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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Radiator Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

****

Tools:

T25 Torx bit, socket set, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW 325i Sedan (2006)
BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2006)
BMW 328i Coupe/Conv (2007-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 328i xDrive Wagon (2009-12)
BMW 328i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 328i/xi Wagon (2007-12)
BMW 328xi Coupe (2007-13)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335d/i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 335i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 335i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 335i/is Coupe/Conv (2007-13)
BMW 335xi Coupe (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Radiator, hoses, engine coolant

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine.

Performance Gain:

Car will cool down again

Complementary Modification:

Change expansion tank, radiator hoses.

When a radiator begins to fail, you'll notice that the car tends to overheat at high engine speed, such as driving on the highway. When you accelerate, the engine temperature will rise, when you idle the engine it will return to normal range. Now, this is not always indicative of a failing radiator, but a good starting point. Of course there are also leaks that occur at the side tanks of the radiator and the plastic side tanks can crack, causing major loss of engine coolant. You will have to remove the electric cooling fan to replace the radiator. These cooling fans are troublesome and I would suggest replacing it while you have it out. Inspect both radiator hoses and replace if necessary, check for dry rot or splitting and examine to see that the sealing O-rings are in good shape.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the radiator on BMW E90 models. Be sure to work with a cool engine and confirm the cooling system lacks pressure before opening cooling system.

Drain cooling system. See our tech article on cooling system draining and filling.

Remove electric cooling fan. See our tech article on radiator cooling fan replacement.

Using a flathead screwdriver, release the upper radiator hose retaining clip by prying up.
Figure 1

Using a flathead screwdriver, release the upper radiator hose retaining clip by prying up.The hose clip will stop at the unlocked position. I suggest leaving it installed on the hose so you don't lose it.

Using a flathead screwdriver, release the upper radiator hose retaining clip by prying up.
Figure 2

Using a flathead screwdriver, release the upper radiator hose retaining clip by prying up. The hose clip will stop at the unlocked position. I suggest leaving it installed on the hose so you don't lose it.

Then disconnect the hose by pulling it straight off the oil filter housing.
Figure 3

Then disconnect the hose by pulling it straight off the oil filter housing. You may have to wiggle the hose a bit to get it to move free. Be careful not to damage hose since it is made of plastic.

Then disconnect the hose by pulling off the radiator fitting.
Figure 4

Then disconnect the hose by pulling off the radiator fitting. You may have to wiggle the hose a bit to get it to move free. Be careful not to damage hose or radiator fitting, both are made of plastic. Once the upper radiator hose is removed from the oil filter housing and the radiator, lay it aside toward the cabin microfilter housing so it is out of your way for the remainder of the procedure.

Working at lower right side of the radiator, disconnect the radiator outlet temperature sensor electrical connector.
Figure 5

Working at lower right side of the radiator, disconnect the radiator outlet temperature sensor electrical connector. Press the retaining wire (green arrow) and pull connector straight off the sensor.

Next, using a flathead screwdriver, release lower radiator hose retaining clip by prying up.
Figure 6

Next, using a flathead screwdriver, release lower radiator hose retaining clip by prying up. Then disconnect hose by pulling off coolant radiator fitting. You may have to wiggle the hose a bit to get it to move free. Be careful not to damage hose or radiator fitting, both are made of plastic.

Working at top driver side corner of the radiator, remove the T25 Torx fastener.
Figure 7

Working at top driver side corner of the radiator, remove the T25 Torx fastener. (green arrow)

Working at top passenger side corner of the radiator, remove the T25 Torx fastener.
Figure 8

Working at top passenger side corner of the radiator, remove the T25 Torx fastener. (green arrow)

To the remove radiator, pull it out of radiator support toward engine, then pull up and out of engine compartment.
Figure 9

