Preventative Replacement of Coolant Expansion Tank

My VW Cabrio is now 10 years old, w/44,000 miles. I am replacing all the cooling system hoses and think I should replace the expansion tank and cap. I live in the Arizona desert and use car on long distance trips. Have others seen this tank crack and fail due to ageing?

I’ve seen may at this age, but not a cracked or leaking one. These things have a good quality plastic, and pretty thick. But, it is your car.

BTW, averaging 4,400 miles a year is pretty light. Ever think about just renting a car when you need it instead of purchasing? Purchase price, maintenance and insurance for a car that sits a lot seems to be more costly. Just a thought.

I don’t think I’ve ever had one fail in 40 years. I may have had one but don’t remember. Even if it does start to leak, its not catastrophic and will just lower the radiator fluid a little. I sure wouldn’t worry about it but I would include the heater hoses and the little by pass hoses etc. that get ignored and no one stocks.

The Knicks will win the Super Bowl before you see any cracked ones unless there is a crash.

I have seen only one crack, and it was nearly 20 years old. I would not worry about it. Try pressing on the tank to see if it is still pliable.

Never experienced a cracked tank, but in my trunk I always carry some emergency items, including the ever-useful duct tape. Should you have a crack (not likely), duct tape will see you through till you get a proper repair.

One thing some folks may not be aware of is that the tank is pressurized, right? The radiator cap is on the tank, not the radiator. At least my GTI’s was, so it’s both under more stress and harder to fix than a more normal ‘overflow’ tank. That said, I’d still not worry about it, unless you see evidence of cracking or deterioration.

On both my cars the overflow tanks are not pressurized, the rad cap is the pressure regulator, and the overflow is just that. The friction fit of the plastic cap would not hold any presure.

Are yours VWs? On this photo you can see where the tank’s connected to the same fitting as the radiator hose, not to the overflow of a more-normal radiator cap.

No, both my cars are Japanese and the overflow system does not like like anything in your photo.