Aluminum Radiator: How to Replace a Coolant Recovery Tank

  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 35-75
What You'll Need
Coarse Sandpaper
Adjustable Radiator Hose Clamps
New Coolant Recovery Tank

The purpose of an aluminum radiator is to keep your engine cool. An overheated engine can cause permanent damage to your car if it is not taken care of immediately. The coolant recovery tank is what will help keep your radiator in top running condition.

Step 1 – Find Recovery Tank

The location of the recovery tank varies considerably from one car model to another. It is most often found next to the radiator and is connected by a hose. You will need to get the model number so that you can take that number to your local auto parts store and get the right tank. It is usually a good idea to get a picture before you remove the old tank. This way you will have a good idea of what everything looks like.

Step 2 – Remove the Tank

You will need to begin by getting a container to place underneath the reservoir. From there, you are ready to get the reservoir removed. Do this by taking a flathead screwdriver to the clamps. There may be an air filter box that is in the way of the tank. If there is, then simply place it off to the side for later.

Step 3 – Drain Coolant

You will need to drain out the coolant by using a fluid hand pump. Get an empty coolant bottle to squirt this into for later use.

Step 4 – Remove Coolant Tank

There will be bolts that need to be unscrewed for you to get the coolant recovery tank removed. Make sure that you remove the hose clamps before you take the coolant tank out completely.

Step 5 – Install New Tank

Check area so that you will be able to get to both the front and the rear mounting bracket. You will need to completely remove them. Replace your rear mounting bracket. Make sure you do not tighten the bolts completely. Insert the new coolant recovery tank. If you are having trouble fitting it in then get out your sand paper and sand down any rough edges. You will then need to put in the front reservoir bolts but leave them loose. Tighten the rear bolts.

Step 6 – Finish Installation

You are now ready to place the lower feed hose and upper return hose in their position and tighten their clamps. Put the vent line hose in its proper place as well. Lubricate the seals that meet up with the tank and cap. Add coolant as needed. Tighten the coolant cap on by hand. You are now ready to put the air filter package back into place if it has been moved. Once you have everything back into place you will need to take your car for a test drive. After you have done this come back and check the car for any leaks or problems.