How to Drain a Radiator on an Oldsmobile Cutlassby Jody L. Campbell
Draining the radiator in your Oldsmobile Cutlass is not difficult to do. Changing the antifreeze in your system is recommended since any petroleum-based fluid that heats up and cools down constantly breaks down chemically after time. Just remember that a drain and fill of the radiator is not getting all of the antifreeze out of the water table in your engine. A coolant system flush is a superior service to just draining the radiator. But draining and filling your radiator is better than not performing any maintenance on the coolant system at all.
Park the Oldsmobile Cutlass on a flat paved surface and allow the engine to cool down. Do not attempt to drain antifreeze on a warm or hot engine. Apply the parking brake. Release the hood latch and open the hood.
Put on safety glasses. Place a wheel chock behind one of the rear tires. Remove the radiator cap slowly. Even with the engine cold, there may be some pressure in the coolant system, but at least it won't burn you if it purges out a little.
Lift one front side of the Cutlass with the floor jack and place the jack stand under the front frame rail. Repeat this step for the other side to elevate the front of the Cutlass. Crawl underneath the front with the drain bucket and the pliers. You could use a creeper if you had one, but chances are you wouldn't have enough room on one.
Locate the drain cock at the bottom of the radiator. It will be on the lower left or right hand side depending on the year of the Cutlass and the engine size. Place the drain bucket beneath the drain cock and turn the drain cock counterclockwise until antifreeze begins to purge out of the radiator. You may need to convince the drain cock with the pliers. You could also remove the bottom radiator hose to drain the radiator. It's quicker and much messier, but just as effective. You'd have to loosen the clamp on the hose attached to the lower radiator outlet with the pliers (for a press clamp) or a screwdriver (for a screw clamp) and pry the hose off of the outlet.
Allow time for the radiator to drain completely. Tighten the drain cock by turning it clockwise when finished or replace the lower radiator hose and tighten the clamp.
Clean up any spilled antifreeze immediately. Antifreeze has a sweet smell and taste which can attract small children or pets and be extremely poisonous if ingested.
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands (2)
- Wheel chock
- Antifreeze drain bucket (green and shallow with a spout and handles)
- Pliers or channel locks
- Screwdriver (optional)
- Safety glasses
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.