How to Replace a Radiator in a Pontiac Grand Prix

by Contributor

Over time, your vehicle's radiator can corrode and wear out, causing leaks and overheating. If you have a Pontiac Grand Prix, replacing the radiator is a fairly difficult project because you must remove so many engine components before you can replace the radiator. However, if you have mechanical know how, you may want to tackle the job. Here's how to replace the radiator in the 1997 through 2003 model Pontiac Grand Prix.

Disconnect the negative battery cable, and be sure the ignition is left in the "Lock" or "Off" position before beginning. Remove the drain plug on the radiator and rain the liquid into a resealable container. Remove the air cleaner, duct and mounting stud if necessary to provide clearance.

Take off the mounting bolts on the upper fan, then unfasten the retainers on the upper radiator panel. Remove the panel. Remove the hoses on the coolant reservoir and disconnect the radiator hoses.

Inspect the radiator hoses carefully. If they show wear such as cracks or bulges, they should be replaced. If your Grand Prix has air conditioning, remove the engine oil cooler lines from the radiator. If it has an automatic transmission, disconnect the transaxle cooler lines.

Lift the radiator up and out of the vehicle, being careful not to damage the fins.

Install the new radiator, being sure it's properly seated in the pads. Reattach the engine components in the order in which they were removed, fastening all bolts and clips securely. Connect the negative battery cable.

Fill the system with a mixture of half engine coolant and half water. Start the engine and let it run for several minutes with the radiator cap off. This will bleed the air from the system.

Turn the engine off and top off the radiator with the coolant and water mixture.

Tip

  • check Drain engine fluids into sealed containers. If the liquid is clean, recycle it. Otherwise, take it to a garage or hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.

Warnings

  • close Remember that cats and dogs are attracted to antifreeze, which can be fatal if ingested. Be sure to keep antifreeze in a tightly sealed container and clean up any spills immediately.
  • close Be sure the engine of your Grand Prix is completely cool before replacing the radiator because the hot liquid and steam can cause serious burns. It's also a good idea to wear gloves and protective clothing.

Items you will need

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