just follow the lower radiator hose to the thermostat housing behind the engine.
You will need: 12 mm short handled cresent wrench, or socket with 3" extension, something to catch the anti-freeze that will also fit under the car. Anti-freeze, mixed to 50/50. (Wouldn't hurt to change it while you're at it. Takes 1.42 liters-a bit less than 1 1/2 gallons. You'll need some even if you don't change the whole system) funnel. Thermostat. New gasket. Rags/paper towels
before you remove the bolts, drain the radiator! Put the container under the drain hole in the bottom of the radiator (if you have the owners manual, there is a section for how to change the anti-freeze, so i'm only going to hit the high spots here) there is a butterfly-looking knob on the bottom of the radiator. If you loosen it from the top, like I did, push on the left wing (writing this from memory, might be right wing, shouldn't be too hard to do, so think 'left-loose, right-tight-but left or right from which angle?) To loosen it with something like a pair of pliers (or the wrench), then you can easily loosen it the rest of the way. I didn't take it all the way out; too easy to loose the part, and probably a pain to put back in. It's easy to switch containers without making too much of a mess, but do keep rags handy to clean up.
Since i'm lucky and didn't have to change the thermostat after all, I can't help with the actual changing, except to say that when you take the old one out make sure to notice which way was up, so you can be sure to put the new one back in properly, as they don't come with any instuctions. Also, don't skimp on the new gasket. Get one.
When you start to pour the anti-freeze back in the radiator, make sure you close the butterfly nut! (Can you figure out that I didn't?) Check for leaks before you start the engine and proceed with the procedure for changing anti-freeze. Keep in mind that some will drip from the housing under the car. Pay attention to the area under the thermostat.
Make sure to clean up the anti-freeze on the floor. Something about cats, dogs and ants dying from licking the sweet stuff. (The ants would be a good thing!)
Friday, July 17th, 2009 AT 6:54 PM