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Coolant Reservoir Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your coolant reservoir replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your coolant reservoir replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a coolant reservoir?

When looking into replacing a coolant reservoir, you can expect to pay around $252. Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, parts will cost around $135, with labor costs totalling $116 on average.
How long does it take to replace a coolant reservoir? Coolant reservoir replacement times will vary based on your vehicle, with an average repair time of 1.0 hours. Prior to beginning service, your mechanic will assess your vehicle’s coolant system to determine coolant levels and leaks.
Check out our overview below of repair cost estimates for a coolant reservoir replacement for varying car models:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 25, 2024
Fiat 124 Spider
$219
$101
$118
1.0 Hours
May 24, 2024
Volvo C30
$214
$101
$113
1.0 Hours
May 23, 2024
BMW 328
$208
$101
$107
1.0 Hours
May 20, 2024
GMC S15
$231
$109
$122
1.0 Hours
May 14, 2024
Isuzu Trooper
$205
$109
$96
1.0 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my coolant reservoir replacement and how much do those parts cost?

There are several key components of a car’s coolant reservoir that you may not consider. When you take your vehicle in for a coolant reservoir replacement, not all of these parts will need to be serviced—however, it’s worth noting their role and cost, if your mechanic deems them ineffective.
  • Coolant reservoir: A vehicle’s coolant reservoir (or overflow tank) is the central hub for all coolant. The reservoir tank stores hot coolant until your car’s engine has cooled. Without it, your vehicle’s coolant can’t leave the system to bring down internal heat temperatures. A typical coolant reservoir can cost you between $50-$150 depending on whether it’s made of aluminum or translucent plastic.
  • Radiator: A car’s radiator works to keep the engine temperature under control, and replacing it (if needed) is not entirely cost-friendly. A new radiator ranges from $100-$900, depending on vehicle brand, specifications, and type.
  • Radiator cap/pressure cap: The pressure cap controls the pressure in the cooling system, and can be found attached to the radiator filler neck, or on the coolant reservoir. Pressure caps run around $10-$30. 
  • Thermostat valve: As coolant circulates in your vehicle, the thermostat valve opens and closes to dictate the flow. When open, coolant can pass through and cool your engine’s temperature. When closed, it blocks all passage. Thermostat valves cost $15-$80, depending on type and brand.
  • Water pump: Associated with the radiator, your car’s water pump makes sure that your vehicle’s motor remains at a constant temperature regardless of weather conditions. Prices for a water pump are generally $100-$380.  
  • Upper and lower radiator hose: Upper hoses in your car’s coolant system cycle all hot coolant from the engine to the radiator for cooldown. Lower hoses then take the cooled coolant and cycle it back into the engine. 
  • Coolant level sensor: Coolant level sensors/temperature gauges detect the amount of coolant remaining in the radiator. For this part, you can expect to pay $17-$70.
These parts do not need to be purchased in advance, as a problem with your coolant reservoir won’t directly impact them. However, if you neglect replacing your coolant reservoir after noticing damage, it may lead to a larger cost than expected. 
You can buy coolant reservoir parts for your car at auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and eBay. Three brands we recommend for coolant reservoir parts are Dorman, ACDelco, and Genuine Toyota. The exact parts and brands required for your vehicle will depend on your vehicle’s year, make, and model, so consult your mechanic before buying any additional coolant reservoir parts. 
When looking to source parts for a coolant overflow tank replacement, OEM parts are recommended—especially if you are needed to replace more than the coolant tank. OEM products are designed to fit your specific vehicle, and have a longer durability rate than aftermarket parts, while providing you with extended warranty.
Coolant reservoir systems can be purchased online and in-store from auto parts and auto repair shops, like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly, or through online retailers, such as Amazon. Consult your owner’s manual to determine the right coolant reservoir for your vehicle.

Where can I get my coolant reservoir replaced?

It isn’t easy to find a quality mechanic at a cost-friendly price. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which is the right one for you. Thankfully,
Jerry's GarageGuard™
can cross reference over 2,500 mechanics and automotive shops in the US to find you fair price repair estimates* for your coolant reservoir replacement.
Jerry's GarageGuard™ will give you real hourly rates so you don’t have to worry about your budget. As an added bonus, Jerry's GarageGuard™ will also notify you of diagnostic fee charges and whether they’re included in your service. 
With real reviews from real customers, Jerry's GarageGuard™ takes the guesswork out of automotive repairs. 
Review some of our vetted shops, and download the app to compare repair costs in your area.
173 Reviews
Victory Auto Service & Glass - St. Petersburg
address
3001 Dr M.L.K. Jr St N, St. Petersburg, FL
Coolant Reservoir Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$289
(Parts - $135, Labor - $154)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$134.40
174 Reviews
Yoo's Auto Service & Collision
address
189 W Duncannon Ave, Philadelphia, PA
Coolant Reservoir Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$220
(Parts - $135, Labor - $85)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$100
169 Reviews
Meineke Care Care Center #2701
address
45746 Woodland Rd, Great Falls, VA
Coolant Reservoir Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$235
(Parts - $135, Labor - $100)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$115
115 Reviews
Airpark Auto Clinic
address
8135 E Butherus Dr Ste 1 Suite 1, Scottsdale, AZ
Coolant Reservoir Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$270
(Parts - $135, Labor - $135)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$99
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my coolant reservoir?

