How to Drain the Radiator on a 1995 Jeep Cherokee

by Ian Kelly

    Over time an engine's antifreeze breaks down, and the cooling system gradually loses efficiency. When this happens, it’s time to offer your trusty steed some relief. Jeep recommends you drain the engine coolant on your 1995 Jeep Cherokee with a 4.0-liter in-line, six-cylinder engine and refill with the approved antifreeze every 36 months or 52,500 miles, whichever comes sooner—it’s also a good idea to flush out any residue while you’re at it.

    Items you will need

    • 3-ton floor jack
    • Four 4-ton jack stands
    • 3-foot length of hose
    • Drain pan
    • Suction gun or large syringe
    • Thread sealer compound
    • 4 gallons fresh 50-50 Green ethylene-glycol antifreeze
    • Clean rag

    Draining

    Step 1

    Apply the parking brake. Lift the front of the vehicle with a 3 ton hydraulic floor jack. Place jack stands under the frame rails, immediately behind the control arm mounts. Lower the jack to set the front end on the jack stands.

    Step 2

    Lift the rear of the vehicle and place jack stands under the axle, an inch from the each shock absorber bracket. Lower the jack so the rear end sits on the jack stands. The vehicle should sit level.

    Step 3

    Allow the engine to cool down thoroughly before starting work. Never open the radiator cap or radiator petcock while the engine is hot or under pressure.

    Step 4

    Put on safety glasses and slowly rotate the radiator cap counterclockwise to the stop without pressing down. Once the hissing stops, press down on the cap, rotate it counterclockwise, and lift the cap off. Attach the end of a 3-foot length of hose over the petcock under the radiator. Place the other end of the hose into a drain pan

    Step 5

    Open the petcock by rotating it counterclockwise. Allow the radiator to drain completely. Slide the drain pan under the block drain plug -- it is on the passenger side of the engine, below the exhaust manifold. Remove the drain plug, using a socket and ratchet. Allow the coolant to drain.

    Step 6

    Apply some thread sealer compound over the threads on the drain plug. Thread the drain plug into the block and tighten it securely.Remove the drain hose and close the radiator petcock.

    Flushing

    Step 1

    Refill the cooling system with fresh water until the water level holds steady at the base of the fill neck. Install the radiator cap. Place the Jeep’s heater control to the warmest setting. Start the engine and run it until the thermostat opens. You’ll feel warm air coming out the vent and the upper radiator hose will be hot. Turn the engine off and allow it to cool down thoroughly.

    Step 2

    Loosen the radiator cap 1/4 turn and wait for the hissing to dissipate. Remove the radiator cap. Place a drain pan under the petcock and open the petcock. Drain the radiator completely. Close the radiator petcock.

    Step 3

    Repeat this flushing procedure several times until the water runs clear.

    Filling

    Step 1

    Loosen the cooling system bleed plug. This is a threaded plug with a hex recess situated on top of the upper radiator hose inlet housing.

    Step 2

    Prepare four gallons of fresh 50-50 green coolant and distilled water, or use premixed green antifreeze. Fill the radiator. Close the bleed valve when only coolant -- no air bubbles -- comes from the bleeder valve. Continue adding coolant until the level holds steady at the base of the fill neck. Fill the reservoir to the "Full cold" line. Caution: If you don’t carry out this step and purge air from the cooling system, the engine could overheat and suffer damage.

    Step 3

    Install the radiator cap. Place the Jeep’s heater control to the warmest setting. Start the engine and run it until the thermostat opens. You’ll feel warm air coming out the vent and the upper radiator hose will be hot. Turn the engine off and allow it to cool down. Repeat the engine heat up/cooling down procedure three times. Top up the overflow reservoir to the FULL mark after each cooling down cycle.

    Tip

    • The manufacturer recommends Mopar Antifreeze Coolant, 5 Year/100,000 Mile Formula (glycol base coolant with corrosion inhibitors called HOAT).
    • Most local repair shops and some parts stores will accept used fluids for recycling.

    Warning

    • Always wear safety glasses when draining and refilling your radiator. Antifreeze is poisonous so store it away from animals and children.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images