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How to Replace a Radiator in a Jeep Grand Cherokee

by Contributor

The Jeep Cherokee is practical and sturdy, and if you maintain it properly, your Cherokee will continue to run smoothly for many miles. Part of this means taking care of problems such as a corroded or damaged radiator. If you have some mechanical skill, you can save money by replacing the radiator yourself. Here's how to replace the radiator in the 1999 to 2004 model Grand Cherokee.

Disconnect the negative battery cable before you begin the process of replacing the radiator. Then, remove the plug on the underside of the radiator and let the engine coolant drain into a resealable container.

Remove the upper radiator hose and lower radiator hose. Inspect the hoses, and if they need to be replace, this is the perfect time to do it. Unfasten all of the bolts with a wrench, securing the grill reinforcement panel, and take off the panel.

Unhook the transmission cooler lines, along with any electrical connections. Take off the radiator mounting support bolts, and remove the radiator support. Remove the bolts holding the radiator in place, and lift out the radiator.

Slide the new radiator into place, and tighten the bolts according to specifications. Reattach the radiator support and the radiator mounting support bolts.

Reconnect the electrical connections and the transmission cooler lines, and replace the grille reinforcement panel. Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Fill the radiator with a mixture of half engine coolant and half distilled water, pouring slowly to avoid excess air.

Start the engine and let it run for several minutes with the cap on very loosely to bleed air from the system, then top off the engine coolant mixture, if necessary. Replace the radiator cap securely.

Tip

  • Don't waste good engine coolant. If the coolant is clean, it can safely be reused. If you're unable to reuse it, take it to a garage or a hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.

Warnings

  • Be sure the engine of your Jeep Grand Cherokee is completely cool before replacing the radiator because the hot liquid and steam can cause serious burns. Put a thick towel over the radiator cap and open the cap very slowly to allow any steam to escape. It's also a good idea to wear gloves and protective clothing.
  • Remember that cats and dogs are attracted to antifreeze, which can be fatal if ingested. Clean up any spills as soon as they happen.

Items you will need

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