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In normal circumstances, the coolant gets ousted out from the reservoir overflow tube, the moment the engine starts warming up. the small hose that goes into the overflow tank (reservoir you're talking about) runs to the top of the radiator right below the radiator cap. Once the engine cools down, the extra coolant flows back into the engine through a vacuum system. However, upon cooling, it still put a bunch into the overflow, leaving my level way below the cap. The radiator cap comes in different pressures. A cracked or leaking reservoir can easily be diagnosed and fixed. After ~5 months of waiting, still no plug…no change. This allows for excess pressure to vent to the reservoir as well as any coolant. Once the driver parks the vehicle and turns off the engine, the heat dissipates which causes the coolant to not be as hot anymore. 1900 subaru legacy wagon. The excess coolant goes into the reservoir. The hose could have small cracks at either end that would prevent a good seal. Look at the level in your radiator in the morning for a few days without adding any coolant to the reservoir and if it does not go any lower this might be your problem. My mechanic replaced the radiator, cap, and hoses…no change. If the coolant reservoir is completely empty, you can’t just refill it. When the system cools down, the radiator pressure reverses and coolant is siphoned from the reservoir back into the radiator. Over time, the coolant reservoir can leak, become worn, and fail because it is used on a regular basis. Coolant is not very dirty No leaks (checked with a pressure tester too) Have bought 2 radiator caps and tried an old one (tested those too) Radiator is a year old And i know for sure it is coming from my overflow drain tube because i set the tube in a place that i could see it was draining and the tube and that area was wet. It should drop, and if you take the cap off the coolant should be filled to the top. Without a coolant reservoir, the expanding coolant would be pushed out of the radiator cap and allowed to spill on the ground, which is an environmental hazard. Coolant Reservoir doesn't drain back into Radiator. When you turn off your engine, and the cooling system starts to cool down, then there is a vacuum drawn from the radiator and the coolant in the reservoir is sucked/drawn back up the line into the radiator. Overflow tank had filled and coolant had shot all over the front passenger wheel well in particular.. There is signs of coolant in the top tank when i top up - so the radiator is not dried up. This puts the outlet in coolant when at proper level. This leakage is visible and may result from bad reservoir cap. Coolant is under pressure so it does not boil, which make bubbles, bubbles do not transfer heat to radiator walls where it can be dissipated into the atmosphere. I went back to town and replaced the rad cap. The coolant reservoir on your Accord is connected to the radiator, and allows coolant to flow back and forth between the two as it heats and cools. This excess coolant stays here until the system cools down enough to create negative pressure and draw the excess coolant from the reservoir back into circulation. As this coolant warms, it expands. Check your owner's manual for proper cap replacement. Removing it and whether the fix will hold up under the average 15 psi pressure may impose challenges and risks to question the validity of the repair. After this liquid passes back into the radiator, the reservoir will normally be left with only 1/3 of the coolant. Be sure to check your owners manual to determine the correct type of fluid to add - for Fords, it will typically be in a section titled Fluid Capacities in the back of your manual. flush but it has never worked when they get that bad take the rad. I also "burped" a few of the hoses as I was refilling. Fill your reservoir with antifreeze up to the FULL line at the middle of the plastic tank, you don’t have to add water, because the water will evaporate in a few days and what is left is antifreeze which will not evaporate. The reservoir is where excess coolant collects when hot and then is sucked back into the radiator when cold. So. Got it all back in with the reservoir level at most an inch above top line. So you'll want to mark where the coolant level is when hot, and then come back when the car cools down and see if it's dropped. Here’s how to do that: Wait until the radiator has cooled. just undo the small clamp (usually jsut needs a pair of pliers) around the hose on the radiator end and let it drain. Coolant in the radiator is 100% full. I replace new cap and radiator and I still have the same problem. Therefore i am constantly topping up the radiator when it has cooled down. to a rad. The reservoir might be cracked so it leaks and when the radiator gets hot and it overflows all the coolant leaks out. he put a chemical in the radiator fluid that is supposed to form a plug to stop a leak. Once you are done driving, the coolant will slowly cool down as the engine does and the radiator cap will allow the coolant stored in the reservoir to flow