How to Drain the Radiator in a 1998 Dodge Dakota

by Tara Kimball

When you need to replace the coolant in your 1998 Dodge Dakota, or if you have a damaged radiator, you must drain the coolant from the radiator. Your Dakota's radiator has a drain petcock on the backside near the bottom; you'll open this petcock to drain the fluid. Use a 50/50 mixture of coolant and fresh water when you refill your radiator.

Allow the engine to cool completely if it has been running. Open the hood of your Dodge Dakota and prop the hood on the support rod. Remove the cap from the radiator.

Raise the truck with a jack and secure it on a set of jack stands. Remove the jack once the truck is supported on the jack stands.

Locate the radiator drain plug at the base of the radiator on the driver side. The plug is located on the engine side near the bottom of the radiator. Position a large drain pan beneath the radiator drain plug.

Loosen the radiator drain plug by hand and remove it. Allow the coolant to drain completely from the system. Replace the drain plug once the radiator is empty.


  • Dispose of used coolant properly. Most auto parts stores will accept it for disposal free of charge.

Items you will need


About the Author

Tara Kimball is a former accounting professional with more than 10 years of experience in corporate finance and small business accounting. She has also worked in desktop support and network management. Her articles have appeared in various online publications.

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  • radiator humor image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com