How to Replace a Radiator in a Toyota Camry

by ContributorUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Resealable container

  • Replacement radiator

  • Engine coolant

  • Distilled water

How to Replace a Radiator in a Toyota Camry. If you take good care of your Toyota Camry, it will last for many years. Part of this means taking care of problems, such as a damaged or corroded radiator, as soon as they arise. If you have some mechanical know how, you may want to try replacing the radiator yourself. Here's how to replace the radiator in a 1997 to 2001 Toyota Camry.

Disconnect the negative battery cable before you begin. Loosen the drain plug on the bottom of the radiator and drain the engine coolant into a resealable container. If you loosen the radiator cap, the fluids will flow faster.

Unhook the radiator inlet hose and outlet hoses, and disconnect the oil cooler inlet hose and outlet hoses. Disconnect the connector on the fan motor and the clamps on the fan shroud's wire harness.

Remove the fan mount bolts and the fan, along with the motor, and pull the radiator assembly out of the engine compartment. Detach the fan from the old radiator and transfer it to the new radiator.

Slide the new radiator carefully into the engine compartment and tighten the bolts and claps on the radiator and the fan.

Reconnect the clamps on the fan shroud's wire harness, the connector on the fan motor, the oil cooler outlet and inlet hoses and the radiator outlet and inlet hoses. Reconnect the reverse battery connector.

Fill the radiator with a blend of half engine coolant and half distilled water, pouring slowly to avoid air build-up.

Start the engine and let the car warm up to bleed air from the system. Turn off the engine and top off the coolant level.


Be environmentally responsible and reuse engine coolant if it isn't too old or contaminated. If you choose not to reuse it, take it to a garage or hazardous waste facility where it can be disposed of properly.


Be sure to keep engine coolant in a sealed container out of the reach of children and pets, and if any is spilled, clean it up immediately. Remember that antifreeze tastes sweet, and can be fatal if ingested. Wear protective clothing, gloves and eyewear when replacing the radiator in your Toyota Camry. Never open the radiator cap if the temperature of the engine coolant is 100 degrees or more, as serious burns can occur.

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