How to Change a Radiator in a Nissan Frontier

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The radiator in your Nissan Frontier removes heat from the engine block to keep it at a predetermined temperature. A leaking or broken radiator needs to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid permanent engine damage. Following these simple steps, you will be able to change the radiator in your Nissan model in a matter of minutes. This guide is based on a 2004 Nissan Frontier, which is similar to other models.

Things You'll Need

  • Drain pan Phillips screwdriver Ratchet and socket set Pliers Coolant
  • Park your vehicle in a safe and level place with enough room for you to work around the front of the car and open the hood.

  • Place a catch pan under the radiator; open the drain plug located at the bottom, left hand side--driver side--of the radiator and drain the coolant. Loosen the radiator cap to speed coolant draining.

  • Remove the engine undercover so you can have access to the radiator from the bottom. Use a ratchet and socket or Phillips screwdriver.

  • Disconnect the upper and lower hoses connected to the radiator by loosening the hose clamps with pliers, screwdriver or ratchet and socket, depending on the type of clamps used on your Frontier model.

  • Remove the air cleaner and air duct assembly to give yourself enough room for radiator removal; then remove the lower radiator shroud. On most Frontier models, the shroud may be removed by hand; on other models, you may need a Phillips screwdriver or ratchet and socket.

  • Take off the upper radiator shroud by removing the two upper mounting screws using a Phillips screwdriver or ratchet and socket. Lift the unit off the engine compartment; then disconnect the small hose from the reservoir connected to the radiator.

  • Remove the two upper brackets off the radiator using a wrench or ratchet and socket and the two mounting rubber fasteners from the bottom of the radiator using a pair of pliers. Lift the radiator off the engine compartment.

  • Install the new or rebuilt radiator in place and install the two mounting rubber fasteners at the bottom and the two upper brackets. Set the radiator upper shroud in place and install the two upper mounting screws and connect the reservoir hose to the radiator.

  • Install the lower radiator shroud and the air cleaner and duct assembly. Connect the upper and lower hoses and install the engine undercover. Make sure the radiator drain plug is closed and fill the radiator with equal parts of new antifreeze and water. Start the engine and let it reach operating temperature. As the coolant begins to circulate throughout the engine, add coolant to the reservoir tank up to the "Full Hot" mark on the tank.

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  • Photo Credit Photo courtesy of IFCAR at Wikipedia.org.
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