Coolant recovery tank? (Solved)

  • The coolant recovery tank is part of a sealed cooling system. When hot coolant expands and exceeds the capacity of the radiator, the excess coolant flows into the recovery tank. When the engine cools, coolant is drawn by vacuum back into the radiator.

What is a coolant recovery tank?

A coolant recovery tank is also a reservoir that stores the fluid to be used in a vehicle’s cooling system. In modern-day vehicles, the radiator does not contain any excess storage capacity, as it once used to and thus a separate area was designated to account for expansion of the fluid during operation.

Do you need a coolant recovery tank?

If your coolant system is relieving pressure from a relief barb on the radiator, we would almost always recommend a recovery tank. Even if your radiator is designed to allow for a pocket of air at it’s top, you will likely be discharging some coolant when your system is up to temperature.

Should there be coolant in the expansion tank?

No, if you notice that there is no coolant in the overflow tank, you don’t have to refill it. You have to inspect for coolant leaks with your underhood work light. Also, inspect the level of coolant in your radiator. Always ensure your radiator is filled to the brim.

How do you install a coolant recovery tank?

To keep from burning your hand, place a cloth over the cap after you raise the lever. Then turn the cap counterclockwise to remove it. If the liquid level is low, add equal parts coolant and water to the reservoir. Add equal parts coolant and water until the level reaches the “MAX” line on the side of the container.

How much does it cost to replace a coolant tank?

Coolant Reservoir Replacement Cost – RepairPal Estimate. Labor costs are estimated between $59 and $74 while parts are priced between $345 and $351. This range does not include taxes and fees, and does not factor in your specific vehicle or unique location. Related repairs may also be needed.

Is it safe to add coolant to a coolant recovery tank or coolant overflow tank while the engine is at operating temperature?

In instances where an engine has overheated, causing a breakdown, there may be a need to add fresh coolant/antifreeze to the cooling system. However, you should never add coolant/antifreeze when the engine is hot, and instead, wait for it to cool.

Is coolant in the radiator?

Your engine’s radiator is actually filled with what’s called coolant, a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water. A pump on the engine circulates the coolant through the radiator, engine, and heater and keeps your engine running at the proper temperature—and not overheating—regardless of the outside temperature.

Why is my coolant reservoir full but radiator empty?

One common cause of the coolant reservoir being full but the radiator low on coolant is a blown head gasket. Combustion gasses from one of the cylinders leaks into the cooling system, and forces coolant from the engine into the reservoir. Once the reservoir fills up, the rest goes overboard through the overflow outlet.

What are the signs of low coolant?

What are The Warning Signs of Low Car Coolant?

  • Rising Temperature Gauge Inclining Towards Red. After driving your car for some time, you become familiar with the position of your temperature gauge when everything’s okay.
  • Heater Not Working or Supplying Hot Air.
  • Poor Fuel Economy.
  • A Sweet Smell.

How long after adding coolant can I drive?

Once the hood is open, there’s a risk of being sprayed with hot water or steam. “Your personal safety is most important,” he says. “Waiting for at least 15 minutes allows the hood, engine and leaking coolant to cool.”

How big of an overflow tank do I need?

The general rule of thumb for proper capacity of expansion is 12% of total coolant volume for draw down and 6% of the total volume for thermal expansion. Drawdown capacity is the amount of coolant that can be lost before air reaches the water pump and is introduced into the system.

Understand Your Coolant Recovery Tank

The coolant recovery bottle serves as a reservoir for the cooling system of the engine. It is made of plastic. Check the level of coolant in the bottle on a regular basis to ensure it is within the minimum and maximum markings on the bottle. Steve D’Antonio is a professional basketball player. The coolant recovery tank is another another component that is far too frequently overlooked by boatbuilders and boat owners. It does more than simply avoid spills; it also serves as a window into your engine’s cooling system.

This can cause metal to be scooched out of cooling passageways, resulting in weakening of engine blocks and cylinder heads, as well as premature circulator-pump failure.

It is used as a reference since the boiling point of coolant fluctuates depending on its concentration.

The majority of closed cooling systems operate at a pressure between 6 and 15 pounds per square inch of surface area.

  • The pressure cap is responsible for maintaining and controlling the pressure in the system.
  • Under no circumstances may a pressure cap be changed with one that has not been specifically specified by the maker of the device.
  • For practical purposes, once the engine is running, heat and expansion cause the coolant to rise in volume; when it exceeds the pressure rating of the cap, the primary spring is compressed, enabling coolant to flow through the filler neck and into the discharge spout.
  • The coolant will cool and contract as a result of the engine being turned off, generating a vacuum within the cooling system.
  • Coolant flows from the recovery bottle, via the valve, and back into the engine’s cooling system, keeping it fully topped off and free of air bubbles.

