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2000 540i 6 Spd Radiator Failure

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by alanarmstrong, Feb 26, 2009.

    alanarmstrong guest

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    My radiator has cracked just below the upper left plastic housing where the upper radiator hose plugs in. My dealer service tells me there is no BMW campaign to help me with the cost of a new radiator. Does anyone know of a recall or good will BMW program to take care of this obvious design flaw? What idiot would put plastic side tanks on either side of a radiator core anyway? Obviously I'm very disappointed.

    Thanks, Alan
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    mooseheadm5

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    This is standard operating procedure for all car manufacturers. Cars have had plastic tank radiators for decades, but they do not last as long as they used to due to the higher temperatures/pressures required to meet EPA regs. Anecdotal evidence suggests that all aluminum radiators are not necessarily better. Brass/copper radiators are a thing of the past. Replace the radiator and the coolant tank as well as the cap. Inspect thermostat for leakage at the electrical plugs and replace as necessary. It is not a design flaw, it is a consumable part. Sorry to say, but that's the way it is. :(
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    CSBM5

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    Also, if they haven't been done, now is the time to replace the water pump, thermostat, fan clutch, fan and hoses. This might sound a bit whacko, but many E39s have had fan clutch and/or fan failures with age/mileage. If you're planning on keeping the car, when you have to go in there to replace the radiator, you should just ante up and refresh everything.

    alanarmstrong guest

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    Thank You

    Thank you Paul and Chuck for the quick response, sorry for the rant, but I thought it was worth asking as this site is full of useful info. I plan on doing all of these recommendations at my independent shop, Rhine West, here in San Antonio, TX. By the way, my old '88 535i with 202,000 miles has never had a major repair and seems to be bulletproof. I shouldn't jinx it, but I've never owned such a reliable and fun to drive car.

    Alan
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    mooseheadm5

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    Oooh now you are in for it. You shouldn't have said that. Guess what kind of radiator it has?
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    CSBM5

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    Yep, you let the cat out of the bag now!

    We bought a 1985 535i back in the summer of 1986 that was almost new (5spd manual, limited slip), and we had that car for 12 years. It was my wife's daily driver for the first 6 years when she went to an E32. We both look back on the 535i and wish we hadn't sold it (it was in outstanding, always garaged condition with 130k miles, Rial 16" wheels, Konis, Dinan bars, Stromung exhaust, and I sold it for $7500 in 1998 :(). Out of all the BMWs we've owned over the years, that is one of the favorites (although I'm leaving the top spot open for the E39 M5 -- never going to sell this one). We wouldn't mind finding a pristine, original, low mileage E28, either 535i or M5, to buy and hold onto. The E28 is a great car in many ways. I remember comparing it to the E32 and seeing so many "new" methods in the E32 that reminded me of "cost reduction engineering". The E28 was the last of the "old" ways at BMW in many aspects, but that part about it made (makes) it a very robust design too imo.

    MikeA guest

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    Radiator repair

    I went to a local radiator shop and they replaced the plastic end piece that was broken

    That was 2 years ago and no problems. Cost about $50

    Mike
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    327350

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    for parts you might want ot check out Turner Motorsports

    They have a lot package deals on brakes and cooling system overhauls; you stand a chance of saving quite a bit of money.

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