I am doing a 60,000 mile service on my 2000 Escort Finesse (1.6 Zetec engine with orange coolant). I drained the radiator and flushed it through with a hosepipe. I filled the system with tap water and to my surprise couldn't get all the 7 litres that my Haynes manual (and the Ford handbook) says is the radiator capacity. I was about 200 ml short and the water level was about an inch above the MAX mark on the side of the expansion tank. (In other words, the water level was at about the bottom of the filler neck.) I ran the car round the block to get the temperature gauge to the normal middle-of-the-gauge position, let the engine cool down, noted that there was no noticeable diminution of the water level, drained it off and refilled with antifreeze/water mixture to the MAX level. This is about 6 litres, not seven.
Do you think I've got a smaller radiator installed on my car, bearing in mind that it was the last year of production? Or have I got a smaller expansion tank? (It LOOKS like the one in the Haynes manual photo.) If the manuals are correct and the capacity really IS seven litres, should I put the extra mixture in, or leave it at the MAX indicated level?
I've had no cooling problems on the car so I don't think I have any blocked radiator passages. And yes, the car was standing on level ground.
Thanks for any comments.