It is recommended that you examine your caps, as well as the filler necks into which they are put, at least once a year. Look for signs of degradation of rubber gaskets and broken springs, corrosion, dents or fractures.

Coolant Recovery Tank Tips

Any closed cooling system can benefit from the addition of a recovery bottle, provided that the right cap is utilized. The importance of regular examination of the bottle cannot be overstated. A clear stream of coolant should always be visible in that translucent recovery container when the system is running properly. The majority of bottles include level lines that indicate ‘cold’ and ‘hot.’ The recovery bottle should not be used to top up or fill a cooling system; instead, the pressure cap should be utilized for this purpose.

  1. When the engine is cold, take note of the amount of coolant remaining in the bottle.
  2. This indicates that the system is not functioning correctly.
  3. If it begins to sink, it indicates that the engine is leaking or eating coolant.
  4. Even if coolant is required, it should not be added to the bottle; instead, the system should be replenished by pressing the pressure cap.
  5. Steve D’Antonio is a professional basketball player.
  6. In order for fluid to flow back into the system, a vacuum must be established while the engine is cooling.
  7. Finally, because recovery bottles do not rely on gravity, it is not essential to install them above the pressure cap in order to use them.
  8. It is feasible to remove the pressure cap for inspection purposes while preventing coolant from running from the recovery bottle and out of the pressure-cap filler neck using this method of operation.

The Coolant Recovery Bottle: Unsung Hero of the Engine Room

An email from a client concerns her engine was once received by me. Currently, she and her husband were in the process of getting a new sailboat that they had recently purchased brought up to their exacting offshore cruising standards. She is the ‘ship’s engineer,’ which means she is in charge of most of the systems, electrical, hull and deck related tasks, servicing and repairs, and she is one of the most informed boat owners I’ve ever met. When I say knowledgeable, I don’t mean in the sense of knowing everything about boats; rather, I mean that she makes it her job to be quite familiar with her vessels.

  • ‘Linda says hi, she’s changing the hydraulic stabilizer fluid.’ Consequently, it’s a delight to collaborate with her; she’s the poster kid for my ‘know your boat’s systems really well’ slogan.
  • Despite their lack of technical knowledge, the vast majority of boat owners are aware that the cooling system on their engine and generator functions under some amount of pressure.
  • In some ways, it appears illogical that pressurizing this system increases the likelihood of leaks, doesn’t it?
  • The question revolved on some advise she’d gotten from a mechanic regarding the modification of the cooling system’s pressure release cap.
  • The primary spring regulates the amount of pressure at which relief will be provided (i.e.
  • Steve Zimmerman is a lawyer who practices in the state of California.
  • It is the engine manufacturer’s responsibility to determine the pressure rating, and replacement caps must never stray from this standard.
  • In addition to preventing coolant from leaking out of the system, cap gaskets also maintain pressure and, if a coolant recovery bottle is installed, they allow coolant to be pulled back into the system from the coolant recovery bottle.
  • Specifically for this subject, the fundamental reason for working under pressure is to raise the boiling point of the coolant, which increases the efficiency of the cooling system as a result of the increased boiling point.
  • As a result, a 15-pound pressure cap elevates the boiling point by 45 degrees, providing an additional margin of safety against boiling and overheating in the process.
  • One of the most significant characteristics of the recovery bottle, however, is its capacity to inform the user when there is a problem with the system.

A steady reduction in the level over time, for example, indicates that coolant is seeping from the system and that it is being ‘consumed’ from its source in the bottle. Once the system has gone through its initial few running cycles, you should never have to worry about adding more coolant to it.

A Valuable Tool

Many users are taken aback by the fact that the coolant level in the bottle fluctuates throughout an operating cycle, which is defined as the transition from cold start-up to full operating temperature and back to cold. In other words, when the engine warms up to operational temperature, the level of coolant in the recovery bottle should climb. Once the engine has been shut down and allowed to cool, the temperature should return to its initial starting point. Make a note of the cold level so that you will be able to detect any irregularities right away.

A issue with the cap’s filler neck port, which is connected to the bottle by a hose; it may get blocked with debris, or it may be fractured, or the hose itself may be crushed or ruptured; this is commonly the case when there is no movement.

Its internal mechanism is relatively sensitive, and it has been known to lose the ability to maintain a vacuum, which is required to pull coolant from the bottle to the expansion tank during the cool-off time.

