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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there,

This is a detailed description of have to replace a water radiator. I have done this myself however i will not take responsibility for any actions or faults with your own car !!!!

First the front bumper and front grill need to come off:

Once the front bumper and grill have been removed then there aint actually that much to removing/changing the radiator.

2X flatheaded screwdriver
long nose pliers
10mm spanner/socket

This can be done with the car on the ground but i jacked it up to help with access.

Drop down the splash panel that covers the whole bottom of the car by removing a singe plastic clip at the front, previously covered by the bumper, and 2X clips both sides in the wheel arches and 2X 10mm bolts half way down the car just after the metal access panel as seen in picture.

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Locate the white drain plug for the radiator on the bottom towards the passanger side, open this and let the coolant drain into a driptray or suitible container. Opening the radiator cap at the top may speeden up this proccess.

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Once fully drained close the drain plug and disconnect the thermistat electrical connector and clip holding the conduit to the radiator.

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Move to the top of the radiator and disconnect BOTH fan connectors and conduit clips holding then to the radiator again.

Get your long nose pliers and clamp the pipe connectors clips together and slide then down the pipe to allow the pipe to come off. There is one pipe at the top next to the radiator cap and again one directly below that at the bottom next to the drain plug.

The bottom pipe i couldnt get access to so i followed the pipe up to where it feeds to the engine and did the same there. Pull these pipes off the radiator and were nearly there........

Remove the 4 bolts, 2 on either supprot bracket on the top corners, where the bolts for the grill sit. Then remove the brackets themself.

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The radiator is ready to come out but still requires some work..........

The bonnet catch release needss to come away so the radiator can pull up and out, remove the 3 10mm bolts from the catch release bracket and disconnect the electrical connector to the drivers side behind it. lift it out the way and secure with tape.

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Also the headlights need to move ever so slightly, so remove the bolt and plastic clip which is under the cover to the side which can be lifted slightly to allow access. and there is another bolt on the bottom of the headlight attachting to a black beam. repeat on both sides and they should give small amounts of movement but enough to allow the radiator to be removed.

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Moment of truth, slowly lift out the tight space watching for anything getting stuck or see if you forgot something :D

Once removed, you can either change over the two fans and expansion bottle or replace what you needed to and refit in reverse of removal.

After completly reconnecting everything on the radiator, fill the radiator to the bottom or the neck with honda type 2 coolant and expansion bottle to max line and put on the radiator cap.

Turn the car over and allow to run for a minuite or so and switch off again, open the radiator cap and check your levels and top up as required. Than put the grill and bumper back on and your done :D

including the bumper and grill remove/refit this job only took about 4 hours and that was without knowing what to do so aim for abound 5/6 hours or maybe more if you don't have much engineering experience.

All you need is confidence !!!!!!!!! ANY QUESTIONS JUST ASK !!

312 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
on the rear of the bottle there is a max and min lines and the words on the back of it. just look from the top with a good torch, you should be able to see it. and just make sure that the radiator itself is full to the neck of the cap. (cold engine obviously :) )

with regards to the new fluid. it's just really good practice I guess to change it, I believe it isn't NECESSARY to put new in but highly recommended. stops contamination an so on.

hope this helps gja_gun
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Premium Member
4 Posts
Thanks audu88 for a good how-to that gave me the confidence to have a go at changing the radiator on my 2006 2.2 cdti.

I came across a few differences that other people with the diesel should beware of.

Main one is the auxiliary radiator (intercooler) that sits in from of the main radiator and so reduces significantly the amount of space you have to pull the radiator up and out.

I found the only?/best way was to detach the two fans from the radiator whilst it was still in the car to make the radiator slim enough to pull out on its own. The fans are each fixed with just two bolts at the top and pegs that fit into moulded brackets at the bottom, so easy to detach once you move the radiatior a little to access the bolt heads. Then the fan on the left (viewed from the front) could be extracted on its own (easier because, once unplugged, it doesn't have any wires still fixed to the main loom) to give more space and the other fan moved about to give enough clearance for the radiator to pull out. I left the other fan in the car throughout, since wiring from the main loom was clipped to it using those little push-in cable-tie-like plastic plugs, which are a real pain to remove. All in all, this took quite a few hours, partly due to caution and partly due to trying to find a way to disconnect all the wiring from the fans, which turned out to be unnecessary. And a broken hose clip making it very hard to remove one of the hoses was a bit of a pain too.

I did it with the car mostly just on the ground, but jacked up at one side or the other to give a bit more room to reach underneath to the bottom hoses, which were difficult to shift. If you have access to a hoist or can otherwise get properly underneath the car it will be much easier. Hope this helps anyone else trying this on a diesel.

Thanks all for a great forum.
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