First of all you must ensure that the vehicle has not been in use for a good few hours, usually more than 5 hours. This is due to the pressure generated and the heat of the fluid in the radiator, the vehicle needs time to cool down.
Estimated time: approx 4+ hours Difficulty: Medium/Hard
This job can take the best part of a few hours.
You want to begin by disconnecting the battery. Make sure that you disconnect the negative then the positive connection. The positive is always removed last to avoid any sparks.
Once the battery is disconnected you need to drain the fluid from the radiator. This fluid can be harmful so must be put into a suitable container and disposed of accordingly if you are not going to use it to top up your new radiator. You will find the plug located on the bottom corner of the radiator. Unscrew the plug with the container placed below. Remember to have the container in place as the fluid will start draining as soon as the plug is removed.
Now its time to remove the old radiator. If there are any plastic covers around the radiator, you will need to remove these. The next parts don’t need to be removed in any particular order, but is important that all are removed correctly.
There will be a cooling fan connected to the radiator, so you will need to disconnect this. It will be bolted to the radiator, so remove these bolts which will disconnect the fan. Disconnect the electrical connection.
The hoses are connected by clips. A flat head screw driver will be needed to disconnect the hoses. Once the clips are removed pull the hoses from their connections and check the hoses for cracks or any other damage. If they are damaged, TIP: now would be a good time to replace them.
There will be a transmission cooling line attached to the bottom of the radiator; a wrench will loosen these off for you. Be careful that you don’t bend or damage the line when removing it. Now that all the components have been removed, its time to remove the radiator unit.
This will be connected to the vehicle by either clips or screws and will fit into a frame. Remove the screws or unclip the radiator, and slide it upwards and out of the vehicle. Now its time to fit the new part.
Fitting a new radiator
Begin by sliding the new part into place and clip or screw the unit to the frame.
Re-connect the hoses and transmission line ensuring they are connected properly. Screw the clips securely onto the hose and connection, and ensure the line is connected tightly, being careful not to damage the line.
Connect the cooling fan to the radiator by bolting it in place and re-connecting the electrical supply, by clipping the cables together.
Now replace any covers over the radiator and you will need to fill the radiator with fluid. This fluid is a mixture of water and anti-freeze, usually 50/50. TIP: Try using distilled water to avoid the radiator being built up with unwanted chemicals.
This should be a successful radiator change, so now its time to take the vehicle for a test drive.