What is a coolant reservoir tank and why do you need to worry about it? To understand the importance of the coolant reservoir tank you first need to understand some basics about a car’s cooling system. An engine produces a lot of heat as the spark plugs create small explosions to ignite fuel in each cylinder in order to put your car into motion. If this heat is not controlled, the engine would quickly be destroyed.
The cooling system is responsible for controlling the temperature of your engine. Although it’s called a cooling system, it’s job is to help your engine perform efficiently by warming it up as quickly as possible upon starting and helping it maintain a rather high temperature while running without overheating and destroying the components that make up the engine. It manages to maintain this balance of heating and cooling by passing liquid coolant through tubes that run throughout your engine. The modern cooling system hasn’t changed much from the cooling systems of the 1920s in that it still consists of liquid coolant circulating throughout the engine, out to the radiator to be cooled and then recycled back. The coolant reservoir tank supports the radiator in catching the excess coolant that results from this process.
The Role of the Coolant Reservoir Tank
Why is there excess coolant in your car’s cooling system? As the coolant heats and cools it expands and contracts. When the engine is warm, the expanded coolant runs out of room in the cooling system and pressure builds. The radiator carefully maintains this pressure and at a certain point releases the warm coolant into the unsung hero of your car’s engine, the coolant reservoir tank. The coolant stays in the tank until the engine cools down and and the coolant contracts enough that it can flow back into the cooling system and be used again the next time you drive your car.
While not unique to a Jaguar, this delicate balance of heating and cooling can be disrupted in any vehicle. Your Jaguar is no exception. The plastic coolant reservoir can be prone to leak over time, leaving your engine with a coolant shortage once it cools down which could lead to a number of issues from electrical problems due to coolant dripping on those parts to the engine overheating.
Telltale Signs of a Coolant Leak
Fortunately, there are some symptoms that will appear if your Jaguar’s coolant reservoir needs some attention. Watch for
Constantly needing to add coolant
Small cracks or leaks in the coolant reservoir tank can lead to small amounts of coolant dripping or even evaporating from the tank resulting in the subtle annoying problem of having to constantly top off your coolant.
Coolant puddling under your car
More significant cracks in the tank will result in excess coolant sitting under your car. If you notice the subtle smell of maple syrup emanating from your car shortly after it’s warmed up or after turning it off, this could point to a larger coolant leak.
Your car’s temperature skyrocketing
Any time your car’s temperature gauge shoots up, you should call an expert to have an evaluation done. This may happen if the coolant reservoir is no properly holding or recycling coolant back into the cooling system. An engine overheating is an expensive repair. If addressed immediately it could lead to a simple and inexpensive repair such as replacing your coolant reservoir tank.
Repairs to the Cooling System
While you could drive your Jaguar by continually maintaining coolant levels in your car’s engine it would require you to constantly monitor the temperature gauge and refill coolant to the correct level. Besides, the potential risk associated with overfilling or not having enough coolant in your system, it is also possible that there are leaks coming from other areas in the engine. This is why cooling system maintenance is so important.
As with anything, maintaining your car’s engine is safer, more economical and, results in a more enjoyable driving experience. Rely on the European car experts at Star Motors of Orange County to help you create a maintenance schedule tailored to your Jaguar. Contact Star Motors in San Capistrano, CA or any of it’s other Southern Orange County locations.