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How to Replace a Radiator in a Saturn VUE

by Contributor; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Resealable container

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Replacement hoses, if necessary

  • Replacement radiator

  • Engine coolant

  • Distilled water

How to Replace a Radiator in a Saturn VUE. It's important to keep the radiator on your Saturn VUE in good shape, as a faulty radiator can ruin your engine. If you are familiar with car radiators, you can save money by replacing the radiator yourself. Although the process is rather involved,it's essentially the same for any year or model. Here's how to replace the radiator in the popular 2004 Saturn VUE.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. Locate the plug on the lower part of the radiator, loosen it, and drain the engine coolant fluids into a resealable container.

Remove any plastic shields that surround the radiator. Disconnect the fan's electrical connection and loosen the bolts retaining the fan assembly. Remove the fan.

Use a Flathead screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps on the radiator hoses, then take off the upper and lower radiator hoses. Take a close look at the radiator hoses, and if they need to be replaced, this is a perfect time.

Dislodge the transmission coolant lines from the lower part of the radiator, and take off the brackets and clamps retaining the radiator. Lift the radiator carefully out of the engine compartment.

Install the new radiator and reconnect the brackets and clamps securely. Reconnect the transmission coolant lines very carefully, and reattach the cooling hoses.

Replace the fan assembly and reconnect the electrical connection. Replace any plastic shields that were removed.

Fill the radiator with a mixture of half engine coolant and half distilled water. Start the car and allow it to run several minutes to warm up the engine. Check the fluid levels and add more if needed.

Tips

Drain engine coolant into sealed containers. If the liquid is clean, reuse it. Otherwise, take it to a garage or hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.

Warnings

Remember that cats and dogs are attracted to antifreeze, which can be fatal if ingested. Be sure to keep antifreeze in a tightly sealed container and clean up any spills immediately. Be sure the engine is completely cool before replacing the radiator in your Saturn VUE because the hot liquid and steam can cause serious burns. It's also a good idea to wear gloves and protective clothing.

About the Author

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