Replacing Your Car's Radiator Drain Plug
The coolant drain plug seal allows you to easily drain the coolant of a radiator when it is time to replace the coolant. Damage or wear to the drain plug could make your radiator leak, which could empty it and lead to overheating. Fortunately, replacing the radiator drain plug is a very quick and easy process that even a beginner can accomplish.
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools that you'll need:
- Hydraulic jack
- Jack stands
- Drain pan or bucket
- Socket wrench
- New radiator drain plug
- Repair manual
Removing the old radiator drain plug
Step 1: Elevate the front of the car with the hydraulic jack. Raise just enough to allow you to crawl underneath the vehicle comfortably.
Step 2: Secure the vehicle by placing the jack stands underneath.
Step 3: Locate the drain plug of your car by consulting with the repair manual. It is usually found at the bottom of the radiator.
Step 4: Place the drain pan or bucket underneath the radiator drain plug.
Step 5:Remove the drain plug with the socket wrench. Take note: Some drain plugs are winged and must be removed by hand instead.
Installing the new radiator drain plug
Step 1: Insert and thread the new radiator drain plug carefully. If there is any resistance, remove the drain plug and repeat. This will prevent cross threading, which could lead to leaks in the radiator.
Step 2: Remove the jack stands from beneath the car and lower the vehicle.
Step 3: Pop open the hood of the car to gain access to the radiator.
Step 4: Open the cap at the top of the radiator.
Step 5: Pour just 1/4 the coolant back in the radiator with help from the funnel. Wait for five minutes.
Step 6: Inspect the radiator drain plug for any signs of leakage.
Step 7:Pour the rest of the coolant in.
Step 8: Turn of the engine and let it run for five minutes. Check the radiator drain plug for any leaks while doing so.