How to remove a transmission line from a radiator

Written by jeffrey caldwell
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Most light cars and trucks equipped with an automatic transmission feature a transmission oil cooler built into the vehicle's radiator, to minimise operating temperatures in the transmission. Transmission fluid travels through lines made of steel and rubber tubing from the transmission to the radiator. If you must remove the radiator on your vehicle for repairs, you will have to disconnect these lines.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wrench set
  • Automotive jack
  • Jack stands
  • Waste oil collection pan

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal by loosening the retaining bolt with a wrench and pulling the clamp off the negative terminal.

  2. 2

    Raise the vehicle with the jack, and place jack stands underneath the frame to support the vehicle.

  3. 3

    Locate where the transmission cooler lines attach to the radiator. It will be on the lower right or lower left corner of the radiator.

  4. 4

    Place a waste oil collection pan underneath the lines to catch any fluid that leaks out.

  5. 5

    Use an appropriately sized wrench to carefully unscrew the fittings that connect the transmission cooler lines from the radiator. Be careful not to twist the steel hard lines that are connected to the fittings.

  6. 6

    Plug the lines to prevent dirt, oil or moisture from contaminating the lines.

Tips and warnings

  • Spraying a penetrating oil such as WD-40 on the transmission cooler fittings will help to make removing the lines easier.
  • Do not run the vehicle with the transmission cooler lines removed; doing so could damage your transmission.

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