Inspect the filler neck for dents and corrosion, as well as the overflow port, to verify that it is free of obstructions.


For boatbuilders, mechanics, and boat owners, the positioning of the coolant recovery bottle is a cause of constant consternation and frustration. Gravity has little or no influence in the correct operation of the bottle, which is based on the concepts of pressure and vacuum in its construction. Contrary to common perception, it is not necessary to position the bottle over the engine in this situation. Opened pressure cap for inspection reasons nearly ensures that coolant will overflow from the expansion tank filler neck if the pressure cap is not closed properly.

  1. Ensure that the hose is routed in such a way that it does not obstruct traffic flow and does not suffer damage from chafing or being trodden on.
  2. Because of this, this hose does not meet the requirements for chafing, temperature, crush, and kink resistance in this critical application.
  3. Ultimately, I advised the customer to refrain from making any alterations to the cooling system pressure cap, which he followed.
  4. As a result, the only input they require from users is periodic examination and replacement when they approach the end of their useful life.

Your coolant recovery bottle serves as a window into the workings of your engine’s refrigeration system. If you make certain that yours is correctly installed and in perfect operating condition, it may very well alert you to problems long before they reveal themselves in any other way.

How a Radiator Coolant Overflow Tank Works

The most recent update was made on November 3, 2021. While it may appear that the cooling system of a car is functioning properly without any additional equipment, the fact is that this will not protect the cooling system of your automobile from environmental damage such as rust owing to the way coolant functions in a radiator. Are you looking for a reliable online repair manual? The top five choices may be found by clicking here. Rust can build inside your car’s cooling system as a result of air getting into the radiator after the engine has been allowed to cool down completely.

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Associated: Have You Overfilled Your Coolant?

When rust begins to form inside the radiator, you will have no alternative but to cleanse the system and replace the antifreeze with new antifreeze.

This saves you the expense of regular coolant refills as well as the potentially expensive expenditure of replacing a radiator or other cooling system components.

How a Radiator Overflow Tank Works

However, while the radiator overflow tank is a rather basic mechanism, it has the potential to save you a significant amount of money by keeping rust from accumulating in the cooling system of your automobile. In order for the engine to operate at peak performance, it requires engine coolant to keep the internal engine temperatures within safe operating ranges. The engine coolant is responsible for absorbing the heat generated by the engine. This coolant begins to expand when it heats up in the radiator of that car, creating a rise in the pressure within the cooling system of that vehicle.

In addition, see Is It Safe to Top Off Coolant With Water?

As it cools down, the volume of the liquid will decrease as well.

As a result of the vacuum created, a vacuum valve in the radiator cap opens, enabling the coolant that had been sucked into the radiator coolant overflow tank to be sucked back into the radiator once again.

Consequently, placing an overflow tank in your automobile is a good approach to not only keep your vehicle’s cooling system in excellent working order, but also to save money on repairs and replacement costs in the long term.

Coolant recovery tank

Essentially, a coolant recovery tank is a reservoir that is designed to collect hot coolant from theCheck coolant level in recovery tankradiator when the coolant expands
during operation. Following engine shutdown and contraction of the coolant in the radiator, a vacuum created in the radiator sucks fluid back into the radiator, maintaining a constant level of coolant in the radiator at all times.

The confusion about whether coolant expands

However, contrary to what some ‘experts’ have said, engine coolant does, in fact, expand when it heats up, as do other liquids. These individuals, who assert that water does not expand as it heats, do not comprehend the special thermal characteristics of water (engine coolant is approximately 50 percent water). This is because they believe that while water expands when it freezes, it can’t possible expand when it warms as well. According to what they’ve heard, water behaves in the exact opposite way to all other liquids.

Water is a genuinely one-of-a-kind liquid.

Water behaves strangely between the temperatures of 40°F and 32°F.

As the temperature of the ice rises from 32°F to 40°F, it shrinks.

Two types of coolant recovery tanks; pressurized and un-pressurized

Traditionnal radiators are equipped with a radiator cap, which maintains pressure until the temperature exceeds a certain temperature threshold. The cap releases coolant when the cooling system pressure exceeds the cap rating. This occurs until the cooling system pressure is less than the cap rating. Coolant overflows over the pavement in older automobiles that do not have a coolant recovery tank, where it is lost permanently. As a result, the next time the engine starts up with cold coolant, the coolant level in the radiator will be quite low.

