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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
SAFETY --> ENGINE COLD :)

Experimenting with the drain cock procedure on page 7-10 of the service manual.

1. The facia is out. Not to difficult to do.

2. Drain cock was difficult to find. On my Caliber, assembled in May of 2006 ( my coolant is now 6 years old and starting to look greyish ... ), it is located in the front left side of the radiator. ( pictures follow ).

3. If you are on a hurry - do as Brad, Charlie & friends are telling you --> use the lower coolant pipe ). The drain cock procedure it is extremely slow but it's working. ( see pictures. )

4. The drain cock is quite strong and works well on my Caliber. Turn it slowly counter clockwise - and make sure you stay with the procedure ( it empties the reservoir first - then open your cold radiator cap for the rest.


I'm a hobyyist, DYI, and it's my first time with this vehicule. Consider my post as a information to be a "plus", but check with your mechanic / knowledgeable family members before doing it. :)










^
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After 10 minutes


Enjoy. ( use the big tube now you guys ) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Update ~30 minutes, white reservoir is done.

Just opened the radiator cap and it's squirting at double or triple the speed. The cap will be replaced with a new one.

My old coolant is a bit less clean than the new one. So I guess doing it each 5 years like the manual says is good preventive maintenance.

Replacement coolant is Zerex G-05 ( 50 / 50 ); like in the pictures. ( HOAT ). Ethylene Glycol is needed if you choose another company. ex: Prestone.

:)

update --> draining started at ~12h30 finished at ~13h50. A little more than an hour. Your time may vary ;)


SPECIFICATIONS - FLUID CAPACITIES
DESCRIPTION SPECIFICATION
Fuel Tank 57L (15 gal.)
Engine Oil* - 1.8L 4.3L (4.5 qts.)
Engine Oil* - 2.0L 4.3L (4.5 qts.)
Engine Oil* - 2.0L Diesel 4.2L (4.5 qts.)
Engine Oil* - 2.4L 4.3L (4.5 qts.)
Cooling System** - 1.8L, 2.0L, and 2.4L 6.2L (6.5 qts.)
Cooling System** - 2.0L Diesel 9.0L (9.5 qts.)
Automatic Transaxle - Estimated Service Fill 3.8L (4.0 qts.)
Automatic Transaxle - Overhaul Fill Capacity with
Torque Converter Empty
8.1L (8.6 qts.)
Manual Transaxle - NV T355 2.4 - 2.7L (2.5 - 2.8 qts.)
Manual Transaxle - BG6 2.0L Turbo Diesel: 2.0L (2.1 qts.)
*(includes new filter)

**(Includes heater and coolant recovery bottle filled to MAX level.)





Replacement radiator cap with pressure lever: STANT 10330





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JdDWWoX-70
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Good stuff Francois. I put a request in that this DIY info be moved to the knowledge Base.

Thank you Brad :smileup:

Umm... I have one thing to add is when you put the facia back on the Caliber, be carefull not to over tork the screws that fasten it on the steal frame of the car because it's tender material and can get crushed. I'm ok, I've done it properly.

My embty bottle of Zerex, with the old coolant transfered in it, has already been traveled to the Eco-center :smileup:.

I bought, like you saw in the pictures, a new black recipient to capture the old coolant and it has a goose neck to help to get it emptied.

Traveled about 8 km and checked everything back. It's all good :).
 

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Is it absolutely necessary to remove the front bumper to do this procedure?
 

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I would think you could attach a hose if the drain cock was in a strange position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Is it absolutely necessary to remove the front bumper to do this procedure?
Good morning Glenn, Dave,
I was searching for the drain cock and looking in the internal driver side to find it. Like in the service manual, the schema is showing it on a different kind of radiator. I had to take the facia out for clarity of the search. The lower lip is permanently attached to the facia with a different kind of plastic fastener; looks like a one time attaching assembly procedure.

Since I found mine in the front passenger side; maybe one can sneak is arm to turn the drain cock.

Taking the facia out for me wasn't too long; next time would be ~ 5-10 minutes job, for any needed work.

I'll try to look into it today and clarify your question :smileup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Updated info - found ! :)

Ok, just went under it :

1. The lower lip of the facia has an opening space wich is rounded that lets the coolant free to pass.

2. There is also an opening just before it that lets you pass a hand and part of the arm.

(a) Follow by touching the two small aluminium pipes towards the front, then:

(b) a little bit higher - your hand is going to touch the drain nob. ( refer to the pictures in pevious posts :) )

(c) On mine, I turned it slowly One complete turn - and it drainned.


Eureka!
 

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Just to add a little bit to this (rather old) discussion, I'm in the process right now of changing out the coolant in my Caliber, and maybe some of the things I found will help others.