To perform a coolant reservoir replacement, your mechanic will most likely take these steps: 
  1. Drain coolant reservoir: If you still have old coolant in your reservoir when you take your vehicle in for repair, your mechanic will begin by draining any excess coolant into a bucket underneath your car. During this step, it’s worth asking your mechanic to flush the surge tank out as well.
  2. Remove recovery cap and overflow hose: Next, your mechanic will remove the coolant recovery cap and overflow hose. The overflow hose is designed to release excess coolant when your vehicle reaches low coolant levels and will be disconnected after the pressure is released from the pressure cap.
  3. Remove coolant pressure hoses: Some coolant reservoirs house upper pressure hoses, made to transfer air from the radiator to the reservoir. This will be disconnected by your mechanic, along with the lower coolant hose. 
  4. Remove mounting bolts: Your mechanic will then continue to remove any mounting bolts or screws. Occasionally, vehicles have an electrical connector attached to the coolant reservoir, which will need to be disconnected before removal. 
  5. Remove coolant reservoir: Finally, your mechanic will remove and replace your old coolant reservoir with a new one. Then, they will complete the steps in reverse order to install and secure your new reservoir tank. 
  6. Test: Before you head home, your mechanic will perform a routine test on your vehicle to ensure all parts are working at an optimal operating temperature. Often, they will also fill your reservoir with new coolant. 

What happens if I don’t replace my coolant reservoir?

Coolant reservoir maintenance and, when necessary, replacement is extremely important, and should be addressed immediately. Without a working coolant reservoir or expansion tank, your vehicle can’t properly intake and expel heat, which can lead to the following outcomes: 
  • Engine overheating
  • Loss of cooling systems (air conditioning, etc.)
  • Radiator damage
  • Internal/external engine damage

What is a coolant reservoir?

A coolant reservoir works together with the expansion tank and radiator to cool your vehicle and regulate heat from the engine. Coolant reservoirs store additional coolant fluid and expel it back into the radiator once it’s cooled. A cracked or leaking coolant reservoir can lead to further damage to your cooling system if left unchecked.

When should I replace the coolant reservoir in my car? 

Coolant reservoirs don’t need to be replaced often—but they do require regular maintenance to prevent corrosion, cracks, and leaks. If you experience any of the following, it might be time to consider a coolant reservoir replacement:
  1. Low coolant: Find yourself replacing coolant more often than usual? Cracked or leaking coolant reservoirs, much like defective expansion tanks, can make the coolant evaporate at a slower rate. In worst case scenarios, your coolant can mix with your engine oil, diluting and contaminating your oil supply. 
  2. Overheating: If your engine is overheating, this is a serious signal that your coolant reservoir is defective. As a failing coolant reservoir is unable to hold coolant, or manage pressure, your vehicle is unable to cool down, resulting in overheating.
  3. White exhaust smoke: A lesser known symptom of reservoir damage is white exhaust smoke. This could mean you have a leak, and your oil is mixing with your coolant. 
  4. Odors: Smell is also a common symptom, as with a leaked or cracked reservoir, the smell of your dispelling coolant will come through air vents and into your vehicle.

How often should a coolant reservoir be replaced?

Most coolant reservoirs last for several years before needing to be replaced—however, this depends on your driving and maintenance habits. As such, it’s important to perform routine inspections on your vehicle’s coolant reservoir to ensure there is no damage or deterioration. 

Can I replace my coolant reservoir myself?

Yes—if you’re confident in your mechanical knowledge and DIY capabilities. Replacing a coolant reservoir tank requires a mid-level understanding of your car’s engine, heating cycle, and cooling systems. Not sure of your abilities? Take your vehicle to a licensed mechanic for further assistance. 

FAQs

Yes, you can top off the reservoir, but be careful that you don’t put too much coolant in, or go over the fill (F) line. Too much coolant can lead to a leak, and won’t give enough room for the mixture to expand as required. If your coolant is not already pre-mixed with antifreeze, mix the coolant with water at a 50/50 ratio.
Yes, cracked coolant reservoir caps, like cracked tanks, can lead to overheating. The radiator (or pressure) cap maintains pressure levels in the cooling system to aid in keeping your engine cool. If your cap is cracked, it can’t keep accurate pressure levels and your engine will overheat.
If the coolant in your reservoir is bubbling, that most likely means you have a blown head gasket. The compressed air from the head gasket quickly enters the cooling system, causing the coolant to bubble. When this occurs, it’s best to immediately and safely pull over to prevent further overheating, and call a mechanic.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.