GM Camaro/Firebird 1993-1998 Repair Guide

Cooling System

Print


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted by ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old (in which case it should be taken to a recycling facility such as a service station).

FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



When adding or changing the fluid in the system, create a 50/50 mixture of high quality ethylene glycol antifreeze and water for 1993-95 vehicles. For 1996-98 vehicles, use a 50/50 mixture of ethylene based DEX-COOL® and water.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

The fluid level may be checked by observing the fluid level marks of the recovery tank or by unscrewing and reading the recovery tank dipstick. The level should be between the FULL HOT and FULL COLD mark when the system is at normal operating temperature. When the engine is cold, the fluid level should be above the FULL COLD mark on the reservoir or dipstick, as applicable. At normal operating temperatures, the level should be between the ADD and the FULL marks. Only add coolant to bring the level to the FULL mark.


CAUTION
Should it be necessary to remove the radiator cap, make sure that the system has had time to cool, reducing the internal pressure. If the system is opened while the engine is still hot, scalding fluid and steam may be blown out under pressure.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: To check the coolant level, remove the dipstick which screws into the coolant recovery tank



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: The coolant level should be between the FULL COLD (A) and FULL HOT (B) marks on the dipstick



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: If the coolant is low, add a 50/50 mix of proper antifreeze and water to the recovery tank



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: If it's necessary to add coolant to the radiator, make sure the engine is cool before removing the cap!

DRAIN & REFILL



Except 5.7L Engines

See Figures 5 and 6



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Open radiator drain cock to drain coolant from the system



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Adding coolant to the recovery tank to fill to the proper level


CAUTION
Do not remove a radiator cap while the engine and radiator are still hot. Danger of burns by scalding fluid and steam under pressure may result!

  1. Make sure the vehicle is parked on a level surface.
  2.  
  3. Remove the coolant recovery reservoir fill cap.
  4.  
  5. With a cool engine, slowly rotate the radiator cap counterclockwise to the detent without pressing down on the cap.
  6.  
  7. Wait until any remaining pressure is relieved by listening for a hissing sound.
  8.  
  9. After all the pressure is relieved, press down on the cap and continue to rotate the radiator cap counterclockwise.
  10.  
  11. With a suitable container to catch the fluid under the radiator, open the radiator drain cock.
  12.  

Place a rag under the bleed valve to avoid getting any coolant on the EGR valve outlet pipe.

  1. If equipped, open the air bleed vent located on top of the water outlet. The air bleed vent should be pen two or three turns.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, remove the engine block drain plugs and the knock sensor, located on either side of the engine block. This will help to drain the coolant from the block.
  4.  
  5. Loosen or slide the recovery tank hose clamp at the radiator filler neck overflow tube and remove the hose. Holding the hose down to the drain pan, allow the recovery tank to empty. Attach the hose to the filler neck overflow and tighten the clamp.
  6.  
  7. Close the radiator drain cock and install the engine block drain plug and knock sensor. Tighten the knock sensor to 14 ft. lbs. (19 Nm), the engine block drain plug to 15 ft. lbs. (21 Nm), and the drain cock to 13 inch lbs. (1.5 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Add enough coolant mixture to fill the system to a level just below the radiator neck. Fill the reservoir assembly to the "FULL COLD'' mark. Close the air bleed vent when bubbles disappear and only coolant is visible.
  10.  

Fill the cooling system with a 50/50 mixture of water and Ethylene Glycol antifreeze. When filling the coolant system, add two cooling system sealer pellets (GM part no. 3634621 or equivalent).

  1. Firmly set the parking brake. Run the engine with the radiator cap OFF, until normal operating temperature is reached.
  2.  


CAUTION
Under some conditions, ethylene glycol is flammable. To avoid being burned when adding engine coolant, do not spill it on the exhaust system or on hot engine parts.

  1. With the engine idling, add engine coolant to the radiator until the level reaches the bottom of the radiator fill neck. Install the cap assembly. When installing the cap, make sure that the arrows on the cap line up with the overflow tube.
  2.  

Never add cold water to an overheated engine.