  • As automobile manufacturers transitioned from traditional down-flow radiators to cross-flow radiators in order to accommodate more aerodynamic body shapes and sweeping hood designs, they were obliged to shift radiator types from the classic down-flow radiators.
  • Cross flow radiators have a lower profile in terms of height, but they are broader in order to offer appropriate cooling.
  • Car manufacturers also reduced the capacity of cooling systems in order to shorten warm-up periods and, as a result, increase mileage ratings.
  • The shorter time it takes for the engine to reach operating temperature, the less gasoline it consumes.
  • After then, in order to prevent the engine from overheating while driving, the cooling system circulates the coolant at a slightly quicker pace and employs multi-speed radiator fans to remove even more heat from the engine compartment.

It is as a result of this that modern automobiles have less coolant in them.

Car makers add a coolant recover tank and a new radiator cap

A redesigned radiator cap and a coolant recovery tank were created and fitted by automobile manufacturers in order to keep the radiator fully topped off at all times and prevent fluid loss. The radiator cap functions in the same way as it did in previous generations, by opening and allowing excess coolant to drain. However, rather than dumping the coolant into the ground, the drain tube directs the coolant into a recovery bottle or tank for later use. So far, the cap performs in the same manner as the prior caps.

A vent mechanism in the cap allows the vacuum to suck coolant back into the radiator from the recovery tank, allowing the radiator to operate more efficiently.

The recovery tanks in these vehicles are merely storage containers for the vehicles’ contents.

This is a simple plastic snap lid that allows the user to refill coolant as necessary.

Body style changes cause cooling system changes

As automobile manufacturers transitioned to transverse-mount engines and swept-hood designs, they encountered a challenge with limited under-hood space. Moving the radiator forward was one method of gaining additional room. Coolant recovery tank that is pressurized Unfortunately, this reduced the amount of space available for access to the radiator cap. As a result, automobile manufacturers chose to relocate the radiator cap from the radiator to the recovery tank. Under pressure in this configuration, the radiator, upper radiator hose, drain hose, and recovery tank are all present.

The coolant tank cap functions in the same way as it did in the previous version, releasing excess coolant to a drain pipe that empties into the pavement.

Since this recovery tank is often situated higher than the top of the radiator, it may flow coolant back into the radiator as it cools and contracts, allowing the radiator to operate more efficiently.

Why goes wrong with coolant recovery tanks?

Both the non-pressurized and pressurized tanks are susceptible to leaks at the seams of the tanks. It is particularly obvious when the coolant is heated when there are leaks. As a result, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to replace the coolant reservoir and then drive the car.

Then, when the car cools down, you realize that it has run out of coolant, despite the fact that there is no trace of a leak at the tank. One method of confirming a tank leak is to wrap a paper towel over the tank and inspect it for dampness when you come to a halt in your journey.

How to replace a coolant recovery tank

It is quite simple to remove and replace pressurized recovery tanks because they are located in the engine compartment above the radiator. Simply detach the drain line, unscrew the retaining nuts, and insert the new tank into the existing one. Unpressurized tanks, on the other hand, can be a little more difficult to find because automobile manufacturers sometimes conceal them under the wheel well. To obtain access to the tank mounting bolts in certain situations, just remove both of the tire well liners.

Where to buy a coolant recovery tank

Repairing recovery tank leaks on older cars is a very typical occurrence; in fact, it is so prevalent that numerous aftermarket providers now offer new tanks at a fraction of the cost of the dealer’s. In addition, many of the aftermarket tanks have been modified to reduce the likelihood of recurrence failures. Consequently, it is preferable to purchase an aftermarket tank rather than purchasing an old tank from a junk yard because the junk yard item would most likely break in the same manner as the original tank.

Replacement coolant recovery tank cost

A authentic General Motors replacement recovery tank for a 2010 Buick LUCERNE costs $88.68 when purchased from a dealer in the United States. It costs $33.79 to purchase an aftermarket replacement tank from The labor guide estimates that it will take 0.6 hours to replace the tank. With a 20% markup on materials and a labor rate of $100/hour, the cost of a coolant recovery tank should be around $200. The cost of a coolant recovery tank in 2017 Rick Muscoplat is a professional musician.

4 Symptoms of a Bad Coolant Overflow Tank (& Replacement Cost in 2022)

(This page was last updated on November 19, 2021.) The radiator coolant overflow tank is designed to hold extra coolant that is expelled from the radiator as a result of pressure buildup caused by heat. An expansion tank on a water heater is analogous to how it operates. A hot engine, as you may be aware, may heat up very rapidly if it is working really hard. The oil alone is insufficient to keep the engine’s internal components cool and running smoothly. During these high-performance scenarios, the engine relies on coolant to keep it from overheating and failing to operate.

