How to Change a Silverado Radiator

Written by chris moore
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The radiator is one of the main components of your Chevy Silverado's cooling system and needs replacement if it has broken in any way. The radiator is mounted in the engine compartment and connected to the cooling fans and the rest of the cooling system through its hoses and other lines. This replacement process can vary, especially for models made prior to 2007, so talk with your mechanic beforehand.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Rubber plugs

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the truck's negative battery cable, loosening its cable clamp nut with an insulated wrench.

  2. 2

    Place a large container under the radiator, release the lower radiator hose's spring clamp, disconnect the lower hose and pour the engine coolant into the container.

  3. 3

    Unscrew the plastic fasteners and lift the radiator support cover off the radiator.

  4. 4

    Loosen the clamp for the upper radiator hose with a screwdriver and detach the hose from the radiator. Disconnect the coolant air bleed pipe.

  5. 5

    Unsnap the collar and pry off the quick-connect fitting's retaining clip to disconnect the transmission cooler lines. Plug the lines to keep fluid from leaking. Disconnect the oil cooler lines in the same way if the truck has an external oil cooler.

  6. 6

    Pull out the fresh air inlet hose from the air intake duct, loosen the hose clamp screws with a screwdriver and lift the duct out of the compartment. Disconnect the MAF sensor from the filer housing and lift the housing off the insulator grommets.

  7. 7

    Disconnect the upper radiator hose clip, the air coolant bleed hose, the electrical connectors and any other hoses/wiring harnesses connected to the fan shroud. Disconnect the transmission cooler line bracket bolts and oil cooler line mounting clips from the shroud.

  8. 8

    Remove the cooling fan shroud mounting bolts with a wrench and lift the shroud out of the engine compartment.

  9. 9

    Remove the radiator's mounting bolts with a wrench and lift the radiator out of the engine compartment.


  1. 1

    Install the radiator, making sure it seats properly in the lower saddles and that the upper brackets fit securely, and bolt it in place with the wrench.

  2. 2

    Install and bolt the cooling fan in place. Reconnect all the lines, brackets and electrical connectors to the cooling fan shroud.

  3. 3

    Reinstall the air filter assembly, seating the housing on the rubber mounting grommets, connecting the MAF sensor's electrical connector, connecting the intake duct with its clamps and then connecting the fresh air hose to the duct.

  4. 4

    Connect the oil and transmission cooler lines to the radiator, installing the retaining clips onto the quick-connect fittings and then snapping the lines on the fittings.

  5. 5

    Attach the upper and lower radiator hoses and the coolant air bleed pipe.

  6. 6

    Mount the radiator support cover in place with its plastic fasteners.

  7. 7

    Refill the engine coolant at the radiator filler neck; if the old coolant is contaminated, use a fresh mix of antifreeze and water.

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