The coolant reservoir is a storage tank that holds excess engine coolant. The reservoir also regulates the coolant fluid’s movement into and out of the engine cooling system through its connection to the radiator’s pressure relief valve. When the radiator opens its valve to bleed off internal pressure, hot coolant moves through that opening and into the reservoir. The fluid stays in the coolant reservoir until it cools down, which reduces its volume. Then the radiator draws the coolant out to repeat the engine cooling process.
You can find the typical coolant reservoir in the engine compartment’s front end. It’s usually found over the radiator with hoses attaching the two parts together. In some vehicles, the container sits closer to either the driver’s side or the passenger’s side of the engine bay.
Vehicle models like the 2012-2017 Toyota Camry XV50 keep their coolant reservoir in the front of their engine compartment. In many vehicles, the reservoir is on the passenger’s side.
Tips on How to Access the Coolant Reservoir
Accessing the coolant reservoir is usually as easy as opening the hood. Most reservoirs are immediately visible and accessible. A good rule of thumb is to look for the opaque storage tank connected to the radiator by one or more hoses.
Make sure you don’t mistake the windshield washer reservoir for the coolant reservoir. The former is usually smaller than the latter, and its hoses connect to the windshield washer nozzles instead of the radiator.
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