I took out the old radiator today and did not find any staining on the radiator to indicate a leak and looks to be in a good nick (only the bolts holding the lower pipe was corroded). Should I see a white stain? I assume to test a radiator leak, you need to pressurise the radiator?
Yes the correct way would be to pressurise the rad to test for leakage.
If its leaking you normally find antifreeze staining around where the leak is.
Why did you take it out, are you losing coolant?
The thermostat housing is a typical leak point on MINIs.
I took the car to a German Mark specialist and they pressure tested it and said there is a small leak from the radiator. . Since I felt able to do the DIY, bought a Behr Hella radiator which I believe is the Original manufacturer to Mini and whilst looking at the old radiator after removal, I saw no stains at all. I am assuming the garage checked the thermostat housing if they raised the car on a lift (I assume you can see it from underneath?). I've now fitted the new radiator and plan on doing the thermostat before filling up with coolant as I just wondered after reading around the forum it may be the thermostat gasket as you state. I've not removed the battery box yet to see if there are residues from a leak around the thermostat housing and as I don't want to start the work without parts, I will leave it until I can do the DIY.
Just an update. It was definitely the radiator. I filled up with coolant and after a day, saw the reservoir empty......... Filled the reservoir up again and it is now water-tight, so it was just not fully bled from the looks of things. I did not have to change the thermostat out this time. Good to know I have a garage who may know what they are doing and charges reasonable rates if I need to use their services.
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