Beat the Heat: Troubleshooting Your BMW 323i Radiator
Heat, when kept at a moderate level, is actually quite healthy for your vehicle. It promotes proper emissions control, better engine performance, and good fuel economy. But heat can also be your engine's number one enemy, especially when it goes beyond normal operating temperature. Excessive heat can completely destroy your engine and cause extreme damage to crucial parts of your system, including the pistons, gaskets, bearings, valves, and camshaft, just to name a few. Overheating can also adversely affect your engine's performance, causing detonation, erratic combustion, and loss of power. You don't have to face these problems, though, as long as you have a properly working BMW 323i radiator. It's your primary defense against engine heat, but it may also wear out over time due to frequent use and various damaging elements. Once you notice problems with your radiator, better act fast and do some troubleshooting right away before your engine suffers from overheating. Here's a guide to help you out:
Smoke from the engine
It's normal to panic when you see smoke coming from your engine. Who wouldn't be horrified at the sight of white smoke streaming out from under the hood? Before you take your vehicle to the nearest auto shop, though, better inspect your radiator to see if it is plugged. A clogged or plugged radiator will cause your engine to emit clouds of smoke or steam. If the smoke is white, thick, and odorless, then it is most likely coolant from the radiator. Debris, rust, and sediment buildup are the common culprits behind a plugged radiator. These culprits may block the fins and hoses, preventing the radiator from cooling your engine. To fix a plugged radiator, clean it thoroughly and flush out old, contaminated fluid. If the clogging is severe, it would be best to take your radiator to a mechanic for intensive cleaning and repair.
Coolant leakage is one of the most common signs of radiator failure. If you're always running low on coolant or seeing orange- and green-colored puddles under your vehicle when it is parked, inspect the radiator for cracks or holes. To prevent coolant leakage, patch up the visible cracks and punctures on the radiator. Epoxy and stop-leak additive products are effective in fixing small radiator cracks.