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2004 330i ZHP 4D Imola/Alcantera
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a relatively new owner of a 2001 325xi with about 150k miles. The previous owner was the first owner and she kept very good care of it and documented all repairs.

I took my car to the shop after the low coolant light had turned on and they said that my radiator had a crack in it. He quoted that the install would cost around 500 dollars.

I am new to cars but I enjoy DIY's and consider myself extremely handy. The only thing is, since i am new to the auto scene, i dont know too much on the subject. My father knows a ton about cars and has a garage FULL of tools, so i am confident that anything i will need, he will have.

I was searching through the forum about replacing a radiator but i did not find any threads. I did find a post by someone saying that a radiator cost around 140 dollars. I was wondering if anyone would know where i could purchase a new radiator and if they had any tips on installing it.

Also, not sure if this is typical, but since there is a crack in my radiator ill go ahead and say it anyway: every so while driving i hear a loud long beep and then on my LCD display i see a temperature (typically around 37 degrees) flashing. What temp is this for? and is that related to my radiator being broken?

Thanks,
Andrew
 

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I am a relatively new owner of a 2001 325xi with about 150k miles. The previous owner was the first owner and she kept very good care of it and documented all repairs.

I took my car to the shop after the low coolant light had turned on and they said that my radiator had a crack in it. He quoted that the install would cost around 500 dollars.

I am new to cars but I enjoy DIY's and consider myself extremely handy. The only thing is, since i am new to the auto scene, i dont know too much on the subject. My father knows a ton about cars and has a garage FULL of tools, so i am confident that anything i will need, he will have.

I was searching through the forum about replacing a radiator but i did not find any threads. I did find a post by someone saying that a radiator cost around 140 dollars. I was wondering if anyone would know where i could purchase a new radiator and if they had any tips on installing it.

Also, not sure if this is typical, but since there is a crack in my radiator ill go ahead and say it anyway: every so while driving i hear a loud long beep and then on my LCD display i see a temperature (typically around 37 degrees) flashing. What temp is this for? and is that related to my radiator being broken?

Thanks,
Andrew
I just bought mine from AutohauszAZ for about $150. There are plenty of DIY guides around here, and its very easy you can do it yourself.
I'm replacing mine this weekend and it has a crack in it as well.
The noise you here is the car alerting you it is 37 degrees outside and to be aware of black ice because thats the temp it starts to form.

How did your mechanic diagnose the radiator is leaking? Usually the don't leak and its usually a cracked expansion tank that leaks.
 

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2004 330i ZHP 4D Imola/Alcantera
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just bought mine from AutohauszAZ for about $150. There are plenty of DIY guides around here, and its very easy you can do it yourself.
I'm replacing mine this weekend and it has a crack in it as well.
The noise you here is the car alerting you it is 37 degrees outside and to be aware of black ice because thats the temp it starts to form.

How did your mechanic diagnose the radiator is leaking? Usually the don't leak and its usually a cracked expansion tank that leaks.
Not sure about the nature of the crack, but my BMW is at home right now, so i'll check myself tomorrow when i'm done with exams. I couldn't find any DIY's on it. Would you be willing to document your change out of the radiator with pictures? Or do you possibly have a link to one already on this site?

Thanks for the reply
 

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I bought my radiator from Pelican Parts... shipping was free.

You'll want to make sure that you buy the right radiator... there's a difference between radiators for cars with manual transmissions verus automatic transmissions.

From what I can tell, there are subtle differences in the way each radiator mounts, but for the most part they're very similar. I'd suggest reviewing the previous owner's repair records and find out when the water pump, thermostat, expansion tank, hoses, belts, pulleys, tensioners, etc. were last replaced. When you get the radiator out, it'll make perfect sense to replace any of those items, should they need it. (You'll have so much room to access everything.) Also IF you replace the expansion tank, you'll need to order the cap seperately. For whatever reason, they're sold individually. I'd also order a new fluid level sensor (for the expansion tank) and a new lower radiator hose sensor too. I don't want to get into the debate about coolant. I'd suggest making sure that you use BMW blue coolant mixed with distilled water. I think it costs around $20 a gallon. Why scrimp? But that's just me.

These cars are pretty easy to work on - this site usually has a lot of great DIY's.

Good luck!
 

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Not sure about the nature of the crack, but my BMW is at home right now, so i'll check myself tomorrow when i'm done with exams. I couldn't find any DIY's on it. Would you be willing to document your change out of the radiator with pictures? Or do you possibly have a link to one already on this site?

Thanks for the reply
There are many DIY around.
The one that the guy linked you to is a good guide.
I will make on aswell on Friday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Awesome, I just read through that other DIY, so I'm also going to check through my previous owner's records and check when any other related items were replaced. Also so I've been looking around and all the replacement radiators seem to be made by behr and all have this in the description "but does not include provision for the proprietary drain petcock baffle assembly. A standard drain plug is used in place of that assembly." does that mean you have to remove the petcock baffle assembly or is that part of the original radiator?
 

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Awesome, I just read through that other DIY, so I'm also going to check through my previous owner's records and check when any other related items were replaced. Also so I've been looking around and all the replacement radiators seem to be made by behr and all have this in the description "but does not include provision for the proprietary drain petcock baffle assembly. A standard drain plug is used in place of that assembly." does that mean you have to remove the petcock baffle assembly or is that part of the original radiator?
Behr is the OE manufacturer that makes radiators for BMW.
The only thing is that it doesn't have the BMW logo stamped on it, instead it will have Behr logo on it, otherwise its the same piece.
Original BMW radiator has a blue screw kind of thing that allows you to drain radiator and that's proprietary to BMW so the Behr radiator won't have it. Instead it will be a standard drain plug. No big deal.
P.S If many parts haven't been replaced, consider replacing all of them while your at it because replacing the radiator requires you remove pretty much everything. It will cost you about $500-$600 but you will have piece of mind that your cooling system is up to par.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok so I was driving it today and i noticed the temp gauge was all the way up in the red so i pulled over and let it cool down for a couple of hours. I then checked the coolant and it was almost empty. So i then filled it up and drove it home and everything seemed fine. However 3 hours later i then drove it again and it over heated. I checked the coolant and it was fine. Is this just because of the crack in the radiator?
 

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The needle should stay in the middle of the gauge for normal operating temperature. It probably still overheats because there is a specific procedure for bleeding air out of coolants for our cars, which you did not follow. I would suggest that you should look in to your cooling system carefully, because if you did have a cracked radiator it would not be able to hold coolant in.

I would guess that your mechanic did not look deeply enough to diagnose your problem. The usual suspect for leak is the expansion tank. If you are going to change the radiator I would definitely change out the thermostat, expansion tank, water pump and hoses while you did. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok. So I haven't been driving my car around but I have noticed that when I turn on the car, the temp is all the way to the left (cuz it's the middle of winter). BUT, nonetheless ., when i turn it on, the red light behind the red on the temp gauge lights up.... I'm pretty sure it's not the blue also lightingup. Does this mean anything?
 
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