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Honda Accord Radiator Overflow Tank

Getting Your Honda Accord Radiator Overflow Tank Fixed

Also known as coolant reservoir tank or coolant overflow tank, the radiator overflow tank functions as storage space for the coolant once it heats up and starts expanding. It helps prevent ground contamination and allows the coolant to absorb heat faster, too. Without an overflow tank in your vehicle, the heated coolant tends to flow out of the radiator and onto the ground. Its failure could affect the performance of your engine or your radiator. The following are some issues that drivers encounter with their Honda Accord radiator overflow tank:


Coolant overflow tanks are usually made of plastic. They get punctured and cracked, which causes leaks. Eventually, the cooling system loses a significant amount of coolant, which then leads to engine overheating. These cracks can be fixed with silicone glue or epoxy. Make sure you drain the tank before removing the bolts or screws. Once you have taken out the tank, check for remaining coolant that might not have been removed earlier and dump it. Don't forget to clean every area of the overflow tank before applying silicone glue or epoxy. Then, allow it to dry properly. If the damage is already beyond repair, don't think twice about replacing your radiator overflow tank.

Boiling coolant

As the coolant runs into the radiator overflow tank, air bubbles are removed. The absence of these bubbles allows the coolant to absorb heat more quickly. However, too much water in the coolant mixture would cause it to boil, which is most likely due to a plugged radiator. To verify the problem, you can test the radiator by feeling the upper hose for cold spots. These cold spots are sure indicators that the radiator is plugged. In this case, you need to flush out the coolant.

Tank keeps going empty

If your radiator overflow tank keeps going empty despite adequately filling it up, you should consider doing a leak-down test. Simply fill your radiator to the brim. If bubbles form once you pressurize the cylinder, a leak may be causing your tank to go empty. Also, you may try putting UV dye in your coolant to easily spot where the leak is coming from. However, if you see no leaks along the lines, you might have to check inside your block. Inspect the head gasket if it is worn out or blown.

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  • Keeping Your Honda Accord Radiator Overflow Tank Clean

    Radiator overflow tanks are usually made of clear plastic, making it easy to inspect. You would know quickly if it is dirty or rusty, which means that it is already in need of thorough cleaning. Failure to check your radiator overflow tank regularly could cause you trouble in the long run. Defects in the tank may come up due to your neglect, which could eventually result into radiator or engine problems. Here are tips on how you can keep your Honda Accord radiator overflow tank clean and in good condition:

    Clean out the tank.

    If the dirt inside your radiator overflow tank is just minimal, it is possible to clean it without taking the tank apart. You only need few cleaning materials such as rags, mild bleach, water, and an old toothbrush. Simply put the rag into the tank and pour the mixture of bleach and water all the way to the top. Leave it for a while and then scrub the inside with an old toothbrush. Take out the rag and rinse out the tank. Don't forget to disconnect the hose under the tank and release the fluid before starting the cleaning process. Be careful with this liquid because it might burn your skin.

    However, if the dirt inside your radiator overflow tank could not get cleaned through the procedure mentioned above, removing the tank would be necessary. Fill it up with bleach, water, and ice cubes. Then, shake the overflow tank with just enough force. You may repeat the process for a few more times and then rinse the tank with high-pressure water hose.

    Remove the rust.

    Although radiator overflow tanks are commonly made of plastic, rust could still accumulate in it. These tanks actually have the tendency to trap rust and other mineral particles, which turn into orange stains.

    To get rid of this discoloration, fill your tank with undiluted calcium-lime-rust (CLR) remover. This substance is known to work best when it is heated, but don't attempt to heat it up in your home. You might end up inhaling hazardous fumes. However, you can simply immerse the tank in a bucket of CLR remover, which would be helpful in de-rusting your tank's surface.