back into the radiator. This expelled coolant moves against the spring in your radiator cap. A new hose is cheap. Before coming home i topped up the rad again, and had overheat issues again after about 2.5 hours of highway driving. Some coolant should push into the reservoir when hot and go back in as the engine cools. Your problem may simply be a loose or damaged cap not keeping coolant where it needs to be. When you warm up your engine, the coolant expands and builds pressure, then the radiator cap allows the excessive coolant at a given pressure to flow into the reservoir. Have a fluid catch basin ready to catch the now draining coolant. Open the drain valve by turning the it counter clockwise. It must not be the case that upon cooling the system is overpressurized and that is why it puts coolant back into the overflow, because with my wifes vehicle, I don't think it ever sucked it out of the overflow to begin with (probably a leaky cap like everyone mentioned). The video above shows you where the coolant reservoir in your Contour is located and how to add coolant. To release pressure, the radiator cap allows some coolant to escape out, stored in the reservoir. Coolant is pulled back into the radiator by a partial vacuum, as the radiator cools after driving. It spills back into the reservoir tank (plastic tank attached to the radiator) then it spills out onto the engine and everywhere else. If you have a leak somewhere it will draw in air instead as the coolant cools. The coolant expands and contracts as it is heated and cooled. I noticed though that the overflow tank would fill but not siphon coolant back into the rad. If you look at just about any overflow reservoir (not an expansion tank), the hose from the radiator run off goes to the bottom of the tank (or dips down to the bottom of the tank from the lid). If the crack is on the inside, then any drainage would go back into the reservoir and not spill out on the ground, but it would break the vacuum that would draw coolant back into the radiator during the cooldown. As the system cools down, the contracting coolant creates a vacuum that draws coolant from the reservoir back into the radiator. The excess fluid flows into the overflow tube and goes into the overflow tank. Hey Victor, A radiator overflow tank collects the expanding coolant that is heated by the engine and recycles it back into the coolant system once it loses enough heat. When the system chills, the coolant stored in the reservoir is pulled back into the radiator by the reduced pressure. If there are any leaks in the system, air will be drawn into the system via those leaks instead of drawing coolant from the reservoir. Mix the coolant with distilled water so that you have a combination of 50% coolant and 50% water. - Answered by a verified Subaru Mechanic the cores in you're radiator are very small and in time get pluged and the water does not circulate causing pressure so then it pushes the water into the reservoir so then you have only air in the cooling system I have tried rad. Maintenance/Repairs. Most car's have a radiator drain valve that will be visible at the bottom tank or on either side tank. Step 1. This did not fix the problem. The radiator cap is designed to allow access to fluids in a ‘closed' system. The coolant would drain into the reserve reservoir, but would not drain back into the radiator, and I would have to keep refilling. If that's not happening, it means that you've got a leak in the radiator, or a hose, or in the engine itself, and you're losing that vacuum, and leaking coolant out of the system. I subsequently poured it back into the reservoir (it was low, but not completely empty) with the coolant vent valve open, until I got coolant coming out of it. So, the radiator coolant overflow tank functions to serve this exact purpose. The coolant won't "suck" back into the system until it fully cools. You need to check the level of coolant in the radiator as well. The coolant used to cool the engine does so at maximum efficiency when kept at specific pressure. I replaced the radiator and thermostat on my 98 Subaru Forester but still when I drive it the temperature gauge reads over the hot line the heater doesn't work but the coolant doesn't seem to be circulating to where its supposed to be. If a valve is not available loosen the lower radiator hose and slowly remove it from the radiator to initiate the draining process. 99 Toyota Avalon, 3.6 L engine, 160k miles The engine sends radiator fluid to the overflow reservoir but doesn’t suck it back into the engine when it cools. This overflowing coolant passes into the reservoir where it is stored until the engine cools. While this may seem to be a minor issue, it can lead to dire consequences. Coolant goes into reservoir but doesn't get drawn back into the radiator when it cools. There may be times that the reservoir radiator cap may turn out to be faulty. Seems that its not holding pressure or there is AIR in the system. noticed that the coolant overflow bottle is filling up and not returning the coolant back into the radiator. 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