How the heck do you drain the coolant? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 06-14-2004, 05:42 PM   #1
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Default How the heck do you drain the coolant?

i spent almost an hour trying to figure out how to drain the coolant on my 96 SSEi, i'm even working with the haynes manual (most of which doesnt seem to apply to my car) and i could not find the plugs for the radiotor or the engine block, anyone here know where they at?
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Old 06-14-2004, 05:43 PM   #2
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To drain the radiator, put the car up on ramps or stands. Crawl under the driver'* side headlight, and look for a 1.5" diameter hole in the lower radiator support, drivers side, facing back towards the firewall. Get a flashlight and look in there. There'* a petcock. You have to turn it, then the coolant will drain out the lower hole.
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Old 06-14-2004, 07:15 PM   #3
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thats about where the haynes manual said but i didnt see it, ill look again tommorow
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Old 06-14-2004, 07:29 PM   #4
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To drain the block, there are two plugs, one each side of block. The "knock sensors" go in there, and are removed to drain the block coolant completely. They are in there pretty tight between the oil pan and other stuff so you need an extension on your socket. You will also need to rig some kind of a tool to remove and reconnect the electrical.
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Old 06-15-2004, 03:49 PM   #5
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If yours is anything like mine, you will have a plastic cover across the width of your car and about 18 inches wide from the front towards the back. You need to remove this to easily get to the petcock. On mine, it was impossible to turn by hand, and I was afraid of potentially cracking it, so I ended up draining by taking off the lower radiator hose.
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:55 PM   #6
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i tried to detaching the lower radiator hose but i didnt have any wrenches big enough and the pliers were too week
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:49 AM   #7
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The petcock is hiding under some other lines. I couldn't see mine from above, but know it was there from working on dad'* Olds.
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Old 06-16-2004, 05:39 PM   #8
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I used a socket with a long extension. If it'* original, a long flat head screwdriver would also work. If someone tightened the clamp with the screw in a funny position, this will be alot harder. In any case, you might want to buy some more tools if you're planning on doing alot of your own work. Even a cheap set is better than working with pliers.
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Old 06-17-2004, 10:07 AM   #9
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There is another way, and its fairly easy.

I use two hoses, about 1/4" diameter or thereabouts. On hose #1, I put one end in the radiator(down as far as you can get it, past the trans cooler lines), and the other in a bucket. I then put my hand over the radiator opening, and put the other hose thru between my fingers but no farther. Then try to make the seal around both hoses and the radiator as best you can. Blow air in the second hose, and it will put enough pressure in the radiator to start the siphon on the other hose. Once it starts flowing, take away your hand and hose#2. That way you dont have to put the car in the air, and get under it. Its the lazy way, and it works.
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Old 06-18-2004, 06:20 PM   #10
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still tyring to drain my radiator, by process of elimination (accidentally spilling out all my oil) i have figured out which hose is the radiator hose, now i just need to get it off, but it wont come off, the screw to loosen the hose is in too tight and too far down and its on the wrong side to get it from underneath, any suggestions?
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