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Randall C
Randall C, ASE Master Tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 11268
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, 32 Yrs Exp, All Cars/trucks
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How do I drain the coolant to change the intake manifold gasket?

Resolved Question:

How do I drain the coolant to change the intake manifold gasket?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  Randall C replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I am Randall

3 choices

First is you can remove the uppper rad hose from engine and this will let enough coolant out to do intake. May be a little left when intake comes off, but not much

2nd would be to remove the lower rad hose from the radiator with pan underneath

The correct way is there is a drain on the low right of the radiator. You have to remove the shields under engine/radiator and then use screwdriver or pliers to turn the petcock a couple turns. It does not come out while doing the draining

Draining and Filling Cooling System

Coolant Level



The engine coolant level can be inspected at the engine coolant surge tank. The coolant level should be inspected when the system is cool and not under pressure. The coolant level should be at the cold line, also called the surge tank seam, on the coolant tank. If the coolant level is low, inspect the system for leaks, and then slowly open the coolant surge tank cap. Add the coolant until the level reaches the cold line.

Coolant Quality
Inspect the quality of coolant. There should not be any rust deposits, scale, or oil in the surge tank or on the coolant cap. If the coolant is excessively dirty, the cooling system should be flushed and the cap replaced.

Draining Procedure

Caution: To avoid the danger of being burned, do not remove the cap while the engine, radiator, and surge tank are still hot. Scalding fluid and steam can be blown out under pressure.

  1. Remove the surge tank cap.
  2. Raise the vehicle.



  1. Remove the lower cradle splash shield fasteners.
  2. Remove the lower cradle splash shield (2).



Important: Failure to use a drain hose will result in uncontrolled coolant flow direction.

  1. Slide a pliable piece of hose with an inside diameter of 3/8 in over the radiator drain tube.
  2. Route the hose rearward and down to a 7.6 L (8 qt) coolant container.
  3. Use a flat bladed tool or a pliers to open the radiator drain valve 1-2 turns only. Approximately 3.5 L (4 qt) of coolant can be drained from the radiator. Additional coolant will remain in some cooling system components.
  4. Inspect the coolant.
  5. Follow the appropriate procedure based on the condition of the coolant.
    • Normal in appearance-follow the filling procedure below.
    • Discolored-follow the flush procedure.

Filling Procedure

  • Tools Required
  • J 26568 Coolant and Battery Tester

Notice: The procedure below must be followed. Improper coolant level could result in a low or high coolant level condition, causing engine damage.



  1. Close the coolant drain valve and remove the drain hose.
  2. Install the lower cradle splash shield (2).

Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Service Precautions.

  1. Install the fasteners to the lower cradle splash shield.
    • Tighten the fasteners to 5 Nm (44 inch lbs.) .
  1. Slowly fill the cooling system with a 50/50 mixture of GM Goodwrench DEX-COOL or HAVOLINE DEX-COOL 65 and clean, drinkable water. The coolant level should be at the cold line on the coolant tank.
  2. Install the surge tank cap.
  3. Start the engine.
  4. Run the engine at 2,000 - 2,500 RPM until the engine reaches normal operating temperature.
  5. Allow the engine to idle for 3 minutes.
  6. Shut the engine off.
  7. Allow the engine to cool.
  8. Top off the coolant as necessary.
  9. Using J 26568, inspect the concentration of the engine coolant.
  10. Rinse away any excess coolant from the engine and the engine compartment.





Randall C, ASE Master Tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 11268
Experience: ASE Master Certified, 32 Yrs Exp, All Cars/trucks
Randall C and other Saturn Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Do you recommend a complete drain when changing the intake manifold gasket or just removing the top hose and drain what's there? Thanks for your help!
Expert:  Randall C replied 3 years ago.
If coolant looks ok? clear and clean,? in the shop all we do is take top hose off to get coolant from top of engine. really not necessary to drain the whole system unless... you feel you wnat or need new coolant refill
Randall C, ASE Master Tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 11268
Experience: ASE Master Certified, 32 Yrs Exp, All Cars/trucks
Randall C and other Saturn Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for all of your help. I don't know if it is my computer but the illustrations do not show up when I clicked on them.

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