How to Drain the Radiator on a 2002 Buick LeSabreby Jody L. Campbell
The 2002 Buick LeSabre, like many other cars, did not come equipped with a radiator petcock, or drain plug. But this does not mean that the radiator cannot be drained. There's simply a much quicker, and potentially messier, solution. Keep in mind that the GM vehicles use a Dex-cool antifreeze in their radiators and water table systems. This type of antifreeze is sweet to the smell and taste, which makes it attractive to pets and small children. But it is highly toxic, so you should clean up any spills immediately.
Allow the engine to cool if it has been running. If the vehicle is hot, allow at least two hours.
Apply the parking brake. Lift the hood and prop it open.
Lift one front quarter panel (from the side) with a jack high enough to place a jack stand under the front frame. Repeat for the other front quarter panel.
Place the drain pan underneath the lower radiator hose attached to the radiator.
Crimp the lower radiator hose clamp with a pair of channel locks by squeezing the two tabs together and sliding it up along the length of the hose away from the radiator, about three inches. If an aftermarket radiator clamp has been used, loosen the screw of the clamp with a screwdriver until you can move and slide the hose.
Remove the lower radiator hose carefully from the radiator. You will need to twist and pull simultaneously to get the hose free. Be aware that the antifreeze will gush from the radiator and lower radiator hose once disconnected, so be ready to move the drain pan if necessary.
Remove the radiator cap from the top of the radiator while the radiator is draining from the bottom. This will create a vacuum and allow the radiator to drain more quickly.
Allow the radiator and lower radiator hose to drain fully to sporadic drips.
Reattach the lower radiator hose to the radiator. Twist the hose back and forth while pushing it onto the lower radiator hose spout.
Recrimp the original radiator clamp with the channel locks to slide it back into place. In the alternative, reposition the aftermarket clamp onto the hose near the spout and retighten it with the screwdriver.
Remove the drain bucket and wipe up any spills with shops rags. Lower the front end of the LeSabre back to the ground.
Things You'll Need
- 2 jack stands
- Shallow antifreeze drain pan (2-1/2 gallon or larger)
- Channel locks or screwdriver
- Shop rags
Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.