Now imagine that the coolant overflow reservoir tank becomes fractured, damaged, or overflows.

The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms associated with a defective coolant expansion tank.

How a Radiator Overflow Tank Works

As the coolant heats up as a result of collecting heat from the engine, the liquid expands, increasing the pressure in the radiator and causing it to overheat. To prevent leaks from occurring because of increased pressure, the extra coolant must be collected in a container that is not directly next to the radiator pressure cap. Consequently, the radiator coolant overflow tank is designed to fulfill this specific purpose. The extra fluid is channeled through the overflow tube, which empties into the overflow reservoir.

This causes the coolant to contract rather than expand, resulting in an overall decrease in the amount of the coolant.

This is similar to a vacuum effect in that the fall in pressure allows the extra coolant in the overflow tank to flow back out of it, allowing it to be recycled back into the reactor.

Top 4 Bad Coolant Expansion Tank Symptoms

Here are four of the most prevalent indications that your radiator overflow tank is failing.

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1) Coolant Leak

If the radiator coolant overflow tank is broken or fractured, it is likely that coolant fluid may leak out of it and into the radiator. If the overflow tank is too old and worn out, fractures may appear in the walls of the tank. Ideally, you will see little pools or droplets of coolant on the floor of your garage or on your driveway. See also: Best Radiator Stop Leak Products for more information. Please keep in mind that coolant is extremely toxic to dogs and cats. You should mop up a coolant leak on the ground as soon as you detect it so that your family pet does not have to undertake the cleanup for you.

3) Coolant Odor

There will also be an evident coolant stench emanating from the front of your car, in addition to the coolant leak, which will be noticeable. If the situation becomes severe enough, the odor may begin to circulate throughout the vehicle’s interior. While it is not the worst scent on the planet (it is slightly sweet), it is not something you want to be exposed to for extended periods of time. Check the condition of the overflow tank and replace it as soon as possible if you notice this warning indication.

4) Overheated Engine

There will also be an evident coolant stench coming from the front of your car, in addition to the coolant leak. If the situation becomes severe enough, the odor may spread throughout the vehicle’s interior. It is not the worst scent in the world (it has a tiny sweetness to it), but it is not something you want to be exposed to for extended periods of time. Check the condition of the overflow tank and repair it as soon as possible if you notice this warning sign.

5) Low Level of Coolant

The coolant levels in the radiator coolant overflow tank are low because of either sluggish evaporation or leakage of coolant, as shown by the low levels. When individuals find that they have a leak, it is most often a tiny leak which can be seen from the outside of their home or business. To be certain, you must physically check the coolant level to ensure that there is no leak. The overflow tank cap is frequently found to be the source of the leak. Ascertain that the cap has been securely secured before proceeding.

Also see: The Best Engine Coolants

Radiator Overflow Tank Replacement Cost

Are you looking for replacement components? Parts Geek has the finest pricing and choices, and we suggest them. Preventative maintenance should be performed to ensure the problem is not caused by a faulty overflow cap or tubing that emerges from the tank’s bottom, which are typical sources of overflow problems. They are far less expensive to repair than to replace the tank itself. A radiator coolant overflow tank replacement, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $90 to $260 depending on the model.

Replacing the overflow tank on many cars is a simple do-it-yourself project. Others, which are more difficult to reach, should be left to the professionals to complete the replacement work. In addition, there will be other fees and taxes imposed on top of this as well.

Overflow & Recovery Tanks at Summit Racing

Having a coolant overflow tank at the track is not just a good idea; in fact, several sanctioning organizations mandate the use of such tanks. Summit Racing has you covered in this department. Having a coolant overflow tank at the track is not just a good idea; in fact, several sanctioning organizations mandate the use of such tanks. In order to meet your needs, Summit Racing offers a wide choice of coolant recovery and overflow tanks that are customized to your vehicle. Overflow tanks are available in a range of materials and sizes, including aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, and even carbon fiber, to keep excess coolant away from the track.

  • Here is where your quest for the ideal overflow/recovery tank begins and ends—start shopping now!
  • In order to meet your needs, Summit Racing offers a wide choice of coolant recovery and overflow tanks that are customized to your vehicle.
  • Canton Racing Products, Moroso, Keyser Manufacturing, Jaz, and a slew of more top brands are available for you to choose from.
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  • in diameter and 10 in.
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Tank for overflow, 2 qt., rectangular, 8.0 in.

