Radiator replacement

Tiny
SIRJR
  • MEMBER
  • 2012 CHEVROLET CRUZE
  • 1.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • TURBO
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 36,000 MILES
I'm trying to change the coolant in my vehicle. How do I drain the system? I have the lower radiator hose off that goes to the engine, lowered it below the end that goes to the radiator and nothing comes out. I removed the cap to the pressurized overflow tank. Also, being this is the first time I'm replacing the coolant in a pressurized system, what is the correct refill procedure?
Thank you.
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Saturday, February 14th, 2015 AT 10:43 AM

13 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Raise vehicle unscrew radiator drain plug and place pan under to catch liquid. Remove surge tank cap
Fill: close drain plug and lower vehicle must be level. Loosen vent screw on radiator. Add mix of 50/50 dex-cool to surge tank to bottom line of bleed nozzle on tank. When coolant stabilizes add until coolant is at black arrow on pic. Start engine and verify coolant is at black arrow after starting. Run at 2500 rpm for two minutes then let idle shut off engine and remove surge tank cap check level and add to cold mark if necessary install surge tank cap and rinse away any coolant on engine and compartment. Then recheck in two days after driving. See pics
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Saturday, February 14th, 2015 AT 3:48 PM
Tiny
SIRJR
  • MEMBER
Great. Thank you for the detailed narrative and especially the pictures. I now know where to find the drain plug and vent screw. I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly.
I will update you when I perform the task.
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Saturday, February 14th, 2015 AT 4:15 PM
Tiny
SIRJR
  • MEMBER
I finally was able to get to this, this morning. Everything went exactly as you instructed. I am grateful for your help. The pictures were very helpful along with your detailed narrative. Being all we own are GM vehicles, I hope I get you next time I have a repair question. Thank you!
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Sunday, March 8th, 2015 AT 1:20 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
All of our people are well qualified even if you dont' get me
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Sunday, March 8th, 2015 AT 1:23 PM
Tiny
456OF789
  • MEMBER
Hello HMAC300,

Firstly, thank you for your response. Your knowledge and diagrams are excellent. Very simple to follow and easy for the average lamen to understand.

I have a follow up question in relation to changing out the coolant.

After following this procedure I noticed that I only used 2.5L of coolant to refill the system. The manual states that the cruze takes 7.5L.
Obviously the rest of the coolant is trapped somewhere between the engine block(probably behind the thermostat) and the heater core/pipe work Etc.

Is there any way of draining this other 5L of coolant from a dump valve somewhere?

Or is it more a matter of filling with water, running (driving) with heater on for 30mins and then draining and flushing?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Adam
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Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 AT 5:47 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
You can always pull the lower radiator hose to drain the system it may have not drained properly if the radiator cap wasn't removed. Also was it more than a gallon that was installed as most antifreeze comes n a gallon which if you only took 2.L it would onlybe half of the container.
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Thursday, February 25th, 2016 AT 5:55 AM
Tiny
456OF789
  • MEMBER
Hi.
I pulled the radiator drain plug (level with the lower hose) and had the lid off of the overflow tank. Which promptly drained.
I am in Australia, we use 5L tubs. (1.25 gallons ish) it took roughly half. So 2.5L.

As I said before, the manual says 7.5L of coolant. The overflow tank runs directly into the pipework that runs from the water pump block to the heater core.

Surely the car doesn't require lifting/tilting to drain the fluid properly?
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Friday, February 26th, 2016 AT 3:14 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
It shouldn't try running engine with cap off and see if it will take more fluid when it heats up or did it just drain like 2.5l out of engine? Sometimes they may take more when heated up or it may have an air lock in the systemif you didn't loosen screw in second pic then it's got an air lock and you probably won't get any more in it. Follow first reply with pics like I sent and make sure car is level.
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Friday, February 26th, 2016 AT 6:52 AM
Tiny
456OF789
  • MEMBER
Hello Hmac3000,
Thanks for all your help.
It was an air lock on refill due to not loosening the top radiator plug.
Funny how something so simple can cause so much grief.
Cheers again. Greatly appreciated.
Adam
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Friday, February 26th, 2016 AT 1:42 PM
Tiny
CRUZE2012
  • MEMBER
THANK YOU! I just recently replaced the thermostat on my 2012 chevy cruze (w/ 36,000 mi) and could not get the cab to heat up. In all the other posts and videos that are supposedly for 2011-2014 Cruzes they mention the radiator cap as the solution to this (there are other things too such as removing and lifting the overflow tank etc but this is by far the easiest way). The 2012 LS does not have a radiator cap. The problem as described previously was air lock after refilling with new fluid. When facing the car head on it's a small plastic screw vent on the top left of your radiator. Loosening that alleviates the air lock and after idling for 15 minutes I got heat again. The problem I originally identified was the engine light was on. Autozone read the code and it indicated a bad thermostat. Why is this thermostat nearly $100! I think the original thermostat was stuck open as the engine never got very warm (as indicated by the dash temp guage), the heater only got moderately warm and the fan cooling the engine ran on MAX all the time and was very loud. After replacement the fan isn't running constantly the heater gets plenty hot and the in dash temp guage is reading just a tick to the left of the half way mark. If you're also flushing your radiator at this point I HIGHLY recommend finding a hose to fit the petcock drain. I tried to just use a funnel to channel the coolant down below but it still sprayed all over the place. I'm going to try and find the right diameter tubing and will post the size later if I find it. Why in the world does this not drain downward!
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Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 AT 8:09 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
It doesn't drain downward because the cap may have not been off and was under pressure the cost of the tsat is high because it is a tstat, sensor and housing
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Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 AT 12:12 PM
Tiny
SIRJR
  • MEMBER
Still referring to your excellent instructions and pictures when I change the Cruze's coolant. Thanks again!
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Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 AT 9:31 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Good to hear, please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help. Tell a friend please.

Cheers, Ken
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Monday, June 5th, 2017 AT 3:38 PM

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