Radiator Drain Plugs

Reese Fletcher
13 min readJun 18, 2024


Get ready to learn about the best radiator drain plugs on the market, as we round up the top products for your vehicle’s cooling system needs. From easy-to-use designs to reliable connections, our roundup covers everything you need to know to make the perfect choice for your upcoming radiator maintenance.

The Top 11 Best Radiator Drain Plugs

  1. High-Quality Radiator Drain Cock — Experience top-notch performance with Napa Radiator Drain Cocks, designed for optimal cooling system draining and superior leak prevention.
  2. Easy-to-Use Dorman Radiator Drain Plug for Oldsmobile Cutlass ’78 — Dorman Radiator Drain Plug 61103 at AutoZone — High-quality, durable, and easily usable solution for radiator draining, available in different styles for a proper fit.
  3. ACDelco Radiator Drain Plug for Easy Maintenance — Replace your GM vehicle’s original radiator drain plug with the GM-recommended ACDelco 88927326, engineered for quality and durability that meets or exceeds OE specifications.
  4. Koyo Radiator Drain Plug for High-Performance Cooling — Koyo PI-1186 provides a reliable and high-performance radiator drain plug, expertly crafted using Japanese-made equipment and top-quality aluminum, backed by a 5.0 rating and perfect fit for your vehicle.
  5. Dorman 61145 Radiator Drain Plug with Washer and Screw Type — Boost your car’s cooling performance with Dorman 61145 Radiator Drain Cock Screw, offering durable construction, quality materials, and competitive pricing for BMW models.
  6. Dorman Radiator Drain Plug — Perfect Fit for ’88 Jeep J10 — Dorman’s reliable Radiator Drain Plug (61104) at AutoZone provides efficient cooling system drainage and is available in several styles to best suit your needs.
  7. Radiator Drain Plug for 1993 Geo Prizm: DORMAN 61136 — Upgrade your radiator with the Dorman 61136 Radiator Drain Petcock, featuring easy installation and an exceptional 4.4-star rating for fit and ease of use.
  8. ACDelco Radiator Drain Plug for Efficient Cooling — Experience the ultimate reliability with the ACDelco 52484010 Radiator Drain Plug, designed to meet superior standards and backed by General Motors.
  9. Dorman 61114 Radiator Drain Plug — Effortlessly drain your cooling system with Dorman Radiator Drain Plug 61114, designed for various Subaru models and proven for its high quality and easy usage.
  10. AC Delco Radiator Drain Plug for Cadillac CTS — Upgrade your vehicle’s cooling system with the ACDelco 22887095 Radiator Drain Plug, a reliable direct replacement engineered to factory standards.
  11. Dorman 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby Radiator Drain Plug — Efficiently drain your cooling system with Dorman’s high-quality, easy-to-install radiator drain petcocks, available in various styles for optimal performance.

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High-Quality Radiator Drain Cock

In my daily life, I’ve used the Napa Radiator Drain Cocks, and they’ve been quite a reliable product. These drain cocks are well-built, which I’ve noticed when it comes to their secure fittings and high-quality design.

One of the things that stood out to me when using these cocks was their sturdy construction. They’ve held up well under pressure with no signs of leaks or any potential breakdown in their performance. The overall length and width of the product are appropriate for the job, making it easy to handle and install.

However, I did have a minor concern with these drain cocks. Initially, I thought they would not require SDS, but, upon closer inspection, I found out they do. It was a slight inconvenience, but not a deal breaker.

Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable radiator drain cock, the Napa Radiator Drain Cocks are a great choice. Their sturdy construction and suitable dimensions make them an excellent addition to any cooling system, helping to ensure effective draining without any leakage concerns.

Easy-to-Use Dorman Radiator Drain Plug for Oldsmobile Cutlass ‘78

Dorman’s Radiator Drain Petcocks provide an easy and effective solution to draining cooling systems. With several styles available, these drains are perfect for a diverse range of applications. Their direct replacement designs guarantee a proper fit, ensuring a seamless installation process without the need to disconnect any radiator hoses.

Engineered for durability, Dorman’s Radiator Drain Petcocks are built to last. Even though the drains are easy to use, they’re sturdy enough to withstand the pressures and stresses of the cooling system. This makes Dorman’s offerings a reliable choice for those seeking high-quality radiator drain plugs.

