How to Change the Coolant in a 2005 Chevrolet 5.3L

Written by kevin mclain
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How to Change the Coolant in a 2005 Chevrolet 5.3L
Change the coolant on your 2005 Chevrolet every 30,000 miles. (radiator humour image by John Sfondilias from

The antifreeze coolant in the 2005 Chevrolet 5.3-litre engine protects the engine block from overheating. When the engine is running, the coolant circulates out of the radiator, through the thermostat and into the engine block. The coolant then returns to the radiator and repeats the circulation. This allows the coolant to be continually circulated throughout the engine block and prevents overheating. To change the coolant in your 2005 Chevrolet, you'll need to access the lower part of the engine block. The coolant in your vehicle should be changed every 30,000 miles.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Dripping pan
  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet
  • Hex-head socket (17mm)
  • New antifreeze

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  1. 1

    Park the 2005 Chevrolet 5.3L in a safe working location. Turn off the motor, open the bonnet and allow the vehicle to cool down for at least an hour.

  2. 2

    Tap the radiator with the palm of your hand to ensure that the radiator cap is not hot. Slowly unscrew and remove the radiator cap. Set the cap to the side.

  3. 3

    Slide under the engine on the driver's side and locate the large coolant drain bolt on the engine block between the exhaust manifold connection and the oil filter. You will see two drain bolts in this area. The coolant drain bolt is the larger 17mm bolt that is positioned lower than the other bolt. Slide the dripping pan under the coolant drain bolt.

  4. 4

    Loosen the coolant drain bolt from the engine block with the ratchet and hex socket. Allow all of the coolant to drain out of the radiator. Then, screw the drain plug back in and tighten with the ratchet and the hex socket.

  5. 5

    Move up to the top side of the engine and begin filling the radiator with antifreeze or Dexcool antifreeze. Once the radiator is full, start the car and let the engine run for about five minutes so that it reaches its normal operating temperature.

  6. 6

    Check the antifreeze fluid level by looking inside the radiator fill neck. It should be low because the running engine allowed the thermostat to open, circulating the antifreeze out of the radiator and into the engine block. Add antifreeze to the radiator with the engine running until the antifreeze level stabilises at the top of the radiator fill neck. Put the radiator cap back on and turn the engine off.

  7. 7

    Pull the dripping pan out from under the Chevrolet and shut the hood.

Tips and warnings

  • Chevrolet put the drain plug on the underside of the engine block so that more of the antifreeze will drain out of the engine and the radiator.
  • Use extreme caution when working around a hot radiator, hot coolant or a hot engine block. Never attempt to open a hot radiator cap.
  • Never dispose of antifreeze on the ground. Use an approved antifreeze disposal container.

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