To the remove radiator, pull it out of radiator support toward engine, then pull up and out of engine compartment. Lower the new radiator into engine compartment and install on supports. You will want to check that the radiator is properly engaged to supports. The way I do this is, once radiator is installed without the fasteners, I pull on the bottom of the radiator, it should stay put. If it pulls out, you did not get it in correctly. You'll have to lift if up and try again. Once it is installed properly, install both T25 Torx fasteners and tighten. Install both radiator hoses, retaining clip is properly seated when an audible click is heard. Connect the radiator outlet temperature sensor electrical connector. Then install the cooling fan and fill and bleed cooling system. Run engine and double check for coolant leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Devin Comments: I just installed a new radiator with all new hoses and I'm getting a leak on the lower radiator connection. Has anyone run into this issue before? I'm wondering if it's a bad hose or radiator.
September 9, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: hard to say without pressure testing it. Pressure test the system, if the coolant is coming out between the hose and radiator fitting, the hose O-ring is likely at fault. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RayB Comments: On my 2006 325 wagon I replaced the coolant hoses and expansion tank. Thanks to this write up and response to the comment I posted I was able to finish the job. I will admit the upper and lower radiator hoses are very difficult to wrestle off. I kept reminding myself not to break or crack the radiator getting them off.
June 12, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
RayB Comments: On a 2006 325xi manual transmission, when I removed the upper radiator hose at the engine side, there was an o ring that came off with the hose. How is this o ring positioned on install with a new hose. It appears too big to go inside the new hose, so I presume it sits between the engine and the hose?
June 10, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the O-ring came out, the plastic mount inside the hose likely broke. I would replace the hose. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kellen Comments: I am trying to replace my receiver drier. Do I need to completely take out the radiator and condenser in order to get to the drier?
May 18, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pern Comments: I was looking at some other websites that sell radiators and they mention that it requires use of OE Control Sleeve/Drain Plug Assemblies only available from the dealer. Use part #7521781 for Automatic transmission or 7523260 for Manual transmission...Any thoughts on this?
April 19, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Would need vehicle info to determine specifics. With your info handy, give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Thomas Comments: Hi,

I own a 3-Series BMW E90 and, while performing a routine diagnostic check, I got the following error:
- Fault: Radiator shutter, above, supply voltage, self-diagnosis: malfunction
- Code: 002F11

No warning lights on the dashboard; once I cleared the message it reappeared.

Could you please clarify what are the above shutters and how are they used? Is there a quick check I can do to see if they are working?

Any idea what I should look for @Pelican in order to replace the necessary part?

Thanks for the help.
March 5, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That fault is for the plastic airflow shutter in front of the radiator. If you peak through the kidney grille, you can see the flaps of the shutter. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
rem Comments: Genuine BMW Control Sleeve - 17117521781 - E82,E89,E90,E92,E93
Mfg Part #
17117521781
everything is fine exept from to over cooling thing, thing is that bmw 328i automatic transmission have a transmission oil cooler connected to the radiator , I find out that there is to much coolant passing tru the hose and can only be related to the control sleeve that let pass to much coolant in the bottom of the radiator. Have you ever heard of that ?
November 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No I have not. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rem Comments: could the control sleeve be broken inside the radiator ? I have extra flow from automatique transmission cooler and the only thing I think can cause that is the control sleeve broken or bad. water flow even is thermostat is closed, it take me 4 thermostat to find ou the flow comes from the bottom of the radiator thru that place.
November 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on? What do you mean by control sleeve? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Frankhi Comments: Hi Nick
I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!! I have to say that I'm not a person who is mechanically inclined and sure! I saw a few videos in you tube but I just follow your directions step by step during a project. I replaced a radiator in my 2007 BMW 328i I completed all in 2 and half day but no spare parts and no leaking at all after a week of driving. I did have to replace an upper hose it broke with part off the old radiator but I took my time with lower hose and I was successful. Again thank you
October 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Frankhi Comments: replacing the radiator on my 2007 328i I found on the ground an o-rings where do they go? also do you have instructions how to lower mount back the base clips of the radiator
October 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use the tech article to try to identify the locations of the O-rings. Without seeing the o-rings or where they were myself, I won't know where they came from. I don;t understand what instructions you are looking for, lower mount back?- Nick at Pelican Parts  
E90noob Comments: Okay so I have a 2006 330xi and the top radiator hose exploded and burnt the heater hose its the hose connected to the top rad hose I want to know if it's easy to replace or what
October 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Depends on your skill level and experience. i wouldn't say it is too difficult. Be sure the radiator fitting for the hose isn't damaged.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mk Comments: Thank you for your reply,I already Ordered the drain plug from your shop but i want also to order the rubber im now out of the country and i want to order it online any help.
September 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It may not be located in the online catalog, I am having trouble finding it. To be sure, Give our parts specialists a call at 1-310-626-8765
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mk Comments: Hello I have also the same problem as alex and Beamed, If we use a sealing washer it will be hard to twist and tight and what type of sealing should we use the rubber or metal and what size please note that i'm using the long plug for the automatic Version.
September 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: the washer is rubber, I do not know the dimensions. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
thirty7 Comments: Thank you so much, piece of cake replacing radiator, really simle to replace existing clips at the bottom!!
Great help and guidance with the detail explanation and picturesl

