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Old 12-05-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default How do you install a new coolant reservoir?

I have a 2003 Malibu LS and the coolant reservoir just recently cracked on me so I am going to replace it, only $35. It looks like a fairly simple replacement, just one bolt and a few hoses. My question is, does the coolant fluid need to be flushed or is it possible to do the replacement with the coolant still in the car; also, there is also coolant in the cracked reservoir so how do I do the replacement with fluid still in the tank?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: How do you install a new coolant reservoir?

When you pull the hoses, some of the coolant will leak out. What you do is after you're done replacing the tank, refill it.

Or better, take this as a warning, pull all the hoses and replace them, and put a fresh charge of distilled water and good quality antifreeze in.

335K miles on original motor and tranny (only motor work 2 x LIM replacement), Monroe SensaTrac struts front and back (new at approx. 300K miles), and Alero discs in back. LS fogs added with custom wiring. HID high beams, HIR low and halogen fogs. Raybestos Pro Grade front rotors and Bendix D747 ceramic pads on front.

Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: How do you install a new coolant reservoir?

Yes, it's fairly easy. I replaced mine just last weekend as part of a coolant flush while working a clogged heater core. Mine was so old and dirty that I couldn't see the Full Cold mark.

You could drain some of the coolant from the radiator to minimize the amount of coolant in the reserve tank. Then, as you say, it's just one bolt and one plastic retaining clip - aside from the connecting hoses.
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