1. Are BMWs tricky enough to work on that I should insist they have the work done at a BMW shop (assuming I can do that?) |
2. Assuming that the original shop does the work, are there particular issues that I should be aware of in this repair?
3. I won't have to pay for the repairs, so cost isn't a factor, but how reliable will this car be after this repair is made?
4. And finally--how likely is it that the radiator damage WAS NOT caused by the front-end impact?
I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to respond. I'm really at a loss here and looking for some information to make informed decisions from here on out.
To start off, I am very sorry for all your misfortune!
1). Yes, I would insist on the car being repaired @ a qualified BMW dealer, especially after the last mishap......
2). Did the original shop replace the radiator & hoses? because if they did, they would have surely had to bleed the coolant system correctly, because if they did not bleed the air out of the coolant system, the result after driving a long period, would be, a blown head gasket or warped head......Note: bleeding the coolant system is a little tricky & if not done right, will cause the engine to overheat & cause the condition you have now.....this is why you should insist on bringing it to an authorized BMW DEALER.....
3). If the repair is done correctly.......this car with only 100k should be very reliable!
4).Very likely, it was caused by the impact..........this is where the damn thing is located, right behind the front bumper....
p.s. Bleeding proceedure in the link below, click on link & scroll down to fig. 13
It really helps to have a friend lend a hand by sitting in the car revving the motor and keeping an eye on the temp gauge. Start off by removing the coolant reservoir cap and the plastic bleeder screw right next to it. Fill the coolant reservoir with a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water. Have your friend start the car, turn on the heater to full hot on the vent position and rev the motor to about 2500 RPM, if the temp gauge goes past the 12 o'clock position, shut the motor off, let it cool down and start over again. Watch the coolant reservoir, as the engine warms up the coolant level should drop, refill as the coolant is sucked out of the reservoir. Watch the bleeder screw hole also, when coolant with no air bubbles begins to overflow then you're almost done. It's a good idea to have some paper towels handy to mop up any overflow. Screw the bleeder screw back in (be careful to not break the plastic screw) and continue to rev the motor, you should see a continuous stream of coolant spraying in to the reservoir from the small hole at the top. Continue letting that spray in to the reservoir while your friend revs the motor for a couple of minutes, until the gauge hits the 12 o'clock mark, to ensure any remaining air is gone. If the heater is blowing hot air when you're revving the motor AND when the engine is at idle then your cooling system is properly bled. If your vents are blowing cool air at idle then you still have air in the system, try revving the motor more and/or squeeze the radiator hoses to help dislodge any trapped air. Once your system is fully bled, top off the reservoir and replace the cap. Check the coolant level in a day or two and top off as needed. Pelican Technical Article: BMW 3-Series E36 Cooling System Flush