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wall thickness Kit with NPT Inlet CTTR-80-201 is the part number for this item (80) Estimated delivery date in the United States: February 17, 2022 International shipment is expected to arrive today.

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Bottles and Caps (Universal 3′ x 10′), Stainless Steel Radiator Overflow Tank (Stainless Steel Radiator Overflow Tank) OER-60761 is the part number (40) The estimated ship date for the United States is April 5, 2022.

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The estimated ship date for the United States is April 5, 2022. International shipment is expected to arrive today. The SUM-300102 Overflow Tank is 20 oz. in capacity, round in shape, polished stainless steel, 1/4 in. hose barb inlet/outlet, universal, and sold in pairs (40) Estimated for the United States Shipment date: January 31, 2022 International shipment is expected to arrive today. The estimated ship date for the United States is January 31, 2022. International shipment is expected to arrive today.

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  • NPT, inlet/outlet, universal, eachPart Number:MOR-63657Overflow Tank, 1 quart, round, plastic, black, 1/4 in.
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  • Hose Barb Inlet/Outlet, EachPart Number:BSP-BLK77109Overflow Tank, Aluminum, Black Anodized, 15 Ounce Capacity, 1/4 in.
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  • hose barb inlet and outlet, eachPart Number:BSP-BLK77109Stainless steel overflow tank with 1/4 in.
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It holds 26 ounces and is made of stainless steel that has been polished. SUM-300103-9 is the part number (15) Estimated for the United States Shipment date: January 31, 2022 International shipment is expected to arrive today.

The estimated ship date for the United States is January 31, 2022. International shipment is expected to arrive today. A coolant expansion tank made of fabricated aluminum with a natural finish that holds 1 1/4 quarts each tank (part number:MOR-63766) (25) The estimated ship date for the United States is Monday, January 10, 2022. International shipment is expected to arrive today. The estimated ship date for the United States is Monday, January 10, 2022. International shipment is expected to arrive today.

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Overflow Tank, 15 ounces, round, smooth, aluminum, polished, 5/16 in.

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OER-60721 is the part number (19) The estimated ship date for the United States is March 21, 2022. International shipment is expected to arrive today.

The estimated ship date for the United States is March 21, 2022. International shipment is expected to arrive today. Tank with overflow, rectangular, 72 oz. capacity, plastic, white, economy, non-pressurized cap, bolt-in installation, kit RNB-54002 is the part number for this item (30) Estimated for the United States Shipment date: January 17, 2022 International shipment is expected to arrive today. The estimated ship date for the United States is January 17, 2022. International shipment is expected to arrive today.

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Coolant Recovery Systems

Automobile Repair Library, Auto Parts, Accessories, Tools, Manuals and Books, Car BLOG, Links, and more. Index byLarry Carley (c)2019 All rights reserved. Among the most significant components of a vehicle’s cooling system is the coolant recovery system. Due to the lack of top tanks on low-profile crossflow radiators, which are more common on earlier top-fill radiators, a separate recovery tank positioned someplace beneath the hood acts as both a coolant reservoir and an expansion/recovery tank.

Top fill radiators with an inch or two of dead air space at the top gave enough capacity for expansion in older top fill models.

Modern coolant recovery systems do not need the use of a radiator cap on top of the radiator, nor do they require the use of an upper tank to allow for radiator expansion. To do this, an extra reservoir that functions as both an expansion tank and a coolant recovery tank is attached to the radiator.

Coolant Recovery Tank

It is common for the coolant recovery tank to be made of white molded plastic. It might be installed near the radiator, on an inner fender, or up against the firewall of the vehicle. Because the plastic tank is translucent, you can see how much fluid is remaining within. A warning label on the side of the tank informs you when the coolant level has been depleted. When the engine is working at normal operating temperature, it is important to keep the coolant level in the tank under control so that it does not exceed the highest marker.

When the engine is cold, a lower COLD or ADD mark may be present on the coolant tank, indicating the lowest level of coolant that should be present.

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NOTICE: Never open the coolant reservoir or radiator caps while the engine is still
running or when the engine is hot.

To open the cap, you must wait at least 20 minutes or more after the engine has been turned off.

Coolant Flow

In order for coolant to travel back and forth between the radiator and the coolant recovery tank when the temperature and pressure of the coolant vary, a hose or a pair of hoses are connected between the tank and radiator. A pressurized coolant recovery tank is not present in the majority of contemporary automobiles. However, many earlier applications (from the 1990s) may have been pressured. Depending on the style of cover on the tank, you can determine whether or not the reservoir is pressurized.

