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Re: Expansion tank tests
The coolant recovery tank doesn't really have specification per se' . The heat from the coolant overflow won't affect the tank in the manner you are speaking of. Its purpose is to simply catch whatever yhere is in overflow and retain it for reintroduction into the radiator as it cools. normally they have aroun a two quart capacity and the only true concern is if it leaks. good luck
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Ensure the car is on a level surface. Top up the expansion tank situated in the top front right of the engine bay with water and antifreeze and replace the pressure cap. Run the engine for a few minutes and check the water level in the expansion tank, it should be at the half way mark. If not top up with more water.
There should be two level markings on expansion tank; one for cold engine, and the other for normal running temperature ( hot ). Check level after vehicle has sat for a few hours or parked overnight and make sure it is at the cold level of expansion tank marking. This will allow room for expansion of coolant when engine is in use in expansion tank.
Have a cylinder leakage test performed to check your head gasket. It dosn't have to overheat to have a head gasket problem. A leakage test checks if looseing combustion gases to the cooling system which would presurise the system higher than normal which causes the tank to overflow.
FILL COOLANT SYSTEM UP BY POURING COOLANT IN THE EXPANSION TANK UNTIL COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING IN THE EXPANSION.WHEN YOU POUR COOLANT IN EXPANSION TANK AIR BLEED OFF THROUGH THE SMALL COOLANT LINES GOING TO EXPANSION TANK.WITH PRESSURE CAP OFF RADIATOR COOLANT LEVEL IN EXPANSION IS AT FULL COLD MARK.WHAT YOU TO DO CRANK ENGINE UP LET IDLE WARM UP UNTIL COOLANT DROPS IN EXPANSION TANK KEEP ADDING COOLANT UNTIL STOP DROPPING STAY AT FULL COLD MARK.WHEN COOLANT LEVEL START RISING IN EXPANSION TANK.PUT PRESSURE CAP BACK ON RADIATOR.WHILE ENGINE IDLING WATCH TEMPERATURE GAUGE.IF START CLIMBING TURN OFF ENGINE LET IT SIT FOR LITTLE WHILE TAKE A LARGE RAG OPEN RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP A LITTLE AT A TIME TO KEEP FROM GETTING SCALDING TO RELEASE AIR IN COOLANT SYSTEM.WHEN PRESSURE IS RELEASED OPEN PRESSURE CAP ADD MORE COOLANT IN THE EXPANSION TANK.CRANK ENGINE AGAIN LET IDLE WHEN TEMPERATURE GAUGE START CLIMBING. TURN OFF ENGINE WAIT FOR WHILE BEFORE OPEN RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP.WHEN YOUR THERMOSTAT OPENS WHEN TOP RADIATOR HOSE IS HOT AND ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE GAUGE STOP CLIMBING AND COOLANT LEVEL STOP DROPPING IN THE EXPANSION TANK.ALL AIR IS EXPELLED FROM COOLANT SYSTEM TO KEEP ENGINE FROM OVERHEATING.
Yes these can become distorted or malformed through repetitive overheating. They are made of rather thick plastic so it does make them resilient to warping but not impervious. I can not say that it can weaken the cap, but I can say that constant boil over can not be good for it.
If the temperature gauge isn't moving you are either completely out of coolant or your coolant isn't circulating.
It would be worth your time to check your coolant level, then look for leaks. If you are also noticing that your heater doesn't work it would help to confirm this diagnosis.
Could be several things causing a lack of circulation: a blockage in your coolant lines somewhere, your water pump is not functioning, or you have a blown head gasket or warped cylinder head. An engine overheat can also cause the blown head gasket and/or warped cylinder head as well, so you would be best served by driving your car as little as possible until you've diagnosed the problem.
If you are out of coolant, you should check a few places for leaks. Obviously at your main coolant lines, but also along the heater core is a good place to check. If you can't find any obvious leaks, you may want to try flushing your radiator, since it's relatively simple to do and certainly can't hurt. Also change your oil: if it comes out looking opaque and like a milkshake, you're getting coolant into your cylinders, which means you've blown the head gasket or warped the cylinder head.