How to Repair a Coolant Recovery Tank

Updated April 17, 2017

The coolant recovery tank is a part of the cooling system on your vehicle. A leak in the cooling system can lead to serious problems if it is not promptly dealt with, but is one of the easiest and least expensive problems to resolve. Coolant recovery tanks are made out of plastic, so if your tank is leaking fluid, it's because the tank has a crack or puncture hole. If the crack or hole is not severe, it can be repaired with patching material.

Locate and mark the source of the leak on the coolant recovery tank. Look for drips, wet spots and small cracks on the exterior of the tank. Circle the leak or crack with a water-resistant marker.

Siphon out the remaining coolant from the reservoir with a siphon hose. Save the coolant in a drain bucket.

Remove the radiator cap.

Disconnect the overflow tube from the coolant reservoir tank. The hose is secured with a clamp. Loosen the clamp screws with a screwdriver. Gently twist the hose back and forth until it is free from the coolant reservoir. Remove any other screws, nuts and bolts holding the tank in place and remove the tank from the car.

Pour the remaining coolant into the drain bucket.

Thoroughly wash the interior and exterior of the tank with soap and water. Allow the tank to completely dry.

Fill the circled crack or hole with epoxy or silicone glue. Silicone glue works well for small hairline cracks, but larger cracks require epoxy or a similar patching material. Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions. Completely fill the crack with the epoxy. Allow the epoxy to dry completely.

Replace the recovery tank and secure it to the car. Reattach the overflow tube and clamp.

Pour the coolant fluid back into the recovery tank. Avoid spillage by using a funnel.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-resistant marker
  • Siphon hose
  • Bucket
  • Screwdriver
  • Soap
  • Silicone glue
  • Patching material
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About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.