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How to clean a coolant reservoir – All you need to know

  • Car Care Tips
  • Samuel Green
  • 3 minutes

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While inspecting your coolant level, check the status of your car’s coolant reservoir. If you find it dirty and filled with deposits, it’s time to clean it. If you’re not sure how to do it, don’t worry. Here’s our complete guide on how to clean a coolant reservoir.   

What’s a coolant reservoir?   

The coolant reservoir or overflow tank is where the excess coolant produced because of the engine’s heat is stored. When your car’s engine heats up, the warmth makes the coolant expand. This expanded coolant overflows into the coolant reservoir, and when the car cools down, it is sucked back into the radiator.

The coolant reservoir plays a vital role in this cycle, and therefore any damage or harm to the reservoir can overheat your car. That’s why it’s important to keep the coolant reservoir in its best condition all the time.

How to clean a coolant reservoir

Why should you clean your coolant reservoir?

Over time your coolant reservoir tank can be filled with dirt, mud, and sludge. These contaminants deposited inside the reservoir can affect the quality of the coolant in it. This, in turn, can negatively affect the car’s performance. Therefore, make sure you check the coolant reservoir’s status during your car maintenance schedule or while changing the coolant. If you notice it is dirty and yellowish, clean it as soon as possible.    

How to clean a coolant reservoir?   

We’ve mentioned the important steps in cleaning your coolant reservoir below. Follow these steps to clean it without any hassle.  

Step 1   

Before you start the cleaning process, make sure the engine is cool. Turn off the engine, and wait for at least two hours before touching the coolant reservoir.   

Step 2  

Disconnect the hoses and remove the coolant reservoir tank. If the tank still contains any fluid, transfer it to another bucket. Now closely inspect the reservoir and check its condition.   

Step 3  

To remove the deeply embedded dirt, you need to soak the reservoir in a container with bleach, water and, dishwashing liquid. For this, you need a container (large enough to accommodate the reservoir), fill it with bleach, dishwashing liquid, and water. Now place the reservoir into the container and allow it to sit for a few hours, and you can also let it stay overnight. Make sure you remove the reservoir’s cap to allow the solution to enter inside and loosen the dirt.   

Step 4  

Scrub the reservoir’s outer part to remove the dirt using a brush. Repeat the process till the pale-yellow color disappears.   

Step 5  

To clean the inner part. Clear all the liquid present inside and use a brush to clean it. Next, using a high-pressure hose, rinse it. Repeat the process until you see a noticeable change of color. Once you’re satisfied with the result, place the reservoir back as it was.   

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