Normally we wouldn’t think a part such as a coolant expansion tank would warrant a review. However we recently were corrected of this flawed perspective when our fresh coolant tank from Vaico basically exploded. Some back story first, we were running the original OEM coolant tank on our wagon when we noticed during a routine service that we were losing coolant. We quickly identified the old tank as the culprit, it was after all over a 100k in miles and we could see the small crack in the underside. We then turned around and ordered a Vaico replacement, thinking nothing of it. ECS filled our order quickly and in a few days we had the new tank in. It looked great, and we though that would be the end of the story. However, less than three weeks later we went to check our fluids before a long trip and found that the Vaico tank had not only sprung a leak, but had also delaminated around the whole shell. This was evident in the large white scarring that had suddenly appeared all over the less than one month old tank. After putting aside our frustration, we began to try and figure out the problem. Perhaps we had flushed the car incorrectly? Or maybe we had not removed a plastic cap in the overflow valve on the cap? Nope, in both cases we were wrong. The car had been filled with a preset amount and bled thoroughly and well. We had checked the level several times before and had not noticed anything abnormal. The cap appeared to be in working order, despite the fact the tank had fallen apart. So we concluded that the construction of the tank was a dud. We called ECS tuning and explained the problem to them. They were happy to send out a replacement tank and quickly shipped the replacement part. So here we are, wondering whether we had a dud part or if the story will be the same for our replacement replacement tank. Regardless of the outcome, we have learned an old lesson again the hard way, which is the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts. While it’s painful to shell out for OEM parts, part of the reason they cost more is the guarantee that there will be less duds. We tend to forget this, and every so often it comes back to bite us. As the saying goes, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing it right the first time. So we shall see if the story is any different in round two of CA vs. the coolant tank, but the next time we have to replace an old part, we have no doubt this experience will sit with us as we order. Until next time, happy wrenching.