How to Drain the Radiator of a Jeep Cherokee

Written by jody l. campbell
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Draining the radiator in your Jeep Cherokee is not too difficult, but can be a little messy. It's a good service to perform for your Jeep, but it's not as thorough as a coolant system flush, which would replace all of the coolant in the engine block. If you're just draining the radiator to replace it or draining it to perform a drain and fill service, all you need are a few inexpensive items to minimise the mess.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pliers
  • Safety glasses
  • Creeper (optional)
  • Green drain bucket with spout (for antifreeze)
  • 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch inside diameter low-pressure hosing (18 inches long)

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  1. 1

    Open the bonnet to the Jeep Cherokee. This will allow light into the engine compartment when you crawl underneath it.

  2. 2

    Put in the safety glasses, grab the creeper (if you have one), the pliers, the drain bucket, and the hosing and crawl under the front of the Jeep. Locate the drain plug. For a 4.0 litre it will be on the right hand (passenger side) lower side of the radiator.

  3. 3

    Turn the drain plug (using the pliers if necessary) counterclockwise until you can open it by hand. Do not open it yet. Place the low-temp hosing onto the tip of the drain plug. Make sure it fits snugly. Ideally this is something you've already sized up when you bought the hosing. Place the end of the hose into the drain bucket and open the drain plug by turning counterclockwise.

  4. 4

    Crawl out from underneath the Jeep Cherokee and slowly remove the radiator cap. This will vent the radiator and allow the antifreeze to purge quickly.

  5. 5

    Remove the hose and close the drain plug when the radiator is drained. To fill, pour antifreeze back into the top of the radiator and allow to settle into the radiator. This may take a while. When the radiator does not take any more fluid, start it up with the radiator cap still off of the radiator and allow the air bubbles to purge out of the radiator. The Jeep will need to get up to operating temperature and you'll have to add antifreeze throughout the process. Some antifreeze will purge from the radiator and make a small mess, so be sure to locate the drain bucket strategically and wipe up any spillage immediately. The radiator should be purged and checked up to three times in order to ensure it is full.

Tips and warnings

  • Never perform a drain and fill or any other service to your coolant system when the Jeep is warm or hot. This service should only be performed before the Jeep has been started for the day or has had sufficient time to cool down. Be sure to wipe up or hose down and dilute and spillage from the antifreeze as it has a sweet smell and taste that can attract small children or neighbourhood pets, but is highly poisonous if ingested.

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