However, some users have reported issues with finding the correct size for their vehicle, which may be a minor inconvenience. Additionally, a few customers have expressed concerns about the employees’ knowledge at AutoZone, which can affect the overall shopping experience.

Despite these minor setbacks, Dorman’s Radiator Drain Petcocks remain an excellent options due to their convenience, ease of use, and durability.

ACDelco Radiator Drain Plug for Easy Maintenance

As someone who’s had to deal with a broken radiator drain plug, I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to have a reliable replacement. That’s why I turned to the ACDelco Radiator Drain Plug. It’s designed with GM OE specifications, ensuring a perfect fit and top-notch functionality.

What truly stands out about this product is its ability to seal the radiator drain petcock seamlessly. And considering it’s backed by General Motors, you know you’re getting a high-quality piece of equipment. However, be prepared to spend a bit more for that GM-recommended quality and durability.

In terms of installation, it was a breeze. The plug fit like a glove and didn’t require any additional tools or tricks. Overall, the ACDelco Radiator Drain Plug is a smart investment for GM vehicle owners, delivering on the quality and reliability that GM OE has to offer.

Koyo Radiator Drain Plug for High-Performance Cooling

The Koyo radiator drain plug has been an invaluable addition to my daily life. I’ve used it on my Koyo Racing Radiator on my s13, and it has exceeded my expectations. The fit is vehicle specific, ensuring a secure and reliable connection.

Made of the finest aluminum, this radiator drain plug has proven to be more than reliable, thanks to its superior quality materials. It’s lightweight at just 0.009 kilograms, and it even fits snugly with dimensions of 2.032 H x 7.111 L x 11.176 W (centimetres). Overall, it’s a product I highly recommend for its performance and reliability.

Dorman 61145 Radiator Drain Plug with Washer and Screw Type

As a car owner, I recently needed to replace the radiator drain cock on my BMW 525i, and I came across Dorman’s 61145. This radiator drain petcock turned out to be the perfect fit, just like the original equipment part. Made of quality materials, it provides a durable construction and a long service life, saving me money in the long run.

The part is designed to offer original equipment quality at a competitive price, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience. I have to admit, the plastic tip on this metal part was a bit confusing, but with proper care, it shouldn’t be an issue.

My height, length, and width measurements confirmed that it was the exact match I needed. I could feel the quality, and it held strong after completing a coolant flush. Overall, the Dorman 61145 radiator drain petcock exceeded my expectations, and I highly recommend it to fellow car enthusiasts seeking a reliable replacement part.

Dorman Radiator Drain Plug — Perfect Fit for ’88 Jeep J10

I recently tried the Dorman Radiator Drain Plug 61104 while working on my trusty old 1988 Jeep J10 with its 5.9L engine. This little device ended up being a lifesaver, making my radiator draining job much smoother than I ever expected. The direct replacement design ensured a perfect fit, and I appreciated not having to disconnect any radiator hoses.

What stood out to me was the availability of various styles, including the standard, screw-in, and push-in with captive thread. They really thought about making this a user-friendly product for various applications. Plus, the durable construction gave me peace of mind, knowing it would withstand the test of time and many more radiator draining sessions.

The only downside, if you could even call it one, was that it required a bit of a learning curve for first-time users like me. It might take a few extra minutes to figure out how the different styles work, but once you get the hang of it, it’s smooth sailing. Overall, the Dorman Radiator Drain Plug 61104 is a reliable, easy-to-use product perfect for those with older vehicles like mine.

Radiator Drain Plug for 1993 Geo Prizm: DORMAN 61136

I’m not sure how the radiator ended up clogged in my 2000 Buick Regal, but when it did, I needed a reliable and efficient solution to fix it. That’s when I turned to DORMAN/HELP’s Radiator Drain Petcock (MPN 61136), a premium product designed to fit my specific car model seamlessly.

What I appreciated most about this radiator drain plug was its ease of use. I didn’t need to disconnect any radiator hoses, making the process much less daunting. I simply screwed it in by hand, without any complications, and the car was soon up and running as usual. I also liked that it was available in several styles, adding versatility to the model.