  1. Add coolant to the recovery tank, as necessary.
  2.  
  3. After filling the radiator and recovery tank, run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature, to make sure that the thermostat has opened and all the air is bled from the system.
  4.  

5.7L Engine

See Figures 7 through 13


CAUTION
Do not remove a radiator cap while the engine and radiator are still hot. Danger of burns by scalding fluid and steam under pressure may result!

  1. With a cool engine, slowly rotate the radiator cap counterclockwise to the detent without pressing down on the cap.
  2.  
  3. Wait until any remaining pressure is relieved by listening for a hissing sound.
  4.  
  5. After all the pressure is relieved, press down on the cap and continue to rotate the radiator cap counterclockwise.
  6.  
  7. With a suitable container to catch the fluid under the radiator, open the radiator drain cock.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: The radiator draincock (see arrow) is located at the bottom corner of the radiator



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: With a drain pan placed under the radiator, turn the draincock to open it ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: ... then allow the coolant to drain from the radiator

Before opening the air bleed vents, place a towel under the bleed valve to prevent coolant from splashing onto the distributor assembly.

  1. Open the heater air bleed vents located just above the water pump assembly on the thermostat housing and heater outlet hose pipe. Air bleed vents should be opened two or three turns.
  2.  
  3. Remove the engine block drain plugs and the knock sensor, located on either side of the engine block. Allow the system to drain completely.
  4.  
  5. Close the radiator drain cock and install the engine block drain plug and knock sensor.
  6.  

Use a 50/50 mixture of water and Ethylene Glycol antifreeze. Freezing protection should be appropriate for temperatures of -34°F (-37°C).

  1. Fill the cooling system through the radiator neck. Close the air bleed vent when bubbles disappear and only engine coolant is visible.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Now, remove the radiator cap



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Fill the cooling system with a 50/50 mixture of suitable antifreeze and water through the radiator neck

  1. Fill the reservoir assembly to the "FULL COLD'' mark. Install the coolant reservoir cap/dipstick.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: Fill the coolant recovery reservoir ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: ... then check the level and make sure it is at the FULL COLD mark

  1. Firmly set the parking brake. Run the engine with the radiator cap off, until normal operating temperature is reached.
  2.  


CAUTION
Under some conditions, ethylene glycol is flammable. To avoid being burned when adding engine coolant, do not spill it on the exhaust system or on hot engine parts.

  1. With the engine idling, add engine coolant to the radiator until the level reaches the bottom of the radiator fill neck.
  2.  

When filling the engine coolant system, add two engine coolant supplement sealant pellets (GM part no. 3634621 or equivalent) to the system.

  1. Install the radiator cap assembly. After running the engine until normal operating temperature is reached, inspect the system for leaks.
  2.  

The "LOW COOLANT'' warning indicator lamp may come on after this procedure. After operating the vehicle so that the engine heats up and cools down three times, this indicator should go out. If the "LOW COOLANT'' warning indicator lamp does not go out, or fails to come on at ignition check and the coolant is above "FULL COLD'' mark in reservoir, electrical diagnosis performed by a certified technician is required. If at any time the "TEMP'' warning indicator lamp comes on, immediate action is required. Turn off the engine and allow the vehicle to cool down. Do not remove the coolant recovery reservoir cap at this time.

FLUSHING & CLEANING THE SYSTEM



See Figure 14



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 14: Flush system until the fluid drained is nearly colorless

The cooling system should be drained, thoroughly flushed and refilled at least every 30,000 miles or 24 months. This operation should be done with the engine cold.

  1. Drain the cooling system as described earlier in this section.
  2.  
  3. Fill the cooling system with warm water and start the engine. Run the engine until normal operating temperature is reached.
  4.  
  5. At this point, turn the engine off and again drain the cooling system.
  6.  
  7. Repeat this procedure until the fluid draining from the system is nearly colorless.
  8.  
  9. Remove, empty and reinstall the coolant recovery reservoir assembly.
  10.  
  11. Fill the cooling system with a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol antifreeze, as outlined in the previous procedure.
  12.  

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo