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How to Replace the Coolant Recovery Tank in a Pontiac Grand Prix

by Contributor

The cooling system is integral to the overall operation of your Pontiac Grand Prix. If the system malfunctions, the Grand Prix can overheat and eventually fail. Part of that system is the coolant recovery tank. If this tank begins to leak, the engine can overheat. Replacing the coolant recovery tank doesn't require a significant amount of mechanical knowledge.

Step 1

Put a bucket with at least a 2-gallon capacity under the radiator drain plug. The radiator drain plug is usually on the driver's side bottom of the radiator on the Pontiac Grand Prix. Make sure the radiator is cool to the touch before you open the plug.

Step 2

Open the radiator drain plug and let the coolant drain into the bucket. Once drained, pour the coolant into a sealable container.

Step 3

Use a socket wrench to remove the nuts from the bolts that secure the coolant recovery tank in place, which is on the passenger side of the engine compartment towards the rear. You made need a socket extension, if any of the nuts are in a difficult location to access. Put the nuts in a safe so you won't misplace them.

Step 4

Loosen the hose clamps with a pair of hose clamp pliers. Then, slide the clamps up each of the hoses and detach the hoses from the coolant recovery tank.

Step 5

Pull out the old coolant recovery tank and replace it with the new tank. The new tank connections should line up and slide down over the bolts, which held the previous tank in place. If the connections don't match, you might have purchased the wrong model replacement tank.

Step 6

Place the nuts onto the bolt and tighten them down with the socket wrench. Apply pressure to the tank to test the solidity of the installation before you proceed.

Step 7

Reconnect the coolant hoses and move the clamps down each of the hoses. Then use the hose clamp pliers to secure them to the new recovery tank. Pull on the hoses to verify that the union of each is solid.

Close the radiator drain plug and refill the radiator with fresh coolant. Then, turn on the engine, set the heater to high and let it run for about 15 minutes. Check for any coolant recovery tank leaks. Finally, close the hood and clean up any mess.


  • Use only DEX-COOL engine coolant and clean water in a 50/50 mixture when adding more fluid to your coolant recovery tank or refilling your radiator. The wrong mixture can cause the car to overheat and lead to engine damage.


  • Never open a warm or hot radiator, as the internal pressure can cause an eruption of hot coolant.
  • Be careful when working with coolant as it's very toxic.

Items you will need

  • Bucket
  • Sealable container
  • Socket wrench
  • Socket wrench extension
  • Hose clamp pliers
  • Coolant recovery tank
  • Coolant

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