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How to Replace a Radiator in a Pontiac Grand Am

by Contributor

It's essential to keep the radiator on your Pontiac Grand Am in good condition, as a leaky radiator can cause overheating and engine damage. Although the process is essentially the same for any year or model, here's how to replace the radiator in the popular 2001 Grand Am.

Park the car on a level surface and be sure the ignition is in the "Off" or "Lock" position. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

Disconnect the lower radiator hose and drain the radiator into a resealable container. Disconnect the fan and the fan shroud, if equipped on your Grand Am. Remove the remaining radiator hoses. This is a good time to check radiator hoses for wear, and to replace them, if necessary.

Detach the transmission cooler lines with a flare nut wrench, and remove the fasteners and clips that hold the radiator in place and lift out the radiator.

Install the new radiator, and tighten the fasteners and clips securely. Reattach the transmission cooler lines, radiator hoses, and the fan and fan shroud.

Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Fill the radiator with a mixture of half distilled water and half engine coolant. Leave the radiator cap off, turn the engine on and let it run for several minutes to bleed the system.

Check the fluid level and add more, if necessary.


  • Recycle used engine coolant if it isn't old or contaminated. However, if you choose not to reuse it, take it to a garage or a hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.


  • To avoid scalds, wear gloves and protective clothing, and always be sure the engine is completely cool before replacing the radiator. The steam and hot liquid can cause serious burns.
  • 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 cats and dogs are attracted to antifreeze, which can be fatal if ingested.

Items you will need

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