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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 2013, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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DIY how should radiator behave

Not long after buying my '05 mini it had a brand new rad fitted. Is this normal: i sit in traffic - if engine turned off then you hear expansion chamber - sounds like its boiling over, but temp gauge is always fine yet it smells hot under the bonnet. Have to top up expansion chamber every week, just wondered if this is how they're meant to function??
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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hi

might need bleeding sounds to me there is air in the system
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 2013, 09:36 PM
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Air in system, rad fan not working on one (or both speeds if you have air con), or leak you should not need to top up each week. Check thermostat + housing.
More here:
Solving MINI Cooling Problems.......... - Forums
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2013, 08:25 PM
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Take oil fill cap off & make sure it does not have a creamy sludge on it.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2013, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Take oil fill cap off & make sure it does not have a creamy sludge on it.
No, not the cylinder head gasket?!! Did they not remedy this issue - I used to do this all the time on my original mini I had over 20 yrs ago! VPP 317S - loved that little car!

I will have a gander for this though.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2013, 03:52 PM
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They still have head gaskets and they can still go, especially if its overheated in the past and warped the head.
But think the cheapest option first, try bleeding the system and checking for external leaks.
Park it on some cardboard overnight and see if theres any drips on it the next morning, would give an indication as to where, if any, leaks are.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2013, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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They still have head gaskets and they can still go, especially if its overheated in the past and warped the head.
But think the cheapest option first, try bleeding the system and checking for external leaks.
Park it on some cardboard overnight and see if theres any drips on it the next morning, would give an indication as to where, if any, leaks are.
With respect to the words "warped the head" I've got my fingers in my ears going la la la la la la I can't hear you. Don't say such things, please!

Is there a link, if not on here, on t'internet, which shows you all the places where bleeding points are and how to do it, step by step?? I can find things with descriptions but I could do with pics of what's under the bonnet to be able to give it a go and do I have the engine hot, cold, running, not running when I do all this (that kind of thing - bleeding for dummies really!).

I'll have another go at it this weekend then.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2013, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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The idea that a temp gauge has been 'tampered with' so that it doesn't show you if your engine is overheating is unbelievable to me. Can you not override this somehow? How ridiculous they would want people to risk cooking their engine just beggars belief and is wrong on so many levels.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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If you want to know the exact engine temperature fit a Scangauge 2 or similar:
ScanGauge 2 Code Reader - Forums

There are also ways of checking exact temp within the hidden menus of the centre speedo digital display mean't for mechanics:
Odometer/Mileometer Digital Display information - Forums

Bleeding point details in links shown here:
Solving MINI Cooling Problems.......... - Forums
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2013, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Brilliant thanks for that. I might well look at getting this alternative gauge fitted when it goes in for MOT. I can't imagine what BMW are thinking with regard to this - it's potentially so dangerous in so many ways. Woman breaks down in the dead of night due to overheated engine; family with young children on way to the seaside have huge delay in journey due to boiling over rad.. the list goes on. What is ever the point of having a &£*£$(£ gauge that doesn't tell you what it's been designed to tell you!!! I shall definitely look into this - at least if you can see it's getting hot you can pull over and life the bonnet and chill out for 20 minutes before you continue you onward. It makes me SO glad that when in the summer I was on my way to pick my children up on a 150 mile return journey that it started smelling hot but the gauge remained at normal and I just didn't dare risk it driving any further. At this time I didn't know that the gauge operated like this (and I'm sure a lot of people don't). The fact that BMW seem to think it's ok for someone to end up with a warped head that needs reskimming or for their engine to bloomin' well blow up, just beggars belief for me.

Thanks for the bleeding info (pardon the language!) - I'll look into that at the weekend. Thank you.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 5th, 2013, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Whoah there, just seen the price of the ScanGauge - way too expensive for little old me.

What is it that prevents the gauge from physically going higher (above normal, half way on the guage) then? Isn't a gauge purely mechanical and thus if the temp goes up the gauge reflects it or is the operation of the needle governed by the car's computer???? (Just wondering for my own understanding).

So is the gauge itself got some kind of stop on it that prevents the needle physically from moving further over to the left to reflect the true temperature (if so couldn't you just get a relatively 'cheap' gauge which didn't have this restrctor on it?

Or...

Is it the computer that's doing this and is there no way to access the computer through a Mini dealer and say hey, take that restriction off the computer because I would actually like to see how hot my car is?

Would love to know more about this.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2013, 07:50 AM
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Hi just had a problem with the wife's 2003 mcs, the expansion tank was split and hissing/p1ssing water out, I replaced this with an alloy one off ebay
Item /261106665819 BMW MINI WATER COOLANT HEADER ALLOY TANK COOPER ONE COOPER S R50 R51 R53 Z0553 hopefully this has sorted the leak
Re the scan gauge I have one of these linked via USB to my android phone running the free version of torque software and it gives all the info you could need
Mini-OBD2-V1-5-ELM327-Bluetooth-Car-Fault-Scanner-Auto-Scan-Tool-Adapter-Can-Bus- item 160971366826
Sorry did try to post links but not at 15 posts yet so item numbers and descriptions only
Hope this helps
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2013, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halesowenmum View Post
What is it that prevents the gauge from physically going higher (above normal, half way on the guage) then? Isn't a gauge purely mechanical and thus if the temp goes up the gauge reflects it or is the operation of the needle governed by the car's computer???? (Just wondering for my own understanding).

So is the gauge itself got some kind of stop on it that prevents the needle physically from moving further over to the left to reflect the true temperature (if so couldn't you just get a relatively 'cheap' gauge which didn't have this restrctor on it?

Or...

Is it the computer that's doing this and is there no way to access the computer through a Mini dealer and say hey, take that restriction off the computer because I would actually like to see how hot my car is?

Would love to know more about this.
Most modern cars now have this dumbed down type of gauge which sits on normal over a very wide range of temperatures.....as the fluctuations within that range are not considered important to the 'average' driver. It is not true to say the gauge won't register overheating as it will, there is no stop, but by the time the ecu detects this extreme and allows the gauge to register hot it can be too late if the driver does not notice immediately. Some cars like many Mercedes models don't even have a visible temp gauge on the dash anymore but a warning message appears on the instrument panel warning you to stop or visit workshop immediately if there is a problem outside a certain range of allowed temperatures. So traditional temp gauges are likely to go the way of the manual choke soon!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2013, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Most modern cars now have this dumbed down type of gauge which sits on normal over a very wide range of temperatures.....as the fluctuations within that range are not considered important to the 'average' driver. It is not true to say the gauge won't register overheating as it will, there is no stop, but by the time the ecu detects this extreme and allows the gauge to register hot it can be too late if the driver does not notice immediately. Some cars like many Mercedes models don't even have a visible temp gauge on the dash anymore but a warning message appears on the instrument panel warning you to stop or visit workshop immediately if there is a problem outside a certain range of allowed temperatures. So traditional temp gauges are likely to go the way of the manual choke soon!
Well it's bl**dy madness if you ask me. And I'm just staggered at the irresponsibility of it really. Not least since they don't put any information about this in the user manual. At least I know to virtually completely ignore the gauge and go by evidence from my senses instead. Still, absolutely stupid all round.
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