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Coolant Expansion Tank Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Coolant Expansion Tank Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$50

Talent:

*

Tools:

Pliers, fluid pump or turkey baster

Applicable Models:

Volvo C70 (1998-04)
Volvo C70 T5 (2006-13)

Parts Required:

Coolant Expansion Tank

Hot Tip:

Use a fluid pump or turkey baster to suck out coolant

Performance Gain:

Better Cooling

Complementary Modification:

Flush cooling system

The coolant expansion tank (CET) is one of those items that tends to start failing in cars with higher mileage. The CET has a manufacturing seam that can split due to the constantly changing temperature and pressure conditions inside the cooling system. Take a look around the CET for tell-tale signs of coolant leaking from the seam. If you do find a leaking CET, replace it as soon as possible. The good news is that replacement is easy and should take no more than an hour.

Remove the cap on the CET and check the fluid level. You'll need to remove any fluid left in the CET prior to removing the tank, otherwise it will just spill out all over the floor when removing the hoses.

The method I like to use is a simple aftermarket electric fuel pump. These are readily available at any good auto parts store for around $20. I connect the fuel pump inlet hose down to a small diameter plastic hose that allows me to slide it inside the CET and get as much coolant out as I can. The outlet of the pump simply feeds into a clean 5 gallon container. The nice thing about this method is that it allows you to simply pour the existing coolant back into the system when you are done. You can even use a turkey baster to remove the coolant. It just might take a bit longer and might be a little messy.

If your CET has been leaking badly and there is a significant amount of coolant lost from the system, a vacuum bleeder is a must have item. In these cases, air usually gets into the system and there really isn't a way to bleed it out manually. A vacuum bleeder allows you to evacuate all the air from the system using a vacuum. You then use the vacuum inside the cooling system to draw the coolant in. All things being equal, you should have just enough coolant inside the system when the pressure inside the cooling system equalizes. See our article on Coolant Flush and Replacement for more information.

Shown here is the coolant expansion tank on the Volvo C30 (green arrow).
Figure 1

Shown here is the coolant expansion tank on the Volvo C30 (green arrow).

Gently pull up on the tank to release it from the mounting location on the chassis.
Figure 2

Gently pull up on the tank to release it from the mounting location on the chassis. If you haven't already done so, drain out any remaining coolant in the lines with a fluid pump or turkey baster.

Loosen and slide back the hose clamp (green arrow) holding the water hose to the rear of the coolant expansion tank.
Figure 3

Loosen and slide back the hose clamp (green arrow) holding the water hose to the rear of the coolant expansion tank. Carefully pull the hose off the tank.

You'll now need to loosen and slide back the hose clamps (green arrows) holding the water hoses to the front of the coolant expansion tank.
Figure 4

You'll now need to loosen and slide back the hose clamps (green arrows) holding the water hoses to the front of the coolant expansion tank. Take note of the paint mark on the hose (yellow arrow). This will keep you from mixing the two hoses up when re-installing them.

Note the mounting tab on the inside of the fender (green arrow).
Figure 5

Note the mounting tab on the inside of the fender (green arrow). This tab secures the tank in place.

Also note the slot (green arrow) on the coolant expansion tank.
Figure 6

Also note the slot (green arrow) on the coolant expansion tank. This fits over the tab on the inner fender. Fit the hoses to the new coolant expansion tank and slide it into place.

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