How to Find the Radiator Drain Plug

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
What You'll Need
Auto Repair Manual for your Car
Coolant or Antifreeze

The radiator drain plug is used to keep the radiator fluid inside, as well as draining the fluid when flushing the radiator. Finding the radiator drain plug is important to know if you wish to engage in a do-it-yourself radiator repair. In order to locate the radiator drain plug you need to have a schematic drawing of the radiator for your car. With this drawing you can easily find the plug.

Step 1: Obtain an Auto Repair Manual for your Car

Find an auto repair manual for the style and type of car you own. This can be purchased at an auto parts supply store. You can also go online to the manufacturer of your car for a service manual. This manual should have a schematic drawing of the different parts that are located in your car. Find the schematic that is associated with your car’s radiator.

Step 2: Locate the Radiator Drain Plug

When you find the schematic drawing of the radiator drain plug for your car, place a marker in the manual. The radiator for your car should be under the hood and in the front part of the engine compartment. If you car’s engine compartment is located in the back of the car, the radiator should be the first part that you find when you open the rear compartment. This will be indicated in the service repair manual for your car.

Once you locate the radiator, follow the schematic drawing to locate the drain plug. It should be at the bottom of the radiator. Feel around with your hands and use a flashlight to match the drain plug with the drawing in the service manual.

Step 3: Loosen the Drain Plug

You should practice draining the fluid from the radiator. This is accomplished by loosening the drain plug so that the coolant comes out of the radiator. Use a ratchet, and following the instructions in the auto repair service manual, loosen the drain plug. Allow the coolant to drain into a bucket that you place underneath. Look at the coolant in the drain bucket. If it appears cloudy or muddy you should replace it with fresh coolant.

Tighten the radiator rug plug with the ratchet after you drain the coolant. Open the radiator cap at the top of the radiator and pour the recommended amount of fresh coolant for your car. After you put the new coolant into the radiator, seal the radiator cap and close the hood to the car’s engine.

Step 4: Remember the Location

Now that you have located the radiator drain plug, remember the location. This will help you the next time you have to drain fluid from your car’s radiator.