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Jeep Cherokee Radiator Overflow Tank

Usual Jeep Cherokee Radiator Overflow Tank Problems and Their Causes

You might disagree, but your Jeep Cherokee radiator overflow tank is actually a vital component of your road surfer's cooling system. Although it seems that the overflow tank is just a piece of plastic container with water or coolant inside, it actually keeps the radiator from exceeding its maximum capacity. When the heated coolant expands and fills the radiator, the excess fluid goes into the overflow tank. The tank stores the coolant until it is finally drawn back to the engine as the temperature decreases. With this very demanding job, it is inevitable for the overflow tank to deteriorate and fail. For your information, here are the most common problems of a Jeep Cherokee radiator overflow tank and the reasons behind them:

Physical damage

A Jeep Cherokee radiator overflow tank is usually made of sturdy ABS plastic. Although this material composition makes it highly resistant to rust and corrosion, it still has the tendency to develop cracks after some time. Aside from physical damage due to old age, your vehicle's radiator overflow tank can also be broken during head-on collisions and fender-benders. Any form of damage on the overflow tank's surface will result in coolant leaks, which will surely alter the normal function of your Jeep Cherokee's cooling system. Minor cracks on the radiator overflow tank's body can still be repaired, but if the damage is too severe, you need to replace your stock immediately.

Damaged or clogged hoses

Your vehicle's radiator overflow tank cannot effectively perform its duties if the hoses that connect it to the rest of the cooling system are in bad shape. If the hoses have holes and are leaking, the expanded coolant from the radiator assembly will not be able to reach the overflow tank. This means that instead of being re-circulated back into the radiator to keep the cooling system running, the coolant will just end up in a puddle underneath your vehicle's engine block. The same thing will happen if the hoses are clogged up with contaminants from the other cooling system parts. Both problems can cause the engine to overheat. To prevent this from happening, regularly checking the hoses for holes is a must. Cleaning or flushing the radiator overflow tank and its hoses will also help you get rid of the unwanted debris inside the assembly.

Boil over

Boil over occurs when the overflow tank is overfilled with radiator coolant. Ideally, the tank should be filled to only one third of its capacity to allow more room for the heated coolant that overflows from the radiator. If the radiator overflow tank is full, the coolant will be expelled from the cooling system through the overflow hose. When this happens, the expelled coolant can cause damage to the hot engine parts as well as to the vehicle's electrical components. To keep this from happening, you must maintain the coolant's prescribed level inside the radiator overflow tank.

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  • Helpful Tidbits in Keeping Your Jeep Cherokee Radiator Overflow Tank in Tiptop Shape

    It's a long weekend, so you decided to take your Jeep Cherokee on a road trip. A couple of hours passed, and you suddenly found yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere due to an overheated engine. Thankfully, the rescuers finally came to tow your vehicle back into the city. Upon checking your Cherokee, your mechanic told you that an inch-long crack on the surface of the radiator overflow tank was the sole cause of your three-hour misery. Frustrating, isn't it? Well, this wouldn't have happened if you are hands-on in maintaining your cooling system components' excellent condition. To prevent this from happening again, just follow these easy but useful tips in taking care of your Jeep Cherokee radiator overflow tank:


    Maintain the prescribed coolant level.

    Since it is responsible for storing the excess coolant from the radiator, the overflow tank is not meant to be filled with too much fluid. Overfilling the tank will just cause the coolant to boil over, which can also damage the other engine components surrounding the overflow tank. To prevent this from happening, experts recommend filling the overflow tank with the amount of coolant equivalent to one-third of the tank's total capacity.


    Clean the overflow tank and its hoses regularly.

    Clogging and coolant contamination are some of the most common problems of a Jeep Cherokee radiator overflow tank. Although the accumulation of rust and unwanted debris inside the tank and the hoses is basically inevitable, you can still prevent coolant contamination and clogging by cleaning the radiator overflow tank assembly regularly. To do this, you need to detach the overflow tank from the rest of the cooling system. You can flush the hoses with water to remove the trapped contaminants. As for the tank, you can use a Calcium-Lime-Rust remover and bleach to remove rust and other debris from its interior. Remember to rinse the overflow tank's inside several times before installing it back into the vehicle.


    Examine the radiator overflow tank assembly for damage.

    The plastic material of the Jeep Cherokee radiator overflow tank is prone to developing cracks over time. The same is true for the rubber hoses that attach the overflow tank to the radiator. Because of this, you need to examine them regularly for any sign of damage. If you can do something about the cracks before they cause severe coolant leaks, you will definitely save your vehicle from frequent overheating and expensive repairs due to cooling system failure.


    Replace your stock if needed.

    Minor scratches and hairline cracks on the surface of your vehicle's radiator overflow tank can still be repaired using commercial sealing agents. But if the damage is beyond repair, please do not hesitate to replace your broken stock with a new one. Replacement overflow tanks can be bought online, and they are also relatively cheap.