The Radiator Drain Location on an S10

by Nathan McGinty
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radiator humor image by John Sfondilias from

The Chevy S10 series of trucks all use a radiator based cooling system to keep the engine at the proper operating temperature. A water pump circulates a mixture of radiator fluid and water throughout the engine. As the fluid flows through the system, it absorbs the engine heat. This heat is then dissipated into the atmosphere when the fluid passes through the radiator. The radiator drain is located in different places, depending on the model year.

Step 1

Park your S10 in a location that will give you space to work around the front of the vehicle. Parking the car halfway into a garage or on a driveway is a good way to do this. Shift it into park and turn off the engine. Remove the keys from the ignition.

Allow the engine at least an hour to cool off.

Step 2

Open the hood. Remove the radiator cap on the top of the radiator by turning it counterclockwise. After a half turn, begin pressing down on the cap. Continue pressing down and turning until the cap comes off the radiator.

Step 3

Raise the S10 with a jack. Set a block of wood or brick behind the rear wheels. Place the jack beneath the jacking points behind the front wheels. There is a small triangle to indicate the correct area to place the jack. Raise the truck up with the jack until you can work comfortably underneath it. Slide a jack stand underneath and lower the vehicle onto the stand.

Step 4

Position yourself underneath the vehicle. Use the flashlight to help you pinpoint the exact location of the radiator drain. This depends on your model year.

Models prior to 2002 have a drain plug located in the radiator. You may need to remove any plastic shields or screens in order to spot the plug.

On models after 2002, it is located at the bottom of the engine block. You can also drain the radiator by removing the lower coolant hose, although this can get quite messy.

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