Thanks Nick for prompt reply.
August 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
thirty7 Comments: Getting ready to replace radiator, I noticed the two white clips at bottom of current radiator, the new one doesn't have these clips. Am I suppose to remove these clips and put on new radiator?
August 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, those clips are for the radiator fan to attach to. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Beamed Comments: The drain plug for my newly purchased and installed radiator is leaking at the same place as Alex described on the post on May 7, 2016. A spare drain plug was in the kit with radiator and I installed it and it still drips. It is leaking between the radiator and plug. I tried lubricating the o-ring, but still it drips. It seems to have two "L" shaped legs on the side that fit into a slot in the radiator, when you turn it, one of the legs snaps off. Can you help me stop this leak in a new radiator? Thanks
July 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you got the radiator from pelican parts, call at 1-888-280-7799, they can send a drain plug and sealing washer.

When installing, you may not be aligning the tabs correctly, this will cause it to not seat the O-ring. Then it will not seal. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Beamered Comments: This is an excellent and helpful article, but you left 2 steps out at least for my car, which has an automatic transmission.
1. There is a small diameter hose on the lower right side of the radiator that has to be removed; it is below the lower radiator hose and can be seen already removed in Figure 5.
2. There is a fitting with a Torx T25 fastener that has to be removed on the lower left side of the radiator and another small hose that has to be removed from the fitting.

July 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 1. Our subject vehicle was a manual transmission, that is just a nipple, not used on our vehicle.
2. Applies also to automatic trans.

