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Reasons Behind Radiator Tank Expansion Failure in a MINI

MINI Radiator Tank

A radiator tank expansion is a vital part of your MINI. When it begins to fail, you could be in serious trouble. You paid good money for your luxury car, and you certainly do not want to see it in disrepair due to one small, seemingly insignificant part. We understand that, and we are here to help. In order to prevent the destruction that will cost a fortune, you need to know:

  • What a radiator tank expansion does
  • The warning signs of a failing tank expansion
  • What causes expansion failure
  • What happens when the problem is not fixed
  • How you can repair it before it is too late

The Function of a Radiator Tank Expansion

A radiator tank expansion (or RTE, for short) is a container that provides extra storage space for coolant when it expands. It can also be called an overflow tank. The expansion recycles this coolant to keep your engine functioning at optimal temperatures for a longer period of time.

Warning Signs of Radiator Tank Expansion Failure

When the RTE begins to malfunction or fail, you may notice some of these warning signs:

  • Rust has formed in the radiator. The overflow tank usually keeps this from happening. This is one of the main functions the RTE serves. When your radiator is rusty, you should assume that your RTE may be failing.
  • The engine will overheat. Coolant does exactly what it sounds like: it keeps your engine cool. When your MINI overheats, it can damage the engine irreparably and cause your vehicle to break down on the road. It is vital to get this issue fixed without letting it run hot for extended periods.
  • Coolant levels will be low. Your coolant should be replaced or topped off according to the specific manufacturer’s instructions. Always check your driver manual for reference. If your coolant is running low before it should be, your RTE could have failed. This is because it has caused the coolant to leak.
  • Coolant is leaking. The liquid you see underneath your MINI will determine whether or not your coolant is leaking. Coolant will usually be something colorful, like blue, green, red, yellow, pink, or orange. Oil is black, and although it gives off a colorful sheen, it should not be confused with colorful coolant.
  • You will be able to smell the coolant. The scent is unmistakable. Instead of being pungent and burning like gasoline, it will have a sweet aroma.

What causes RTE failure?

  • The reservoir has cracked. This allows the coolant stored inside to leak out. Depending on how bad/big the crack is, you could lose a lot of coolant very quickly. This happens mostly due to age or any overheating in the past.
  • Time. Every auto part eventually needs to be replaced, including the RTE. It is just something you have to deal with if you own any vehicle.
  • The RTE is not pressurized correctly. This is what causes the engine to overheat.
  • The radiator cap is broken or not sealed properly. When this happens, the pressure it needs to keep coolant flowing is lost.

The Consequences of Procrastination

If you notice any of these things happening while driving your MINI, and you fail to get the issue repaired, you are asking for trouble. The engine may become catastrophically damaged. Putting off service could cause your engine to break down permanently, and replacement of the engine can be extremely expensive. Your car could also actually catch on fire. Obviously, this is the worst-case scenario, but prolonged overheating can start a fire in the engine. It could and likely would seriously injure you and others if it causes you to crash.

How to Take Care of Radiator Tank Expansion Failure

MINIs are special vehicles that require special Adding Coolant in MINI care. You can’t fix the RTE by yourself. You have to trust a professional mechanic to do these repairs. Not all auto shops are made alike, so you need to be careful where you take your MINI. A standard mechanic may not have the skill set they need to get the job done right. This is why you should trust the technicians at Schearer’s Sales and Service, Inc. Our mechanics won’t stop until they know that you are satisfied with the care you are receiving. We will assure that you will drive home safely with proper repairs.

If you are in Pennsylvania near Allentown, Bethlehem, and Macungie, and are in need of automotive repair and servicing, call or come by for a consultation today.

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