Radiator fluid, also known as coolant, is a liquid that protects your engine from being overheated. The type of radiator fluid can be different by the type of engine and the year of the car.
So, if you own a 2013 Ford F-150, you shall ask which radiator fluid does a 2013 Ford F-150 5.0 use? In this blog post, we will answer your question and discuss other necessary things related to radiator fluid.
Which Radiator Fluid Does a 2013 Ford F150 5.0 Use?
The most common type of radiator fluid that a 2013 Ford F-150 uses is orange-colored OAT (Organic Additive Technology) coolant.
The OAT radiator fluid that the manufacturer recommends for Ford F-150 5.0L is Motorcraft orange prediluted coolant.
Prediluted means it is already diluted with water and ready to use. Motorcraft orange radiator fluid is a mixture of ethylene glycol and methanol.
Generally, the radiator fluids should be used with a 50/50 mixture of radiator fluid and distilled water. This equal mixture of coolant and water helps the radiator to create protection against overheating and corrosion.
The OAT radiator fluids are recommended for engines using aluminum parts. So, the Ford F-150 cars produced between 2013 and 2017 will take orange-colored radiator fluid.
2013 Ford F150 5.0 Radiator Fluid Capacity
2013 Ford F-150 comes with a 5.0 L V8 engine. as per the owner’s manual of this vehicle, its capacity is 17.0 quarts.
However, this volume is suggested when the coolant reservoir is completely empty. Because your Ford F-150 5.0’s radiator fluid tank should always be at least 30% full.
Thus, the 2013 Ford F-150 5.0 L’s radiator fluid capacity is 13.9 quarts (13.2 liters).
Best Radiator Fluids for Ford F150 5.0:
As we said earlier, the recommended brand for the 2013 Ford F-150 radiator fluid is Motorcraft. But it doesn’t mean you can’t use another brand’s radiator fluids.
If that radiator fluid is compatible with your car and the Motorcraft orange radiator fluid is not available at your place, technically, you can use them.
Here are some of the best radiator fluids for the 2013 Ford F-150, including Motorcraft orange coolant.
Motorcraft Orange Prediluted Antifreeze/Coolant
Motorcraft Orange Prediluted Coolant is an orange-colored, ethylene glycol-based radiator fluid recommended by Ford Motor Company for use in Ford F-150 5.0 L. It also contains a bittering agent that makes it longer-life and able to protect against anti-boil, antifreeze, and corrosion year-round.
Moreover, it is ready to use as the purified water has already been added to the coolant. Its 50/50 mixture of water and coolant keeps the engine cool down to -36.7° C (-34°) and boiling protection as high as 129° C (265° F).
Valvoline Zerex Dex-cool Antifreeze/Coolant
ZEREX DEX-COOL Antifreeze Coolant from Valvoline is an extended-life freeze protection formula for vehicles with diesel and gasoline engines. It is recommended for Ford, Audi, Alpha, Chrysler, SAAB, OPEL, and Saturn vehicles requiring Orange radiator fluid with Organic Additive Technology.
This OAT formula provides your 2013 Ford F-150 rust, scale, and corrosion protection, so the radiator and all cooling system metals, including aluminum, stay safe. It also has a guaranteed performance for 150,000 miles or 5 years.
But it is not a ready-to-use formula. It should be mixed with purified water before use. Here’s a temperature range chart of ZEREX DEX-COOL Antifreeze Coolant from Valvoline:
|50% Coolant and 50% Water (5 quarts/ 5 quarts)||-34° F||265° F|
|70% Coolant and 30% Water (7 quarts/ 3 quarts)||-84° F||276° F|
ACDelco DEX-COOL® Extended Life Coolant
ACDelco DEX-COOL is an ethylene glycol based, orange-colored, extended life radiator fluid for Ford F-150 vehicles. It is prediluted and has a long service life of 5 years.
Its 50/50% mixture of water and coolant provides protection against boiling and freezing. Also, This ACDelco DEX-COOL is silicate and phosphate free. This silicate free formula optimizes the anti-corrosion support for a longer time and protects cast, iron, steel, brass, copper, and solder components!
PRESTONE Dex-Cool Antifreeze/Coolant Concentrate
PRESTON DEX-COOL is a prediluted, extended life antifreeze formula for the vehicles with aluminum radiator and requiring Dex-cool as 2013 Ford F-150. It is also an orange colored, Organic Additive Technology based radiator fluid.
