How to Bleed a Coolant System on a 2001 Dodge Stratus

by Justin Cupler

The mid 1990s was a revamping period for all Chrysler vehicles, as Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler underwent complete lineup overhauls. One of those overhauls was the introduction of the “JA” platform of vehicles, which included near-identical triplets: Plymouth Breeze, Chrysler Cirrus and Dodge Stratus. In 2001, the cleverly nicknamed “Cloud Cars” were discontinued, leaving only the newly redesigned Stratus. The 2001 Stratus base-level, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine requires a specific procedure when refilling the cooling system to bleed out all of the air pockets in the system.

Step 1

Find the coolant bleeder valve, a 1/4-inch metal valve attached to the engine block directly under the upper radiator hose. Press a 4-foot-long, 1/4-inch-inside-diameter clear plastic hose onto the bleeder valve. Route the hose down the front of the engine and into a drain pan.

Step 2

Open the bleeder valve by turning it one turn counterclockwise with a combination wrench.

Step 3

Unscrew the cooling system pressure cap -- the cap on the end of the upper radiator hose -- and remove it.

Step 4

Add 50-50 premixed green ethylene-glycol-based coolant through the filler neck where the pressure cap was installed until you see coolant flowing from the clear plastic hose and into the drain pan.

Step 5

Close the bleeder valve by tightening it with a combination wrench and pull the clear, plastic hose from it. Continue adding 50-50 premixed coolant until the level reaches the base of the filler neck. Tighten the pressure cap onto the filler neck.

Step 6

Open the coolant recovery tank and add 50-50 premixed coolant to the tank until the coolant level reaches the “Max” mark on the tank.

Step 7

Start the engine and allow it to idle until you hear the cooling fans turn on, then shut off the engine. Allow the engine to cool until it feels cool to the touch, then recheck the coolant level in the coolant recovery tank. Add more coolant to the tank as needed. The 2.4-liter engine has a total capacity of 1.85 gallons, but the amount needed to refill it may vary.

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