Honda Civic Radiator Install Instructions

by Don Bowman

The Honda Civic radiator is constructed with plastic tanks and an aluminum core. The good quality metal radiators are no longer used, in favor of the more lucrative and easily manufactured plastic versions. The center core is simply crimped to the plastic tanks with a gasket between the core and tank. This creates a multitude of possible leaks; however, the most common cause for leaks on the Civic radiator is cracks on the top tank next to the radiator cap. The pressure in the radiator splits the upper tank, resulting in a long crack just above the core. It is a good idea to pressure test the radiator if no obvious cracks are seen.

Step 1

Lift the car with the floor jack. Place the jack stands under the car, so it does not accidentally fall and ruin your day. Place the drain pan under the passenger side of the radiator. Use the pliers to open the petcock. Allow the antifreeze to drain into the pan, keeping in mind that antifreeze is enticing to animals. It tastes good to them but is fatal, so dispose of it properly.

Step 2

Remove the upper and lower radiator hoses, using the pliers to compress the spring clamps and remove them. Pull the sensor out of the radiator next to the hose pipe (an o-ring holds the pipe in the radiator).

Step 3

Place the pan under the transmission cooler lines. Remove the two transmission cooler lines on the bottom of the radiator, using a wrench. Unplug the electrical connectors to the radiator fan.

Step 4

Remove the 10mm bolts that secure the radiator to the support shroud, using a socket. Pull the radiator overflow hose off the radiator cap neck. Lift the radiator and fan (as a unit) out of the car. The radiator could easily be unbolted once it is out of the car.

Step 5

Install the new radiator and associated parts in reverse order of removal. Fill the radiator with a 50-50 mixture of antifreeze and water (one gallon of antifreeze, one gallon of water).

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