Part 2 of 3: Remove and replace the coolant reservoir Materials Needed. Step 1: Prepare the vehicle. Step 2: Spray WD-40 on any rusted bolts. Step 3: Locate the coolant reservoir. Step 4: Remove the bolts securing the reservoir to the engine compartment. Step 5: Remove the two top hoses. The coolant reservoir is made of plastic and with the extreme temperature changes it will become brittle and leak coolant or the mounting tabs will break off allowing the reservoir to move round in the engine compartment. In either case the unit must be replaced to retain it's proper operation. Prepare plastic welding product or epoxy according to the manufacturer's instructions, and then carefully apply it to the coolant reservoir as directed. Thoroughly work the plastic weld or epoxy into the crack to ensure a complete seal. Allow the product to cure for the recommended amount of time before continuing. On average, it costs about $130 to replace the coolant reservoir. That's about $80 for labor and $60 for parts, but the price can vary based on the kind of car you drive and the fees charged by the mechanic. If your engine is cold, the coolant level should be up to the cold fill line. If the coolant level is low, add the correct coolant to the reservoir (not the radiator itself). You can use diluted coolant by itself, or a 50/50 mixture of concentrated coolant and distilled water.
If the coolant reservoir is completely empty, you can't just refill it. You need to check the level of coolant in the radiator as well. Wait until the radiator has cooled. Opening it hot can cause serious burns (very hot coolant can spray out).
Contaminated coolant – a bad head gasket or cracked cylinder head can allow oil and coolant to resulting in sludge. A breach in the system can contaminate coolant with transmission fluid. Corrosion – this is the most common cause of sludge build-up in a radiator.
The coolant reservoir is a container that holds the excess or overflowing cooling agent which is used in the system. It is usually a clear plastic bottle located near the radiator. You can easily find it by following the pipe of the radiator, which will be visible when you open the hood.
The most common is a metal push and turn cap. This cap is typically round in shape with ears sticking out from each side. To remove this type of cap, push down while simultaneously turning the cap counter clockwise. These caps can be found at the top of the radiator itself or close by depending on the type of engine.
Hi there. You sure can drive your vehicle with a broken reservoir bottle. However, if the cooling system runs low and the bottle cannot provide the needed coolant to keep it at operating levels, then the engine could begin to show the signs.
The coolant reservoir is a vital component of the cooling system. Its function is to store excess coolant fluid until required. While the engine is off, your coolant reservoir should be about 30% full. The most common reason for a vehicle to overheat is a leak in the coolant reservoir or one of the attached hoses.
As the pressure causes the coolant to get higher than the pressure cap, the excess coolant needs to be captured somewhere in order to prevent leakage. This is kind of like a vacuum effect where the pressure decrease allows the excess coolant in the overflow tank to flow back out of it, so it can return to the radiator.
In addition to the low coolant light, if you have a rising temperature gauge, this can also mean a radiator leak. These two signs combined can signify your vehicle may overheat very soon. Do not drive far with a radiator leak as it can cause further damage to your engine, which can mean a more extensive repair.
How To Tell if a Head Gasket Is Blown: Coolant leaking externally from below the exhaust manifold. White smoke from the exhaust pipe. Bubbles in the radiator or coolant overflow tank. Overheating engine. White milky oil. Fouled spark plugs. Low cooling system integrity.
Overall, you could pay $400 or more for this repair. Replacing a radiator hose is a quick and easy fix and will only run you $35 to $65 for the entire repair. A radiator replacement cost around $300 or more, depending on the size and type of your car. Don't delay when you find a coolant leak.
If the reservoir cracks or develops any small leaks it can cause the coolant it is storing to leak or evaporate at a slow rate. The constant need to add coolant can also be caused by a leak somewhere else on the engine so a proper diagnosis is recommended.
In most cases, this is a quick and inexpensive fix. Expect to pay about $100 for coolant leak repair, and more if it has been leaking for a while. This includes the cost of labor alone, as any damaged parts will have to be individually assessed, and they can vary based on what was damaged and what kind of car you have.
In general, using water as coolant is OK for a short time or as a "get you home" alternative, but it does not have the anti-freeze and corrosion inhibiting properties of a proper coolant mix, so should not be left in the engine for any length of time, especially if you live in a cold climate.