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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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Old 03-28-2012, 04:29 PM
RBBailey RBBailey is offline
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Mein Auto: '88 325is & '97 Rover XD
New Radiator? Really?

So, the shop said I needed a new radiator as a result of some prolonged leaks that allowed too much pressure build up -- made sense to me, sucked, but whatever.

So I'm under the car today, putting new brakes on and wiping up oil that is another leak I need to have fixed in the future when I start looking around to see if the residue is just overflow from when they put the new tank and radiator in, or if it might be an overlooked fitting that is leaking the new fluid. I realize that what looks like the radiator is not new....

In other words, when the hood is up, if I'm looking through the kidneys at the radiator, am I looking at the fins on the main radiator, or am I looking at an oil cooler radiator, or something else. Because If I'm looking at the "new" radiator that cost $300 bucks, I'm wondering how all the dents, road grime, and bugs got in there after only about 30 miles of driving in rain.

Do I need to call these guys out, or am I looking at something I don't understand?
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:22 PM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Do you have an automatic transmission?

Edit: NVM, the cooling lines run through through the radiator.

Last edited by ckleung100; 03-28-2012 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:43 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 325 Convertible
You are looking at the air conditioning condenser. It is always in front of the radiator. Take a flashlight, and look from the back forwards to see if it is new.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:57 PM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Mein Auto: E46
Like SJBimmer said, the A/C condenser is visible through the kidney grilles.

My replacement Behr radiator has a couple of labels, one of which states the production date, on its top edge. The labels are concealed by the air filter intake duct, so you'll need to pry out the three or four plastic expansion fasteners in order to remove the duct and see the top edge of the radiator.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:39 PM
RBBailey RBBailey is offline
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Thanks for the responses. I can actually see the new radiator behind the AC radiator: Bend down and look up to the very top of the radiator, or the very bottom. A 1/4 inch of the main radiator is visible there -- didn't see it without a flashlight in my dim garage! Thanks!
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