Basic Principles on How to Remove and Install an Auto Radiator
Listed are some basic guidelines on how to remove and install a radiator. Even though the principle stays the same with installation of an auto radiator, exact procedures may vary between different makes and models of vehicles. For complete installation and removal of the radiator, it is always best to attain a repair manual for your specific vehicle. Removal and installation can be done relatively simple with a small tool assortment: Screwdriver, pliers, socket set, wrenches, a fluid container, safety goggles and sometimes a quick release tool.
Follow these steps to replace your car radiator:
- WARNING: Coolant can reach extreme temperatures. Make sure your vehicle has been shut off for a long period of time to ensure your engine coolant is not HOT. Hot coolant can cause scalding and require medical attention. Use safety goggles to protect your eyes at all times.
- Remove car radiator cap slowly with a towel to make sure pressure is released out of the system and protect against possibility of hot coolant. Disconnect negative battery cable.
- Find the radiator drain plug, some applications may use the lower radiator hose. Drain coolant into your fluid container. Make sure to check with your local state laws for proper disposal and storage of coolant. IF your vehicle has an automatic transmission, that has lines going to the radiator, remove lines. Some applications may require the purchase of a quick connect tool to remove the lines. Drain fluid into another fluid container and dispose of in the same manner as the coolant.
- With all of the fluid out of the way, start to remove all other accessories. Coolant hoses, wires to sensors or fan motors, any plastic molding, fan assemblies and any other automotive parts prohibiting you from removing the car radiator out of the vehicle. REMEMBER that most of these connections have been in your vehicle for a while and may break when you are removing them. So use precaution when removing these parts from your radiator and vehicle.
- Remove the mounts, brackets or bolts that are holding your radiator in spot. They are normally located on all four corners. Pay attention on vehicles that have air conditioning. The condenser is normally mounted in front of the auto radiator and sometimes requires the removal of the mounting bolts to the condenser. Other vehicles may have other coolers that you would remove in the same fashion as the condenser. Carefully lift the auto radiator out. Some models may require the fan assembly and condenser to come out with the radiator.
- For installation reverse the procedures used for removal. It is always a good idea to dry install your car radiator. Make sure all of your connections fit, fan holes line up, mounting holes line up and car radiator cap fits. Some of these steps you can check before even installing the radiator.
- Add fluids to your automatic transmission if needed. Most vehicles require a 50/50 mixture of coolant. 50% water and 50% antifreeze. WARNING: Most vehicles with no auto radiator cap have a air bleeding procedure. They require a process of replacing trapped air in your system with coolant. Every make and model has a different procedure for bleeding the air out. Check a repair manual for your specific vehicles procedure.
DISCLAIMER: It is always advised to have an automotive technician install your auto radiator. These are simple guidelines, of general references, for the removal and installation of your vehicles radiator. Consult with an automotive technician if you are going to do the job yourself. Have a repair manual for information on doing the job specific to your vehicle. Abide by all state laws and follow all safety procedures needed to do the project. We are not responsible for any damage done to your vehicle and/or injury resulting from these procedures.