Regarding the radiator drain plug: while it's possible to reach the drain plug through the opening in the plastic shroud underneath it, it's nearly impossible to manipulate the plug itself. That being the case, you really should take the front fascia off the car...it makes accessing the plug a LOT easier, plus you can check out the state of your radiator and brush away any debris that may have accumulated.

The black plastic lip underneath the bumper, which is also a plastic shroud that extends under the car, is RIVETED to the bumper, and cannot be removed by itself. The whole fascia must come off. It sounds difficult, but is actually quite easy.

First, if you have fog lamps, reach up through the hole in the black plastic shroud underneath each and disconnect the electrical connector for each. Press in the tab on the connector, and it just pulls right off.

To remove the front fascia, you will need to remove:

- three 10mm bolts from underneath the black plastic shroud, in the center of the shroud
- four plastic plugs underneath the black plastic shroud, two on each end where it meets the splash guards near each front wheel. Pry up the plastic center piece with a flat-bladed screwdriver until it starts coming out, then use a pickle fork or a pair of wire cutters (carefully!) to pull the center piece all the way out. The rest of the plug then pulls out easily.
- the front section of each front wheel well splash guard must be pulled back to reveal a hidden bolt. To do so, remove the two 7mm screws you'll find along the front edge of the wheel well (where the painted bumper meets the splash guard), then remove the single plastic plug towards the engine side of the splash guard. Pull back the splash guard.
- You'll find a 7mm bolt that attaches the edge of the bumper (right where it ends at the wheel well) to the front fender. Remove these screws.
- Six T-20 screws along the upper edge of the fascia near the front of the hood.

At this point the fascia can be removed. Pull the sides of the bumper outwards (so they clear a plastic tab that helps hold them up), then pull the fascia straight off the car.

Now it's VERY easy to get to the drain plug. It's not threaded...turn it about half a turn counter-clockwise and the coolant starts to flow. BE CAREFUL...if you turn the plug too far counter-clockwise or pull on it too hard, it will come completely out of the radiator!

It's also possible to remove the lower radiator hose to drain the coolant, but I found that I needed to remove the battery and battery tray to get at the clamp. This is not difficult either, but it doesn't get quite as much coolant out of the car as the radiator drain plug since it doesn't connect at the very bottom of the radiator, but about 1/3 of the way up. To remove the battery, first disconnect the negative, THEN the positive leads, using a 10mm socket. Down at the bottom of the battery near the front is a 13mm bolt that secures a beefy plastic tab that holds the battery in place. Carefully loosen this bolt (hit it with PB Blaster to loosen it up if necessary) so there's enough play in the plastic locking tab to remove the battery. Remove battery. Remove the four 13mm bolts and the 13mm nut holding the tray in place, then lift it out. The hose clamp can then easily be reached, and you can also easily aim the hose towards your drain pan.

The 2.0L engine has a 7.2 quart capacity. I found that about half of that comes out when you drain the radiator and the overflow tank. As such, I'd suggest draining the car, filling with DISTILLED water, running it up to temperature, draining that out (after it has cooled down!), and repeating the process until the distilled water comes out clear (or mostly clear). At that point, do a final draining of the system, then pour in exactly half of the capacity (which in my case is 3.6 quarts) of UNDILUTED G-05 coolant. Zerex sells a G-05 coolant in both undiluted and pre-diluted forms, so be sure to get the right one! Top off the car with distilled water, and you'll have the 50/50 mix of coolant and water that you need. Burp the car as necessary (raising the front of the car helps get all the air out), put the car back together, and you're good to go.
 

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Draining the Coolant on a Dodge Caliber ... There IS an Easier Way!!!

Thanks to the previous contributors to this thread, I was finally able to find the coolant drain on my 2007 Caliber R/T AWD.

However, I was not about to take the front end of my car apart if I could help it, so I looked for another way.

Now, I admit that I am "tool freak", and believe that there is a tool for every job. So I set about making one.

To make the tool, I simply took an old 3/8" drive deep socket (mine was 10mm, but any size smaller in overall diameter than the width of the 'handle' on the drain cock will do), and ground a slot in the end of it, wide enough and deep enough to fit over the projecting grip bar on the drain cock.

To use it, I add a short extension (5") and a stubby ratchet to allow for the tight quarters as shown in the attached pictures.

This configuration allows me to reach in and place the slotted end of the socket over the raised 'handle' on the drain cock and turn it with ease.

The only thing you have to be careful of is not to apply too much force when closing the drain cock. It only has to be 'finger tight'.


For the cost of one old socket, draining the coolant on my Caliber is now a two minute job that does not require taking the front end apart!!
 

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