How to Fill the Radiator on a V6 Grand Am

by Lee Sallings

Filling the radiator in your V-6 Pontiac Grand Am can be a challenge. The reason it is so difficult centers around the fact that the radiator is lower in the vehicle than some of the cooling system components. As a result, air pockets form in the water pump housing and thermostat housing. General Motors has provided a way to bleed the air pockets from the system and allow it to be filled completely without risking overheating caused by the air pockets.

Step 1

Open the bleeder screws located on the top of the thermostat housing and the water pump housing. The water pump housing on the Grand Am V-6 engine is located on the left side of the engine as viewed from the passenger side of the engine compartment. The thermostat housing can be located by following the upper radiator hose to the point it attaches to the engine on the driver side of the engine compartment. The thermostat housing bleeder is opened with a small flat-blade screwdriver, and the bleeder on the waterpump housing is opened with a 7mm wrench

Step 2

Remove the radiator cap from the radiator or coolant reservoir (depending on year model) and fill the engine with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water. Allow the engine to fill until coolant comes out of the bleeder screws. Start the engine, and close the bleeder screws when coolant comes out in a steady stream.

Step 3

Refill the coolant reservoir or radiator and repeat the process to ensure removal of all air. Test drive the car until the engine reaches normal operating temperature on the temperature gauge on the dash. Repeat the process one additional time to remove the final remaining bit of air.

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