Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Replace a coolant recovery tank

Don’t bother trying to fix a coolant tank

Car makers have used a plastic coolant tank for a long time. But 10 years ago they weren’t pressurized. The pressure stayed in the radiator and was held in place with the radiator cap. The coolant tank was just for overflow caused by the coolant’s expansion and contraction. But then car makers lowered the radiator to accommodate aerodynamic low slopping hoods and they couldn’t provide access to the radiator cap. Plus, since the radiators sat so low, air bubbles would rise to the top of the engine causing overheating. To remedy the problem, car makers now use a coolant tank that sits above the engine. And the radiator cap is not on top of the coolant tank, so the tank is pressurized.

coolant tank, coolant recovery tank, coolant bottle, coolant leaking

Find an aftermarket coolant tank at dormanproducts.com

You would think that the engineers would spend a little extra time to make sure the coolant tank could withstand the constant pressure. But they didn’t. So we’re seeing a LOT of broken seams on these molded tanks. You may think you can seal it, buy you’d be wrong. You can’t. No matter what glue or epoxy you use, the coolant tank will leak again.

You have three choices:

1) Buy a used one from a junk yard. But why replace a defective design with another defective design?

2) Buy a new one from the dealer. Hopefully they’ve updated the design

3) Buy a replacement coolant tank from an aftermarket supplier. Dorman Products makes them. Enter your vehicle information on their site and find the part number. Then do a google search for that part.

©, 2013 Rick Muscoplat


Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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