While using this radiator drain plug, I found it to be extremely durable and well-engineered for long-lasting performance, even after several use cycles. The fit was as perfect as the design itself, no need for any adjustments on the spot.

However, one con I did notice was the limited availability of exact fit options. I had to try a few different sizes before finding one that was spot-on and fully compatible with my car model. But once I got the correct size, it was a game changer, working just as well as a factory-installed part.

In conclusion, the DORMAN/HELP Radiator Drain Petcock (MPN 61136) proved to be an efficient and sturdy choice for addressing my car’s clogged radiator problem. Although it took a bit of trial and error to find the perfect fit, once I did, the experience was thoroughly positive and hassle-free. I would gladly recommend this product to others in need of similarly reliable solutions for their car’s radiator issues.

ACDelco Radiator Drain Plug for Efficient Cooling

I recently needed a reliable radiator drain plug for my Chevrolet Impala, and after some research, I decided to try the ACDelco Radiator Drain Plug. This small yet sturdy part was surprisingly easy to install, and within minutes, I was back on the road. The plug’s quality was evident, with a secure fit that ensured my radiator would drain efficiently.

It’s one of those little things that helps keep your car running smoothly, and the peace of mind it provides is invaluable.

Dorman 61114 Radiator Drain Plug

The Dorman Radiator Drain Plug 61114 is a top-notch radiator drain petcock designed to efficiently drain your cooling system. This high-quality product fits a range of applications, including several Subaru models from 1972 to 1979.

The plug’s ergonomic design and easy-to-use mechanisms make it an ideal addition to any vehicle’s maintenance routine.

AC Delco Radiator Drain Plug for Cadillac CTS

I recently came across this radiator drain plug by ACDelco, and thought I’d give it a try while fixing up my Cadillac CTS. The fit was spot-on, just like an original equipment part, which made a nice change from some of the dodgy aftermarket replacements I’ve used on my car in the past. It definitely lived up to the ACDelco reputation, and helped me avoid any messy leaks or expensive repairs.

That said, one downside was its price compared to cheaper, less reliable options. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for — and ACDelco has proven to be worth the investment. I’d definitely recommend it for any car owner in need of a reliable radiator drain plug.

Dorman 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby Radiator Drain Plug

I recently tried out the Dorman Radiator Drain Plug for my 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 4 Cylinders J 2.5L MFI. As a petcock, it’s essential to have an effective draining system for the cooling system, and I was pleased to find that Dorman offers multiple styles for various applications. The radiator drain petcocks they provide were a direct replacement for my car’s broken one.

Using the new petcock, I didn’t need to disconnect any of the radiator hoses, making the installation process easier. It’s also available in different styles, including standard, screw-in, and push-in with captive thread, so I was able to select the one that best fit my vehicle. Overall, the design was well-engineered for a long service life.

The only minor issue I faced was getting the insert into the radiator at a specific angle, but I was able to successfully install it without any further complications. No leaks were encountered after the installation, and I was happy with the overall performance of the Dorman Radiator Drain Plug.

Buyer’s Guide

Finding the best radiator drain plug requires careful consideration of important features and factors. In this buyer’s guide, we will discuss the key considerations and features to look for when selecting a radiator drain plug.

Importance of a Radiator Drain Plug

A radiator drain plug is an essential component of any car or vehicle’s cooling system, as it helps to safely drain the coolant when needed. This could be due to a minor leak, routine maintenance, or more significant issues like preparing for a radiator flush. Having a reliable radiator drain plug is crucial in ensuring your vehicle’s cooling system functions optimally and safely.

Material and Durability

When selecting a radiator drain plug, it is essential to consider the materials used and its durability. Radiator drain plugs made from high-quality materials such as brass, stainless steel, or aluminum provide better resistance to corrosion and ensure long-lasting performance. Additionally, look for plugs with reinforced threads to prevent damage during removal and installation.

Ease of Use

An easy-to-use and user-friendly radiator drain plug can make all the difference in a DIY project or routine maintenance. Look for plugs with an ergonomic handle, a wide opening, or non-slip grip to ensure easy and comfortable manipulation. Additionally, a plug with a clear view of its contents helps to monitor the draining process more efficiently.

