Page updated on 04-20-2018

2002 Coolant

10-22-2006, 10:22 AM
How do I change the coolant in my 2002 Altima?

10-22-2006, 06:55 PM
My way is to buy a new 195 degree thermostat, $3 fast flush, and a gallon of anti-freeze. Make sure your radiator cap is good or replace it too.

Drain the old coolant from the radiator from the plug at the bottom of the radiator, and disconnect the upper radiator hose at the radiator.

Remove the thermostat and put the thermostat housing back on. This will allow constant flow through the cooling system.

Turn your heater on high so that water will be flowing through your heater core. You don't need to have the blower fan turned on.

Turn the water hose on enough to keep a small trickle coming from the top of the radiator while you let the engine idle. When the water flowing from the upper radiator hose is clear you have all the old coolant removed from your cooling system.

Don't leave any coolant where an animal can stop to drink it. Read the precautions on the anti-freeze container.

Turn the engine off. Close the radiator drain, connect the upper radiator hose, add the fast flush, and refill with water following the fast flush directions. Fast flush neutralizes the acids that coat the entire cooling system.

After running the engine with the heater still on according to the fast flush instructions, shut the engine off, drain the radiator and remove the upper radiator hose and flush the system again as you did in the beginning. When you see clear water, you have nothing but clean tap water in the system. Turn the engine off and allow the radiator to drain.

If you are going to use distilled water (I don't, Nissan makes no recommendations either way) you can drain the water from the engine block by removing the drain plug in the water connector pipe that is on the front of the engine.

Wash the plastic over flow bottle out with the water hose and remove the water.

Install the new thermostat being careful that it does not slip out of place and crack the housing as you tighten the bolts.

Close the radiator drain and reconnect the upper radiator hose. Open the cooling system air bleed screw that is just below the distributor in the upper thermostat housing. Add the gallon of new anti-freeze and top off with water until you see coolant coming from the air bleed screw. Close the bleeder, start and run the engine until the water in the radiator is warm. Fill the radiator full and recheck for air at the bleeder screw.

Put the radiator cap on and check for leaks. Add water to the lower mark on the overflow bottle.

After driving, recheck for leaks and minimum coolant level in the coolant overflow bottle.

10-22-2006, 07:43 PM
How do I change the coolant in my 2002 Altima?

how many miles you have? Draining and refill is easy , but the air pockets are a bitch. Being all 2.5 motors have duel t-stats it is hard to bleed the coolant system unless you know what your doing

10-28-2006, 06:10 PM
Just my 2 cents on air pockets.

I learned from my local dealership's tech that the issue of air pockets in the cooling system can be minimized by putting your car on ramps.

I mean those that cost like $20 and you set them down equally apart to match the distance between your fron tires, drive up, park and engage your parking brake. I'd put a brick or 2X4 behind one of the rear wheels for good measure.

Needless to say, these ramps must be on LEVEL GROUND for safety and to aid with getting rid of air pockets in cooling system.

It is at this point that the DETAILED draining process mentioned above begins.

You may already know that poor heating problems in Altimas come partly from air pockets - you try this, even if you don't flush - and you will notice much better heating from your Alti....

Add your comment to this topic!