How to Replace a Thermostat in a Mercury Villager 1996


Place a large drain pan beneath the radiator drain plug on the driver's side of the Villager. Open the hood and remove the radiator cap.


Turn the radiator drain plug by hand until the coolant starts to flow. Watch for the coolant level to drain below the upper radiator hose. Tighten the drain plug and remove the drain pan.


Follow the upper radiator hose from the radiator to the opposite end to locate the thermostat housing. Remove the mounting bolts securing the thermostat housing to the engine with a wrench. Remove the thermostat from the housing and dispose of it.


Clean any gasket remnants from the housing with a scraper or putty knife. Wipe the surface clean with a soft cloth. Insert the new thermostat into the housing, place a new gasket on the mounting surface and secure the housing in place with the bolts. Tighten the bolts with a wrench.


Fill the radiator with a 50/50 mixture of coolant and distilled water until it reaches the bottom of the filler neck. Replace the radiator cap and close the hood.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you prefer, you can pour the drained coolant blend back into the radiator. If you choose to do this, be certain the container you drained the fluid in is clean before use to avoid introducing any contaminants to the cooling system.
  • Despite the requirement to bleed the air from the cooling system when you drain it completely, draining the radiator to the level of the upper hose does not allow for the introduction of air to the system because the system is not fully drained. No bleeding is required during the thermostat replacement process.
  • An automotive thermostat regulates the flow of coolant through the engine to prevent engine overheating. If your 1996 Mercury Villager's thermostat fails, it can stick closed, restricting the flow of antifreeze through the cooling system. If the engine on your Villager is overheating, replace the thermostat right away; it's inexpensive and easy to replace, and it might be what's causing the engine to overheat. Buy a replacement thermostat from an auto parts store and complete the repair yourself.