Leak-Free Design

A leak-free radiator drain plug is a crucial feature to ensure the safe and effective draining of coolant. Look for plugs with a tight seal and reinforced threads to prevent any leaks or spills during use. Also, consider plugs with a self-locking mechanism or multiple gasket seals to provide an extra layer of protection.


What is a radiator drain plug?

A radiator drain plug is a device attached to the bottom of the cooling system’s radiator that allows users to easily drain coolant without removing the whole radiator. It is designed for maintenance or repair purposes, making it easier and faster for technicians and DIY enthusiasts to deal with leaks, overfilled systems, or other issues.

Radiator drain plugs come in various sizes, made of materials like stainless steel and brass. Choosing the right one is essential for compatibility with the radiator’s mounting holes and the type of coolant being used. For a safer and more efficient coolant draining process, consider a radiator drain plug with handles or an easy-grip design.

Why do I need a radiator drain plug?

There are multiple reasons why you might need a radiator drain plug for your vehicle or other cooling systems. Some common scenarios include diagnosing and fixing leaks, changing or refilling the coolant, or adjusting the coolant level as needed. Additionally, having a radiator drain plug handy can be useful during routine maintenance, helping you deal with unexpected issues efficiently.

A quality radiator drain plug enables you to save time and effort on cooling system tasks, enabling you to perform these tasks safely and with minimal disruption to your vehicle or cooling system operations. If you’re looking to make maintenance, repair, or diagnostic work on cooling systems more manageable, a reliable radiator drain plug is an essential tool to have in your toolbox.

How do I choose the right radiator drain plug?

To select the correct radiator drain plug, consider the following factors: the type of coolant used in your cooling system, the size of the plug, and how easy it is to use. It’s crucial to choose a plug that is compatible with the mounting holes on your radiator and the type of coolant you use (usually water-based, propylene glycol, or silicone-based).

Additionally, look for a radiator drain plug with handles or an easy-grip design for better convenience and control when draining the coolant. This may also help prevent accidents or spills during the draining process. Research online or consult your vehicle’s manual to ensure the correct size and type of drain plug are chosen for your specific cooling system.

How do I install a radiator drain plug?

Installing a radiator drain plug typically involves the following steps: prepare the cooling system, gather the necessary tools, and install the plug. Here’s a general overview of the process for most standard radiators and cooling systems:

  1. Turn off the engine and let it cool down completely;
  2. Remove the radiator cap carefully;
  3. Place a drain pan underneath the radiator;
  4. Insert the radiator drain plug into the radiator’s drain hole; and 5. Tighten the plug securely but not too tightly to avoid damaging the radiator or leakage.

It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the radiator drain plug, as procedures may vary depending on the design and specific model. Always be cautious when working with cooling systems, as coolant can be toxic and should be handled with care. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the installation process, it’s recommended to consult a professional mechanic for assistance.

What is the best material for a radiator drain plug?

The best material for a radiator drain plug depends on your cooling system requirements and preferences. However, some commonly used materials include stainless steel, brass, and plastic. Each material comes with its advantages and disadvantages when used in a radiator drain plug:

  1. Stainless steel: Resistant to corrosion, easy maintenance, and durable.
  2. Brass: Also resistant to corrosion, and provides a classic appearance;
  3. Plastic: Lightweight, inexpensive, and non-conductive, but may not be as durable as metal alternatives or suitable for high-pressure applications. Consider the coolant type, your budget, and the specific demands of your cooling system when choosing the material for your radiator drain plug.

Is it safe to use a radiator drain plug with electric heaters and similar devices?

Using a radiator drain plug with electric heaters or other devices that generate heat is generally safe, but it is essential to choose a plug made from materials that are non-conductive or heat-resistant. Stainless steel and brass drain plugs are safe for use with electric heaters because they are non-conductive.

If you’re unsure about the safety of a radiator drain plug with an electric heater, consult the product’s specifications or the manufacturer for clarification. Always be cautious when working with electrical devices, and follow safety instructions to prevent accidents and injury. Consider using insulated gloves and other safety measures when handling a radiator drain plug with electric heaters.

As an Amazon Affiliate™ we may earn through qualifying purchases.