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Bob, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4087
Experience:  40 year GM Tech. +30 Certified. ASE Master Tech.(expired, retired) Medium Duty, Heavy Line, Retired
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Hard is it to change a 2002 Aztek Thermostat? What do I have to do?

Customer Question

How hard is it to change a 2002 Aztek Thermostat? What do I have to do?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Bob replied 10 years ago.
Document ID# XXXXX
2002 Pontiac Aztek

Engine Coolant Thermostat Replacement (LA1)

Tools Required

J 38185 Hose Clamp Pliers

Removal Procedure

  1. Remove the air cleaner and duct assembly.
  2. Drain the coolant until the coolant level is below the thermostat.
  3. Remove the crossover exhaust pipe.
  4. Remove the radiator hose from the thermostat housing.
    Object Number: 30962  Size: SH

  5. Remove the thermostat housing bolts and clean any sealer from the bolt threads.
  6. Remove the thermostat housing and gasket.
    Object Number: 30995  Size: SH

  7. Remove the thermostat.
  8. Clean the mating surfaces.

Installation Procedure

    Object Number: 30995  Size: SH

  1. Install the thermostat.
    Object Number: 30962  Size: SH

  2. Install the thermostat housing and gasket.
    Object Number: 70064  Size: SH

    Notice: Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

  3. Install the thermostat housing bolts.

    Tighten the bolts to 25 N·m (18 lb ft).

  4. Install the radiator hose to the thermostat housing.
  5. Install the crossover exhaust pipe.
  6. Install the air cleaner and duct assembly.
  7. Fill the cooling system.

Document ID# XXXXX
2002 Pontiac Aztek
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Bob's Post: I drove 3 hours with some tools to change the thermostat and it was far more difficult then you explained. Tools needed was hose clamp plyers?
In fact, I coudn'd do it. I couldn't even see the bolts for the exhaust, let alone try to get them off as they were behind the engine and between the firewall. The directions sent were general and did not answer my question on "how hard is it to change the thermostat." It's very hard and you need a lot more tools then explained.
Expert:  Bob replied 10 years ago.
Hi John, Looks like I owe you an apology to say the least. I never even gave a thought to the tool question. I guess the GM books assumes people will have the normal regular tools needed and they look at the hose clamp pliers as the only needed tool that they would feel is special or out of the ordinary. All I can do is say I truly am sorry as it sure is not our intent to cause folks grief. I am as surprised as you that they are so difficult to do and confess that I have never had to replace one in an Aztec up to this point. And I guess after twisting wrenches for over 40 years it is really e-z for someone who is used to doing these kinds of things to forget how hard it might be for someone who has not made it their everyday life. Again let me apologize and I really hope you won't feel that this instance reflects on the whole site. We really are here to try to help people save time, money and inconvenience first and foremost. If the people working this site only did it for the money, believe me there are a lot of us that would be doing something much different than this, just to make ends meet. If there is anything I can do to help you on another occasion please feel free to ask for me, I would really like a chance to make up for this problem. My heart felt thanks. And then to compound matters I hit the answer button for this post instead of the information one, sorry again. Please stay away from the accept button. Thanks again. Bob