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Jeep Wrangler Radiator Overflow Tank

Jeep Wrangler Radiator Overflow Tank Head Scratchers

The overflow tank, also commonly referred to as an expansion tank, a coolant reservoir or an overflow canister, is an essential part of the Jeep Wrangler's cooling system regardless of what you call it. It is connected to an overflow tube that comes from the radiator to provide extra storage space for the coolant as it expands when the engine heats up. Without this extra overflow storage space, the coolant would expand and may damage the tubes and may cause leaks. Any problem connected with this could compromise the overall functionality of your engine. Therefore, being equipped with firsthand knowledge about problems that may emanate from a bad overflow tank is a must.

Changes with the temperature

If you notice that your vehicle is having a variation with its temperatures even though nothing serious has changed in your car, then there might be a problem with your overflow tank. This is usually communicated through bubbles within the storage. However, this isn't a conclusive sign of damage. At certain times, this could be more of an indicator of problems with other parts. Be sure to investigate the totality of the engine cooling system as it could lead to more issues indicative of the main problem.

Normal bubbles

In the next paragraphs, the bubbling in the radiator overflow tank will be decoded between being normal and being problematic. First, the normal bubbles. Finding a few bubbles is common in the overflow tank. One of the functions of the overflow tank is to actually remove the bubbles caused by the air expanding in the cooling system. Coolants work much more efficiently without air bubbles because the air bubbles interfere with the coolants' ability to absorb heat at a fast rate. Making the coolant more efficient means the engine will be less prone from overheating.

Bad news bubbles

The bad side of bubbles in the overflow tank could also be the sign of a leak within the tank or along the cooling system. This is reflected by the presence of too many bubbles even if the car is already cold. Inspect everything thoroughly as it may be a leak in critical areas like the head gasket. Once that blows off, the engine will be useless.

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  • How to Take Proper Care of Your Jeep Wrangler Radiator Overflow Tank 27 February 2013

    The coolant system in your Jeep Wrangler bears tremendous pressure that an overflow tank is required to accommodate the expansion and contraction of the coolant. The purpose of this radiator overflow tank is to be a catch basin for hot coolant, therefore allowing further expansion and contraction of the coolant. Coolant, like most liquids, expands as it heats, and this growth in volume must be accommodated. Sadly, little regard is given to the radiator overflow tank, and the effects of this could be disastrous. Here are some ways you can take proper care of the radiator overflow tank.


    Fix the leak.


    The radiator overflow tank can leak due to the expansion and the hot temperature of the coolant. Hot spilled coolant will damage any engine component that it comes in contact with. Therefore, leaks must be repaired right away. To do this, you must rinse and clean the overflow tank first, followed by properly determining where the cracks or exits may be. Then apply a welding product or epoxy onto the openings. Allow them to cure for a certain time so the chemicals can combine. Once it has been given enough time to set, spread it out along the leak. Be sure to fill in all the cracks. After this, let it dry overnight.


    Don't overfill the cooling system.


    If you overfill the engine cooling system with coolant, there's a bigger risk of the coolant leaking out of the overflow tank. Since the coolant expands when heated, it takes up more volume, up to a point that the overflow tank won't be able to hold in the coolant any longer. Expelled coolant may drop on hot engine parts and make the ECU (engine control unit) think that there is a system malfunction. Coolant contact with electrical components will also cause brief malfunctions, or worse, permanent damage.


    Always have a good dose of coolant.


    The radiator and the rest of the cooling system need a good dose of coolant to get their job done. Without the coolant, the engine will be in danger of overheating, and once the engine overheats, other parts like the radiator will easily wear out. Furthermore, the coolant also has properties that fight against corrosion, so it also protects the insides of various car parts that it comes in contact with. To keep the radiator overflow tank in good condition, fill up the engine with the recommended dosage based on the owner's manual.