DIY: Replace a Radiator Caravan

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    Draining the Cooling System

    • Before you start to drain the cooling system, set the heater control lever on the dashboard of you Caravan to the hottest position. Then begin to drain the system. On some Caravan models, the radiator does not come equipped with a drain valve. In this case, place a drain pan under the lower radiator hose, loosen the radiator hose clamp at the radiator and detach the hose from the radiator.

      Also, if you have a Caravan with a 2.2L or 2.5L engine model, remove the vacuum valve (2.2L) or the drain/fill plug (2.5L) located above the thermostat housing. This will let you purge the cooling system of air pockets when you refill the system with coolant.

    Removing the Radiator

    • Once you have drained the cooling system, detach the upper, lower and overflow hoses from the radiator. Then unplug the radiator fan electrical connector. Depending on your particular Dodge Caravan model, you may be able to unfasten the radiator fan assembly from the radiator and remove it now. Otherwise, unfasten the radiator attaching bolts and remove the radiator and fan assembly at the same time.

      Install the new radiator in the reverse order.

      After installing the new radiator, if you are replacing the old coolant with a new mixture of antifreeze, follow this procedure: Reinstall the vacuum valve or drain/fill plug, if you have a 2.2L or 2.5L engine model. Fill the system with water and turn on the engine. Let it idle until it reaches operating temperature. Then drain the water from the system and refill it with water. Repeat this procedure until the water drains clear.

      Now loosen the vacuum valve or drain/fill plug, if you have a 2.2L or 2.5L engine model. Begin to fill the system with a 50/50 mixture of glycol type antifreeze and distilled water. When coolant begins to flow out of the vacuum valve or drain/fill plug, tighten the valve or plug. Finish filling the system with coolant. Then turn on the engine and let it idle until it reaches operating temperature. Then turn off the engine, let it cool and fill the coolant reservoir to the Max mark.

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