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Has your BMW been overheating lately? If so, there is a good chance you are experiencing problems with your engine cooling system, especially if you drive an older model.

While hiring a professional to overhaul your ride can cost upwards of $1,000, you can also save some money by taking a DIY approach.

Follow along as we go over indicators, OEM and aftermarket BMW parts, and how to replace your BMW cooling system.

When to Replace Your Cooling System

The older E-46 BMW engine cooling systems are notorious for their complications that lead to complete overhauls. The most notable culprits to the decay of such systems are plastic-centric materials that cannot withstand the miles or time drivers put into them.

Most systems require overhaul at around 100K miles. Some other indicators your BMW cooling system needs replacement are:

  • Vehicle overheating
  • Steam coming from under the hood
  • Low coolant levels or coolant leaks
  • White exhaust smoke
  • Fuel efficiency decrease

If you're experiencing any of these problems, it's time to improve your BMW's performance and overhaul your cooling system.

BMW Parts: OEM or Aftermarket?

The differences in OEM and aftermarket parts lie in their manufacturers. Automobile manufacturers make OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, parts. So, BMW creates BMW OEM parts while third parties make aftermarket parts.

Other differences include OEM parts only fitting specific makes and models, while aftermarket parts may fit a variety of automobiles. Moreover, aftermarket parts are often cheaper than their OEM counters. All parts, no matter the manufacturer, must endure and pass the same safety tests.

DIY Cooling System Overhaul

Overhauling your BMW cooling system means removing and replacing each of its components. Remember, you may not have to replace everything at once. Use your discretion to decide whether you need a complete or partial overhaul based on the wear and tear of each part.

Your cooling system consists of the following main components:

  • Radiator and upper/lower radiator hoses
  • Water pump
  • Thermostat
  • Air conditioner belt
  • Alternator Belt
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Expansion tank and cap
  • Fan clutch

Alternative to replacing individual parts, you can also purchase a complete cooling system overhaul kit. Kits are helpful because they provide all the parts you need and instructions to help guide your repair.

We recommend working on a cool vehicle with gloves and safety glasses. If you have a kit, read and follow the instructions with care. 

If you are replacing individual parts, start by removing the old parts. After removing all the necessary parts, check for any spills and clean them. Then, replace your cooling system components and refill your coolant.

Begin reviewing your work by checking for coolant leaks. Then, start your engine and open the bleeder screw, allowing any air bubbles to release. 

The morning after your repairs, you may need to add more coolant to the expansion tank. But, if your coolant levels continue to decrease, check for leaks again.

Find OEM and Aftermarket BMW Parts

Finding reliable OEM and aftermarket parts online can be a gamble. At Urotuning, our reviews reflect our dedication to customer satisfaction and quality. Over 93 percent of our customers recommend Urotuning to their friends.

If you need to purchase BMW parts from a company you can trust, check out our wide range of OEM and aftermarket parts or contact us today for a consultation!


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