The extended life formula of this radiator fluid gives protection to vital engine components for up to 150,000 miles/5 years.
Also, this PRESTONE DEX-COOL Antifreeze formula contains long-lasting inhibitors that can protect the engine parts from extreme temperatures and the downfall of rust and corrosion.
The temperature ranges of this PRESTONE DEX-COOL radiator fluid is listed below:
|60/40 Coolant and Water||-62° F||270° F|
|50/50 Coolant and Water||-34° F||265° F|
|40/60 Coolant and Water||-12° F||260° F|
OEM Extended Life Orange Antifreeze Coolant
OEM Extended Life Orange Antifreeze/Coolant is another ethylene glycol based and prediluted radiator fluid for 2013 Ford F-150. Its silicate, phosphate, nitrate, and borate free formula helps the coolant system to protect against rust and corrosion.
It also has excellent low and high temperature aluminum protection. Like other alternatives of Motorcraft Orange Prediluted Coolant, this coolant can also service up to 5 years/150,000 miles!
How do I check Radiator Fluid on 2013 Ford F150 5.0?
When you own a 2013 Ford F-150 5.0, you should often check the radiator fluid level and its condition. The coolant level should always be on the optimum level to improve the performance and lifespan of the engine.
You will also need to drain the coolant reservoir and refill it occasionally. So, if you suspect the signs to check the radiator fluid level, here’s how you can do it:
- Turn off your Ford F-150 car’s engine and park it on a level surface.
- If you have driven it a longer distance, let the engine cool down.
- Open the hood and locate the radiator and radiator fluid reservoir. The reservoir is usually a transparent plastic tank.
- Once you’ve located the reservoir, remove the radiator cap using a rag or towel.
- Then check the fluid’s color and condition. If the radiator fluid in the reservoir is discolored, colorless, rusted, and oily or sludgy, you will have to drain the coolant out and refill it.
- But, if you see the coolant is clear and fine, then check the fluid level.
- If the coolant level is low, add more fluid as needed.
What are the Symptoms of Bad or Low Radiator Fluid in the 2013 Ford F150?
If you don’t check the radiator fluid level on your 2013 Ford F-150 accordingly, it may become bad or run low.
When the radiator fluid gets bad or the fluid level too low, it will throw some symptoms throughout the engine’s performance.
Here are some of the most possible symptoms of bad or low radiator fluid:
- A sweet odor smell under the hood.
- High temperature gauge is running red.
- Air conditioning system is malfunctioning.
- High fuel consumption.
- Faulty coolant level sensor.
- The engine is seizing up.
- Grinding sounds from the engine.
What Happens if I Use the Wrong 2013 Ford F-150 5.0 Radiator Fluid?
A specific model of the car requires a specific type of coolant or radiator fluid. The 2013 Ford F-150 is no different.
If you use the wrong radiator fluid, it’ll cause corrosion and other damages to the radiator, radiator hoses, water pump, cylinder gasket, and more.
Therefore, the wrong coolant can also lead the engine to overheat and poor fuel economy. In severe cases, the engine can also be damaged badly and need to be fixed.
In this FAQ section, we have listed a few more questions with their answers regarding 2013 Ford F-150 5.0 L:
Can you drive the 2013 Ford F-150 5.0 with low radiator fluid?
Technically, you can drive your 2013 Ford F-150 5.0 with low radiator fluid for some time. But if it gets too low, it is not recommended to run the engine. If so, it can damage the engine and other essential parts too.
What color is the 2013 Ford F-150 radiator fluid?
Usually, the Ford radiator fluid colors come in Green, Orange, and Yellow. The recommended color for 2013 Ford F-150 5.0 is Orange.
Can I use water instead of 2013 Ford F-150 radiator fluid?
Technically, you can use purified water instead of radiator fluid. But you shouldn’t use water continuously on your Ford F-150. Because, water freezes at 0° C which is not recommended.
How often should I change radiator fluid on my 2013 Ford F-150?
You should change your radiator fluid on the 2013 Ford F-150 every 30,000-45,000 miles or 2 to 3 years. Therefore, if you’re a regular driver, you should flush the radiator every 75,000-100000 miles.
The recommended type of 2013 Ford F-150 5.0 radiator fluid is orange colored ethylene glycol based coolant or antifreeze. The best kind is motorcraft premium.
There are also some alternatives that we’ve already discussed. However, do not forget to check your owner’s manual to see the actual specifications about radiator fluid type and capacity.