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Coolant Expansion Tank Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Coolant Expansion Tank Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

T25 Torx driver, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Volvo V70 (1998-01)

Parts Required:

Expansion tank, radiator hoses, engine coolant

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will cool down again, coolant leak repaired

Complementary Modification:

Change the radiator hoses and flush the cooling system

The Volvo V70 cooling system is filled through the plastic coolant expansion tank (or coolant reservoir) at the right front of the engine compartment. There is no cap on the radiator. Other components of the cooling system consist of:

Timing belt driven coolant pump bolted to the right side of the engine block.

The electric cooling fan is attached to the rear of the radiator. The cooling fan is controlled by the engine control module (ECM) via an output final stage.

Thermostat.

Automatic transmission cooler (heat exchanger).

Coolant level sensor inside expansion tank.

Coolant temperature sensor at cylinder head.

Coolant hose and lines.

When a coolant expansion tank ages it becomes brittle and develops hairline cracks. Inspect your expansion tank every time you change your oil. Look for cracks or any signs of leaks. Ignoring a small crack is a bad idea, as they can grow rapidly and create a major coolant leak before you know it. The coolant level sensor is located in the bottom of the tank. If you have a low coolant level message, but your coolant level is OK, you may have a faulty sensor. In this tech article I will show you how to replace the expansion tank with the integrated sensor.

Do not remove the expansion tank cap while the engine is hot. Coolant or hot steam may escape and will scald you. To do any work on the cooling system, wait until the engine has cooled off.

If you have a check coolant level message and your coolant level is OK, you may have a faulty level sensor or wiring. The sensor is activated by the float in the tank. To check the circuit, start by disconnecting the electrical connector. Then jump the two terminals together. When jumped, the coolant message should go out. This would indicate a faulty sensor. If the message does not go out see the following step. Be sure the expansion tank level float is not stuck. If it is, it may not activate the sensor when the coolant level is full.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Drain the cooling system. See our tech article on cooling system draining and filling. You do not have to drain the cooling system completely, just enough to lower the level to drain the expansion tank. You can also clamp off the coolant hoses to prevent leaking coolant when removing the expansion tank.

The coolant expansion tank is located on the right side of the engine compartment (green arrow).
Figure 1

The coolant expansion tank is located on the right side of the engine compartment (green arrow).

Suction any remaining fluid from the reservoir.
Figure 2

Suction any remaining fluid from the reservoir.

Remove the vent hose from the E-box mount (green arrow).
Figure 3

Remove the vent hose from the E-box mount (green arrow).

Now comes the tricky part.
Figure 4

Now comes the tricky part. The power steering reservoir is mounted to the coolant reservoir with a plastic clip and two guides. The clip can be tough to detach (green arrow). The power steering reservoir clip has the retaining tab. I like to gently lever the clip from below, toward the coolant reservoir to unlock it. Then lift upward. As you lift up, use a flathead screwdriver to gently lever the power steering reservoir out of the coolant reservoir, upward.

Remove the power steering hose from the mount at the pump (green arrow).
Figure 5

Remove the power steering hose from the mount at the pump (green arrow).

Lift the power steering reservoir up and place it on the cylinder head.
Figure 6

Lift the power steering reservoir up and place it on the cylinder head. This will give you room to work on the coolant reservoir.

Working at the top of the coolant expansion tank, using a flathead screwdriver, release the hose retaining clip (green arrow) by prying it up.
Figure 7

Working at the top of the coolant expansion tank, using a flathead screwdriver, release the hose retaining clip (green arrow) by prying it up. Then remove the hose from the tank (red arrow).

Working at the bottom of the coolant expansion tank, using a flathead screwdriver, loosen the hose clamp (green arrow).
Figure 8

Working at the bottom of the coolant expansion tank, using a flathead screwdriver, loosen the hose clamp (green arrow).

Working between the coolant expansion tank and the E-box, disconnect the electrical connector (green arrow) by pressing the release tab (red arrow) and pulling it apart.
Figure 9

Working between the coolant expansion tank and the E-box, disconnect the electrical connector (green arrow) by pressing the release tab (red arrow) and pulling it apart.

Lift the expansion tank up to detach it from the mounts (green arrow).
Figure 10

Lift the expansion tank up to detach it from the mounts (green arrow).

Then remove the hose from the bottom of the tank (green arrow).
Figure 11

Then remove the hose from the bottom of the tank (green arrow).

Remove the expansion tank from the vehicle.
Figure 12

Remove the expansion tank from the vehicle. When installing, use pliers to re-clip the vent hose clamp (green arrow). Fill and bleed the cooling system. Once complete, double check all the hose connections and check the engine for coolant leaks.

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