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What is the function of a car expansion tank?


The expansion tank, also known as the coolant reservoir, is a component of a car's cooling system that serves several functions.


An expansion tank provides a place for the coolant to expand as it heats up and pressure builds in the cooling system. This expansion prevents damage to the cooling system and helps maintain proper engine temperature. Besides, it serves as a reservoir for the coolant. As the engine cools down, the coolant contracts and is drawn back into the expansion tank, ensuring that the cooling system is always full of coolant. What's more, the expansion tank allows for easy checking of the coolant level. Most expansion tanks have a maximum and minimum level marked on the side, allowing the driver or mechanic to quickly and easily check the coolant level without having to remove the radiator cap.


How to identify the expansion tank failure?


Expansion tanks are designed to help control the pressure changes in the system as the temperature changes, preventing damage to the system and ensuring proper operation.


Then how can you identify expansion tank failure and replace:


  • Look for signs of failure such as water leaks, rust or corrosion, and damage to the tank or the fittings.
  • Check the pressure gauge on the system to see if the pressure is fluctuating or if it remains high even when the system is not in use.
  • If you tap on the expansion tank and it sounds hollow, this is a sign that the bladder inside the tank has failed and needs to be replaced.


How to replace an expansion tank?


  1. Turn off the power to the heating or cooling system, and locate the expansion tank. Drain the coolant from the tank and disconnect the hoses from it.
  2. Install the new expansion tank, making sure that it is the correct size and pressure rating for your system.
  3. Reconnect the new expansion tank to the system. Refill the system with coolant.
  4. Finally, take your car for a test drive to ensure that it is working properly.
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