Pressurized tanks are those that have metal spring latch style caps (such as those seen on ordinary radiator caps).

Pressure caps on recovery tanks are designed to withstand a specified amount of pressure.

Pressurized recovery tanks are found on a wide range of older domestic and international vehicles, including numerous General Motors passenger cars from 1993 and later that have 4.3L or 5.7L engines, among others.

When the heads run cooler, the emissions and resistance to engine-damaging detonation (spark knock) and pre-ignition improve, as does the engine’s overall performance.


With the exception of monitoring the coolant level on a regular basis, coolant recovery systems require no maintenance (say once a month or when you change oil). The presence of a leak may be indicated by a low coolant level. * Check for indicators of coolant leaking by visually inspecting the radiator, hoses, water pump, and coolant recovery system, as appropriate. Check to see that the cooling fan is working properly. An electric cooling fan that fails to turn on owing to a malfunctioning temperature sensor, relay, motor, or wiring problem is a common but often undetected cause of overheating.

  1. Over time, the viscosity of the silicone fluid contained within a fan clutch decreases, increasing slippage in the clutch and lowering cooling efficiency.
  2. It is necessary to replace the cap if the gasket has been fractured, distorted, damaged, or is no longer available.
  3. Comparing the rating to the pressure rating marked on the old cap will reveal the difference.
  4. A particular pressure tester can be used by a repair shop, radiator business, or auto dealer to test the cap and cooling system to see whether any leaks are present.
  5. During the test, if the pressure lowers, it shows that there is a leak someplace.
  6. Cracks, break seams, and leaks in the recovery tank should be looked for.
  7. Replacement tanks may be acquired at most auto parts stores and automobile dealerships, depending on the location.
  8. If sediment is found in the recovery tank, the tank will need to be cleaned or completely replaced.

It’s possible that the recovery tank is leaking (and that the radiator is full) if the recovery tank is empty, or that the hose or tube connecting the recovery tank to the radiator is loose, pinched, blocked, or leaking.

Coolant Precautions

If the coolant level in the recovery tank is low and more coolant is required, premixed antifreeze or a 50/50 mixture of full strength antifreeze and distilled water should be used (never ordinary tap water that contains minerals and salts). Also, be sure you use the SAME kind of coolant that is currently in the system, or a ‘universal’ coolant that is totally compatible with the coolant already in the system, when replacing it.

Changing Coolant

It can be difficult to change the coolant in certain late-model automobiles because air can become caught inside the engine, heater, or pipes during the process. One or more ‘air bleed valves’ may be installed at various places throughout the cooling system in order to expel the trapped air. When the system is being refilled, opening the valve(s) lets air to escape, allowing the coolant to completely fill all of the gaps in the system. The presence of trapped air may prevent coolant from flowing through the heater core, resulting in a lack of heat production from the heater if it is not removed.

Alternatively, if there are no air-bleed valves, it may be necessary to temporarily remove a heater hose in order to vent the air.

As the coolant is being added, the majority of the air should be allowed to leave.

More Cooling System Articles:

Finding Identifying and Repairing Coolant Leaks System of Cooling Electrolysis Corrosion(causescures) Pumping water is what we do. Diagnosis Replacement Cleaning and Maintaining Your Cooling System Radiator Service and Repair Replacement Your Personal Temperature Alert The lamp is turned on. What Should You Do in This Situation? Overheating: The Facts and Figures Cures How to Repair a Leaky Head Gasket (with Pictures) Service with a belthose Checking and changing the coolant has become more complicated in recent years.

Is There a Single Antifreeze for All?

Technical Articles on the Carley Automotive Website Make sure to check out our other websites as well: You Can Do Your Own Auto Repair Help using the Scan Tool

Coolant Recovery Tank, 275cc – Motion Pro

Image of the productClick’>

  • The use of this device prevents coolant loss due to overheating. It is compatible with the majority of water-cooled bikes, snowmobiles, and ATVs. Aimed towards riders who will be riding in hot weather and/or high-altitude circumstances
  • Bottle made of high density polyethylene that is compact and adaptable
  • Multiple mounting possibilities are provided by the built-in mounting holes. The bottle cap is made of chemical-resistant rubber, which ensures long-term durability and ease of installation and removal. Included are a 275cc bottle, a hose, clamps, mounting ties, and operating instructions
  • And Measurements for the bottle: H (with cap) 5 1/2′ x W 3 3/4′ x D 1 7/8′
  • H (without top) 5 1/2′ x D 1 7/8′

11-0099 is the part number.


