C30 C70 S40 V50 Expansion Tank / Coolant reservoir unacceptable FAILURES

edited April 24 in Troubleshooting
Ok, so to anyone with one of these P1 cars they'll know that despite most of the car being excellent, these Expansion Tanks are some sort of joke from Volvo / Ford / Mazda Orgy.

I've now popped 6 of them!!! Across 6 different cars. All cars were under 100K, except one which had 110K. Just laughable. They burst on the manufacturing seem at the top or where the two coolant pipes spewing how water into the tank score the top of the tank. It happens twice to me after giving a T5 a good "exercise", and 4 times on mixed T5/2.4 just idling.

So, do we have a solution? Is the updated part number capable of 30+ years and a million KLMS like it always should have been?

Another unusual attribute is the lack of a coolant sensor despite this being introduced on many cars generations beforehand. I've toyed with an aftermarket sensor fitment (Davies Craig) and working it into the wiper fluid sensor. What sort of F@rKTard needs a wiper fluid sensor to tell them it's empty but not a coolant sensor to tell them the entire coolant system is about to send you a 10-15K bill?

So in summary, I'm wondering why (and maybe there's something out there despite my searching) that someone hasn't manufactured an aftermarket aluminium coolant tank with an in built sensor? Porsche 928's did have weak coolant tanks (although nothing as pathetic as these) and there's readily available aftermarket aluminium welded tanks that should last a thousand years. Hoping someone might have a lead or at least be willing to join some sort of movement to influence the production of something like this, perhaps with a coolant sensor that always should have been.
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Comments

  • edited April 24
    ti9xb7fhhm8s.jpg

    Attached image of the 6th tank failure for me. The heat scoring can be seen. It's usually either a crack near the circular manufacturing seem or closer to the small return pipes. Either way, maybe a milk jug would be stronger.

    This car is a 2.4 N/A with just 89K.
  • Generally the tanks turn yellow and ugly before bursting as a warning sign
    They are $35 so I just replace them every 5 years
    I think you need to add i was in an s80 with three wheels getting pulled backwards and was told to "hold on shit is about to get real".
  • edited April 24
    Geez man, you get your parts cheap. FCP is something like $60 USD plus shipping and TAX. Volvo dealers here can be wrestled into selling them for $75 AUD on my experience (despite the fact they should be friggin free, along with an apology for the pathetic engineering behind the part). Either way, related reliability concerns and associated labour are incentives for a better solution not withstanding a potential catastrophe.

    Yes there are aftermarket CHINESE options for around that $35, perhaps ironically these are a better permanent solution?

    In any case, my real questions were 1) Does that latest part number offer a permanent solution and 2) If not, there should be at least some momentum towards an aluminium welded option (if one doesn't already exist).

    Simply replacing every 5 years and hoping a driver of the better sex doesn't destroy a motor whilst cruising along listening to Spotify with coolant pissing out everywhere (and not looking at that guage they didn't know or care existed) is not really a good long term solution.
  • 240240 (@240) Canberra
    I believe DVS sell a metal alternative which I think would last longer.

    Although $75 every 5 years isn't the end of the world to be honest, although I do agree that they should be made to last.

    What specifically is the issue with the one in your photo? It has obviously seen better days but it doesnt look like it's cracked?
  • edited April 24
    @AshDVS is that true? Your fabricating a forever P1 expansion tank?

    @240 yes they should last a very long time. Having owned a lot of cars the P1 is the only car I've ever had this happen to. Other cars after 200-400k and decades have deteriorated where pressure retention is questionable, but never leaked. These tanks are funny beasts in that they appear to have a weak point on the manufacturing seam that goes first, but ultimately the entire construction is not up to the intended purpose and the plastic either ruptures with a nice big crack or weakens and ruptures with smaller cracks like this one not necessarily at that seam.

    This particular one spurts coolant (as of today) in only small amounts through tiny cracks along the yellowed area. Only the last time this car was started it simply wasn't an issue. Gave it some 3500 rpm love for 5 mins up an incline (once warm) then some gentle driving followed by 5 mins idle while I moved some cars. Deja vu, once turned off she spurts through the cracks. Less than the other catastrophic failures I've had but I know one more spirited drive or 5-10 min idle and she'll be spewing like a volcano. These factory tanks are junk and I'm hoping this discussion reveals some longer term options (aluminium or revised part numbers)
  • I've never once seen one less than 5 years old fail unless it failed within days of install
    Average age of death seams about 8 years
  • edited April 24
    I've never once seen one less than 5 years old fail unless it failed within days of install
    Average age of death seams about 8 years

    These are not spark plugs, they are not on the service list like a timing belt, they can and do cause total catastrophic failures of engines due to overheating..... So 8 years /100K is NOT acceptable: Volvo / Ford / Mazda, you got this part wrong.

