of the radiator is this normal or should there always be coolant in the reservoir unless the radiator is low which it doesn't appear mine is. Thank you
 

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The reservoir should have an inch or so in it dead cold, and more fully hot. If it keeps going away it must be going somewhere. Make sure the reservoir doesn’t leak, the hose is good and tight, and the radiator cap gaskets have to be good as well as the sealing surfaces of the radiator neck. Excessive pressure in the radiator forces coolant into the reservoir. Vacuum in the radiator pulls coolant out of the reservoir. If any leaks are present, no matter how small, it won’t work.


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Yes, there should be a “cold fill” line on the side of the reservoir. As stated, it’s only about an inch or two when dead cold
 

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I was always finding my reservoir empty and discovered that there was rust around my hose connections. That rust prevented a water tight clamp and allowed a small amount of coolant to escape even though I saw no leaks under the engine......
 

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Yo Kp33,
Look at your 96s FREE ON-Line Owner's Guide & 1996 Bronco Scheduled Maintenance Guide
@ https://www.fleet.ford.com/partsandservice/owner-manuals/

Here is some of the cooling system info;

"...Engine Coolant
Checking the engine coolant
Your vehicle’s engine coolant protects the engine from overheating in the summer and from freezing in the winter. Check the level of the engine coolant at least once a month, but preferably each time you stop for fuel. Simply look at the engine coolant recovery reservoir located in the engine compartment. To locate this reservoir, see the diagram of your vehicle’s engine under Engine types in this chapter. If the engine coolant has not been checked for a long period of time the engine coolant reservoir may eventually empty. If the engine coolant reservoir empties, check the engine coolant level
in the radiator. Read the following warnings before removing the radiator cap. If it is necessary to fill the radiator, refer to the Engine Coolant Refill Procedure in this chapter for instructions.
Adding engine coolant
1. Before you remove the cap, turn the engine off and let it cool. Even when the engine is cool, be careful when you remove the radiator cap.
2. When the engine is cool, wrap a thick cloth around the cap and turn it slowly counterclockwise to the first stop.
3. Step back while the pressure releases.
4. When you are sure that all the pressure has been released, use the cloth to press, turn, and remove cap.
5. Stand away from the radiator opening. Hot steam may blow out or hot engine coolant may even splash out.
Freezing Protection
The factory-installed solution of Ford Premium Cooling System Fluid and water will protect your vehicle to s35°F (s37°C). Check the freeze protection rating of the engine coolant at least once a year, just before winter.
Add engine coolant only to the recovery reservoir. If the coolant level is low, add to the reservoir a 50/50 mixture of water and the type of engine coolant that Ford specifies. You may add water by itself only in an emergency, but you should replace it with a 50/50 mixture as soon as possible.
Ford Premium Cooling System Fluid is an optimized formula that will protect all metals and rubber elastomers used in Ford engines for four years or 50,000 miles (80,000 km). It is not necessary and not recommended to use supplemental coolant additives in your gasoline powered vehicle. These additives may harm your engine cooling system. Follow the recommended service interval for changing your engine coolant.
NOTE: When you change or add engine coolant, it is important to maintain your engine coolant concentration between 40% (-11°F [-24°C]) and 60% (-62°F [-52°C]), depending on your local climate conditions. Below 40% you will lose freeze protection and above 60% your engine may overheat on a warm day. NOTE: Do not use an engine coolant that does not meet all 14 requirements of Ford Specification ESE-M97B44-A. The use of an improper coolant may void your warranty for the engine cooling system. Use only a premium nationally recognized brand name engine coolant. Ford Motor Company expressly authorizes the Ford Rotunda engine coolant recycling process
and chemicals. Use only Ford Rotunda recycled engine coolant or an equivalent recycled engine coolant that is certified by the supplier to meet Ford specification ESE-M97B44-A. NOTE: Always dispose of used automotive fluids in a responsible manner. Follow your community’s standards for disposing of these types of fluids. Call your local recycling center to find out about recycling automotive fluids.
Use Ford Premium Cooling System Fluid or an equivalent engine coolant that meets Ford Specification ESE-M97B44-A. Do not use alcohol or methanol antifreeze and do not use engine coolant mixed with alcohol or methanol antifreeze. If you do not use the proper coolant, the aluminum radiator on your vehicle will corrode.
Leave the engine coolant in all year. Make sure that the coolant will not freeze at the temperature level in which you drive during winter months. Keep a mixture of engine coolant in your engine that has a protection rating of at least -34°F (-37°C), or whatever protection rating is appropriate for the climate in which you live.

You may add water by itself only in an emergency, but you should replace it with a 50/50 or appropriate mixture as soon as possible.
Have your dealer check the engine cooling system for leaks if you have to add a quart (liter) of engine coolant more than once a month
Checking hoses
Inspect all engine and heater system hoses for deterioration, leaks and loose clamps before adding or replacing engine coolant. Make whatever repairs or replacements that are necessary using Motorcraft parts or their equivalents.
Engine coolant drain and flush To drain your vehicle’s engine coolant:
1. Turn off the engine and let it cool. Fully depressurize the engine cooling system by covering the radiator cap with a thick cloth and turning it slowly counterclockwise to the first stop. Step back while the pressure releases.
2. Remove the cap.
3. Attach a small hose to the drain tube at the bottom of the radiator.
4. Let the engine coolant drain into a suitable container. Disconnect the lower radiator hose at the radiator connector and drain any remaining engine coolant into a container.
5. Reconnect the lower radiator hose and close the radiator drain cock.
Proper procedures for flushing the cooling system can be found in the Truck Service Manual.
Engine coolant refill procedure

After you have drained the engine cooling system:
1. Fill the radiator with a 50/50 mixture of the specified engine coolant concentrate and water. Allow several minutes for trapped air to escape (bubble out) and for engine coolant to flow through the radiator.
2. Replace the radiator cap to its fully installed position, then back off to the first stop. This will prevent high pressure from building up in the cooling system during this part of the fill procedure.
3. Start and idle the engine until the thermostat opens and the radiator upper hose becomes warm.
4. Shut off the engine and allow the engine to cool. Cover the radiator cap with a thick cloth and cautiously remove it. Step back while the pressure releases.
5. Finally, check the radiator and add more engine coolant if needed, following the procedures noted above. Reinstall the radiator cap securely, when finished.
6. If more engine coolant is necessary, fill the overflow reservoir to the appropriate level marked on the bottle..."I'm tired from C&P now...lol

Wehas followed the maintenance schedule faithfully since we bought it new. When cold tg6e coolant level in reservoir is at the horizontal mark. BTW, recovery reservoir is not pressurized,; and is vented through the reservoir's cap. A little leakage from the cap is nothing to be too concerned about.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was always finding my reservoir empty and discovered that there was rust around my hose connections. That rust prevented a water tight clamp and allowed a small amount of coolant to escape even though I saw no leaks under the engine......
Yeah I don't see any leaks...so was there rust where the hose attached to the bottom of reservoir or where the hose attached to top of radiator neck.
 

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Any tiny pressure or vacuum leak anywhere will make the system not work right. Untill hot weather it isn’t really important. As long as the radiator is nearly full your okay for now. Always use a new high quality cap correct for your application.
 
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