Radiator Replacement

Step by step repair guide on how to replace an automotive radiator. These article pertains to all cars.

Difficulty Scale: 4 of 10

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Replacement radiator
  • Engine coolant
  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Hose clamp removal tool or channel locks
  • Shop towels
  • Fluid catch basin
  • Protective eyewear and gloves
Begin with the engine cold, vehicle on level ground, transmission in park with the emergency brake on.

Step 1
- With the engine cold (only) locate and remove the radiator cap, a small amount of pressure maybe released when loosened.

Remove Radiator Cap (Engine Cold)

Step 2 - Once the cap has been turned counter clockwise while pushing downward, lift the cap from the radiator.

Radiator Cap Removed

Step 3 - Next, remove lower shield mounting bolts while removing shielding. This will allow access the bottom of the radiator.

Remove Lower Shield Mounting Bolts

Step 4 - After removing the lower shielding, locate the radiator drain plug and start to loosen.

Locate and Loosen Radiator Drain Plug



Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2013-11-28)