It's essential to keep the radiator on your Toyota Corolla in good condition, as a leaky radiator can cause overheating and engine damage. If you're mechanically inclined, you can save money by replacing the radiator yourself. Although the process is similar for any year or model, here's how to replace the radiator in the popular 2001 Corolla.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Resealable container
- Replacement radiator
- Engine coolant
- Distilled water
Disconnect the negative battery cable before you begin. Loosen the drain plug on the underside of the radiator, remove the radiator cap, and drain the engine coolant into a resealable container.
Detach the radiator inlet hose and outlet hose, and detach the oil cooler inlet hose and outlet hose if your Corolla has an automatic transmission. Disconnect the connector on the fan motor and the two clamps that hold the wire harness on the fan shroud.
Remove the fan mounting bolts, then remove the fan, along with the motor. Pull the radiator assembly out of the engine compartment and transfer any connections to the new radiator.
Install the new radiator. Reinstall the fan, motor and mounting clips and the wire harness clamps on the fan shroud and the fan motor connector.
Reconnect the oil cooler inlet and outlet hoses if you have automatic transmission, and reconnect the radiator inlet and outlet hoses.
Fill the radiator with a blend of half engine coolant and half distilled water. Put the radiator cap on very loosely, start the engine and let it run for several minutes to bleed the air from the system.
Turn off the engine and top off the radiator with more engine coolant blend. Put the radiator cap on securely.
Tips and warnings
- You can reuse engine coolant, so, be environmentally responsible. If you choose not to reuse it, take it to a garage or hazardous waste facility where it can be disposed of properly.
- Wear protective clothing, gloves and eyewear when replacing the radiator in your Toyota Corolla. Never open the radiator cap if the temperature of the engine coolant is 100 degrees or more, as serious burns can occur.
- Be sure to keep engine coolant in a sealed container out of the reach of children and pets, and if any is spilled, clean it up immediately. Remember that cats and dogs are attracted to antifreeze, which can be fatal if ingested.