11-0099 is the number of the part.

Accessories and Related Items

The use of this product may expose you to chemicals such as Phthalate (DEHP), which is known to the State of California to cause cancer as well as birth defects or other reproductive damage. For further information, please see the website.


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Know Your Tanks – Tech Blog: Coolant Overflow Tank vs. Expansion Tank

Just about every vehicle’s emissions system used to spew chemicals and toxic vapors into the environment back in the good old days (also known as the early stages of the development of liquid-cooled engines). Coolant and blow-by are dripping all over the roads since there are no PCV or CCV lines, no catalytic converters and nothing else. It was fantastic for the automobiles, but not so fantastic for the rest of the world (sorry ozone). As environmental regulations became more stringent, automobile manufacturers were forced to devise new methods of keeping the waste of engine combustion and cooling chemicals contained within the vehicle.

While this may bring you back to your high school chemistry class, remember that things expand as they become heated.

Once upon a time, this heated coolant would simply be vented to the atmosphere (to be more accurate, the ground), but in the spirit of preserving the integrity of our one and only planet, vehicle manufacturers developed tanks to capture and reuse the expanding coolant.

The ultimate product was two distinct types of tanks, each of which is employed for a certain purpose.

Overflow Tank

The overflow tank normally contains one or two ports, depending on the model. Depending on the pressure released by the hot coolant, the hot coolant is moved back and forth between the tank and the cooling tower. An overflow tank, which is also known as a recovery tank, is the more straightforward of the two types of systems. The most accurate approach to establish whether or not your car has an overflow tank is to check to see whether your radiator has a pressure rated cap, since this is what decides when coolant begins to flow between the cooling system and the tank.

It is important to note that the cap has a massive spring below it, with a little tab in the middle.

Using this method, any steam and surplus coolant may run down the pipe and into your overflow tank, where they can remain until system temperature falls below the set point.

Once the car has cooled down, the pressures will automatically try to level themselves out.

Expansion Tank

Expansion tanks are a little more difficult to construct. The factory expansion tank from the FK8 Civic Type R, or a less-detailed variant of the title picture, is depicted in this photograph. The expansion tank, also known as a degas bottle in the diesel world, is a little more complicated to work with than the other components. With this layout, the tank is always under pressure, and the pressure rating cap is positioned on the tank rather than on the radiator itself, reducing the risk of leaks.

If you have a cooling system that makes use of expansion tanks, the pressurized radiator cap will be on the expansion tank rather than on the radiator itself.

When the expanding coolant reaches a specific pressure, instead of being sent to the expansion tank, the coolant is always cycled through the radiator and out to the expansion tank.

The expansion tank is typically located at the highest point in the cooling system and requires significantly more plumbing than the overflow tank; however, this system is more efficient at relieving high pressures caused by heated coolant because coolant is constantly being fed into the tank to expand.

Because the expansion tank is equipped with a pressure lid and relief nozzle, you may still connect an overflow tank to the system in order to protect any coolant drips from contaminating the track surface.

Why Upgrade?

I understand that this is a groundbreaking notion, however coolant performs best when it is contained inside the system’s boundaries. Overheating as a result of a coolant leak would undoubtedly rank among the top ten most annoying ways to cut short a track day or even put your commute to a grinding halt. This is a problem that I have personally encountered. I don’t have a picture of the tank in question, but this was a regular issue with the R53 Mini Cooper S. Over time, the seal would weaken, allowing coolant to leak all over the exhaust heat shielding and occasionally into the exhaust itself.

  1. Automobile manufacturers construct hundreds of thousands of these reservoir tanks to be used across their fleets of vehicles.
  2. This results into the production of overflow or expansion tanks made of plastic.
  3. Even though the plastic appears to be thick, the continual heating and cooling of these materials, as well as the inevitability of staining from the colored coolant, are not nice to the tank.
  4. Installing an aluminum tank provides you with the assurance that your expanding coolant is not just emptying all over the road, but is instead maintaining your engine at the proper operating temperature.
  5. Coolant’s mediocre painting abilities are displayed on a blank canvas with the conventional beige or transparent white color scheme.
  6. When it comes to environmental consciousness, the car industry has gone a long way in terms of both pure speed and efficiency, as well as overall awareness of the environment.
  7. Being aware of the differences between the tank functions is beneficial for fine-tuning the cooling system on any construction and determining when it is necessary to run both at once.

Make sure to check out our selection of aluminum expansion and overflow tanks for your vehicle!

Thanks for taking the time to read this! -Nick

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