    Back to the core of the post, replacement with a factory part every 5-8 years (by only those "in the know") until they become NLA is not a solution to this issue.
  • I've never once seen one less than 5 years old fail unless it failed within days of install
    Average age of death seams about 8 years

    These are not spark plugs, they are not on the service list like a timing belt, they can and do cause total catastrophic failures of engines due to overheating..... So 8 years /100K is NOT acceptable: Volvo / Ford / Mazda, you got this part wrong.

    Back to the core of the post, replacement with a factory part every 5-8 years (by only those "in the know") until they become NLA is not a solution to this issue.

    I disagree
    The thermostat and housing fail at about the same rate and so do coolant hoses
    I just use the oem ones that are 35 as they are the same quality as the Volvo unit
    The p80 and p2 cars have the exact same issue... p80 has more issues... but that's a different story
  • edited April 24
    Never blown an expansion tank in any of my other 30 odd Volvo's, not one. Got a couple that suggest they might not want to live forever but to lose 6/8 tanks on low KLM P1 cars in 12 months! Not ever even had a radiator hose fail on any car I've owned once, thermostat yes (failed open and not posing a catastrophe).

    It's sidestepping the issue to firstly accept that this is somehow normal when it shouldn't be and not to be in search of a permanent solution. I agree thermostats and radiator hoses are part of longer term maintenance for the proactive owner, but replacing expansion tanks every 5-8 years and maybe losing a motor because of an expansion tank, nah.

    If you've got.a link to the OEM ones for 35 AUD I'll be keen to buy 10, but all I can find is Chinese stuff at that price.
  • Lots of China based oem suppliers for Volvo
    Been this way even since way before the Greeley purchase
    My experience is the chinese made tanks are same quality as the Volvo branded units

    It's a injection blow molded product... it's not rocket science how to make it well

    Big thing is always running 50/50 coolant in the cars and flushing every 5 years

    FFS coolant tank issues date back to 240s it's not a new thing your just unlucky on your p1 cars
    timbo
  • The very next day, as I knew it would:

    hbdryoi4i2tn.jpg

    6/8 with two more pending any day is not unlucky, it's a factory defect.
  • edited May 12
    Yet another "Auto Coolant Change" on a P1 Volvo. Yea right, just a normal service item and not a defective design. Circus music playing.

    1qx7rah7bmcu.jpg

    This is made even worse because there's no coolant sensor.
  • BradBrad (@Brad) Sunshine Coast, QLD
    edited May 13
    Fark! The expansion tank in my 940 is original - almost 28 years old. Shows no signs of failure....yet.
    5-8 years is shit, I think you have a right to be pissed off. I thought modern technology was supposed to improve quality, not make it worse.
    ToomanyVolvos
  • Nail on the head, others don't last forever, but they should last 30-40 years or 200+K. As said, only other one I've ever had fail was a Porsche 928, even then it didn't leak coolant but just wasn't pressurising the system.

    Even 850's had coolant sensors, so the lack of one is ridiculous. Trying to work out the best way to plumb in Davies Craig sensors.

    Happy to accept all cars have parts from the factory that become known issues. The problem I've got is that the factory should have revised the part (there are obvious flaws in the mould and the suitability of the plastics on this part). It appears unchanged, c'mon Volvo!
  • Volvos stated life for cars is 7 years, has been for nearly 20 years now
    Its not the same company that made pre p80 cars....
  • 7 years is an average of 140K on the clock, so that means 2 coolant tank failures likely in that time and a possible destroyed motor.

    The cars are galvanised and capable of lasting outdoors for 30-40 years easily. Notwithstanding transmission failures due neglect (and this issue) I don't see why these shouldn't last at least as long as other Volvo's.
  • It doesnt have a coolant sensor but will still bring up a message in the lcd display to stop the car immediately based on coolant temp sensor
  • You could always design your own coolant tank out of sheetmetal and start selling them
    carnut222
  • [
    It doesnt have a coolant sensor but will still bring up a message in the lcd display to stop the car immediately based on coolant temp sensor

    That's good to know, however isn't the damage already pretty much done by that stage? I've seen one lose close to 3 litres and the temp didn't change, but certainly parts of the cooling system / head would have been without fluid.
  • 240240 (@240) Canberra
    @ToomanyVolvos if it's that big of an issue for you then just go and buy one of the aftermarket metal ones.
    Yes it's not ideal but posting on the internet isn't going to fix anything.

    Philia Bear's point is that most people don't keep the car long enough for this to actually be an issue. Even if there was no issue with the tanks, many cars that are 7+ years old don't last much longer simply because people don't maintain them properly.
    Most of us on here aren't like that, and can probably deal with spending about $60 on new tank.
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