Drain plug at bottom of radiator

  • 4 CYL
  • 101,456 MILES
Was trying to drain radiator and broke the plastic tip off the plug and do not know how to get it out.
Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 AT 4:06 PM

1 Reply

Good! Leave it alone. There have been too many where the o-ring on that stem butts up to part of the plastic tank, and that area cracks when you reinsert the plug. That crack will result in a coolant drip about once every five seconds. The only fix for that is to replace the radiator. Instead, just pull the lower radiator hose off at one end.

If the radiator ever has to be removed, at that time you can use a needle-nose pliers to turn the petcock if you feel the need to remove it. Auto parts stores have replacements because broken ones are common on most car brands now since they started making them out of plastic. I worked for a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership for ten years, and we never removed the petcocks when doing cooling system flushes or engine work. Also, when you are paying us by the hour, we do not have time to waste watching coolant dribble from the petcock. Pulling the hose off is much faster.

Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature when you start the engine. If it rises too quickly, you will need to bleed the air pocket from under the thermostat. If there is no bleeder screw on the thermostat housing, look for a temperature sensor or threaded plug on or near that housing that can be removed. If you have to remove a sensor, do that with the ignition switch off, then fill the coolant until it reaches that port. If you turn the ignition switch on while a sensor is unplugged, that will be detected and a diagnostic fault code will set. That code will self-erase after fifty engine starts, but in the meantime, that could confuse a mechanic who needs to read the codes to diagnose some other problem.
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Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 AT 10:39 PM

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