Q: Frozen water in the reservoir instead of antifreeze

asked by on December 19, 2016

I forgot to put antifreeze back into my reservoir and the water froze up once the temperature dropped. What's the fastest way to melt the ice? And will there be any serious damage?
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there:

Most of the time, when the coolant overflow reservoir freezes up due to water being put inside, it can cause cracking; since they are typically made of plastic. The best thing to do is to remove the bottom return line from the reservoir and flush it with room temperature water until the ice is completely removed. Once that’s been done, replace the overflow hose, fill up with water first to check if there are any leaks. If it does not leak, flush all water from the reservoir, and completely flush the radiator fluid from the system. Refill with 50/50 ratio of coolant to distilled water. If the reservoir leaks, you’ll have to replace the coolant overflow reservoir.

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