I will have some notes added for auto trans models.- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Beamered Comments: I broke the plastic radiator upper hose connector when trying to replace the hose. I could not get the hose loose from the radiator no matter how I tried. I shot lubricant inside of the fitting, but to no avail. Once the fitting on the radiator cracked, the hose came right off. Any suggestions for removing these hoses on a 10 year old car? I'm replacing the radiator, so I will have to remove the lower hose next.
July 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If stuck, you will likely have to replace them anyway. Due to the sealing O-rings being stuck. Knowing this, you can crack the hose fitting using a small flathead screwdriver.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Alex Comments: This part is the one .
May 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The drain plug for the radiator. When installing it, you will have to push it in, then twist clockwise until it goes in further, until tight. It may have to pop past a lip when first installing. Lubricate the O-ring with clean coolant. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Alex Comments: I couldn't upload the picture for some reason ??. Any ways I have an 08 Bmw 335i and the part i believe it's named the "radiator coolant flow adjustment screw"? I replaced the radiator and everything seems to be fine except for that darn part. I push it in turn it clockwise until I hear a click sound but when I add the coolant it seems to leak, not from the drain plug but from between the radiator and the adjustment screw. Any ideas on what I can do ? I've already broken 2 by the way .
May 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not familiar with a part by that name. a photo would help. Try a jpeg image when uploading.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Alex Comments: I replaced my radiator but I'm having problems installing the control sleeve, do you just push it in and twist or do I have to use a wrench to to get it tight in there ?
April 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Control sleeve? Can you share a photo of the part along with your vehicle info?- Nick at Pelican Parts  
desz Comments: what direction does coolant flow from top rad hose? to engine?
March 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hot coolant usually flows into the top and cooler coolant flows out the bottom. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ai Comments: How to replace Heater Return Line for a 07 bmw 335xi mine crack please help or send instructions how to remove and installed
March 18, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Richie Comments: I think I need to replace the radiator sensor that is mounted on the fins on the engine side of the radiator. It is on the passenger side next to the lower hose.I think it is a California emissions car. 2008 328i. It's not the temp sensor near the lower hose. Is that part available to buy. I am getting a P2570 code
November 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If I remember correctly, the sensor is replaced WITH the radiator and not available separately. However, we may be able to get a repair kit for you. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Keith e90 love hate Comments: You missed a step I believe one t27 torx connecting trans poker hose to radiator ? Pops out after the screw is removed. Let me say though this site is bar none the best diy site . You guys have saved me thousands of dollars in mechanic fees. Thank you.
pS Sulev is the stupidest money robbing ridiculous engineering ever. 120 dollar radiator vs 450 dollar? For a coating. Fleecing is all it is
October 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip on the trans cooler tool size. Our subject vehicle was a manual trans. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
hotshot Comments: Hi
My cabin is not heating up with temp on high 28degrees. Engine temp 87 degrees. Cabin is cold. Air from vents cool.
What can I check next
July 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the heater control valve. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nick Comments: what is the extra hose on the right side tank for on a auto trans rad as opposed to a man trans radiator
April 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle> Can you share a photo of both ends of the hose? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jorge Comments: My California purchased 2008 328i has a sticker in the engine compartment that says that the radiator is part of the emissions system and that it must be replaced with an identical part. I have seen some OEM radiators with an electrical connector for some sensor in the back of the radiator. True of False? Can I save the sensor from the old radiator for the new replacement?
April 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This means your radiator has catalyst properties. You have to replace it with the right radiator, otherwise it is considered emission system tampering. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Scott Comments: The upper radiator hose will not come off from the radiator connector side. The OFH side popped off with no problem, and the lower connector also. The clips are up and plastic hose connector will move about a 1/4 inch and stop. It will move up and down and from the right, but it feels like something is catching on the left hand sidelooking down at it from the front. My forearms are bruised from pulling/pushing/prying, but it still won't let go! Any other advice on how to get it off??
April 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I've found that an extended soak in WD-40, and some heat from a blow dryer will give you the movement you need. Also completely remove the retaining clip from the hose. Make sure you heat the hose connection evenly until it is warm to the touch. Be patient and allow yourself a few heat cycles. If that doesn't work you will need to break or cut the connector. Let's hope the heat and WD-40 soak works! - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Johan Comments: Thank You.

This information made a it easy to remove the fan and radiator in less than 30 min.

Saving me a lot of money.

thank you
January 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mahi Comments: I bought new hoses for the radiator, made by ecstuning, and they wont fully go on. The old hoses were very hard to take off. I was thinking maybe the oem hoses might have a better fit.
September 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: OE will always have a better fit. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mahi Comments: My upper, and lower radiator hose isn't fitting on completely to the radiator, and the clip won't snap back into position.
September 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is it the old hose? Check the sealing O-ring for corrosion or if it became dislodged during the procedure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nick Comments: Is the transmission connected to the radiator?
May 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On automatic models, transmission cooler lines are. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dagaluski Comments: What if the torx fasteners wont come in cause of where they go the piece they go in its moved backwards a little but the radiator is properly fitted?
October 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would say the the rad is not seated completely, the holes should line up so the torx screw can hold it in place.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Matt Comments: The clips that hold the fan shroud will not fit on the new rad, the new rad is thinner aftermarket Its a CSF rad. What do you recommend?
September 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would replace the clips. The radiator manufacturer should have a clip that fits or should be able to direct you to a supplier. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right clip.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Thu 10/19/2017 02:28:32 AM