How to Replace a Radiator in a Pontiac Grand Prix

by Erin MartiseUpdated July 10, 2023

How to Replace a Radiator in a Pontiac Grand Prix. 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.

Things You'll Need:

  • Resealable container
  • Replacement radiator hoses, if needed
  • Replacement radiator
  • Engine coolant
  • Water

1. Disconnect the negative battery cable

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.

2. Take off the mounting bolts on the upper fan

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.

3. Inspect the radiator hoses carefully

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.

4. Lift the radiator up and out of the vehicle

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

5. Install the new radiator

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.

6. Fill the system with a mixture of half engine coolant and half water

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.

7. Turn the engine off and top off the radiator

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

Tips and Warnings

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.

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. 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.

Video showing how to replace a Pontiac Grand Prix radiator:

Helpful comments on this video:

  • Thank you so much for this video! I never knew I could do it on my own! Just saved me 200-300$ in labor!!
  • This was very helpful, thanks! Just a couple notes for anyone with an 02 Grand Prix Gt. On that one you actually don't need to remove the two wire harness' from the fan motors or the plastic clippies holding on the harness', you just need to remove the top center(blue with the white safety clip) electrical connection, and all of it comes out perfectly with the fan. It also doesn't have the annoying useless clips connecting it to the a/c condenser. Check and see if you need new transmission coolant lines beforehand, mine were super rusty. Lastly, when your about to be finished, don't drop one of your mount bolts down into the bumper and scrape up your hand trying to get it like a giant idiot, they sell replacements at Ace hardware for three quarters.

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