Broken Coolant Tank

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  • 4 Post By KE5BM

Thread: Broken Coolant Tank

  1. #1
    Neutral
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Milton, FL
    Age
    37
    Posts
    15

    Broken Coolant Tank

    Hey guys! Just wanted to share this little bit of breakdown genius I had yesterday. We all know our cars are getting older and parts need replacing...especially those plastic parts that are subjected to extreme heat. Well, it's been hot in Florida the last few days...REALLY hot. Yesterday, I left work on my way home during the hottest part of the day. About 5 miles down the road, my coolant temperature light starts flashing...can't really read the information display because it's hot...and old so it fades. The gauge was still reading normal. So I casually pulled off the road to investigate the problem. Coolant everywhere inside the engine bay. Couldn't tell where it was coming from at first. I started tugging at hoses and wires around the coolant recovery tank and then the hot overflow return hose snapped off. So, here I am in a parking lot with a crippling breakdown if I can't figure something out.

    I start walking to the nearest parts store. Before I got there, I came to a mom & pop hardware store. Walked in and bought a small hose clamp and a rubber plug. I figure this will be enough to get me home to make a proper fix. I walk back to the car, clean out some of the broken plastic in the hose and put the plug in. Start the car, and no coolant comes out. Cool...that's one thing. Now, how to plug the tank side. I pondered for a minute what my options were...I have foam ear plugs in my EDC bag because hey...you never know. Compressed one down real hard and stuck it in the hole. "Let's give it a go," I said to myself.

    I topped off the tank with some coolant I carry around in the trunk (just in case) and made it the 30 mile interstate trip back home with no further issue. As an added bonus, my local Auto Zone happened to have a new coolant tank on the shelf so once I got home and the car cooled down I had it fixed in 10 minutes.

    58128660456__D73605F0-2BBE-441B-A6CB-499B8287462A.jpg

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  3. #2
    3rd Gear
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Chagrin Falls,Ohio
    Posts
    1,138
    play the lottery

  4. #3
    Neutral
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    118
    nice luck. I replaced the coolant recovery tank in my adopted wagon because the existing one was so filled with crap, that even if the tank was empty, the sensor read it as not empty.

    but instead of paying 40 dollars, i paid 2 at the salvage yard

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  6. #4
    in dire need of an organic chemistry lesson
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Michigan
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    56
    Posts
    2,096
    Quote Originally Posted by cchief22 View Post
    play the lottery

  7. #5
    3rd Gear
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,793
    Great fix!!!

    FWIW. Keep an eye on that new tank. I have heard too many times that aftermarkets are very prone to cracking sooner rather than later. The dealer is the best route and they are not that much more then aftermarkets.

  8. #6
    5th Gear
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Encinitas CA
    Posts
    5,375
    I replaced the coolant recovery tank on the 1996 A4 a couple of years ago because it was literally coming apart at the seam. Be sure to order the correct part number, because my 1996 A4 and 2001 Passat have different tank empty sensor plugs -- one round, the other elongated D shaped. (Just one more part -- among many -- that makes the 1996 Audi such a unicorn.

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